Child Pornography and Google


Google fired an engineer who wrote an internal memo, regarding the company’s affirmative action policies.  I haven’t seen the memo, as far as I can tell it wasn’t distributed. This was not an attempt to undermine management, but a commentary that current policy would not achieve the desired effect, as written. The engineer expressed a difference of opinion, which if valid, could have saved the company from embarrassment. If not valid could have served as a teachable moment. Google-supports-freedom-speech-child-sex-traffickers-not-conservatives/

In a past life, my peers and I recognized that not all criticism was an attack on the organization. We routinely planned and carried out operations where the likelihood of armed resistance was almost guaranteed. Our experience showed that there was a 95% chance that the occupants of a residence targeted with a search warrant would be armed with firearms. There was nobody else to go, so we went.

An operations plan was drafted by the case agent and his partner. It described the place to be searched, the persons likely to be there, their criminal history, any animals and weapons known to be there. The operations plan also described the method for execution of the warrant, entry point, means of entry and the position and role of each officer on the entry team. The operations plan was reviewed and approved by a supervisor. The team was brought together, each member had a written copy of the plan, and it was then discussed, sometimes backed up by photos, diagrams, and maps.  We then employed the “one pass” method. All members of the raid team had the opportunity to object, request clarification of their role or acknowledge understanding. This was not a debating society. It was an opportunity for individuals to address issues based on specialized knowledge. If need be the plan was adjusted due to new information or accepted for implementation. Nobody who ever spoke up was accused of being disloyal.

One of the things that gets my attention is the consistency of inconsistencies. Bre Payton points out a doozy of the Google story. She writes: “Google has also been backing efforts to protect websites like Backpage, a classified ad site commonly used by human traffickers to sell sexual encounters with children. A Google lobbyist has been reportedly blitzing members of Congress via email, urging them to oppose legislation that would amend section 230 of the 1996 Communications Decency Act, which protects online forums and platforms from being liable for the content others write and publish on their websites, according to the National Center on Child Exploitation.”

The concept of freedom of speech only goes so far in Google’s world.

Drug organizations and Child pornography operations have one thing in common. They are both recipients of massive amounts of money. The drug trade is typically cash and carry. The child pornography trade is not, ever try to transmit a $20 bill via modem? According to ABC News, in a 2004 report, Child Pornography is a $10 Billion business.

Buyer and seller meet up on the Internet. The product is displayed, purchased and paid for via the Internet. Payment information would be a step towards identifying both parties. Wonder who could do that? I know an Internet provider like Google. But then they wouldn’t get their cut for facilitating the transaction. Google will claim that they have no way of knowing which of the billions of transactions conducted over the Internet are legitimate versus illegal.

Federal law 18 U.S Code/2258A.  Imposes an obligation on providers to report incidents of child pornography. I suspect that based on no more than pattern recognition a computer geek at Google would be right 90 out of a 100 times in identifying prospective child pornography sites. 

Google might be better advised to practice good citizenship by identifying pornographers rather than protecting them.