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U.S. Justice Department Prepares Assault on Pr0n 1103

Posted by michael
from the shock-and-awe dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The Baltimore Sun is reporting that the Justice Department is preparing to reawaken old laws to fight the war on ... no, not terrorists... porn! And not just the kinky stuff either. In the age of Internet connectivity, will this mean these jobs are headed to India too?"
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U.S. Justice Department Prepares Assault on Pr0n

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  • Say what? (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 06, 2004 @06:36PM (#8785862)
    In the age of Internet connectivity, will this mean these jobs are headed to India too?
    They are going to outsource the DOJ? Good god, is nothing sacred?
    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 06, 2004 @06:38PM (#8785892)
      Could be an improvement.
    • by 47Ronin (39566) <glennNO@SPAM47ronin.com> on Tuesday April 06, 2004 @07:07PM (#8786289) Homepage
      Let me be the first to say "N O O O O O O O O !!!"
    • by craXORjack (726120) on Tuesday April 06, 2004 @07:20PM (#8786447)
      will this mean these jobs are headed to India too?

      new newsgroup:

      nttp//alt.binary.pictures.employed.indian.brunette

    • by SeinJunkie (751833) <seinjunkie@gmail.com> on Tuesday April 06, 2004 @07:33PM (#8786582) Homepage
      If your job was to surf for extreme porn all day, is it still considered slacking if your boss catches you browsing softcore?
    • by diablomonic (754193) on Tuesday April 06, 2004 @08:01PM (#8786889)
      when are these morons going to wake up and realise.. hey, its just a body, in its natural form, doing what its supposed to do, or what it enjoys doing. Oh hang on, their religion is built on crap like "sex is evil, sex is a sin" to keep everyone but the REAL wierdos sinning. Now Im not advocating child pornography, nor anything in which all involved parties have not consented to the action, but really, its 2004 for cripes sake, GET OVER IT ALREADY. if you werent all such prudes, you wouldnt mind explaing to your kids how sex works, without geting all embarrassed. I mean, it is HOW THEY WERE CREATED!!!!!. Note that this rant (and yes I realise it is a bit) is not aimed at all americans, or even the majority of americans(in fact the issue is world wide), just at those people who are too silly to realise a natural human act and desire when they see it. Unfortunately, these can screw it up for everyone else.
      • by ControversialPosting (765859) on Tuesday April 06, 2004 @09:40PM (#8787809)
        In a speech in 2002, Ashcroft made it clear that the Justice Department intends to try. He said pornography "invades our homes persistently though the mail, phone, VCR, cable TV and the Internet," and has "strewn its victims from coast to coast."

        "It just keeps coming" Ashcroft continued. "It's everywhere. Pornographic website just keep appearing in your bookmarks. Credit cards fly out of your pocket buying movies on late night when your wife is at the RNC sewing circle. Young hot girls repeatedly spank eachother while giggling and jiggling on videos which jump into your hands at the rental line. Steaming co-eds with possessed toys do the bouncy-bouncy with a group of district attorneys in jail. Make it stop! Make it stop!"

        Ashcroft then broke down into tears and sobbed.

        Why are the champions of decency always the ones who are having problems repressing things? Like Rush Limbaugh's perpetual rants against drug use, or anything done by Eminem? Should we really allow important government policy about sexual freedoms to be formed by a man who doesn't dance?

        BTW, parent is not flamebait. Parent is pointing out that in most other developed nations, we're viewed as highly sexually immature. And really, we are. Our viewpoint on sex is formed more by preconceived notions rather than experience, leaning far more towards an unattainable idealized sex life than a real one. This cultural repression leads to sex being a problem for many, in exactly the same way that binge eating is a problem for dieters, and binge drinking is a problem for people (of every culture) just before the minimum legal age. In this respect America needs to mature.

