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17025 and Indecent Pictures of Children

Computer forensics discussion. Please ensure that your post is not better suited to one of the forums below (if it is, please post it there instead!)
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Re: 17025 and Indecent Pictures of Children

Post Posted: Fri Nov 05, 2010 2:57 pm

- mark777


Surely the categorisation of images is to be done as the opinion of the person categorising them.

I have rarely in over ten years had a job where two persons have categorised a number of pictures the same.


There will always be an element of the subjective opinion of one person differing from another. However some of the differences in opinion arise from a misunderstanding of the law or procedures.

For example ask a number of people if a naturist picture is indecent and some will say "no naturist pictures aren't indecent", or others might say it depends on whether or not the person holding the picture is a naturist. Both views would be wrong in law.


Take the example of a 14 year old female kneeling naked on a picnic rug on the lawn of a garden and it appears to be a naturist picture.

The issue of indecency is according to "the recognised standards of propriety". So the simplest way to decide on whether a picture is indecent is to ask the question "does my mother, father, brother, sister, neighbour, friend have a picture of their child at that age in that setting". If the answer is no and you ask yourself why not and the reply is "well it's just not right" then you have just decided the picture is indecent according to the recognised standards of propriety.

It doesn't matter that the picture was taken by a naturist or the female in it is a naturist.

Using this simple test it is possible to make a more consistent judgement on indecency.

The SOP then goes on to cover various areas where there is often a conflict of opinions. For example you have a series of indecent pictures where it is clear from one or more of the pictures that the person is a child. However one of the pictures is indecent but because of the way it is framed, on its own it would not be possible to say that the person in it is a child. For the purposes of categorisation where that picture is to be included in a national database the categorisation must be made on that individual picture standing alone and so will not be categorised as a indecent picture of a child.

There are a number of other similar areas of confusion which can be defined so as to remove the confusion. This is where a SOP can improve the consistency of categorisation.

H
_________________
ADF Solutions - Leaders in Digital Forensic Triage
www.adfsolutions.com/
--------------------------------------------------------
Resources for Forensic Practitioners
computerforensics.parsonage.co.uk 

harryparsonage
Senior Member
 
 
  

Re: 17025 and Indecent Pictures of Children

Post Posted: Sat Nov 06, 2010 5:23 pm

For example ask a number of people if a naturist picture is indecent and some will say "no naturist pictures aren't indecent", or others might say it depends on whether or not the person holding the picture is a naturist. Both views would be wrong in law.


Take the example of a 14 year old female kneeling naked on a picnic rug on the lawn of a garden and it appears to be a naturist picture.

The issue of indecency is according to "the recognised standards of propriety". So the simplest way to decide on whether a picture is indecent is to ask the question "does my mother, father, brother, sister, neighbour, friend have a picture of their child at that age in that setting". If the answer is no and you ask yourself why not and the reply is "well it's just not right" then you have just decided the picture is indecent according to the recognised standards of propriety.

It doesn't matter that the picture was taken by a naturist or the female in it is a naturist.

Using this simple test it is possible to make a more consistent judgement on indecency.


Sorry but as naturist pictures do not constitute illegal images under the Copine Scale ( for want of a better phrase) as they do not contain erotic posing then whether or not you think they are "Not Right" or whether or not you agree with naturism is irrelevant. Using your example an examiner who is not a naturist would classify such images as illegal but one who is a Naturist would not!!!!!!!!!! No doubt the defence would have a field day with that method of deciding whether a suspect should be charged or not.


The SOP then goes on to cover various areas where there is often a conflict of opinions. For example you have a series of indecent pictures where it is clear from one or more of the pictures that the person is a child. However one of the pictures is indecent but because of the way it is framed, on its own it would not be possible to say that the person in it is a child. For the purposes of categorisation where that picture is to be included in a national database the categorisation must be made on that individual picture standing alone and so will not be categorised as a indecent picture of a child.


Again the SOP seems to be covering areas where an examiner is making assumptions about images that he/she is not in law entitled to make. If you cannot tell whether or not the person shown in an image is a child or otherwise underage then how can you say it is obviously illegal !!. You are only making an assumption it is from a series however obvious or not you think it may be. Burden of proof, beyond all reasonable doubt and all that.


There are a number of other similar areas of confusion which can be defined so as to remove the confusion. This is where a SOP can improve the consistency of categorisation.


Is this not what the Copine Scales/Sentencing Guidline categorisations do.
_________________
Mark 

mark777
Senior Member
 
 
  

Re: 17025 and Indecent Pictures of Children

Post Posted: Sun Nov 07, 2010 2:34 pm

- mark777

Sorry but as naturist pictures do not constitute illegal images under the Copine Scale ( for want of a better phrase) as they do not contain erotic posing then whether or not you think they are "Not Right" or whether or not you agree with naturism is irrelevant. Using your example an examiner who is not a naturist would classify such images as illegal but one who is a Naturist would not!!!!!!!!!! No doubt the defence would have a field day with that method of deciding whether a suspect should be charged or not.


It sounds like you are making one of the common mistakes. The test of indecency has nothing to do with the copine scales (or more appropriately the SGC classifications as they are not the copine scales). A picture does not have to fit into one of the descriptions in the SGC classifications for it to be an indecent photograph of a child. The categorisations are purely for sentencing and nothing to do with the decision as to whether or not a photograph is an indecent photograph of a child.

The test I have described is one of the first steps in the process and SGC comes later. Assuming we have a photograph the two tests are to decide whether it is of a child and whether it is indecent. The test I described is to help in the decision making about indecency.

