[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]
U.K. cyberporn fearstorm, Singapore attacks Julf, from HotWired
Sgt. Toby Tyler is actually a bit of a cypherpunk. He told me he
"absolutely" supports anonymous remailers -- repressive governments in
Asia and all that. He just doesn't think that many people will use 'em.
---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Fri, 6 Sep 1996 05:55:26 -0700 (PDT)
From: Declan McCullagh <[email protected]>
To: [email protected]
Subject: U.K. cyberporn fearstorm, Singapore attacks Julf, from HotWired
[Also in today's Netizen on HotWired is a report from India on their
Net-regulations and Brock in Muckraker on the White House's new "Key
Recovery Initiative" anti-crypto legislation. Check out
HotWired, The Netizen
6-8 Sept 96
by Declan McCullagh
Washington, DC, 5 September
Call it a cyberporn fear-storm: Splashed across the front page of
the 25 August issue of the London Observer was a hysterical report
naming Finnish pseudonymous remailer operator Julf Helsingius as the
"man US police-experts charge with being at the hub of 90 percent of
the child pornography on the Internet."
The report continued: "'Somewhere between 75 and 90 percent of all the
child pornography I see is supplied through this remailer,' said Toby
Tyler of the FBI." That was enough to make Helsingius - already
reeling under threats from the Singapore government and repeated legal
attacks from the always-litigious Church of Scientology - pull the
plug on his anon.penet.fi site last Friday.
But in trying to milk the story, the Observer went too far. The "FBI
investigator" the paper cited as their only support for the
accusations doesn't exist.
In truth, Tyler is a sergeant in California's San Bernardino sheriff's
office, and he says the Observer intentionally misrepresented his
identity and his statements.
Tyler says "there's very little of the story I agree with," and the
Observer took a conversation he had with a reporter "and selectively
chose words that would mean what they wanted."
Helsingius blames the Observer for scaremongering. "It was quite clear
that they were trying to create a story where there was none ... I
quite clearly outlined why my server wasn't transmitting child porn,"
Helsingius said. "I stated that the Finnish police had investigated
and found that it wasn't. These comments were ignored. They wanted to
make a story so they made things up."
Still, a malicious front-page splash in the Observer isn't the full
extent of Helsingius's troubles. Now he's also up against the
Singapore government, which has demanded the identity of one of the
users in his half-million-person database...
The unknown user, who has the email address [email protected],
posted hundreds of messages to the soc.culture.singapore newsgroup
under the name of "Lee Kwan Yew," the retired prime minister of
Singapore. The messages are short and unimaginative, yet apparently
are just enough to piss off the thin-skinned Singaporean officials.
One post reads: "We are small and vulnerable. Without regulations, we
will be like Hong Kong, oops, fuck, bad example, they are actually
doing quite all right. - SM Lee Kwan Yew, Republic of Singapore."
Now that a Finnish court recently ruled that the remailer's database
could be breached in a Scientology case, Helsingius says he's not sure
what might happen. In the meantime, he's stuck somewhere between a
sensationalist British newspaper and a Singaporean government bent on
Links from the article:
Linkname: hysterical report in London Observer
Linkname: Singapore banning Web pages
Linkname: hundreds of messages pseudonymously posted