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US Intensifies Fight Against Child Pornography 663

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the embarrassing-repositories dept.
TechnoGuyRob writes "BBC News is reporting that the Bush administration has recently stepped up its measures against child pornography. From the article 'Sadly, the internet age has created a vicious cycle in which child pornography continually becomes more widespread, more graphic, more sadistic, using younger and younger children. [...] Mr. Gonzales also said that he is investigating ways to ensure that ISPs retain records of a user's web activities to track down offenders.'"
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US Intensifies Fight Against Child Pornography

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  • Great.... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Unlikely_Hero (900172) on Saturday April 22, 2006 @11:33PM (#15183064)
    I know its been said before,
    but come on.
    When will the think of the children bullshit stop?
    It's obvious why they want all this data retention, and it AINT child porn.
    dataveilance...
    oh, and btw
    FIRST POST!
    • Re:Great.... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by sqrt(2) (786011) on Saturday April 22, 2006 @11:37PM (#15183075) Journal
      I agree, but the sad part is that this tactic often works. Few people want to challenge things like this because they don't want to look like they're defending child porn (or not doing the most they can to stop it.).
      • Re:Great.... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by TooMuchEspressoGuy (763203) on Sunday April 23, 2006 @12:22AM (#15183207)
        The "think of the children" argument is a form of non-sequitur caused by an extreme appeal to emotion and hysteria. It also often involves the fallacy of the excluded middle. The line of reasoning often operates like this:

        Person 1: You! You're against the exploitation of children in child pornography, right?

        Person 2: You bet I am!

        Person 1: Then you'll sign a petition in support of this bill that turns the United States into a police state?

        Person 2: Heck no! I'm against police states, too.

        Person 1: Then you support child porn?

        Person 2: Didn't I just say that I don't?

        Person 1: But you won't sign my petition! Look, you're either with me or you're with the kiddie-porn photographers.

        Person 2: But there's probably more sane ways to go about-

        Person 1: Bah! It's bleeding-heart liberals like you that make this country full of kiddie porn makers, potheads, and atheists! Go back to Soviet Russia, you commie pinko!

        Person 2: But-

        Person 1: EVERYONE! This man supports kiddie porn! Let's think of the children and BURN HIM!!

        (Hordes of angry people tie Person 2 to a stake and light him on fire. Person 2 burns to death.)

        Person 1: (Turns to another passerby) You, sir! You're against the exploitation etc. etc.

        And so on.

        (Footnote: The above may not be entirely accurate. Please do not lynch, behead, or negative-moderate the Author due to thoughtless ad-hominems. I swear, I never meant to insult anyone. Well, except maybe furries. I hate furries.)

        • Re:Great.... (Score:5, Insightful)

          by laughingcoyote (762272) * <barghesthowl@exc ... m minus caffeine> on Sunday April 23, 2006 @01:23AM (#15183366) Journal

          While this might be hyperbolic (for now!) it is not by any means a troll, and is actually an excellent way of summing up the situation. Never have my points when I need them, someone correct this?

        • by SmallFurryCreature (593017) on Sunday April 23, 2006 @02:48AM (#15183578) Journal

          Person 1: You! You're against furries and their furry pornography, right?

          You: Yeah, lets create a police state to hunt them down.

          All you got to know is what buttons to press. For some it is child porn. For others it is furry porn. Whatever works to get you to sign up for a police state.

          Please note that I understand the author is making a sorta joke with his furries comment BUT the old fact remains. Either you defend everyones freedom or you give up on freedom. Better people then me said it better. Read books to learn what freedom really means. (Cause you sure as hell aren't going to experience it anytime soon in this world.)

          • Either you defend everyones freedom or you give up on freedom.

            Yes. And it's worse than that really; The only freedoms that really need protection is the freedom to do and say unpopular things.

            It'll always everywhere be allowed to do and say popular things. There's no point in spending much energy in the US defending the freedom to publish a normal, nonprovocative novel.

            Now, on the other hand, the freedom to do *unpopular* things is under constant attack, and it's a sliding-scale, once the *most* unpo

        • Re:Great.... (Score:3, Insightful)

          by tomjen (839882)
          Person 1: But you won't sign my petition! Look, you're either with me or you're with the kiddie-porn photographers.

          "I am neither with you nor against you"

          And if the person continue to insist state again that you are neither with nor against him. It is the only reason against such simple minded people.
        • Re:Great.... (Score:3, Insightful)

          by doc modulo (568776)
          I don't like this tactic either, it appeals to the cognitive dissonance of the voters which promotes bad thinking, in my opinion.

