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United Kingdom Crime Government Programming

UK's National Crime Agency Publishes Crazy Cyber-Crime Warning Signs (oomlout.co.uk) 151

Blacklaw writes: The UK's National Crime Agency, formerly known as the Serious and Organized Crime Agency, has published a list of warning signs that supposedly indicate a child may be heading toward a life of cyber-crime. The list includes late nights and showing any kind of interest at all in programming, even as the UK government pushes coding into the national education curriculum.
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UK's National Crime Agency Publishes Crazy Cyber-Crime Warning Signs

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  • by wiredog ( 43288 ) on Wednesday December 09, 2015 @01:38PM (#51089221) Journal
  • stupid adults (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Thud457 ( 234763 ) on Wednesday December 09, 2015 @01:42PM (#51089251) Homepage Journal
    • Is your child spending all of their time online?
      PORN.
    • Are they interested in coding? Do they have independent learning material on computing?
      NERD.
    • Do they have irregular sleeping patterns?
      soooo much PORN.
    • Do they get an income from their online activities, do you know why and how?
      PORN.
    • Are they resistant when asked what they do online?
      PORN.
    • Do they use the full data allowance on the home broadband?
      PORN.
    • Have they become more socially isolated?
      PORN.

    NEXT!

    • Re:stupid adults (Score:5, Insightful)

      by gstoddart ( 321705 ) on Wednesday December 09, 2015 @02:06PM (#51089411) Homepage

      Do they get an income from their online activities, do you know why and how?
      PORN.

      If your kid is making income online from porn, then you have other issues you should be worried about.

      Other than that, these warning signs probably describe the teenage years of a large chunk of people on Slashdot.

      They basically say "if your teenager uses a computer, is moody, and keeps odd hours you should totally report him as a criminal just in case". The entire thing sounds like it was written by some clueless idiot who doesn't know anything about the life of a teenage nerd.

      It's really long on hysteria, and really short on substance.

      • Re:stupid adults (Score:4, Informative)

        by bkr1_2k ( 237627 ) on Wednesday December 09, 2015 @02:32PM (#51089603)

        Actually it says "Many of these are just normal teenage behavior...showing several of these signs, try and have a conversation with them about their online activities."

        It doesn't say report them. To paraphrase, it says 'pay attention to what your children are doing. Be involved in their lives.' You know, normal decent parenting behavior.

        • Re:stupid adults (Score:5, Interesting)

          by gstoddart ( 321705 ) on Wednesday December 09, 2015 @02:53PM (#51089727) Homepage

          You know, normal decent parenting behavior.

          Do people still do that?

          It always seems to me they just leave them alone to become feral little beasts that everyone else has to put up with.

          I can't tell you how many people I have seen who can barely control their own kid in public because it's a screeching howling little ball of evil which won't take no for an answer, and that's while they're still young enough to be in a stroller. I can only imagine the vicious little psychopaths by the time they're a few years older.

          Then again, I don't have or want kids, so maybe I'm just a little biased.

          But I figure by the time you're begging, pleading, and resorting to bribery, you have already lost the battle and your kids are going to walk all over you for the rest of their lives.

          And then of course there's the fact that a lot of the people I see with kids were left to be feral little balls of evil by their own parents and haven't got the slightest idea of what to do.

          You need a license to own a dog, but any moron can have a kid.

          • If you can't tell me how many people you've seen unable to control their kids in public, but can only imagine how those children are when they're a few years older, doesn't that suggest that the children are in fact better when they're older? That something, unseen by you, is in fact working?

            • "That something, unseen by you, is in fact working?"

              yeah its called the Juvenile Justice System (or lack of access to kids in that "few years older" bracket)

          • I can't tell you how many people I have seen who can barely control their own kid in public because it's a screeching howling little ball of evil which won't take no for an answer, and that's while they're still young enough to be in a stroller.

            You're right that 90%+ of the time, this is a parenting problem. When I had a kid, I was determined not to be "that guy." Infants obviously don't understand discipline, but once your kid gets to be a toddler, he/she will generally understand rewards.

            I still remember the first few times I took my son out to a restaurant, which wasn't really regular until he was over a year old. We chose a family "diner" place so it wouldn't be too disruptive no matter what happened. But maybe 2 out of the first 5 times

          • Young kids throw tantrums. It happens, and there's nothing you can do about it at the time (except remove the kid from the place). What a parent can do is reduce the chance that the kid will throw a tantrum later. Our technique was to never give in to a tantrum, and to reward good behavior. (Once, when our son announced, "I don't want to be here [the antique shop] any more," I took him to a place that served ice cream. A tantrum would have put him in the car, and not with an ice cream cone.)

            So, wha

        • It doesn't say report them.

          Yet.

