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Computer-Edited Photos Lead To Child-Porn Locale 806

Posted by timothy
from the creepy dept.
Leilah writes "Toronto police have found a new application for computerized photo editing. The police released edited photos on Feb. 3 from a series of child pornography pics in an attempt to locate where the photos may have been taken. Two days later, they have identified the Port Orleans hotel in Disney World as being the location. This seems to be the first time photo editing has been used in law enforcement this way and strikes an interesting line between protecting the victims and being able to get public tips. It looks like it may be used quite heavily in the future given this success."
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Computer-Edited Photos Lead To Child-Porn Locale

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  • Double-Edged Sword? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by fembots (753724) on Saturday February 05, 2005 @08:51PM (#11586809) Homepage
    Will criminals take this as a warning and digitally edit out the background (or replace it with vanila ones)?
    • Is that what you did? ;)
    • by Kohath (38547)
      Why don't they just take pictures of the backgrounds and draw in the people? That would work out better for everyone.
      • Why is this a troll? If people must indulge in these fantasies, would it not be better to have them do so without actually hurting anyone?
    • The more important question is whether police will start to trawl fark/something awful/etc photoshop contest participants for would-be employees.

      Though seeing Akbar appear on police help websites would be somewhat surreal.
    • by miu (626917) on Saturday February 05, 2005 @09:03PM (#11586888) Homepage Journal
      I don't think you can dismiss a useful approach just because criminals might eventually get wise and start taking precautions against it. That might be a reasonable argument if the approach required invasive laws to implement, but that doesn't seem to be the case here. Also, I imagine the majority of these pictures are not taken with wide distribution in mind.
    • by AndyL (89715) on Saturday February 05, 2005 @09:33PM (#11587062)
      Why replace it with a vanilla background? If you're good you could replace it with someone else's living room.
      • When the authorities get involved with shutting down piracy rings, everyone here bitches and complains that they're focusing their resources on that while "rapists and molesters run free." As though it's a one-tier organization with 100% focused on one task at a time.

        Yet here we that is clearly not the case, and in fact they are employing advanced technologies to enforce the law and protect people all over, even using the public to help them. I wonder if those sort of complaints mentioned above will ceas
      • Considering that child-porn is one area where your guilty until proven innocent in most countries, the potential effects of pasteing some kiddy-porn onto a background of your rival or nemisis's living room is truely scarey.

        Consider closely some of the whacked flamewars that start on slashdot, then consider the effects where the cost of losing is life in prison rather than a karma hit
  • Fark. (Score:5, Funny)

    by asdfasdfasdfasdf (211581) on Saturday February 05, 2005 @08:54PM (#11586825)
    Man, the toronto police dept. seriously needs to hire a farker or two. Even the mediocre photoshoppers there do a better job than they did.

    Of course, one of those photos would probably end up with Admiral Ackbar, Wil Wheaton or that over-endowed squirel.

    • Agreed! I'm consistently awed by the 'blanks' some farkers submit for people taking part in photoshop contests.

      You can clearly make out where the people used to be in the edited photos on this story. And quite frankly the outline still visible on the bed freaks me out a bit.
    • Indeed, all they needed to do on the bed picture for example, was to duplicate the pattern from a different area with a clone brush. Instead it seems as though they've used some sort of airbrush/smudging technique which is pretty poor..

      Then again, this isn't about the image quality.. still, this is slashdot!
    • Re:Fark. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Tuzanor (125152) on Saturday February 05, 2005 @09:51PM (#11587175) Homepage
      The point was to edit out the girl being molested or hide the graphic nature of the photograph, not to win a photo editing contest. If they wanted, they could have spent 3 times as much money editing this, but that would have been a waste of time.
    • Re:Fark. (Score:3, Funny)

      by mboverload (657893)
      Real men use paint. Photoshop is the easy way out. I remember back in the day all we got was black and white vector grpahics. Now we got all these kiddies with photoshop, pshhh.

      =)

    • Re:Fark. (Score:3, Insightful)

      by dtfinch (661405) *
      I'd much rather have a 70 year old grandmother handling the time consuming task of using photoshop to remove kids from child pornography than some 17 year old porn addict.
  • They needed information. Rather than blur out the subject (which then becomes the focus) they repaired, to the best of their ability, the scenes and posted them.

    Frankly that's no different then sending out 'awards' to criminals and when they show up, arresting them.