          The people who don't want to speak up against manipulation are afraid their names will be linked to child pornography so they won't speak up either. This is ALSO a form of appeasement towards the illogical thinking of voters. Which is also wrong.

          However, I do think both parties are just reacting to reality. Irrational voting because of child pornography is just something which is
      • One wonders (Score:5, Insightful)

        by mcc (14761) <amcclure@purdue.edu> on Sunday April 23, 2006 @12:36AM (#15183246) Homepage
        Where might one find voices or proposals which attempt to combat child pornography without encroaching on reasonable civil liberties or turning the internet into a police state? After all, I have no idea whether child pornography and predatory pedophilia is a problem which is getting better or worse with time-- but it surely is a real-world problem.

        Perhaps it would be easier to protect civil liberties from false choice fallacies if we could say something like "I am opposed to the Bush Administration child pornography plan, because I support this other, superior strategy for fighting child pornography instead".
        • Re:One wonders (Score:3, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward
          I have no idea whether child pornography and predatory pedophilia is a problem which is getting better or worse with time-- but it surely is a real-world problem

          No, it isn't. More children are harmed every year by ASPIRIN than are moslested by strangers. You can count the children molested and killed by strangers in the past few years on the fingers of one hand (there were 4). That's in the entire USA. The average is about 1.5 per year, contrast to the 9 kids hit by lightning and the 3 children killed by ba
          • Re:One wonders (Score:4, Insightful)

            by mcc (14761) <amcclure@purdue.edu> on Sunday April 23, 2006 @01:10AM (#15183327) Homepage
            No, it isn't. More children are harmed every year by ASPIRIN than are moslested by strangers. You can count the children molested and killed by strangers in the past few years on the fingers of one hand (there were 4)...

            I'm not entirely sure the ones that survive are the ones that got the better deal.

            Virtually all children who are molested are molested by their parents and step-parents, not by strangers on the internet.

            Okay. If you're right, let's concentrate on that then.

            If the real problem in protecting children from predators or child pornographers is family or acquaintences and not random scary internet people, how can we take steps to combat that problem without resorting to passing globally-invasive internet legislation just to make it look like we're doing something?
            • If the real problem in protecting children from predators or child pornographers is family or acquaintences and not random scary internet people, how can we take steps to combat that problem without resorting to passing globally-invasive internet legislation just to make it look like we're doing something?

              Government cameras in every household, duh.
          • Re:One wonders (Score:5, Informative)

            by sasami (158671) on Sunday April 23, 2006 @01:45AM (#15183425)
            You can count the children molested and killed by strangers in the past few years on the fingers of one hand (there were 4). That's in the entire USA. The average is about 1.5 per year, contrast to the 9 kids hit by lightning and the 3 children killed by baseballs.

            Citation, please. And "molested and killed" is unquestionably a poor metric, since I personally know two people who were molested, and not killed, by strangers. And I don't know very many people.

            And on top of that we can add in the figures for child sex trafficking [rutgers.edu], for which the US has allegedly become one of the largest markets.

            --
            Dum de dum.
          • Re:One wonders (Score:3, Informative)

            by themonkman (877464)
            You could not be more wrong than you are right now. The statistic is true that at least 1 in 5 children are solicited in the US by total strangers on the internet. While your statistic is the number of those molested, and thus subsequently killed, the statistic of how many children have been molested by a single pedophile before he's caught is in the average of 50. That is not only based off of interrogations, but self admissions of the pedophiles themselves.

            Since this is the real statistic we are deal

            • Re:One wonders (Score:3, Interesting)

              by Kadin2048 (468275)
              Look, being solicited for sex is just part of being on the internet.

              Hell, I've been solicited for sex, and I'm not a child, and haven't been in quite a while (by any US legal definition), and I haven't done anything or gone anywhere that ought to cause anyone to think I'm interested.

              Being "solicited" isn't necessarily indicative of any criminal activity, since the person doing the soliciting doesn't necessarily have any idea that the person at the other end of the line is a minor; for your statistics to eve
      • Re:Great.... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by spirality (188417) on Sunday April 23, 2006 @12:47AM (#15183269) Homepage
        The tactic totally works because we don't put freedom first. Instead we continually compromise a little bit of our freedom here and there for our pet concerns. We don't consider the worst way in which a new government power may be used and use that as the criterion for whether it should be granted. We assume the government will always use its powers for good when governments haven proven time and again that they don't. American exceptionalism not withstanding. The people are dupes for a bunch of demagogues.