          Anything oyu Brits haven't turned into a crime or someone to spy on to make certain they, you know, do right things.

      • by cdrudge ( 68377 )

        If your kid is making income online from porn, then you have other issues you should be worried about.

        Who do you think is maintaining those sites?

      • Actually, where I used to SysAdmin, several of the other senior admins were from former "adult" sites (and one dude that worked on a "body modding" site). It seems that these are fairly good places to "cut your teeth" as they often deal with a decent amount of traffic, interesting technology, and they tend to have decent turnover (not necessarily because they're a bad gig, but because many prefer to move to more "socially accepted" jobs).

        That's not to say a 14-yr-old should be sysadmin for a hardcore adult

        • Over the centuries, porn has driven a lot of innovations. Not something my priest friend really likes, but it happened and happens anyway.

    • Alternatively, your daughter may be a cam girl.
    • Are they interested in coding? Do they have independent learning material on computing?

      So were I and my girlfriend. So did we. We are now senior product developers (and team leaders) in highly rated companies.

      Do they have irregular sleeping patterns?

      Both my daughter and I are diagnosed as being nocturnal. We are forced to function in a world of diurnal people. Of course we have irregular sleeping patterns.

      As a kid, I did a lot of camping with the only technology brought along being flashlights and walkie-talkie 2-way radios. We minimized using the flashlights and radios. We even put out our fire at sunset. Did not "reset" m

    • Are they interested in coding? NERD.

      Do they have independent learning material on computing? They have access to the internet so yes.

      Have they become more socially isolated If they have an interest in coding this would explain this. (see definition of nerd)

      All of these can can be attributed to normal teenage behavior. Although they say that you should only start paying attention if your child exhibits 3 or more, signs. Apart from you should monitor your children anyway to some degree anyway. The

    • This post contains more truth than any I have seen today.
  • by EmperorOfCanada ( 1332175 ) on Wednesday December 09, 2015 @01:50PM (#51089299)
    "Do they have independent learning material on computing?" I think that in a strange way this fits with the UK initiative to get programming into schools. By making online learning "suspicious" it means that kids will only learn the "proper" way of thinking.

    In a way I think that the worst nightmare for traditionalists is if kids start to learn more an more from uncontrolled resources. To a card carrying members of The System they can't think of anything worse than a way for people who won't play by the "rules" to be able to succeed. There are many people who go through life building up a perfect checklist of a resume which includes going to the proper schools. Online learning threatens this to the core.
    • by ezdiy ( 2717051 )
      People may "think in words", monologues in cartesian theater. When one considers language as the means to convey or even ponder ideas, it perhaps makes sense to put a leash on language to limit certain ideas. Why should be programming languages any different? Java, PHP, Javascript support the western democracy. C++ is probably associated with toxic brogrammer culture, but is tolerated for legacy reasons. C is clearly an indication of being on path towards radical extremism.
    • Over the years, we gave our daughter 4 Lego Mindstorms sets (and lot of of other Lego), 3 old laptop PCs, several Arduino boards, 2 Make: Controllers and a lot of other electronic, mechanical and computer related stuff. She participated in FIRST Lego League and FIRST. (She's now an engineering student at a nearby university.)

      Even the private school was not enough of a challenge for her. "Independent Learning" has been her life. And has a good social life (many friends, band, drama club, etc). And a natural

      • by sjames ( 1099 )

        So, looks like the UK NCA thinks our daughter is on track to become an empress of the cyber crime underground?

        On the bright side, she'll have a job.

  • by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Wednesday December 09, 2015 @01:50PM (#51089303)

    That should take care of the problem. I'd have opted for "educating" them, but it seems that's hopeless.

    • I was going to post something to the effect that the only real learning *is* independent learning, but I like the way you said it better.

  • by gurps_npc ( 621217 ) on Wednesday December 09, 2015 @01:52PM (#51089323) Homepage
    That is, if a kid is getting income from online activity, they should be bragging about it.

    All the rest are signs of normal, intelligent, nerd behavior.

    Basically, the UK hates nerds and wants to make sure that no British kid ever grows up to start or get anywhere in an e-business.

    • Basically, the UK hates nerds and wants to make sure that no British kid ever grows up to start or get anywhere in an e-business.

      Join Great Britain in the war on intelligence.

      MooCow guy - this is your shining moment. Sing your song dude.

  • by gregfortune ( 313889 ) on Wednesday December 09, 2015 @02:00PM (#51089371)

    If you actually pull up the article, it has a list of warning signs and then adds:

    Many of these are just normal teenage behaviours and don't necessarily suggest a young person is at risk of getting involved in cyber crime. But if a young person is showing several of these signs, try and have a conversation with them about their online activities.

    We don't really think there's harm in having a conversation with our kids, do we?

