Quality journalism…

Someone on the Digital Detective forum posted about an article in the Times, describing a supposed link between Muslim terrorists and child porn. Below is my reaction to his post, that I think would also fit here. Please have a read through the article before continuing.

I think it’s a very suggestive article based on some vague assumptions, seemingly written to tie together the current 2 worst (perceived) sources of evil: paedophiles and terrorists (oh wait, even worse: Muslim terrorists).

First of all, all information is presented in very vague terms (“Times investigation”, “security services are aware of the trend”, “source confirms”). No named sources, only assumptions and suspicions, some cases that have never led to any convictions.

Secondly, it doesn’t make sense in a technical way: if you want to hide something, why choose the type of image that is bound to attract the attention of every police force all around the world? And why use sites that might even be blocked in a lot of countries? There are multiple other secure communication ways available. And if you want to the fancy steganography stuff, why not use your vacation pictures and put them on your Facebook account?

Luckily, there are already some politicians ready to jump on the subject and give their firm comments and call for action (pfew, we can all rest assured and sleep safe at night).

It gets almost ridiculous at the end when they even manage to tie in the Nazis (Godwin’s Law anyone).

Don’t get me wrong, both child abuse and terrorism are very serious matters that need our attention and we always need to be on the lookout for new trends, but articles like this one look to me like they are only written to support someone’s hidden agenda using (IMHO) very dubious measures.

The comments at the newspaper’s website are worth a read as well.