        • by Vancorps (746090) on Tuesday April 06, 2004 @10:02PM (#8787946)
          I'd say America has matured but currently there is a big religious movement caused in no small part by 911 and then the problem kept growing from there at the convervative movement gains more and more momentum. This is against the common morals of I dare say most of America. Look at TV over the last say seven years, the stuff that is allowed on broadcast TV has greatly changed, of course, now there is always someone that attempts to go a little further than a group of people are willing to go and you end up with this taking steps backwards that you see cause of the Janet Jackson incident which is considered stupid by a good portion of this population.

          Maybe I give America too much credit but I think its come a long ways since the times when you couldn't even say pregnant on TV.

          Ashcroft needs to wake up that's for sure, I'm not sure that guy knows what country he lives in. Everytime I look at him and look at his policies I think Nazi Germany, the guy scares me more and more because Bush keeps fucking giving him more power, way more power than the attorney general was ever supposed to have.

          I hope this will be a very active election year, last election all of America made the mistake of being apathetic, who'd have thought things would turn this drastic since the two candidates in the last election were more or less the same. America did not elect someone to change things and Bush has sure done a great job of forgetting that.

          Anywho, porn employs a good chunk of us IT people, I'd like Ashcroft to please leave it alone.
        • by JulianOolian (683769) on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @04:56AM (#8790196)
          Parent is pointing out that in most other developed nations, we're viewed as highly sexually immature.

          The perception in most of Europe is that the US has a good appetite for on-screen violence, but gets upset at the slightest bit of sexy flesh.

          Case in point? There's a war on, lots of bad shit going down right there on the TV and no-one bats an eyelid. Then Janet Jackson flashes a bit of tit and hysteria prevails.

          Still, that's puritans for you. :-p

      • by ArcticCelt (660351) on Tuesday April 06, 2004 @10:35PM (#8788201)
        if you werent all such prudes, you wouldnt mind explaing to your kids how sex works, without geting all embarrassed. I mean, it is HOW THEY WERE CREATED!!!!!.

        To ad on top of your point of view, then its ok to show people get killed and beaten on tv but not making love.

        Or let's talk about fear factor, I think its les degrading for a human being to make love live on tv than to eat cow turd just to entertain the masses.

        Anyway I am certainly not advocating to ban any of those issues I am just saying that using the public money and resource on those matters is the most stupid thing that a government can do.
    • Why not (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Chuck Chunder (21021) on Tuesday April 06, 2004 @08:03PM (#8786920) Homepage Journal
      I hear there's quite a few recently unemployed ex-Taliban who are highly skilled in the areas of repression, banning things and generally sticking their nose into other peoples business.

      They should be perfect for the role.
      • by the_mad_poster (640772) <shattoc@adelphia.com> on Tuesday April 06, 2004 @08:29PM (#8787198) Homepage Journal

        This is truly a disturbing parellel.

        This guy basically just looked at something that a LOT of people shell out their hard earned money for and said "I don't like it, let's crack down".

        This guy is absolutely off his fucking rocker. I want to know what he bases this crackdown on? Has a large portion of the consenting adult population suddenly decided to go on a porn-free diet? Does he have persuasive documentation to show that a significant number of children are being adversely affected by pornography despite a reasonable effort from parents to monitor their children?

        I don't know how many more people I speak for when I say this. But, Mr. Ashcroft. Get the fuck out of my life. If you don't have better things to do with your time than this, you don't have anything worthwhile to do with your time, and I'm tired of paying your salary.

        • by afidel (530433) on Tuesday April 06, 2004 @08:48PM (#8787362)
          Um, we knew Aschcroft was off his rocker within a couple days of him taking office. He had a curtain put up for a freaking nude marble statue! Also you point out the ultimate irony of Republicans, they want the government out of their lifes unless it's to instill their own brand of morality on everyone else.
          • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @12:28AM (#8788987)
            He covered up the statue of Justice.

            You can't get any more ironic, symbolic, or prophetic than that.

  • by RobertB-DC (622190) * on Tuesday April 06, 2004 @06:38PM (#8785883) Homepage Journal
    U.S. Justice Department Prepares Assault on Pr0n

    About damned time, too [godhatesshrimp.com]. The Long John Silvers giveaway was bad enough [ljsilvers.com].
  • who cares? (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 06, 2004 @06:38PM (#8785885)
    In the age of Internet connectivity, will this mean these jobs are headed to India too?

