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Microsoft Puts Police Link on Messenger 253

SirClicksalot writes "Microsoft is working together with the UK Child Exploitation & Online Protection Centre to help protect Windows Live Messenger Users. UK users will be able to report suspected sexual predators directly to the police. From the article: 'Microsoft will add a "report abuse" icon to Messenger that will link any users worried about their anonymous internet buddies directly to online police services. Set up earlier this year to provide a single point of contact for the public, law enforcers and the communications industry to report the targeting of children online, CEOP offers advice and information to parents and potential victims of abuse and works with police forces around the world to protect children.'"
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Microsoft Puts Police Link on Messenger

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  • Re:abuse (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Whiney Mac Fanboy ( 963289 ) * <> on Wednesday August 23, 2006 @05:16PM (#15965579) Homepage Journal
    Oh yeah, I can't see this being abused at all. Especially by teenagers just screwing around.

    Damn straight. We're going to see a story about the dossing of Britains online police services before the dupe of this story appears. (imagine a lol, I'm not a sexual predator [] worm)
  • Hmm (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Klaidas ( 981300 ) on Wednesday August 23, 2006 @05:16PM (#15965580)
    This is a good idea, But... how many false alarms will there be? If every alarm has to be investigated, there will be a lot of wasted time.
    Besides, we all know how kids like clicking everywhere.
  • Re:abuse (Score:4, Interesting)

    by niceone ( 992278 ) on Wednesday August 23, 2006 @05:18PM (#15965605) Journal
    It'll be interesting to see how this plays out - isn't there are crime called "wasting police time" or something? Can you be prosecuted for clicking that icon without good cause?
  • And This Works How? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by nbannerman ( 974715 ) on Wednesday August 23, 2006 @05:20PM (#15965628)
    I have three seperate accounts I use to log into MSN Messenger's services, via passport.

    Only one of them contains any personal information about me. The other two, which are in use most often, are full of completely bogus information.

    Hypothetically speaking, where exactly would any online 'police service' get in such a situation? I think this has the potential to be a good idea, but I'm curious to see how many resources are going to be thrown behind this, given how easy it is to enter completely false data from the word go.
  • Re:abuse (Score:5, Interesting)

    by bwthomas ( 796211 ) < minus caffeine> on Wednesday August 23, 2006 @05:28PM (#15965694)
    In the US we have something called 'filing a false police report' or something similar, and as i recall it actually has some pretty scary consequences associated with it, all things considered. It would stand to reason that the UK has something analogous.
  • by Cal Paterson ( 881180 ) on Wednesday August 23, 2006 @05:58PM (#15965910)
    Some people here have been saying "what about the abuse" well seeing as they will know who is reporting the abuse then if you are just pratting about then those same police who are looking for predators can also send a threating response for wasting police time (a punishable offence). Unlike making crank calls from a telephone box this is very traceable.

    Except that emails aren't traceable. At all. Especially the throwaway ones on things like You should be concerned about the abuse.
  • Re:abuse (Score:4, Interesting)

    by jc42 ( 318812 ) on Wednesday August 23, 2006 @06:02PM (#15965930) Homepage Journal
    More importantly, can you be prosecuted when a piece of malware 'clicks' the button?

    And its best if you're using wifi, and you've covered yourself (and your IP address) by turning off security. As the recent case showed, with an open access point, you can simply say "It wasn't me; it could have been any neighbor using my wireless" and the prosecution won't have much an argument, because you'll be telling the literal truth.

    At least here in the US, almost everyone has just a single IP address for everything past their modem, so everything using your wifi will have the same address, and there's no way at all to prove which of the many computers in the neighborhood may have clicked that button.

    If you're on an open wireless AP, you can accuse as many people you want of as many crimes as you want, and nobody can prove it was you.

