The Internet! It’s stuffed full of evil kiddie fiddlers and dodgy geezers out to grab our children!
Well, that’s what some aspects of the media would have us believe, but there’s no denying that there is an unsavoury side to the Internet, and that peer to peer file swapping networks have made it easier for paedophiles to share their filth.
Well, thank goodness for the crime-busting heroes at RazorPop who have released their new TrustyFiles 2.4 High Performance File Sharing, billed as the “peer-to-peer (P2P) file-sharing industry’s first child-pornography file-reporting solution”.
TrustyFiles claims to makes it easy for file-sharing users to report child pornography by simply clicking on a dodgy file and selecting the “Report Child Exploitation” command. This then fires off an anonymous report to P2P PATROL’s child-pornography lead processing resource [http://cphotline.org].
TrustyFiles also keeps an eye on users’ Web habits, spawning a warning message when a user enters a search term known to be associated with child pornography.
“Razor who?” “Trusty what?” do we hear you say?
Well, that’s we thought too. They describe themselves as “the leading multi-network client with Kazaa, Gnutella, Gnutella2, and Bit Torrent search and download, as well as personal, private, and public file sharing” but we’ve never heard of them.
So we took a look at their Websites.
RazorPop’s homepage is a very weird affair, featuring a photograph of a woman in a doctor’s coat holding a CD aloft. A jagged line connects the picture to a woman unhappily holding a big picture of herself, which in turn connects to a guy frozen in an action pose trying to grab a CD. Most odd.
Suitably baffled, we clicked over to the TrustyFiles homepage, a garish affair festooned with glowing testimonials from conveniently anonymous customers – and some of those were a bit, well, strange.
Listen to what David V from who-knows-where has to say about the product, “If I’m posting this, it means my message has a real good meaning…its really easy to use ..I see why 100% users vote thumbs up”
Err, thanks for that, Dave.
5 star awards from obscure shareware sites are proudly plastered all over the homepage, although none of them were linked to the actual sites so we couldn’t check them.
So we looked up Trustyfiles on Usenet to see what people were people were saying about them. And the answer is: not a lot. Try as we might, we couldn’t find anyone even remotely as enthusiastic about the product as the mysterious David V.
By now you’ve probably worked out that we’re more than a little cynical about this release.
It’s not that we don’t feel that child pornography is a serious issue, but we’re concerned that companies who appear to be exaggerating and exploiting this issue for commercial leverage may encourage further legislation that will harm legal users.
We’ve never heard of RazorPop or the daftly-named ‘Trustyfiles’ software so, frankly, whatever they do isn’t going to make a tot of difference to the surfing habits of the Web world.
Now, we’re not saying that they’re not an honestly committed company, but we’re less than convinced about this product, and their unconvincing Websites don’t help their cause.
Without an industry-wide initiative, we don’t see the point in releasing restrictive P2P software that is unlikely to make users switch from far better-known programs, particularly when it’s hard to find much enthusiasm for the Trustyfiles product.