    Let's hope so. Indian women are hot.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 06, 2004 @06:38PM (#8785888)
    I fail to see how this war will help gas prices at all? What's the point? :)
  • by Akai (11434) on Tuesday April 06, 2004 @06:38PM (#8785889) Homepage Journal
    I for one welcome our new Indian porn actresses.
  • Pointless (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Tango42 (662363) on Tuesday April 06, 2004 @06:38PM (#8785891)
    All mediums are used for porn almost as soon as they are made, and AFAIK none has every stopped being used. No laws are going to stop it.
    • by Flakbait (742565) on Tuesday April 06, 2004 @06:45PM (#8785994) Homepage Journal
      Yeah, I can still remember about the first readings of erotic material over the telegraph back in the 1800's...


      SHE GRASPED HIS THROBBING PURPLE WARRIOR IN HER HANDS STOP. OH SHE SAID ITS SO BIG STOP.

    • Re:Pointless (Score:5, Insightful)

      by macshit (157376) <[miles] [at] [gnu.org]> on Tuesday April 06, 2004 @06:51PM (#8786069) Homepage
      Very true, but I suspect this has more to with:
      1. election-season wooing of the hard right, and
      2. the fact that our attorney general is a prudish freak (or is that a freakish prude?).
      • Re:Pointless (Score:5, Insightful)

        by ratamacue (593855) on Tuesday April 06, 2004 @09:09PM (#8787544)
        How about the fact that any expansion of government -- any increase in scope, revenue, or power over the people -- benefits those who control government?

        Call me a conspiracy theorist, but I think there is a reason why government tends to expand over its lifetime (as history shows).
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 06, 2004 @06:39PM (#8785894)
    then lets go after the easy targets.

    It is amazing what an election year can cause with regard to a countries policies and priorities.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 06, 2004 @06:39PM (#8785895)
    ...they pry it from my glazed, sticky fingers!
  • by Lord Grey (463613) * on Tuesday April 06, 2004 @06:39PM (#8785896)
    From the article:
    Any move against mainstream pornography could affect large telephone companies offering broadband Internet service or the dozens of national credit card companies providing payment services to pornographic Web sites.
    While the article doesn't explicitly say if the "affect" would be positive or negative, it implies the negative. From my experience with the credit card companies, however, I would think that they would love to be able to rid themselves of at least some of the porn business. The largest percentage of chargebacks are, I believe, due to porn purchases using stolen or manufactured card numbers. Reducing those chargebacks would be a good thing for them.
    • by QuantumRiff (120817) on Tuesday April 06, 2004 @07:01PM (#8786217)
      I think the majority of the charge backs take the form of "No honey, I don't know where that $80 charge from HotDicksAreUs.com is for, someone must have stolen our credit card info, I'll refuse payment right away" followed by a quick kicking of the DVD further under the bed.
  • Heh... (Score:5, Funny)

    by Snarfvs Maximvs (28022) on Tuesday April 06, 2004 @06:40PM (#8785924)
    "Department officials say they will send 'ripples' through an industry"

    Perhaps they mean "jiggles"?

  • by Sexual Ass Gerbil (728400) on Tuesday April 06, 2004 @06:41PM (#8785933) Homepage Journal
    You'd think with it's war against religious fundamentalists in other countries (and one in which the Bush administration was touting that one of the reasons for attacking these countries is the lack of freedom the countries allow their citizens), that the U.S. would eliminate it's own Taliban killjoys. Nope. Instead these strict politicians get elected to office. My opinion is that people are just about the same no matter where in the world you go.. whether it's Afghanistan or the U.S.. the only difference is the magnitude of how corrupt the power hungry people have become.
  • by thesolo (131008) * <slap@fighttheriaa.org> on Tuesday April 06, 2004 @06:42PM (#8785934) Homepage
    This is of course being spear-headed by John Ashcroft, a very conservative christian. The very same John Ashcroft who spent $8000 of taxpayer money [thevoicenews.com] to cover up the bare breast of the statue of Lady Justice [commonlaw.com].