        Frankly, and I know this is cynical as all hell, I really think the child porn thing is just an excuse to aggrandize their power. I mean, the child porn people are smart. They'll just encrypt their traffic. Thus the power will never be used for its intent, but they certainly will not *ever* relinquish it. Once the government has its hands around something it holds it like a crack head holds his pipe.
        • Re:Great.... (Score:3, Insightful)

          by adrianmonk (890071)

          Frankly, and I know this is cynical as all hell, I really think the child porn thing is just an excuse to aggrandize their power. I mean, the child porn people are smart. They'll just encrypt their traffic.

          Somehow I doubt they'll encrypt all their traffic. They're quite likely to leave the source and destination IP addresses of pretty much all the packets unencrypted. Doing otherwise tends to have a negative effect on the ability of packets to reach their destination and replies to return on the way b

          • The point is that whatever legal and technological barriers you try to invent, the child pornographers will get around them. It's like trying to stop the flow of drugs. Short of some very orwellian schemes, it's not possible to stop. There is a big demand for it, in turn there is a large fiscal incentive to import it, and as a result, fairly intelligent people will go to work on ways to circumvent whatever barriers we create.

            Have you ever looked on Freenet lately? There is definitely (what appears to be -- I've never visited, but based on descriptions on the indices) underage porn on there, and that's a network that's designed by some very intelligent people to be anonymous. Sure, it wasn't designed for porn, but the porn people aren't stupid. They take advantage of those things when it exists. If HTTP gets too dangerous, they move to Freenet; if Freenet gets too dangerous, they'll move to total trust-based Darknets. At the end of the day, even if you shut down all the open WWW underage-porn websites, in all the countries of the world (managing somehow to harmonize laws concerning the age of consent) you'd really just drive that particular subculture back to the pre-internet days, when I can only assume people traded stuff on physical media via darknets, or private BBSes.

            And of course, you have the ever-present threat that, with decreased availability of prerecorded porn on the Internet, that pedophiles will decide to make their own; featuring your neighborhood kids at gunpoint as the co-stars. I've never once seen this aspect of the problem seriously considered. What if we're actually stopping would-be child molesters through the availability of Internet porn? So what happens to these people if that supply is shut off?

            The whole "child porn argument" is poorly thought out. It's a knee-jerk line brought out by politicians when they don't have any other way of garnering support for an unpopular and invasive policy, which is so polarizing that it automatically casts a shadow on anyone who opposes it.

            As a society, we should invent something like "Godwin's Law" for child pornography. It's something so near-universally offensive, that when you drag it out as an argument for a particular widespread action, it's almost certain that you're using it as a weak justification for an otherwise unacceptable course of action. If you have to bring child porn in as reasons for doing something, it's a good sign your policies aren't well planned. If they were, they'd probably have any number of totally valid, separate reasons for doing them, and wouldn't need the spectre of child porn to back them up.
            • What if we're actually stopping would-be child molesters through the availability of Internet porn? So what happens to these people if that supply is shut off?

              It has been proven by research users of child porn need increasingly more graphic and younger children to become 'satisfied'. I therefor believe that the internet is not holding back those users of child pornography but it stimulates them. Also, for most child pornography exhanges you need something to change. This also stimulates the creation of the
      • Re:Great.... (Score:5, Informative)

        by shmlco (594907) on Sunday April 23, 2006 @01:17AM (#15183346) Homepage
        When do we start putting cameras inside the home?

        "Most sexual abuse is committed by men (90%) and by persons known to the child (70% to 90%), with family members constituting one-third to one-half of the perpetrators against girls and 10% to 20% of the perpetrators against boys" (Finkelhor, 1994).
      • Re:Great.... (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward
        I can remember sexual thoughts when I was six years old-- I had no idea what they were, but I know I knew the teacher was totally hot.

        I know I had erections when I was eight or so, but my eleven year old brother couldn't tell me what was going on.

        Now I'm a parent of two girls, 2.5 and 4 years old. Both masturbate so furiously that it's embarassing. The youngest one has even invented a word for her clitoris-- we parents try not to talk about it.

        Why the hell is sex taboo?

        It is natural and inevitable.

        By the w
    • Re:Great.... (Score:2, Insightful)

      by the_humeister (922869)
      Hey, parent should be modded higher, not lower!
  • by Poppler (822173) on Saturday April 22, 2006 @11:36PM (#15183072) Journal
    Mr. Gonzales also said that he is investigating ways to ensure that ISPs retain records of a user's web activities to track down offenders.