    There is no 'interesting line' between privacy and law enforcement. Law Enforcementis paid to lie to GET the 'bad guy'. And anyone that says sexually assaulting a 9 year old girl (or boy) isn't bad needs to post their home address.... so tha
    • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 05, 2005 @09:32PM (#11587060)

      And anyone that says sexually assaulting a 9 year old girl (or boy) isn't bad needs to post their home address.... so that that tip can be forwarded onto the appropriate authorities (or anyone else that owns a baseball bat).

      You fucking moron. Here's an address for you:

      1600 Pennsylvania Avenue Washington, DC 20520

      There you go. I promise a child abuser lives there. Looks a bit like a monkey. Go nuts with your damn baseball bat.

      Vigilante justice is WRONG. Vigilante justice is NOT JUSTICE. Suggesting it in response to child abuse just makes you look like yet another flaming THINK OF THE CHILDREN panic attack kneejerker.

      I fully support using these measures to track down sex offenders and bring them to justice. But I'd rather they go free than we throw away the right to due process.

    • by BitterOak (537666) on Saturday February 05, 2005 @11:04PM (#11587623)
      There is no 'interesting line' between privacy and law enforcement.

      Okay. Here's the problem I have with the tactics the Toronto police used here. Nobody's going to want to stay in the hotel room where these indiscretions took place. Who would want to sleep on a bed where a 9 year old girl was raped? The hotel owner's not to blame, so why should they be penelized?

      You might say the hotel owner should take some responsibility to police its guests. Fine, but do you want hidden security cameras in the hotel rooms you stay in? Would you mind if the midnight desk clerk sat in the back room secretly looking in on you to make sure you're not doing something illegal? The technology to do this is very inexpensive nowadays, and video cameras can be made incredibly small and easily hideable. We don't want to give hotel owners any incentive to do this, but if this kind of police work becomes routine, I fear it will be inevitable. So much for any privacy in your hotel room.

      • by Phantasmagoria (1595) <loban,rahman+slashdot&gmail,com> on Sunday February 06, 2005 @12:48AM (#11588031)
        Okay. Here's the problem I have with the tactics the Toronto police used here. Nobody's going to want to stay in the hotel room where these indiscretions took place. Who would want to sleep on a bed where a 9 year old girl was raped? The hotel owner's not to blame, so why should they be penelized?

        This argument is stupid. If a murder took place in your hotel, then by golly your hotel will be all over the papers the next day. If a crazy man goes balistic with a gun in your store, then by golly your store will be all over the papers the next day. Similary, if shifty things like this occurs in your establishment and it gets found out, the press will know. Thats how the cookie crumbles, it's not your fault at all, but it's part of the many risks of running a business.
  • Creepy pictures (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Lisandro (799651) on Saturday February 05, 2005 @08:58PM (#11586860)
    ...the ones the police edited to leave only the background, that is - you can still see silhouettes here and there. For some reason they made me extremely uneasy.
    • I noticed that, too and thought "That's not a very good editing job" and at the same time I shivered.. It is very creepy.. almost like the photos from The Ring.
    • Re:Creepy pictures (Score:5, Insightful)

      by TheCabal (215908) on Saturday February 05, 2005 @09:07PM (#11586917) Journal
      That's because you have a conscience. It's distrubing to see the pics, even with the victim removed because you can still sort of see the silhouettes and such, and you can see that things like this are happening at places that aren't some pervert's basement.
      • sorry, no. (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Cryptnotic (154382) *
        4 of the six of the pictures that were posted on the linked website were in public places. Only two were from the inside of a hotel room. Those pics were undoubtedly the more "normal" pictures, i.e., just the girl by herself in public. The more graphic pictures would not have been modified since they would not have shown as much of the identifiable background scenery.

    • Re:Creepy pictures (Score:3, Interesting)

      by binarybum (468664)
      Agreed. An artist actually did a display like this at my university - the reconstructions were much much better (almost completely unnoticable) - granted she got to choose her photos (good old fashion 18+ regular porn-all from the internet). My response to that exhibit was firstly - dammitt! why didn't she post the "before" pictures next to her edited versions. wish I could recall her name.