    He once gave a speech at Bob Jones university [spectacle.org], that contained such amazing lines as "Unique among the nations, America recognized the source of our character as being godly and eternal, not being civic and temporal. And because we have understood that our source is eternal, America has been different. We have no king but Jesus."

    If he's offended by the bare breast of a statue, just imagine what he thinks of porn. That this man holds public office frightens me very, very much.
    • by Homology (639438) on Tuesday April 06, 2004 @06:47PM (#8786018)
      This is of course being spear-headed by John Ashcroft, a very conservative christian

      Compared to Ashcroft, Atila the Hun appears to be a flaming leftist liberal.

    • I'm not worried (Score:5, Insightful)

      by sTalking_Goat (670565) on Tuesday April 06, 2004 @06:58PM (#8786170) Homepage
      John Aashcroft crushing our civil rights, by attaching the word terrorism to anything he doesn't like; That worries.

      But John A vs the porn industry; John A doesn't have a chance.

      Porn like weeds has its roots deep and will surface and thrive in any scrap of dirt, through the tiniest of cracks.

      So I say let Johhny Boy fight his porn war, maybe that'll distract him from doing some real damage.

    • by Citizen of Earth (569446) on Tuesday April 06, 2004 @07:00PM (#8786202)
      "Man will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest." -- Diderot
    • by orthogonal (588627) on Tuesday April 06, 2004 @07:21PM (#8786461) Journal
      He once gave a speech at Bob Jones university, that contained such amazing lines

      And, according to the linked article (emphasis mine):
      In a speech in 2002, Ashcroft made it clear that the Justice Department intends to try. He said pornography "
      invades our homes persistently though the mail, phone, VCR, cable TV and the Internet," and has "strewn its victims from coast to coast."


      Other than spam, which I'll grant does sneak in, if this is an "invasion" we've outdone the French in surrendering to it.

      Porn doesn't sneak into your phone, VCR, or cable TV: you have to call a 900 number, rent a video, or order pay per view.

      And so many Americans are doing those things -- to the tune of billions of dollars a year -- that the argument that the porn "violates community standards" is laughable. Porn is the new community standard.

      But Ashcroft will find a way around this: Ashcroft had the case against Rob Zicari's Extreme Associates filed in the conservative Western District of Pennsylvania -- jury shopping so that the "community standards" of the whole country will be decided the citizens of the most conservative counties of the state that elected Rick Santorum senator.

      And realize, all of you who think this is a good idea, that when
      Lam Nguyen's job is to sit for hours in a chilly, quiet room devoid of any color but gray and look at pornography. This job, which Nguyen does earnestly from 9 to 5....

      is to the exclusion of anything else Lam Nguyen could be doing -- like looking for Osama bin Laden, or the next Enron fraud, or even kiddie porn (which is covered under a different statute). Resources are finite: every dollar and every hour spent on this witch hunt means real and dangerous criminals are going to get away.

      But I guess that's ok: we've won the war on terrorism, Iraq is a happy democracy, and the arch-villain Tommy Chong is in prison!
  • by User 956 (568564) on Tuesday April 06, 2004 @06:42PM (#8785940) Homepage
    This from a man who is *so offended* by the statue of Justice in the Supreme Court building, he ordered it covered up [bbc.co.uk].

    Talk about a right-wing freako nutcase. This is our government, folks. Get used to 4 more years when Bush steals the election again in November.
  • Dear dear dear (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Space cowboy (13680) * on Tuesday April 06, 2004 @06:42PM (#8785958) Journal
    Ashcroft, a religious man who does not drink alcohol or caffeine, smoke, gamble or dance,


    The perfect antithesis then, to all the people who pay for the 'products' on sale. The line "Don't drink, don't smoke, what do you do?" springs to mind. Have you in fact checked he's still alive ?

    Sure, I'm dead-set against kiddie porn - string them up by the bollocks and burn them over a slow fire. Sure, there are other people being exploited in this industry. Newsflash: there are people being exploited in *all* industries - it's just that society places a higher importance on sex than fishing, cooking, or cleaning (for example).

    and has fought unrelenting criticism that he has trod roughshod on civil liberties in the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks, is taking on the porn industry at a time when many experts say Americans are wary about government intrusion into their lives.


