China’s top Internet search engine, Baidu.com, censured for allegedly spreading racy photos

HONG KONG (AP) — China’s top Internet search engine, Baidu.com, has been censured by a government-sponsored Web watchdog for allegedly helping spread sexually explicit photos that appear to feature several Hong Kong stars.

The photos, which appear to show actor Edison Chen and several female stars performing sex acts or in sexually suggestive poses, are believed to have originated in Hong Kong and have been widely circulated here. News of the scandal has dominated Hong Kong headlines for several weeks.

China, however, keeps tighter watch over the Internet than semiautonomous Hong Kong, and the government-sponsored Beijing Association of Online Media said in a statement on its Web site Tuesday Baidu helped spread the racy pictures in the mainland.

The group said certain key word searches and certain pages on the Baidu site “have become the platform for displaying and spreading these filthy pictures,” demanding that the Web site apologize for its actions.

“While other Beijing Internet companies have boycotted the spread of the racy photos, Baidu still hasn’t implemented effective blocking and obscuring of the photos, and has become defensive and procrastinated, leading to the stagnation of a large amount of pornographic, filthy pictures,” the watchdog said in the statement dated Monday.

Meanwhile, the group praised other Chinese Web sites, such as NetEase.com, Sina.com and Sohu.com for urging its users not to spread the photos.

Baidu said it didn’t have immediate comment on the accusations.

China bans pornography, although the government’s Internet police struggle to block pornographic Web sites based abroad.

The government regularly censors and restricts access to content it considers subversive or politically sensitive, and Chinese Web sites often hire their own censors to eliminate certain content.

China’s online population has soared to 210 million people and could surpass the United States this year to become the world’s biggest, the official China Internet Network Information Center said last month.

China recently said it wanted to exert more control over Internet videos and video-sharing Web sites.

source: http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/A/AS_TEC_CHINA_RACY_STAR_PHOTOS_ASOL-?SITE=YOMIURI&SECTION=HOSTED_ASIA&TEMPLATE=ap_features_science.html

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An Indian doctor has been sentenced to life in jail for secretly filming his patients while they were naked and placing the footage on the internet.
The court in the city of Chennai (Madras) heard orthopaedic doctor L Prakash had placed nude footage of his women patients on paid websites.

He was also charged with having lured people to his property for sex.

Another three people, two of them medical staff, were sentenced to seven years each for their involvement.

They were found guilty of criminal intimidation and kidnapping or abduction for sex.

Source:BBC NEWS | World | South Asia | Indian doctor gets life over porn http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/south_asia/7233350.stm

The world is losing the fight against child pornography. Today’s widespread use of home computer technology has led to a staggering number of people trading and distributing child pornography online. No country is immune to this form of child sexual exploitation. As two of the world’s biggest consumers of child pornography, the United States and Japan must work together to combat its spread.

The term “child pornography” misrepresents the heinous nature of this crime. Unlike some people in adult pornography, children are not willing or paid participants. In fact, the majority of images and videos depict the violent and brutal sexual assault of children, most of them younger than 12 years old. We are talking about child rape.

Any discussion of child pornography must acknowledge the devastating and lasting effect it has on the children who are victimized. In addition to any physical injuries and exposure to sexually transmitted diseases, child victims also experience depression, withdrawal, anger and other psychological disorders, usually continuing into adulthood. The lives of children displayed in these images are forever altered, not only by the molestation, but by the permanent record of their victimization. Once these images reach cyberspace, they are irretrievable and can continue to circulate forever. The child is victimized over and over each time the images are viewed.

We should also recognize the strong link between viewing child pornography and sexually abusing children. A 2007 U.S. government study showed that more than 85 percent of people convicted for child pornography crimes admitted to sexually abusing children. Child pornography consumers participate in online networks, which makes them feel they are part of a vast community of like-minded people. This sense that it is “normal” to engage in sexual fantasies about children lowers their inhibitions about acting on their fantasies, increasing the likelihood that they will actually molest children. Child molesters also use child pornography to seduce children by showing them images that appear to depict other children enjoying sexual activities with adults.

The United States has a serious child pornography problem, but effective laws against production, distribution and possession give investigators the critical tools they need to go after people who victimize children. Japanese law enforcement authorities are praised throughout the world for their professionalism and competence, but their ability to investigate child pornography crimes is severely limited by the fact that it is legal to possess child pornography in Japan. The vast majority of child pornography prosecutions today around the world involve images contained on computer hard drives and computer disks. But, because it is legal in Japan to possess child pornography, it is almost impossible for investigators here to obtain search warrants to confiscate and search suspects’ computers. Without the vital evidence stored on these hard drives, police cannot effectively investigate child pornography crimes, which in Japan are defined as production and distribution of child pornography. Child pornography investigations inevitably involve more than one country. Law enforcement officials from the United States and around the world enjoy tremendous cooperation from Japanese police on a wide variety of issues, but international investigations of child pornography are significantly hampered by the inability of Japanese investigators to participate or contribute their expertise.

Criminalizing the possession of child pornography does not compromise the rights to privacy or free speech. Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy and the United States are all countries where a high value is placed on the rights to privacy and free speech, but all six countries have found it possible to criminalize the possession of child pornography without undermining these rights. Virtually all child pornography is obscene under international standards. The victimization of children is not entitled to protection.

Among the Group of Eight countries, Japan and Russia are the only two countries that do not criminalize the possession of child pornography. On May 24, 2007, Japan signed a declaration at the G-8 justice and interior ministers meeting in Munich that: “We commit to ensuring the implementation and effectiveness of our own laws relating to child pornography, and to taking steps to update and improve those laws when necessary and where appropriate.” The Law Punishing Acts Related to Child Prostitution and Child Pornography was due for its three-year review in 2006. We hope the Diet will revise this law to criminalize the advertisement, access, purchase, and possession of child pornography. This revision would allow U.S. and Japanese law enforcement officials to cooperate on investigations. Increased cooperation between our two countries would improve the protection of children throughout the world.

(Jan. 31, 2008)