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Comment: Small drones with deadly payloads (Score 1) 215

by davidwr (#48915075) Attached to: White House Drone Incident Exposes Key Security Gap

A small recreational drone could carry a deadly biological payload and even include a spray-dispersal of it.

It can also be used merely to scare people. Imagine if you were at a street festival and a drone sprayed a harmless slightly-oily or -sticky substance over everyone below. The local first responders would be tied up for hours until the substance was proven harmless.

Comment: I guess I can drive on toll roads again (Score 2) 146

by davidwr (#48913703) Attached to: DEA Cameras Tracking Hundreds of Millions of Car Journeys Across the US

I was boycotting them because of the cameras, but now it's like "oh well, either I stay locked in my house all day, invent a Harry Potter cloak for my car and hope I don't get hit because I'm invisible, or smile for the camera."

That middle option is looking mighty attractive right now.

Comment: Re:Avoid outing suspects, and other tips (Score 1) 404

by davidwr (#48902249) Attached to: Anonymous Asks Activists To Fight Pedophiles In 'Operation Deatheaters'

And I suspect any lawyer worth his salt is going to advise you to just Stay The Fuck Away from the stuff.

If that's what your lawyer says, either follow his advice or get a 2nd opinion (and if they agree, follow the advice). They know the law as written and as enforced (i.e. whether the local, state, and national prosecutors will be "friendly" or "hostile" to you regardless of the actual statute) better than I do.

Comment: Re:I Don't Buy It (Score 1) 404

by davidwr (#48902233) Attached to: Anonymous Asks Activists To Fight Pedophiles In 'Operation Deatheaters'

Are there Pedophiles making a killing off of ads or subscriptions? I sort of get the impression it is more about enthusiastic individuals who do it because that is what they love, and they get a thrill of video taping and posting it.

Based on what I read a few years ago, unlike child prostitution where there is a significant $/commercial aspect, there wasn't a significant $/commercial child-porn trade. However, there was a very significant "in-kind" child-porn trade among creators and collectors.

Unlike legal adult porn, there isn't any copyright protection, which really cuts down on the potential profits. That, and the constant threat of getting busted makes running a $-profitable kiddie-porn enterprise difficult if not outright infeasible.

Child prostitution, unlike child porn, can't be freely copied over and over again, so despite the threat of getting busted there is some viable economic model.

Comment: Re:Want evidence of an organized pedophile network (Score 1) 404

by davidwr (#48902203) Attached to: Anonymous Asks Activists To Fight Pedophiles In 'Operation Deatheaters'

Of course, it's (mostly) legal there

As they say on Wikipedia, "citation needed."

--

I assume by "legal" you mean legal according to national, regional, and local laws. If you mean legal as enforced due to the cops just not caring or the cops being sufficiently bribed, well, I won't argue that one way or the other. If there are "self-governing" or "lawless" areas in Saudi Arabia then I won't argue with you with respect to those areas either.

Comment: Re: Avoid outing suspects, and other tips (Score 1) 404

by davidwr (#48902183) Attached to: Anonymous Asks Activists To Fight Pedophiles In 'Operation Deatheaters'

Have you been screened for autism?

A few years back I did some pre-screenings for Asperger Syndrome. I was below the cutoff for further screening.

Your advice is horrible and is founded on insane premises. HTH.

If you are correct, then I hope the lawyer that I also advised "active hunters" to hire will tell them so.

Comment: Re:I Don't Buy It (Score 1) 404

by davidwr (#48902169) Attached to: Anonymous Asks Activists To Fight Pedophiles In 'Operation Deatheaters'

there are people who actually believe trading in and looking at child porn isn't a problem, that that is victimless, it's just pictures and video

(it creates demand, of course it's a fucking problem)

Excluding the obviously likely "victimless" cases of non-circulating self-pics and never-forwarded-on pics your same-aged boy/girlfriend sent you without you asking, child porn is very rarely victim-less.

Some people will try to turn those very rare exceptions into a broad generalization that as a whole child porn is harmless. I'm with you in saying that such an argument is hogwash.

--

Oh, and for anyone wanting a very rare example, here is a fictional contrived example:
Suppose my young daughter is a heavy sleeper. I carefully pose her in a pornographic pose while she is sleeping and snap the shutter. The next day she is killed in a freak accident which is completely unrelated to what I did the day before. For the next few decades I look at that image, sometimes because it is the last photo of my daughter and sometimes for sexual reasons. I never seek out or see any other child porn. I never show the image to anyone. Before I die I destroy the image.

I would argue that my daughter didn't live long enough to become aware that I photographed her much less suffer any mental, physical, or emotional harm as a result. Obviously nobody else was hurt either. Therefore, it was a victimless crime. It was a crime and had I been caught I would expect to go to prison. But it was victimless. As I said, this is a contrived example but I'm sure there are cases where children were photographed in pornographic poses where they were not physically harmed, they were too young or too asleep to remember enough to be mentally harmed until they become aware that the photograph was made (which may never happen), and due to lack of circulation, the existence of the photograph did not create any demand. The photographers are still criminals - the playground rule of "no harm no foul" does NOT apply to this sort of crime.