    Yep, now we see, he is dead. In the water that is. When a public figures decide to go on a non-popular crusade, they're dead men walking. I suppose there's an outside chance (only in the US, [grin]) that he *might* be right - witness the uproar over 1 cm^2 of female flesh after a certain kickabout recently... Naaah.

    Simon.
    • by shadowbearer (554144) on Tuesday April 06, 2004 @07:30PM (#8786555) Homepage Journal
      The perfect antithesis then, to all the people who pay for the 'products' on sale. The line "Don't drink, don't smoke, what do you do?" springs to mind. Have you in fact checked he's still alive ?


      Reminds me of an old joke:
      --
      A bum, who'd obviously seen more than his share of hard times, approached a well-dressed man on the street. "Hey, Buddy .....can you spare two dollars?"

      The well-dressed man replied, "You're not going to spend it on liquor are you?"

      "No, sir, I don't drink," the bum responded.

      "You're not going to throw it away on fishing gear, are you?" the gentleman asked.

      "No... I don't fish either!" answered the bum.

      "You wouldn't waste the money on a deer lease, would you?" asks the man. "No, I wouldn't!" says the bum, "I don't hunt!"

      So the man asked the bum if he'd like to come home with him for a home cooked meal. The bum accepted eagerly. On the way to the man's house, the bum's curiosity got the better of him. "Isn't your wife going to be upset when you bring a guy like me to your house for dinner?"

      "Well, probably," said the man, "but it'll be well worth it for her to see what happens to a man that doesn't drink, fish or hunt".
      --

      SB
  • by Dinjay (571355) on Tuesday April 06, 2004 @06:42PM (#8785959)
    "Lam Nguyen's job is to sit for hours in a chilly, quiet room devoid of any color but gray and look at pornography"

    Hmm...sounds like a day in the life of the /. crowd. It's just as well it cold in there...
  • Three Cheers (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Lord_Dweomer (648696) on Tuesday April 06, 2004 @06:45PM (#8785996) Homepage
    Three cheers for the stupidest attempt at controlling Americans since Prohibition and the War on Drugs.

    I mean, seriously, of all the things they could have picked........if there's anything us Americans like more than our booze and weed its porn and sex. Is Ashcroft BEGGING to have a lynch mob show up at his front door?

  • by Lord of Ironhand (456015) <arjen@xyx.nl> on Tuesday April 06, 2004 @06:45PM (#8786001) Homepage
    Browsing at +5 -- check.
    +3 bonus to funny -- check.
    -3 penalty to everything else -- check.

    Let the comments roll in!
  • by freeweed (309734) on Tuesday April 06, 2004 @06:45PM (#8786004)
    No, really.

    The only possible conclusion I can draw from this is "I don't partake, therefore it's bad and no one else should be able to, either". I guess this is the same line of thinking that still has people up in arms against homosexuality. "They're doing something I wouldn't do! Let's get 'em!".

    Ashcroft, a religious man who does not drink alcohol or caffeine, smoke, gamble or dance

    Great, so we better shut down Nevada, kill all breweries, tobacco companies, coffee importation, and *gasp* Rock and/or Roll while we're at it!

    They're going to try to go after a multi-billion dollar industry because its material "is obscene by community standards". Um, just who exactly do these people think are paying these billions? Hate to break it to you, folks, but Mr. and Mrs. Joe American. Consentual pornography is, by definition, acceptable by community standards. There wouldn't be so much of it if it wasn't.
  • by 0x0d0a (568518) on Tuesday April 06, 2004 @06:46PM (#8786009) Journal
    ...is that instead of turning the other cheek, so many of them are bound and determined to be assholes about content that they don't like, but other people do.

    I think Martin Luther put it best when he pointed out that chastity was unrealistic and stupid to try to hold priests to.