    • Stop talking sense and reading the actual article! Isn't it much more fun to wildly speculate and criticize anyone not in the "in" group?

    • by Jiro ( 131519 )

      The list will make parents suspicious of normal things. Suspicion doesn't mean "this is associated with crime every single time", it means "it's pretty likely this is associated with crime". Adding a disclaimer that it isn't associated with crime every single time will do nothing to stop suspicion, since suspicion doesn't mean it's associated with crime every single time.

      Furthermore, if the kid isn't already talking to the parents about these things, one possible reason for that is that the parents can't

      • So, your kid has "irregular sleeping patterns" and you don't have a conversation with them to find out why? It might not even involve a computer. It might be too much time playing games. You might find out that you have a fantastically talented author that just can't go to sleep with ideas bouncing around in their head.

        They start making money online and you don't ask how or why? Aren't you even a little bit curious? Do you have a kid who built the next Silk Road or do you have a budding entrepreneur?

        • by HiThere ( 15173 )

          When it starts out "This is a series of possible warnings that your child is headed into a life of crime", then no possible postscript is adequate compensation. Note, I say "No Possible". Their addendum is a lot less than the most exculpatory possible.
           

          • Where is that quote from? It looks like it was loosely copied from the /. summary?

            • by HiThere ( 15173 )

              You are correct. I don't live in the UK, so my direct interest is minor, and I didn't study the issue. (FWIW, I don't even remember which police agency it was that issued the signs...and probably wouldn't know what it was anyway.) So my response is, indeed, based on the slashdot summary. And it is still correct as stated.

              Please note: I was responding to the thread of argument, not to the original document. My response was framed to not require knowledge of the original document. (Yes, it did include

    • The listed behaviors are very typical of any teenage nerd - some are typical of any teenager.. If anything, it does more damage by scaring non-nerds, who will then increase the level social isolation imposed on nerds.

      As long as there's no presumption of "my kid might be a criminal" there's no harm in conversation. If you presume they are (or might be) doing something wrong, they will pick up on that and react defensively (which is normal for anyone, not just teenagers).

  • by nimbius ( 983462 ) on Wednesday December 09, 2015 @02:04PM (#51089391) Homepage
    1. Does your restless child dress in parachute pants and mumble about "the gibson" as he glides past on his skateboard
    2. Has your child been exposed to, or attempted COBOL or worse, obfuscated C?
    3. Have you noticed a startling uptick in mid-nineties electronic music? does your child own more than 3 trenchcoats and a virtually endless supply of wrap-around ray-ban sunglasses?
    4. and finally, the worst sign, does your child publically question the need for an asinine laundry list of reasons to convict a minor of thoughtcrime?
  • OMG no!!! (Score:5, Funny)

    by JustNiz ( 692889 ) on Wednesday December 09, 2015 @02:05PM (#51089407)

    >> Are they interested in coding? Do they have independent learning material on computing?

    Oh no! my son might be A PROGRAMMER!!!!

    • by TarPitt ( 217247 )

      Quick, enroll him in a team sport for his own good!

    • I've been trying to cultivate a love of programming in my kids. Turns out I'm making them into criminals. Guess I should turn myself in now before I do something else wrong like use a DSLR to take pictures of buildings.

    • Or they might be interested in hacking, security, etc. From the article, two things

      help them make the right choices

      You were already doing that as their parent, right?

      and

      There are also a number of organisations to help young people develop cyber skills:

      Here, we'll list them below for you. Go on, click on the links. I mean, be trite and sarcastic if you like, but click on the links. TFA is linking to cyber security programs that your kids might be interested in. You know, for programmers and such. So much /facepalm.

  • From the NCA link, about interest in programming and spending all night online:

    Many of these are just normal teenage behaviours and don't necessarily suggest a young person is at risk of getting involved in cyber crime. But if a young person is showing several of these signs, try and have a conversation with them about their online activities.

    What exactly am I supposed to be shocked about?

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Dang, I don't know what to do.
    My son ticks all those boxes and today. But he's a 1%er in his mid forties, and is the VP of a fortune 500 company.
    Should I contact the police or the legal department of his company? Or tell his wife? His mom knows, but she won't do anything.
    I have to protect my grandchildren, you know.

  • "contributes to projects that incorporate or design unbreakable cryptographic algorithms and has repositories for the distribution of the same"

    yes? your child is a terrorist

    • "contributes to projects that incorporate or design unbreakable cryptographic algorithms and has repositories for the distribution of the same"

      yes? your child is a terrorist

      Also a mathematical genius.

  • from the "Landover Baptist Church" [landoverbaptist.net] (hint for the oblivious: this is not a real church): .....