    And I'm COMPLETELY sure that these records will only be used to fight child porn... this is frightning.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 22, 2006 @11:36PM (#15183073)
    that we open, photocopy and file away every piece of correspondence that passes through the US Postal Service?

    Didn't think so.
  • Yah, right. (Score:5, Funny)

    by Secret Rabbit (914973) on Saturday April 22, 2006 @11:38PM (#15183077) Journal

    Mr. Gonzales also said that he is investigating ways to ensure that ISPs retain records of a user's web activities to track down offenders.

    Wholly 1984 Batman!

  • Who in their right mind believes this crap about child pornography? Can't they at least come up with less transparent excuses?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 22, 2006 @11:38PM (#15183080)
    Would this be a bad time to bring up the Aristocrats [youtube.com]? I love that joke!

    And I'm going to hell...
  • by Generalisimo Zang (805701) on Saturday April 22, 2006 @11:42PM (#15183091)
    Is anyone actually dumb enough to think this is about child porn?

    This is yet another attempt by the Bush administration to increase domestic surveilance, and to create a de-facto state of permanent constant survelliance on all Americans.

    They're just trying to sell it as "anti child porn" in order to get the gullible people to go along with giving up the remaining shreds of personal privacy.... and to keep the gutless wonders (of both parties)in Congress from trying to oppose it.
    • Is anyone actually dumb enough to think this is about child porn?

      I am!

      This is about the Bush Administration wanting to satisfy its socially conservative base. They don't like child pornography, and they'd like to eliminate it. I see no duplicity in their goal of eliminating child pornography. Their preferred means of fighting child porn simply dovetails with their overall approach to "securing the homeland" from domestic and foreign threats of all kinds. Whenever possible, obtain maximum lattitude to

      • by Mistshadow2k4 (748958) on Sunday April 23, 2006 @12:32AM (#15183237) Journal

        How many people are online? How many of those are surfing for child porn? A depressingly larger number than we'd want, yes, but compared to how mnay people aren't? So they're going to keep records of everyone's activities online and sift through all of that to find the people surfing kiddie porn? Wouldn't it be easier and faster to surf the internet for kiddie porn and bust the sites that are spreading it? Hey, maybe we could have the FBI do that.... no wait, theye're too busy working for the RIAA and the MPAA instead investigating dangerous crimes like they used to.

        This is pure BS. If they really wanted to do something about child pornography, they have the power to do so without spying on every citizen in the US. Like you say, they want to satisfy their socially conservative base, but they're just outrightedly lying about what they want to do this for. They want more power to abuse.

        • How many people are online? How many of those are surfing for child porn? A depressingly larger number than we'd want

          ... Or that you could jail.

          I personaly wish they'd go after the kiddy porn spammers harsh. I would very much like to be able to look for sci-fi and fantasy pics without having pictures of children being abused as a possible result.

          You don't need to log web usage for that, just follow the damn advertised links in the spam. Arrest them, lock them away, and for gods' sakes, find those kids and
        • by Infonaut (96956)

          Wouldn't it be easier and faster to surf the internet for kiddie porn and bust the sites that are spreading it?

          Of course it would. All I am saying is that when you have a hammer, everything looks like a nail. Many people presuppose that the Bush Administration's end goal is a police state. I would argue that the Administration doesn't have the imagination necessary to fight terrorism (or pornography) through more effective means. It sees signal interception of all kinds as a panacea, so it attempts to u

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 22, 2006 @11:42PM (#15183093)
  • by ZiakII (829432) * on Saturday April 22, 2006 @11:42PM (#15183094)
    Will someone please think of the children?

    One thing I'm surprized is that the RIAA/MPAA haven't tried to shut down the P2P programs with the goverment saying that they harbor child pornography. It is simply amazing what bullshit laws you can get passed if you play it off that it is in the best interest of the "children". But, dear god forbid some of the parents actually pay attention to what their kids are doing....
  • Just an excuse (Score:3, Insightful)

    by stox (131684) on Saturday April 22, 2006 @11:43PM (#15183100) Homepage
    The real issue is not child pornography, the issue is anything to get access to your personal records. They are persistent. Every excuse they find, they use towards this goal. I, for one, am not falling for it. Be afraid, very afraid. The concept of personal freedom will soon be a ghost of what it once was unless we wake up NOW!
    • Re:Just an excuse (Score:5, Interesting)