    Most groups don't seem to try to legislate morality on other folks. I don't agree with, say, ecoterrorism, but I don't think that radical environmentalist speech should be suppressed. But religious conservative types *do* try to mobilize and dictate what content people want to view (or at least make it more difficult and uncomfortable for them.)
  • by jCaT (1320) on Tuesday April 06, 2004 @06:47PM (#8786023)
    And frankly, a lot of companies are scared. At this point everybody is just making sure their 18 USC 2257 [cornell.edu] links are up to date, and hoping for the best. The company I work for recently stopped selling videos (actually, before the Extreme Associates case) for the reasons listed in the article... and we've maintained a list of states that we will not send tapes to, exactly for the reason that got EA busted. That whole inter-state commerce thing can really get you in trouble.

    If they are actually going to go after the major TV and cable networks over their hardcore stuff, the industry as a whole is screwed. The majority of the "good" sites out there now make the spice channel look like hotel porn.

    I just hope that Bush gets voted out in november, so that we can ditch Ashcroft. He is completely out of touch with morality in this country! I'm not trying to say we should be selling explicit hardcore porn from vending machines, it has its place in our culture, and he and his cronies seem to not see that.
    • by pclminion (145572) on Tuesday April 06, 2004 @06:59PM (#8786190)
      I just hope that Bush gets voted out in november, so that we can ditch Ashcroft. He is completely out of touch with morality in this country!

      The problem with the Puritanical morality of the US right now is that it's insincere. People claim to be "offended" by things because it's in style, not because they are actually offended.

      Notice the subtle but highly effective sexualization in advertisements. We seem to accept this, and allow our children to view it. We let 10 year old kids walk around with halter tops and belly button piercings. I saw a kid no older than 5 in a restaurant recently wearing makeup. Nice. That's what I want to think of when looking at a 5 year old, sex.

      And yet at the same time, Janet Jackson's boobie pops out and we all have a fucking heart attack. It's all fake, it's a fucking fake reaction that we are all mutually emulating. Other people seem offended, so by God, I should be offended too!

      The thing is, nobody (or at least, hardly anybody) is really offended by it.

      Americans are fucking schizophrenic, and it's only getting worse. This Puritanical neoconservatism is really, truly dangerous.

  • Best quote (Score:5, Funny)

    by Lord_Dweomer (648696) on Tuesday April 06, 2004 @06:48PM (#8786038) Homepage
    Best quote from the article:
    "This job, which Nguyen does earnestly from 9 to 5, surrounded by a half-dozen other "computer forensic specialists" like him, has become the focal point of the Justice Department's operation to rid the world of porn."

    First, where do I sign up, and second, I sure as hell hope there are at least cubicle dividers between these "computer forensic specialists".

  • Unwinnable? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by wfberg (24378) on Tuesday April 06, 2004 @06:50PM (#8786053)
    While obscenity is a Federal crime, the standards applied are "community standards".. So right-wing nutheads from will be determining what's "obscene" in San Fransisco. Presumably, pictures of gay couples getting "married" would be found obscene...

    And you've got to love this:
    The ensuing years saw an explosion of porn, so much so that critics say that Americans' tolerance for sexually explicit material rivals that of Europeans.

    NOOOOOOoooooooooooo!!!! Think of the Children! They'll grow up to be all, all.. European-like!!
    Can't have that happening!

    Can't the FCC step in and prohibit the use of the words fuck, shit, piss, cunt, motherfucker, cocksucker and tits? (New CHEESE tits!)
  • by Mrs. Grundy (680212) on Tuesday April 06, 2004 @06:50PM (#8786066) Homepage
    From the article:
    Department officials say they will send "ripples" through an industry that has proliferated on the Internet and grown into an estimated $10 billion-a-year colossus profiting Fortune 500 corporations such as Comcast, which offers hard-core movies on a pay-per-view channel.

    It's interesting that the government looks for market-based solutions to behavior that actually kills people like dumping mercury into the air, serving arsenic-laden water to towns, or creating vehicular death-traps but when you offend their puritan sensibilities they go for the jugular--even when the market clearly says that a HUGE chunk of the electorate is all for a little obscenity.

