Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Witch Hunt (Continued)

The Brit MSM continues to bay for the blood of alleged pedophiles and is now naming them. It cares not a jot that its victims have never been convicted in a court of law.

The once majestic London Times is reduced to
this (my emphasis):

Kelly admits more sex offenders working in schools
By Philippe Naughton and agencies

Ruth Kelly, the Education Secretary, admitted today that the case of a man on the sex offenders' register who was given the green light to work in schools was not an isolated case.

In a statement issued to MPs, Ms Kelly announced an "exhaustive review" into "a small number of cases" in which other people on the register had been kept of List 99, the official blacklist which stops adults working in schools if they are judged to be a threat to children.

The Times considers that anybody alleged to have viewed a pedophile website is, by definition, a sex offender and deserves maximum publicity, so now they tell us all about the guy who's lost his livelihood:

Mr Reeve was arrested in 2003 by Norfolk Police as part of Operation Ore, the largest inquiry into child pornography undertaken in the UK. He received a police caution for accessing banned images of children on the internet.

Mr Reeve was hired by the Hewett School in Norwich last month, but was only stopped from working there when police, who judged him to be a risk to children, alerted the headteacher.

Ministers considered evidence that he had accessed pedophile websites inconclusive so did not place him on List 99. The Department for Education wrote to Norfolk County Council saying that the Government had "considered all aspects of the case, including sex offender registration, and decided that the risks of the teacher being allowed to continue teaching were acceptable".

Ministers probably found the evidence inconclusive because, absent visual proof, it's not possible to know who was using the PC. A prankster at my last place of work used unattended PCs to browse to dodgy websites, leaving the results prominently visible. In defense, we set our password-protected screensaver delays to 1 minute. Even so, the prankster still sometimes managed to to distract his target while a confederate did the dirty deed.

Also, as commented yesterday, inexperienced users can access pornographic sites, either by accident, or by clicking on a spam link.

Finally, any real pedophile will use software that hides their IP address, to prevent tracking.

Here's what a case tried in a court of law would examine:

1. What exactly was the sequence of events when the access occurred - where was the accused, who else was present, and so on.

2. How reliable was the police IP tracking and did the network architecture allow accurate identification of the IPs accessing the site.

3. Was the accused running privacy software that one would expect from a pedophile?

4. Was there a long-term pattern of access to pedophile sites from the offending PC?

5. How depraved was the material viewed?

6. Had the accused ever shown pedophile behaviors?

Absent a critical review of these factors, the guy is innocent. Nobody has to employee him, but he does not deserve to be vilified as a sex offender.