      by fafalone (633739) on Sunday April 23, 2006 @12:56AM (#15183288)
      You don't want the protectors of your freedom to have access to your personal records? WHAT ARE YOU HIDING???
      To finally end the production of child pornography, unlicensed private possession of photographic equipment is now to be banned. Requirements for a license to possess photographic equipment will include background checks, fingerprint and DNA collection, as well as locks on all photographic devices that require submitting a copy of every image taken with that device to law enforcement agencies before they may be viewed/developped by anyone. Not only will this prevent perverts from taking pictures of naked children, but it will also stop terrorists from photographing buildings and other illegal photographs to plan their attack on our freedom. Anyone found to be in possession of a photographic device without a license, or bypassing the mechanism to submit copies of all images taken to the government, will be imprisoned with tough mandatory minimum sentences regardless of the content of their photographs. Selling these devices illegally will result in a 10 year mandatory minimum sentence. This new prohibition will be just as effective as our prohibition on drugs; it will solve our nations child pornography problem by keeping cameras and camcorders out of the hands of child molestors.

      If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to be afraid of. Having all your photographs viewed by law enforcement a small price to pay to protect our children and protect our freedom! If you oppose this new policy, you're either a child pornographer or a terrorist, and will be arrested for treason.

      You know what the saddest thing is, I had a conversation with a friend who actually believed that such overt invasions of privacy were completely justified to protect the country. Including warrantless interception of every single phone call, even completely domestic. She even said it would be fine if the government wanted to read her diary for no reason. A device in your car that automatically ticketed you for going 1mph over the limit? You're breaking the law, so you deserve punishment. Preventing people from breaking the law was much more important than privacy. She was dead serious, and of course a fanatical right wing republican. She was otherwise intelligent too, science major at my (tier 1) university. This was the last conversation I ever had with her. People like her show what's wrong with this country that allowed these kind of measures to pass.
  • by MisterSquid (231834) on Saturday April 22, 2006 @11:45PM (#15183103)
    I recently blogged on this issue because I'd discovered that a Virginia man (Dwight Whorley) was sentenced to 20 years in jail for downloading cartoon pornography [wjla.com].

    I don't think Whorley or his ilk are the best arguments for the importance and necessity of free speech, but Whorley's plight is of particular concern because the material he has been convicted of downloading was concocted from imagination. They were cartoons. In other words, Whorley has been jailed for what can only be seen as pure speech. Whether the current administration really is interested in protecting society from child pornographers is irrelevant. Whorley's successful conviction and extraordinary sentencing set the precedent that pure expression (which may have harmed no one) can be found illegal.

    We live in dangerous times and I worry that it won't be long before critics of the US government and/or political opponents of the powerful find themselves in straits similar to Whorley's.

    • WTF? (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      I thought the Supreme Court had already ruled that cartoons are not able to be consider child pornography. How the hell can the judge sit by and allow the case to go forward with that precedent already mandated?

      What the hell is wrong with our country? Cartoons are not reality. Fire the guy and maybe give him one or two years for theft of services (using his work computer for non-work, and that depends specifically on his work contract). But the criminal charges based on his looking at, receiving, sol
      • Re:WTF? (Score:5, Funny)

        by cowscows (103644) on Sunday April 23, 2006 @12:32AM (#15183235) Journal
        Well, it's like the AG said, the internet is creating a feedback loop where younger and younger children are exploited. Since there's a lower limit to how young a child can be, those sickos have gone on to fantasize about children that aren't even born yet! That's why they're using cartoons, because they can't take pictures of people who haven't even reached the stage of fertilized egg yet. They're being victimized years before they'll even exist. Think of the future children!
    • by Hamster Lover (558288) * on Sunday April 23, 2006 @12:34AM (#15183241) Journal
      If someone can be convicted for viewing ficticious criminal activity against a child why has the same not happened to those that produce and consume other fictional criminal activity, like The Godfather or even the movie Hostel, which I found stomach turning? It is nothing more than thought crime.
    • by myowntrueself (607117) on Sunday April 23, 2006 @03:54AM (#15183762)
      When they came for the pedophiles, I didn't speak out; the only porn site I go to is Aunt Judies.

      When they came for the bestiality fans, I didn't speak out; the only porn site I go to is Aunt Judies.

      When they came for the hentai fans, I didn't speak out; the only porn site I go to is Aunt Judies.

      When they came for the bukkake fans, I didn't speak out; the only porn site I go to is Aunt Judies.

      When they came for viewers of porn involving mature women there was noone left to speak out for me...

      (My stated favorite porn site is purely fictitious and serves only as an example, I am not actually a subscriber to Aunt Judies. Honest.)
    • At first, I was ready to jump on the bandwagon with you. I have since read several of the recent Supreme Court cases on child pornography, and United States v. Whorley, 386 F. Supp. 2d 693 (E.D. Va. 2005). I think the conviction was proper.