    23-Misbehaves at school.
    24-Misbehaves at home.
    25-Eats goth-related foods. Count Dracula cereal is an example of
    this.
    26-Drinks blood or expresses an interest in drinking blood. (Vampires
    believe this is how to attain Satan. This act is very dangerous and
    should be stopped immediately.)
    27-Watches cable television or any other corrupted media sources.
    (Ask your local church for proper programs that your child may watch.)

    • > 25-Eats goth-related foods. Count Dracula cereal is an example of this.

      Why did the parent buy this for their kid??

  • by Jason Levine ( 196982 ) on Wednesday December 09, 2015 @02:18PM (#51089499)

    So I looked over the list, replacing "your child" with myself, and:

    Warning signs of cyber crime
    Are you spending all of their time online?

    Pretty much. I make websites at work, go home, and freelance as a web developer at home.

    Are you interested in coding? Do you have independent learning material on computing?

    Given that I'm a web developer, I'm very interested in coding. I have independent learning material on computing and know sites where I can find more material.

    Do you have irregular sleeping patterns?

    Sometimes I go to sleep as late as 1am and then wake up at 6:30am to start my day again.

    Do you get an income from their online activities, do you know why and how?

    Given that I work as a web developer (both day job and freelance), I make pretty much all my income from online activities.

    Are you resistant when asked what they do online?

    Ok, I tend not to be resistant when asked what I do online. So this would be a no.

    Do you use the full data allowance on the home broadband?

    We don't have a data allowance on our home broadband. I do use most of our mobile account's data allowance, though. So maybe score this as half right.

    Have you become more socially isolated?

    I have no in-person friends that I see regularly. I just see my immediate family (kids and wife) and a few co-workers.

    So I'd score about 5.5 out of 7 on their scale. It sounds like I'm well on my way towards becoming a cyber criminal!

    • I have independent learning material on computing and know sites where I can find more material.

      Is that a threat, Mr. Cyber-program-guy!? I can assure you we've prosecuted people for less--sent them away FOR LIFE.

      We have a future cyber-terrorist in a holding cell in the back... 15 year old kid with irregular sleeping patterns who didn't like talking to his parents about his facebooks!

      Probably picked up his cyber-hacking skills from a combination of television [youtube.com] and the World Wide Web [aliweb.com].

  • If they 'behave' then they can go on parole, under strict supervision, of course. It's the only way to be sure everyone is safe!
    • They have. It's called living in the UK, where there are more CCTV cameras than people. The US is not far behind.
      • Oh no I mean literally prison. Let's have everyone under armed guard, 24/7/365, from cradle to grave. Everything supervised, everything monitored. All your mail opened and scanned. Anything censors deem offensive or inappropriate gets destroyed. You eat and drink what you're told to eat and drink, and if that's not OK with you, that's too bad. Maybe you complain too much and get sent to the SHU for a while until you learn to stay in line. You get out of bed when told to, you go to sleep when told to, you wo
    • If they 'behave' then they can go on parole, under strict supervision, of course. It's the only way to be sure everyone is safe!

      And, it would solve the unemployment problem! All of the homeless could be hired as guards!
      But they'd probably screw up and hire terrorists, instead, because they were cheaper... 8-P

  • Is your kid a supporter or contributor of a hacking tool known as systemd? I could totally get behind that one.
    • Is your kid a supporter or contributor of a hacking tool known as systemd? I could totally get behind that one.

      In Soviet Linux, systemd gets behind you!

  • by CaptainOfSpray ( 1229754 ) on Wednesday December 09, 2015 @02:55PM (#51089747)
    I have written to my MP about this. She isn't the best MP in Parliament (known locally as the Chocolate Teapot, as in "as useful as a..."). But she is a scientist, and what the NCA have done is blatant disregard for government policy. I believe she has the ear of some influential people. With any luck she can cause the NCA some pain.

    I would encourage any and all Brits to use They Work For You http://www.theyworkforyou.com/ [theyworkforyou.com] - an easy and quick way to write to your MP, and say what you think (even if you disagree).
  • Great Britain wants to arrest this guy!

    Dilbert - the Knack.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?... [youtube.com]

  • ...SOCA says people who think cause trouble.
  • Talking, writing, commenting on or been an academic with an interesting in crypto is now heretical in the eyes of the UK security services?
    But UK academics having to consider complex backdoors in all future UK product design. Just showing an interest in math, numbers, computers, crypto is now not good....
    With UK computer skills are been so legally discouraged will smart staff fly in from the US, Australia, NZ, Canada for tricky next gen projects?
    Did the GCHQ not tell the UK gov the value of having a v
  • Not hard and fast rules.

    Coughs, sores and indigestion are warning signs of cancer. Doesn't mean you need a course of chemotherapy if you see these symptoms.
  • Good god, I think the UK actually copied that 2001 article! Is that what they consider "accurate and up to date"? 8-}

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