      However, the combination of the subject material here, and the shoddy (yet perfectly sufficient - let's not nit
    • Re:Creepy pictures (Score:4, Insightful)

      by pnevin (168332) * on Saturday February 05, 2005 @09:23PM (#11587014)
      It's like seeing that torture scene in Reservoir Dogs for the first time - nothing you can actually see really compares with what you can imagine is actually happening.
    • Re:Creepy pictures (Score:5, Insightful)

      by chriso11 (254041) on Saturday February 05, 2005 @09:52PM (#11587177) Journal
      I think that it meets the needs of the police perfectly. You are not trying to show how wonderful those places are. Leaving a 'ghost' reminds people that their was a victim there, allowing people to review the background in a more neutral format while maintining the victim's privacy.
      If a quick 5 minute clone does the job, I don't see a need to perfect the image.

      I can't believe how bent everyone is getting over the quality. If you think you can do a better job, go ahead and volunteer. I for one would not want to look at the originals.
      • Re:Creepy pictures (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Dmala (752610)
        I can't believe how bent everyone is getting over the quality. If you think you can do a better job, go ahead and volunteer. I for one would not want to look at the originals.

        Oh god, I hadn't even though about how closely you'd have to focus in on the original images in order to edit them. I bet the poor bastard who had to do that felt like he needed a long, hot shower by the time he was done.
  • by NitsujTPU (19263) on Saturday February 05, 2005 @09:01PM (#11586880)
    It's a rather sad commentary on the /. crowd when I read a story about how someone MIGHT be helping sexually abused children by releasing pictures with the children editted out... and the comment board is, in the earliests posts, mostly filled with comments joking about getting the originals.

    An interesting question arises though. How did they know that it was all the same scene? What if the kid was abducted, or moved around?

    To the guy who blamed all of the jokes on Linux use... you must be new here
    • by Anubis350 (772791) on Saturday February 05, 2005 @09:15PM (#11586968)
      one of the best ways people deal with troubling subjects is to joke about them. It allows for a relaxation that can lead to a more serious discussion about a topic, uncrippled by the uptight PCness that society now uses. While yes, this is, in fact, a very serious topic, the jokes allow for us to move out of the depressing stage of our thinking and into a more serious discussion of the potential of this new technology. Try not to have a knee-jerk reaction to the jokes and look at the (perhaps subconscious) motives behind them. Just my opinion. --Anubis
    • by benna (614220)
      I think all this shows is that most people, deep down, are really alot dirtier than anyone would like to admit. This is what happens when, through anonymity, they are allowed to express those dirtier aspects of themselves without hte social consequences. I think when we realize how not socially acceptable we really are, we will learn to change our society to better reflect ourselves. But then that could be the opium talking.
  • I think this is clever, obviously productive, and pretty much (law-wise) in the same vein as releasing a sketch of a perp's face, per the victim's recollection (or an ATM camera shot, etc) - which we see on the news all the time.

    <tinfoilhat> Now: how many people might get framed/harassed by having something like this mocked up by bad guys, placing someone/something into a false scene, or placing false thing in conspicuous, legit, easily recognized scene? I don't mean that in the sense of law enforc
  • *Shudder* (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Southpaw018 (793465) * on Saturday February 05, 2005 @09:07PM (#11586915) Journal
    I don't know what's creepier, the pictures themselves or the comments joking about the originals and downplaying kiddie porn/statutory rape...
    • Re:*Shudder* (Score:3, Informative)

      by Lord_Dweomer (648696)
      It's called Gallows Humor [answers.com]. It is a coping method many people use to deal with a situation that is extremely serious/depressing/etc. Try not to judge them too harshly, its just their way of dealing with it.

  • The girl (Score:5, Informative)

    by Doomie (696580) on Saturday February 05, 2005 @09:11PM (#11586938) Homepage
    An article in the Montreal Gazette (that I just finished reading -- what a coincidence!) says that if necessary the police might release the photos with the girl's face, the reason being that they believe that it might help the girl escape a "life of abuse"...
    • Re:The girl (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Frogbert (589961)
      The police in Australia did a similar thing to identify a girl they had found in a movie on the internet. The accents were australian however there was nothing much more then the inside of a caravan and the girls face to identify who it was. The police released some images on national news of the girls face and within a day the perp was caught. The girls parents did not have a clue it had happened until they saw their daughters face on TV. Obviously no names were released to protect the girls privacy.
  • Now wait a minute! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Cytlid (95255) on Saturday February 05, 2005 @09:13PM (#11586947)
    Closed source investigation proves more secure! The less eyes looking at these modified pictures the better! A small group of policemen and investigators working on a secret case would prove more efficient and better results than to open it to the public!