It is only once you have decided that the photograph is IPOC that you try to categorise it. The fact is that a photograph of a child can be indecent without it being erotically posed and without it fitting into any of the descriptions in the SGC categories, it is a recognised gap in the categories. This is where a policy decision has to be made for the purposes of developing a national database, some people would categorise such a picture as a level 0 others would put it into 1 as the most approriate level (whilst not fitting the description).

Your comments about the naturist examiner in my view don't follow logically from the example, unless the examiner's mother, father, brother, sister, neighbours, and friends are all naturists. It is an effort to put in a simple test what "recognised standards of propriety" means and I would suggest if you put the test to your mother, father, brother, sister, neighbours, and friends you would get the answer - they wouldn't have a picture like that because it is not decent (i.e. indecent) according to the recognised standards of propriety.


Again the SOP seems to be covering areas where an examiner is making assumptions about images that he/she is not in law entitled to make. If you cannot tell whether or not the person shown in an image is a child or otherwise underage then how can you say it is obviously illegal !!. You are only making an assumption it is from a series however obvious or not you think it may be. Burden of proof, beyond all reasonable doubt and all that.


The SOP is covering these areas because these are the areas that commonly cause misclassifications. "If you cannot tell whether or not the person shown in an image is a child or otherwise underage then how can you say it is obviously illegal !!. " You can't, yet some people will do based upon what they know from other pictures in a series.


There are a number of other similar areas of confusion which can be defined so as to remove the confusion. This is where a SOP can improve the consistency of categorisation.


Is this not what the Copine Scales/Sentencing Guidline categorisations do.


No, they don't deal with the areas that are covered in the SOP. You need to see the whole thing in context before you can properly draw some conclusions. It is intended that they will be circulated for comment, so hopefully you will get the opportunity to put your views then.

H
_________________
ADF Solutions - Leaders in Digital Forensic Triage
www.adfsolutions.com/
--------------------------------------------------------
Resources for Forensic Practitioners
computerforensics.parsonage.co.uk 

harryparsonage
Senior Member
 
 
  

Re: 17025 and Indecent Pictures of Children

Post Posted: Sun Nov 07, 2010 4:26 pm

Your comments about the naturist examiner in my view don't follow logically from the example, unless the examiner's mother, father, brother, sister, neighbours, and friends are all naturists. It is an effort to put in a simple test what "recognised standards of propriety" means and I would suggest if you put the test to your mother, father, brother, sister, neighbours, and friends you would get the answer - they wouldn't have a picture like that because it is not decent (i.e. indecent) according to the recognised standards of propriety.


I agree. My mother, father brother would find the image indecent. However if you showed the same image to the naturist mother, father, brother of a naturist then it would not be indecent. That is no way to decide someomes fate. If you get an image and apply the question "Does this image fall within one of the categories of the SGC classifications" and the answer is "Yes" then it is indecent. If the answer is "No" then it is not. That takes away the possibility of people being charged or not charged based on another persons beliefs.


It would be interesting if UK LE members could say what their policy is in respect of charging naturist images. As I understand it, but I may be wrong, one of the USA amendments actually covers this making them legal as they are part and parcel of a persons freedom of belief (or something like that). Perhaps one of our USA members could expand on that for us.

Finally I should say I am not a naturist ( nor is my mother, father, brother).

I look forward to reading the SOP when it comes out
_________________
Mark 

mark777
Senior Member
 
 
  

Re: 17025 and Indecent Pictures of Children

Post Posted: Thu Nov 25, 2010 3:40 pm

Unless I've misunderstood (always a possibility), isn't part of what's being asked here about determining a child's age? My understanding - and this may be a legend - is that there used to be a requirement for a paediatrician's verdict but this was done away with some time ago, possibly in the days before the mass internet.

If the issue is partly one of 'ageing' a subject, I don't see how there is a catch-all solution. Sometimes it's blindingly obvious, other times it's very difficult to decide - this is why our hash database has a category for 'dunno but we need to be aware of it if it's found on an exhibit'.

Then there's the categorising itself - we've had discussions this week over whether a certain act constitutes a 5 or a 3, and it comes down to a matter of opinion. I consider my categorisations to be merely an informed guide, and if any of it's in dispute, the answer is to throw it open to the jury if it's the indecency that's in doubt, or the sentencing judge if it's the categorisation. I'm a forensics geek, not a paediatrician or censor.

There are no experts at this discipline, and no training (that I'm aware of) is available. It's very subjective and I don't think you can really change that a lot of the time.  

BenUK
Member
 
 
  

Re: 17025 and Indecent Pictures of Children

Post Posted: Fri Nov 26, 2010 5:08 pm

Re ages - You are right. It used to be the case that evidence of age was evidenced by a paediatrician. For the last few years the policy is where there is a dispute as to a persons age the image is shown to the jury and it is up to them to decide.

.
_________________
Mark 

mark777
Senior Member
 
 
  

Re: 17025 and Indecent Pictures of Children

Post Posted: Fri Nov 26, 2010 5:23 pm

This is off topic from the SOP issue, but if you are interested in determining ages you might consider contacting www.ncmec.org. They can check the hash values of the pics against a known database of victims and let you know if the victims can be identified. I would assume InterPol would have something like this and I'm sure there is someone in the UK doing work like this too.

In a recent case I had a defense attorney ask questions about duplicate images. The enhancements to our laws depend on the number of images an individual has. Our law does not specify duplicate or unique images. If your laws don't specify plan on that argument being made if you have several duplicates of the same image.

Cheers!  

hcso1510
Senior Member
 
 
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