Wired catches a paedophile and promises to arm vigilantes to do the same

Kudos is to be dished out to Kevin Poulsen, Wired Senior Editor and former code monkey (to say the least); who has written an extremely interesting article about how he, using a search algorithm he programmed himself, managed to do what MySpace has said is not possible in catching registered sex offenders on the site.

The only problem is that Wired says it will be publishing the code Poulsen created under an open source license later in the week, thus perhaps enabling some less restrained individuals to go on a witch hunt across the internet. Some of you in the UK may remember the tabloid name-and-shame campaign against sexual predators a few years back, which led to angry mobs terrorising innocent people who were mistaken for some of those named in the campaign. What, I daresay, is to be gained from publishing the code of Poulsen's search to the public at large other than to incite a more high-tech angry mob and drive sexual predators deeper into hiding, where police may not be able to catch them before they can commit their crimes?

You can read the full analysis on the TwitchBlog.