    Am I correct, Mr. Anti-Open-Source Person?
  • by hikerhat (678157) on Saturday February 05, 2005 @09:17PM (#11586979)
    Editing the kids out of child porn replaces AOL phone support as the worst possible job in technology.
    • Not for pedos. You'd get free access to kiddy porn and not even worry about the legality. You'd stare at it all day and it would just be part of the job.

      I read somewhere about how the majority of kiddy porn sites are ran by some form of govt for sting operations. I wonder how many of those govt employees actually enjoy their work more than they should?
  • Homeland Security? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by drayzel (626716) on Saturday February 05, 2005 @09:17PM (#11586982)

    From the article...
    "...prompted his team to alert the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, which dispatched investigators to the alleged crime scene."

    Um.. why would they have jurisdiction? I thought they were supposed to be protecting us from terrorists? Wouldn't the FBI be the ones working on this?

    I sure don't know my legal jurisdiction rules, anyone care to explain?

    ~Z
    • by Dun Malg (230075) on Saturday February 05, 2005 @09:53PM (#11587182) Homepage
      The Department of Homeland Security is a combination of what used to be several departments in the federal government. If you get all your information from TV news, you might believe that all they do is counter terrorism, but they actually do much more. A quick perusal of their web site lists some of their various parts:

      Border and Transportation Security (BTS) - this is the TSA and Border Patrol, mostly.
      Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) - www.fema.gov
      U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)
      U.S. Coast Guard
      U.S. Secret Service (USSS) - formerly part of the Treasury Dept.

      What they did was take all those gov't agencies with overlapping responsibilities vis-a-vis "homeland security", but no communication because they were in separate departments, and combine them under one department. Really, this should have been done a long time ago.

      In this case, it's the Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) arm that's investigating because it appears to involve a child from Canada being brought to the US. If this were a purely domestic investigation, the FBI would take care of it.

  • by puzzled (12525) on Saturday February 05, 2005 @09:28PM (#11587035) Journal
    I taught a computer forensics class to law enforcement a couple of years ago. Evil is just a four letter word until you listen to a few stories from your local state patrol child endangerment squad.

    Child molestation is not something that someone does, it is an indelible part of who they are. They never, ever get better, and the compulsion doesn't go away. Civil commitment after the end of the required prison term is the only way to keep children safe.

    • by wwahammy (765566) on Saturday February 05, 2005 @09:38PM (#11587100)
      That's only partly true. There are two types of child molesters. One does it due to a stressor as a way of coping. In that sense its like drinking or what not to get away from the pain of a divorce loss of job or what not. These people very rarely reoffend because once the stressor is gone and they get counseling to deal with the stressor they have no urge to do it again.

      The other is the classical child molestor in the sense that they have a constant sexual urge towards children and this in all likelihood will not go away. It is effectively a form of sexuality (albeit an incredibly destructive one). The only real treatment is counseling and some form of castration. Even with treatment, reoccurance is possible; without treatment its almost absolute.

      Even though its incredibly unpopular to say so, I do have compassion for these people. The vast majority know that they are causing hurt but are unable to stop. I don't think they're evil, just very mentally ill.
    • by Turn-X Alphonse (789240) on Saturday February 05, 2005 @10:25PM (#11587372) Journal
      I'm not trying to defend kiddy fiddlers here but..

      Bein attracted to children ISN'T a problem. The girl next door to me is 14 and VERY hot (I'm in the UK she's legal in two years). I'll freely admit (on Slashdot), I've looked at her chest as she walked past, didn't get caught and got a little giggle out of it at best. Is this a problem? Does that make me a child molester?

      Alot of people are attracted to underage girls (usually catholic school girls is the best example), this is perfectly acceptable and does no one ANY harm. They wank thinking of a little girl rather than some 18 year old bomb shell air brushed to fuck.

      The problem comes when they act upon it against the consent of the child. The same applies to everything sexual. If you don't act upon it, it's not a problem. Hell you could go as far as to steal a pair of her panties and it still wouldn't be a major problem(as long as it didnt go any further and you weren't caught ( I know in my time I've nabbed a few pairs of panties from very hot friends/friends mothers, it's nothing too bad).