      Quoting from the case:

      The universe of child pornography is comprised of materials in two broad categories, those involving depictions of an actual child, and the others portraying simulated representations. The former class of materials need not satisfy the legal defin

      • Mr. Whorley downloaded child porn at work: strike one. He would have had to transport it from his work to his house through public places where it might have been exposed to unwilling recipients or juveniles: strike two. Did I mention, he worked for the State of Virginia, at a Virginia Employment Commission office? Strike three, he's out.

        You really have to work better on that one. Exposing children to regular pornography is also illegal, but I never heard of anyone being sued for walking home from the video
  • by argoff (142580) on Saturday April 22, 2006 @11:56PM (#15183127)
    Funny thing is, I can take measures to protect my daughter from sex perverts, but how do I protect her from a government that is slowly turning into an orwellian police state?
  • by WormholeFiend (674934) on Saturday April 22, 2006 @11:56PM (#15183131)
    Just enforce existing laws.
  • by vistic (556838) on Saturday April 22, 2006 @11:57PM (#15183137)
    "more widespread, more graphic, more sadistic, using younger and younger children."

    Hey... I've got some HOT sonograms of NAKED PRE-natal fetuses... interested?

    They're WET in amniotic fluid and there's no telling what these NAUGHTY fetuses will do when they think no one's watching!
  • Another Boogeyman (Score:5, Insightful)

    by miyako (632510) <miyakoNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Sunday April 23, 2006 @12:00AM (#15183144) Homepage Journal
    The thing about this is, these figures are absolutely empty. The "1 in 5 children is solicited online" thing gets me particularly. I would really like to know what they count a solicited. Anyone who uses AIM or Yahoo chatrooms (can't speak for the MSN chatrooms, but I would assume it is common in those as well) and to a lesser extent, IRC has experienced bots that automatically solicit people- usually trying to trick people into pay porn sites or to the peronsons personal escort service. If they are counting this as solicitation (and it seems the most likely way that they would get the 1-in-5 figure) then it's really not nearly as much of a danger as they are making it seem. If a parent has properly configured their network connection, the vast majority of sites that spambots in chatrooms would send children to would be blocked anyway; and it's not as though there is an actual person on the other end who is actively trying to lure a child into meeting for a sexual encounter.
    Furthermore, I wonder if they cound instances of flirtation where the adult ceases communication with the child if/when they become away that the person with whom they are talking is a child. Once again, this isn't a case of an adult actively conspiring to lure a child to them in order to commit sexual acts- but both instances could be used to support the 1-in-5 statistic.
    One thing that gets me too is, they are talking about cracking down on child porn, but in my experience this isn't really the case. Last year someone on a newsgroup I was on (this wasn't a pornographic newsgroup, but the person who posted it was someone I had seen post before, I can only assume that they must have posted to the wrong newsgroup or something) posted bunch of child porn photos. When I saw it I got all of the relevant information I could gather and called the local FBI office, and the local police department. Neither group even seemed interested in my call. The FBI told me to contact my ISP, my ISP told me to contact the local police, local police told me to contact the FBI- and after a day on the phone getting the runaround I ended up just posting the information I had to a child abuse pervention website and hoping that they could find the right people to talk to catch the guy.
    No, instead of taking information that someone was trying to give them to catch a child pornographer, they want to log everyone's online activity. The thing is, logging all of that activity will do nothing to help catch child pornography. The amount of data would be such that it would still require someone to find and report the activity- and if someone can find it and report it, then there should be enough information already to catch the person.
    This leads me to believe that the interest in logging all of this is in no way related to catching child pornographers. Instead it seems like the neo-cons are doing what they do best- brewing up an invisible boogeyman and using the threat of this boogeyman in order abridge the rights and privacy of the citizens. After all, if anyone tries to stand up against it, then they "are just a prevert who doesn't care about exploited children being used for sex and porography"- the same as with the patriot act and anyone who opposed it being "a commie american hating terrorist".
    Of course, most people on slashdot probably already realize this, and other people aren't going to bother signing onto slashdot to read this post- let alone rethink their position based on it.
    • The "1 in 5 children solicited online" statistic comes from a study done in Feb 2001. And actually if you read the study (which the government is probably hoping we won't), it turns out HALF the solicitations were from other children, NOT adults. Kinda changes the whole context, doesn't it?