  • by hoki_goujons ( 930597 ) on Wednesday August 23, 2006 @06:51PM (#15966209)
    One of the least credible sources of information is through chat and blog and instant message internet services
    I think the opposite in this case - the police get a standardised package straight from the user of chat transcript, times, IPs and file transfer: 'I think this guy is a paedo, here's the reasons why'. The police see exactly what the complainant has just seen.
  • Re:abuse (Score:2, Interesting)

    by HarbingerKtS ( 979609 ) on Wednesday August 23, 2006 @07:02PM (#15966275)
    If MS were intelligent, they could make it so that the entire chat log from the time the conversation started to the time the button was clicked were included along with any acct info they have as well as the IP address of both the person reporting and the person being reported. Doing that would enable any law enforcement agent quickly determine if it was a false report or something with merit.
  • Screw the damn kids (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Jesus IS the Devil ( 317662 ) on Thursday August 24, 2006 @12:46AM (#15967590)
    Who cares about kids? Why are they so freakin special? If you want a button, have it be a button to notify the police of illegal activity, period. Crimes are being committed against all sorts of people. Kids are nothing special.

    It's the damn parents that are responsible for their kids. Don't have time to watch them? Don't have kids!
  • Usefull info (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Stigu ( 919228 ) on Thursday August 24, 2006 @02:06AM (#15967852)
    Allrighty, Being from Belgium where the worlds most (in?)famous pedophile stuff takes place (anyone remember Dutroux? the guys that abducted, raped, killed and then made the bodies disappear) I feel we need to take a step back and look at this hole thing at once before zooming in the issue of "the button"...

    Anyway, Belgiums (and mostlikely the whole world) most known pedophile is Dutroux. He abducted, raped, imprisoned for months and then killed his victims. Most of this was going on AFTER the internet got full of chatsites, MSN/ICQ/... and other communication technologies. As far as any reasearch can prove he never even went online, let alone use it actively.
    That proves that pedophiles and the internet have no relationship. Not all pedophiles use the internet, (most pedophiles are "older" people most of whom haven't got the foggiest clue of what the interenet is, let alone how to poperly abuse it) so IMO tht means that during the present generation (of course as generations progress and the "elder" people on average know more about PC/net the use of tracking them gets more important)isn't to productive.

    Then let's go to the zoomed bit and talk about the actual "button of doom"..

    First, I agree, that buton is just SCREAMING to all underaged kids to "see what it does" or to use when they are really pissed at for example their parents who forced them to eat brocoli? Or if they've been to grandmas, because she sent them to bed at 20.00 insted of letting them see.. I dunno, American gladiators? Kids never seem to look or think beyond the next 2 seconds of their life.

    Secondly, I'm all in favor of catching pedophiles, just in case I ever decide I just might want kids, but I do see in all countries in Europe (and I've been almost all over, from Portugal to Finland) seem to be seriously overracting to any and all CLAIMS of pedophily.
    It's still a Europewide (or even worldwide) overreaction that has been going on for 5-10 years. To give a good example of how much overreaction, here's a quick recap of something that happened in Belgium.
    A retired coupple (the husband so old he reached impotence) was charged by their neighbours (apparently mommy was jealous that her kids enjoyed going over to the neighbours after school till he parents got home) of pedophily. The coupple was immediately arrestd nd put into arrest. It took 6 MONTHS in jail to prove that A, the old man was impotent, B, the neighbours were lieing and most importantly C, the kids themselves continiously claimed nothing had happened, but it took 6 months apparently to read and understand that the kids (supposed victims)had always said the old coupple never did anything.

    So in cunclusion, all I can relly see happening is either the police ignoring the entire button report because there are to many and after a while they realise virtually any underaged kid with a tempertantrum is reporting their family OR they come up with some INSANELY draconic punishment system for abuse. Which will of course NOT be implemented towards underage kids. Ergo, the entire idea is useless. There are allready MANY ways to accuse someone of pedophily. There's no need for more, especially not when kids can so easily abuse it, and that most pedophiles probably know less about PC's and the internet then youraverage 14 year old.

To avoid criticism, do nothing, say nothing, be nothing. -- Elbert Hubbard