      The problem comes when you add together the mindset of a rapist and an attraction to children.
      • by Rostin (691447) on Saturday February 05, 2005 @10:35PM (#11587440)
        ( I know in my time I've nabbed a few pairs of panties from very hot friends/friends mothers, it's nothing too bad).

        Ah, yes. The "I've done it, and I'm not bad, so it must not be a bad thing" theory of ethics.

        Or is it simply, "It's ok, because I didn't get caught." ?

        Because it's actually kind of sick. If you had been caught, I'm sure the women would have been pretty upset by it.
      • Not pedophilia (Score:4, Informative)

        by Altima(BoB) (602987) on Sunday February 06, 2005 @09:24AM (#11589318)
        I pretty much agree with everything you said and will clarify it further if I may. Attraction to Pre-Pubescents (pre puberty, i.e., usually under 10 or 11 years or so) is classified as "Paedophilia," and is considered a mental illness.

        What the parent post described is called Ephebophilia, an attraction to post pubescent adolescents, this has never been and never will be considered an illness. 70% of the world's population can be classified as ephebophiles, we're wired that way. Only the relatively recent concept of Age of Consent has attached any stigma to this. Also, it'd be worth checking out your local age of consent (I'm NOT saying this to advocate anything inappropriate, just to educate yourself.) Turns out in a majority of countries and US states, the age of consent is below 18. I'm still curious to know how 18 has become the age below which it's unthinkable to sexualize someone...
    • Evil qualified (Score:4, Insightful)

      by puzzled (12525) on Saturday February 05, 2005 @10:42PM (#11587484) Journal

      Molestation is the objectification and probable physical harm of someone nowhere near old enough to willing participate in consensual sex. I say harm because this isn't a sexual act exactly, its more the molester going through some ritual meant to undo some childhood harm they suffered - the fear and suffering of the victim is often the goal.

      When I type evil I was thinking of the case described to me by the state patrol guys - a nine year old girl bound, suspended from the ceiling, and penetrated orally, analy, and vaginally.

      Take a minute and imagine how that girl is going to feel when she is eighteen and wanting a normal relationship. She'll either be completely unable to interact with a man in any fashion, or she'll have no boundaries at all. She has been robbed of something that can never be replaced and the harm will never, ever be undone.

    • by Antaeus Feldspar (118374) on Saturday February 05, 2005 @11:10PM (#11587647) Homepage
      "Child molestation is not something that someone does, it is an indelible part of who they are. They never, ever get better, and the compulsion doesn't go away. Civil commitment after the end of the required prison term is the only way to keep children safe."


      I'm sure that's what they, your students in your computer forensics class from your local state patrol child endangerment squad, believed. However, they would probably also tell you if you asked that people go crazy at the full moon. It's a well-cherished myth that still gets trotted out but the problem is that actual examination of the evidence dispels it.


      And that is a myth that persists even though they (the law enforcement personnel) get no particular benefit from believing it. From having seen the way my local law enforcement handled their suspicions of child endangerment, I can tell you how they benefit from believing myths such as "no child abuser can ever be cured" and "you can always tell an abuser because they're in denial about being abusers" -- it removes a lot of the painful ambiguity from the job. They don't have to try and distinguish the guilty from the innocent -- everyone who comes under suspicion must be guilty. They don't have to preserve the rights of the innocent -- only the victim is innocent; everyone else is guilty. They don't have to try and sort out the redeemable from the scum -- everyone who's guilty is scum, and everyone is guilty.


      You're telling us what you think is the whole truth, but you got it from only one source, and a source with a heavily vested interest. I think if you checked actual statistics on recidivism of child sexual abusers you'd find contradiction for your assertion that only locking up all offenders forever can make children safe.

    • Recividism (Score:3, Informative)

      Official DOJ reports show that recidivism amongst preferential child sexual abusers (ie pedophiles) is actually one of the LOWEST in all of the prison system.

      It's an order of magnitude lower than those convicted for robbery and assault and lower than "other" types of sexual assault.

      What you say is absurd.

      Stewey
  • by uits (792760) on Saturday February 05, 2005 @09:37PM (#11587086)

    This is a great use of technology by government, and I'm suprised many people are commenting against it.

    Law enforcement isn't editing people *into* pictures, they are removing the victims so that the public can help determine where the crime took place.

    They see the child in the arcade, edit it so the public sees just the arcade. Someone recognizes it, and then they know exactly where to go next. A very elegant solution when public places are shown in the picture set.