      The report found that almost half of the solicitations reported did not come from an adult, but from other children: 'juveniles made 48 percent of the overall and 48 percent of the aggressive solicitations.' (9) The rep
  • by urinetrouble (809485) on Sunday April 23, 2006 @12:16AM (#15183195)
    I think child ponography is just part of a huger social problem affecting most of the world. Pedophilia stems from somewhere, right? I'm going to point my finger at our culture. It's kind of fucked up how we can condone stuff like letting elemetary schoolgirls to dress up like hoochies, "Child Beauty" pagents, and the like. If you can't pull your own head out of your ass and see what's going on right around you, look at Japan. General society out there basically tolerates a lot of weird shit that you'd normally only see on 4chan.org's /b/ imageboard, such as lolicon art.

    If the government was actually interested in curbing child pornography, they'd attack it at the source: Fucked up society. It may sound a little hard to reach a proactive solution, but really, the solutions aren't that hard seeing how easy it is to veil larger, equally scary ulterior motives under getting rid of something that everyone accepts as evil without the majority of the general public batting an eyelid.

    So, even if these measures that they're planning don't mean to harm people's personal freedoms all 1984 style, they're just giving a reactive and therefore non-effective solution to just a small part of a much, much broader problem.
    • by Chowderbags (847952) on Sunday April 23, 2006 @01:17AM (#15183348)
      But history doesn't support that there's a problem with society. It's not uncommon throughout all of human history for 13-15 year old girls to get married (with all the nighttime activities that entail). To say that the age of 18 is the age of "sexual maturity" is bullshit. Biologicly, most females are able to get pregnant in the mid teens, yet mental maturity for the average human is reached in the mid 20s. So 18 means... what? It's an arbitry time, with no actual meaning. Why is it considered illegal to photograph a nude 17 year old girl's breasts, yet on her 18th birthday, she can be in hardcore porn? Yes, I understand the point of a limit, but why 18 instead of 17? Why not let a 16 year old masturbate on camera? Why the sudden cuttoff where it's socially unacceptable to find a woman attractive?
      • by mpe (36238)
        But history doesn't support that there's a problem with society. It's not uncommon throughout all of human history for 13-15 year old girls to get married (with all the nighttime activities that entail). To say that the age of 18 is the age of "sexual maturity" is bullshit. Biologicly, most females are able to get pregnant in the mid teens,

        Historically the age of sexual maturity has been falling in many societies at the same time that the age of "legal adulthood" has been rising. Thus having a group of se
    • "If the government was actually interested in curbing child pornography, they'd attack it at the source: Fucked up society."

      You're forgetting that democratic governments tend to reflect the society in question. The only way things are going to change is if people decied to change themselves.
  • oppression (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 23, 2006 @12:35AM (#15183244)
    The trouble with fighting for human freedom is that one spends most of one's time defending scoundrels. For it is against scoundrels that oppressive laws are first aimed, and oppression must be stopped at the beginning if it is to be stopped at all.

            H. L. Mencken (1880 - 1956)
  • by AlatarSaeros (907913) on Sunday April 23, 2006 @01:27AM (#15183378)
    Before I was born, my parents lived in the San Fransisco area, and enjoying certain freedoms (nice jobs, good friends, etc). Upon my arrival, they moved away, as a rash of crimes had made SF a place where they didn't want me to be raised.

    Today, I'm beginning to feel the same way. I enjoy certain liberties here right now. However, unless the next administration makes major changes in the interest of freedom, I do not feel that America will be the place I want my children to be raised.
  • by TechnoGuyRob (926031) on Sunday April 23, 2006 @01:43AM (#15183415) Homepage
    While extreme criminalization of even such a simple act as viewing/possessing images seems appropriate due to the repulsive nature of adulteration of innocence, it kind of scares me. I live in a dorm, a public place.Sometimes I leave my door open. So what if I step outside for a moment, and someone downloads some child porn on my machine? Or what if it gets compromised and begins downloading such things in the background? Then I'm completely screwed. I think people need to step back from the visceral response of terror and hatred that comes from sexually abusing children, and consider things rationally for a moment. I full-heartedly agree, child pornography is very morally damaging [mentalhealthlibrary.info] to both the author, viewer, and victim, and I agree we should do something about it. However, is it worth infiltrating the privacy of every single person (in the US at least, in thise case)?

    Furthermore, this seems like a very dictatorial response. There is a new decriminalization philosophy dubbed restorative justice [wikipedia.org]. In this model, the offender is encouraged to become acquainted with the victim (or their family). By learning about the damage that one has caused, and seeing it through one's own eyes, remorse is stimulated much more effectively. Sometimes, prison can be a reforming experiences. However, there are also the hard-ass idiots that want revenge, and continue, if not increase, their crime life after prison. Honestly, I don't know if this is the best approach. Not only does it violate the public's privacy, it isn't guaranteed to be very--or even at all--successful. It has been proven, starting back with Ivan Pavlov's research, that negative reinforcement is not as effective as positive reinforcement. Why should this be any different?

