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Quantifying Paedophile Activity in a Large P2P System

By Matthieu Latapy, Clémence Magnien and Raphaël Fournier


Abstract. Paedophile activity in P2P (peer-to-peer) systems is a crucial societal concern, with important consequences for child protection, policy making, and internet regulation. However, current knowledge of this activity remains very limited. We consider here a widely used P2P system, eDonkey, and focus on two key statistics: the fraction of paedophile queries entered in the system and the fraction of users who entered such queries. We collect hundreds of millions of queries, design and assess a paedophile query detection tool, and use it to estimate these statistics. We conclude that approximately 0.25 % of queries are paedophile, and that more than 0.2 % of users enter such queries. These statistics are by far the most precise and reliable ever obtained in this domain. It is widely acknowledged that peer-to-peer (P2P) file exchange systems host large amounts of paedophile content (mainly movies and pictures), which is a crucial societal concern. In addition to child victimisation, the wide availability of paedophile material is a danger for regular users (including children and teenagers), whomay beunintentionally exposed to extremely harmful content. In particular, this may lead initially innocent users to develop an interest in child pornography. It also has a strong impact on public acceptance of paedophilia and induces a trivialisation of suc

Year: 2011
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