Comment: Re:I Don't Buy It (Score 4, Insightful) 404

by davidwr (#48902101) Attached to: Anonymous Asks Activists To Fight Pedophiles In 'Operation Deatheaters'

No one is sympathetic to pedophiles.

I guess that depends on what you mean by sympathetic and what you mean by pedophile.

I assume you meant "child molester" not pedophile. Someone else has in another sub-thread already said that pedophiles who control their urges should be commended not called scum.

As for child molesters:

Anyone who due to biology or upbringing (e.g. being brainwashed to enjoy sex while a child themselves) that lets them enjoy having sex with kids or young teens and who due to biology or upbringing lacks the self control to keep away from the insides of kids' pants deserves prison (or a psych lockup if legally insane), in- and (if not a life sentence) post-prison mental-health care, and, yes, sympathy.

Why sympathy? You can't help your biology. You can't help your up-bringing. You CAN and MUST make your own choices as an adult, but if you are facing life with "two strikes against you," you do deserve and have my sympathy. But if I'm your juror that sympathy won't reduce your punishment.

Comment: Prior to the very late 1970s, **NOT 1980s** (Score 1) 404

by davidwr (#48902065) Attached to: Anonymous Asks Activists To Fight Pedophiles In 'Operation Deatheaters'

Prior to the very late 1980s, child porn was *arguably* legal in at least some parts of the United States

The paragraph should read:

Prior to the very late 1970s, child porn was *arguably* legal in at least some parts of the United States. Congress changed the laws and the feds started cracking down big-time on international and postal child-porn traffic (this was in the early days of FedEx) and the open-market importing of child-porn-containing magazines from abroad through the mail system ended for good as a result.

Comment: 1982 called, they want their postal inspector back (Score 1) 404

by davidwr (#48902051) Attached to: Anonymous Asks Activists To Fight Pedophiles In 'Operation Deatheaters'

I was under the impression that this kind of thing was reduced to a pretty small problem and that very little new child pornography was being made

This was practically true in the early 1980s, before digital tech got cheap.

For a few years, the postal inspectors were catching each other far more than they were catching real child-porn purveyors.

Prior to the very late 1980s, child porn was *arguably* legal in at least some parts of the United States. Congress changed the laws and the feds started cracking down big-time on international and postal child-porn traffic (this was in the early days of FedEx) and the open-market importing of child-porn-containing magazines from abroad through the mail system ended for good as a result.

The advent of cheap/free ways of getting a photo into a computer and sending it to anyone who wanted it with a low risk of getting caught (at least a low risk in the 1980s and early 1990s) allowed the problem to go from almost nothing to whatever it is today.

Comment: Avoid outing suspects, and other tips (Score 4, Informative) 404

by davidwr (#48901971) Attached to: Anonymous Asks Activists To Fight Pedophiles In 'Operation Deatheaters'

Suspected != guilty and if they go around publicizing suspects or even people who the police have named as suspects or "persons of interest" who turn out to be innocent, it will hurt Anonymous's own reputation big-time.

What they - and everyone else - can and should do is make sure that if you do run across child porn or links to what you think is child porn, you immediately report it to all relevant authorities and that if the authorities seem to be ignoring a case, that all relevant news outlets are notified. If the news outlets seem to be participating in a cover up, notify other news outlets, but be careful: What looks like a "news outlet conspiracy of silence" may be because the FBI is in the middle of a sting and the feds have asked the news outlets to keep quiet until the trap is sprung. If Anonymous's well-meaning attempts to bring things into the open result in the sting being aborted or going bust, well, that would be bad.

On a side-note:

* Do not go "looking for" child porn - you could wind up being charged and convicted yourself. If you are wondering what it's like, my best educated guess is it is like looking at images of concentration-camp children: 1) the underlying event that happened to land on camera haunts the person in the photograph for his or her life, 2) the image itself is likely to be so stomach-churning that it will haunt you for a long time, and even if it doesn't, 3) the knowledge of what happened to that child should haunt you for a long long time (if it doesn't, either you have grown jaded and I'm sad for you, or you need to talk to someone because your conscience may be less than that of the average adult's and this diminished conscience may lead you to hurt someone without realizing it and/or without caring)

* If you routinely do things in your fight against child-porn that put you at a higher risk of running across it, as some of these Anonymous guys likely are, take technical steps to reduce your risk (use a text-only browser, for instance), and have a lawyer on retainer. Ask your lawyer what steps you need to take so when the police do come knocking it's painfully obvious to the police, the jury, and to everyone else that you are not intending to actually download or possess the stuff but sometimes it gets through your technical barriers.

Comment: Re:OT: I want an ATSC signal recorder (Score 1) 329

by davidwr (#48896081) Attached to: UHD Spec Stomps on Current Blu-ray Spec, But Will Consumers Notice?

I have a cheap knock-off of the very box you pointed to.

It works fine as a DVR but as far as I can tell, it's just recording one of the programs not the entire stream. Also, there is no indication of whether it is recording meta-data and other data or if it's discarding it before recording it. In other words, it's not what I am looking for.

I think there's a world market for about five computers. -- attr. Thomas J. Watson (Chairman of the Board, IBM), 1943

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