    Once again, I don't mean to criticize my government (of course, many do), but who's with me?
  • by Doc Ruby (173196) on Sunday April 23, 2006 @02:08AM (#15183475) Homepage Journal
    I wish at least half the effort put into catching child porn scumbags were put into catching the much more common child neglecters and abusers. Or into better education and childcare. Most porn kids seem to be runaways. If they didn't run away, we wouldn't have as many vulnerable kids.
    • Money ill-spent (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Tony (765)
      Funny, isn't it? We need a 100% intrusive government to stop .01% of crime. Meanwhile, Head Start is getting slashed into non-existence, "No Child Left Behind" is destroying an already-faulty education system, and 8.3 million children live without health insurance. 1500 children die each year from neglect and abuse. And so on.
  • Who you gonna call? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Decker-Mage (782424) <jack_of_shadows@yahoo.com> on Sunday April 23, 2006 @03:32AM (#15183706)
    While I'm completely opposed to the people that commit these acts, as a practical person I have to ask how they are going to enforce this? First off, roughly half the child porn is hosted on offshore sites. Are they going to send in the SEALs or Tomahawk cruise missiles? Hmmm...?

    Secondly, how are they going to track those people that use the various anonymizer networks/packages? Then there are all those child porn newsgroups that I see in various listings. Frankly, the genie is out of the bottle. Even blocking at the ISP level/connection level is out if the communications are encrypted. What they are seeking to do is technologically impossible except at the local machine level and despite what they want to achieve, even I won't allow that here despite the fact that I assume I have no privacy whatsoever anyway (that's another issue).

    Sorry Alberto, baby, but the best you can do is wail in a corner 'cause that is all you'll achieve.

  • by D. Book (534411) on Sunday April 23, 2006 @05:09AM (#15183907)
    It sounds to me like this proposal simply makes mandatory practices that are probably already widespread but rarely discussed. Where I live, ISPs provide practically zero information to users regarding the degree to which they record their activities - what is logged, how long it is retained, and who has access - and privacy policies are quite vague. Given that many people live such a large portion of their lives online nowadays, what I find remarkable is how rarely people show some interest and merely ask about how they're being monitored, and when they do, the frequency with which such inquisitiveness and concern is ridiculed with the standard "what have you got to hide?" line of retort.

    Does your ISP retain the contents of the e-mails you've sent and received? Lists of each URL you've visited? IM traffic? Roughly how long do they retain such data? Two days, two months, two years? Who has access? 99% of people wouldn't have a clue as to the answer to any of these questions, and most don't show much concern, which is scary. I'm with an ISP that is relatively open and conversant with its users, and even though I received long-winded and seemingly earnest replies when I raised the matter some time ago, none contained a direct answer to any of the aforementioned questions. Good luck to anyone else who tries.
  • by gweihir (88907) on Sunday April 23, 2006 @09:40AM (#15184375)
    These people victimize the children again by using them to further their own agenda, which has nothing to do with child pornography. It is about better surveilance, givinig the appearance of doing something which is good and that nobody dares to speak out against. Personal guess: This is a try to do something about the abysmal popularity ratings of the current president and his team. Also more surveilance would definively be good. Could be used against all those that think Bush is not doing a good job. Even if they only fear that the surveilance would be used for that would be nice.

    I think that the child-pornography problem is being blown entirely out of proportion today, for the usual selfish reasons. I think that the existing laws and penalties are adequate and that it is the job of the police (and not the government) to find the people creating and using this stuff. So far they seem reasonable successful. And to say it quite clear: A free society is worth a lot more than a society free of child pornography. Even is some people seem unable to see that.
  • by Grendel Drago (41496) on Sunday April 23, 2006 @12:41PM (#15185160) Homepage
    Child porn was mentioned in this week's Savage Love [citypages.com]. Point was made that, whereas there used to be a clear distinction between children who were in such porn and the adults who made it, those lines has become blurred, what with the recent myspace arrests and such. I can't come up with a good way to disentangle that. Our current system of laws leads to some ridiculous outcomes (take naked pictures of yourself when you're underage, grow older, be arrested for exploiting... yourself?), but anything I can think of isn't much better.

Take care of the luxuries and the necessities will take care of themselves. -- Lazarus Long

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