    If this makes criminals more wary about taking pictures...well...good. If all they can take is sick pictures against a vanilla background, well I think that would cause less people to be interested in them...so good.

  • by Gallenod (84385) on Saturday February 05, 2005 @09:38PM (#11587091)
    Stop thinking that. This isn't a slam at Disney about making money off of kids.

    I work with people who investigate the child sex trade. It's not a surprise that those pictures showed a Disney hotel, as Disney resorts used to be a popular place for child peddlers to hand over the kids they were selling. There are so many kids running around there, who's going to notice that a little girl in a yellow dress comes in with one person and leaves with another?

    Disney knew nothing of this at the time, though they're aware of it now. They have a great security team, but they're focused on pickpockets and and the garden variety perverts who want to cop a feel on Snow White, not child traders.

    Child porn is a dirty business, perhaps the dirtiest. The people responsible probably get some perverse pleasure from trading their sex toys at a place like Disneyland.

    Then again, one thing DHS has done right over the last 18 months is arrest and dispose of over 3,000 of the bastards who trade in kids. It's just too bad disposal only consists of deportation or detention. If any crime deserves the death penalty, sexual abuse of children is it.

    (Yeah, I take it personally. I have a nine-year old daughter. If you'd seen what these bastards do with kids, you'd scratch their names on a few bullets, too.)

    Sorry about the rant. But this subject touched a nerve or two.
    • The scary thing is: there have been times when they did this, people DID get the original photos. They distributed digital photos with black bars over the abuse, in order to find the location.

      Problem? They forgot to make it impossible to remove the black bars, probably by sending them out as PSDs.

      Heres an even worse case of negligence:

      Hopefully no one is whipping themselves over this one, because it would be fatal. As it is, it'll probably be fatal to someone's career. Australia's Education Department

    • by Scrameustache (459504) on Sunday February 06, 2005 @01:55PM (#11590980) Homepage Journal
      If any crime deserves the death penalty, sexual abuse of children is it.
      (Yeah, I take it personally. I have a nine-year old daughter. If you'd seen what these bastards do with kids, you'd scratch their names on a few bullets, too.)


      The trouble with a death penalty is when you go "oops" [innocent.org.uk].

      "11-year-old girl stabbed 12 times and then sexually assaulted" sounds like a capital-punishment offense to me. Too bad you can't trust the cops to do their damn jobs. Nor the lawyers, judges, juries.
  • by Turn-X Alphonse (789240) on Saturday February 05, 2005 @10:02PM (#11587233) Journal
    It's all fine and dandy doing this sort of thing but theres also many sites which sell themselvs as "Child super model" sites and feature little girls (preteen) in bikinis and panties. Quite often with camel toes and such, right now they are legal (as is buying a nudist video filmed at a 9 year old girl's birthday party!), as long as it isn't sexual then you can have any number of naked children in a photo.

    Now I'm not trying to go "OMG KILL IT WITH FIRE!" here, but I think the law needs to be refined a bit to take this exploit out of it. I don't want it to become illegal to have a picture of your family nude (Hell my aunt has some of me and my cousin in the bath completely naked she brings out at "big" birthdays to embrass us both), but these sites are clearly ment to whack off too, it's plain disturbing yet totally legal.
  • Chucky Cheese (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ajiva (156759) on Saturday February 05, 2005 @10:49PM (#11587529)
    I took my son to Chucky Cheese (a pizza/arcade place), and on entering they stamped the three of us (my wife, son and I) with a hand stamp with an identical picture. At first I had no idea why they did this, but on exit they checked the stamps on our hands to see if they matched. Then I understood why, it would be really easy to take a kid away from there.
  • False Positives (Score:3, Interesting)

    by tom's a-cold (253195) on Sunday February 06, 2005 @01:39PM (#11590895) Homepage
    I travel a lot on business. I've learned a few things:

    1. Most hotel rooms are architected the same.

    2. Furniture and electrical fittings in almost all hotel rooms seems to come from the same small handful of suppliers.

    3. Same goes for bed linens.

    Since the US is so huge, this means that there are potentially hundreds or thousands of matches for any set of hotel-room pictures.

    So yeah, it may narrow the search space a little, and in this case maybe it's evident that it was Disney, but in the general case you won't learn much unless there are some exterior shots in the photo series. Therefore such information should be treated as far from conclusive.

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