  • Thanks John (Score:4, Insightful)

    by fresh27 (736896) on Tuesday April 06, 2004 @06:52PM (#8786081) Homepage
    In a speech in 2002, Ashcroft made it clear that the Justice Department intends to try. He said pornography "invades our homes persistently though the mail, phone, VCR, cable TV and the Internet," and has "strewn its victims from coast to coast." I hate it when I sit down for a nice family dinner and we get interrupted by a call from those pesky phone sex companies. Worse still are the unsolicited porno mags that I get in the mail daily. And there's nothing more annoying than coming home at night and finding a porno tape that somehow materialized in my VCR. Kudos to you John Ashcroft, you truly are a politician for the people.
  • Great! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by starsong (624646) on Tuesday April 06, 2004 @06:54PM (#8786125)
    It's really wonderful that we're able to focus on naughty pictures and movies that American citizens legally buy. Obviously all the terrorists, murderers, rapists, Enron execs, and thieving digital pirates are safely behind bars, otherwise we couldn't spare the manpower.

    Wait... what?

  • Violence is OK (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bigberk (547360) <bigberk@users.pc9.org> on Tuesday April 06, 2004 @06:55PM (#8786129)
    Yeah, the violence is nothing to worry about right -- people getting beaten to a pulp (Fight Club), shot through the head, mutilated, etc. -- what damage could that cause to society?

    On the other hand, people engaged in various consentual sexual acts, there's nothing dangerous or immoral about this! I'm not saying that violence should be banned either, just that it's bizarre to censor sex and still allow showing people getting their brains blown out.
  • by Un pobre guey (593801) on Tuesday April 06, 2004 @06:56PM (#8786140) Homepage
    Sex? Bad.

    Blowing the shit out of civilians in foreign lands, taking stewardship of their natural resources, selling them land mines, protecting the opium crops of our allies, looking the other way as our allies sell nuclear weapons technology on the black market, channelling hundreds and hundreds of billions of dollars to the "defense" industry, making sure Joe SixPack is armed to the teeth back home, destroying our own natural resources, canceling Constitutional rights as necessary, etc. etc.? Good. A God-given duty, in fact.

    Wake up, folks. The only thing the religious fanatics that have leached into our government do not insist upon is the use of burkas by American women. OK, they also allow them to be on the same floor in public buildings.

  • Real obscenity (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ManoMarks (574691) on Tuesday April 06, 2004 @06:59PM (#8786178) Journal
    Terrorism, war, hunger, poverty, homelessness, child abuse, disease, et al. We should be dealing with those issues first. Leave consenting adults alone. But should be be surprised that this administration is wasting tax payers money on this?
  • by severed (82501) on Tuesday April 06, 2004 @07:01PM (#8786204) Homepage
    I make porn. That's what I do. I work a 50 to 60 hour week.

    I pay my taxes, and make payroll on time.

    I comply with the law, while still standing up for my first ammendment rights.

    I do my best to screen our tallent to make sure that they can handle doing this type of work. Sometimes when it looks like they don't really want to do this type of work, but they're just down on their luck, I'll buy them dinner and help them consider other options.

    I even use 100 percent recycled 2 ply Facial Tissues (The brand is seventh generation, btw) when... testing... the product.

    In my morning review of all the sources that I get my news from, I continue to watch the Bush administration and their wacko and corrup cronies continue to wage murder under the guise of war to line their own pockets, while continuing to push these insane and unrepresentative extreme right religious agendas, that were bought and paid for by the religious right.

    After that, I go through the considerable frustration of trying to forge business partnerships with other business such as banks, credit card companies, insurance companies, etc, etc, to be able to function in the business world. All the while being discriminated against because the widgets I happen to sell have some naked bits.

    I choose between people who often have little interest in supporting my business, but would love to freely copy my work, and the people who want to throw everyone in prison for copying anything, and at the same time throw me in prison for making it.

    However I don't let either group of assholes get to me. Instead, I remember that there are more people out there who will choose to support what I'm doing in order to see that I keep doing it.

    I don't spam. I don't film anyone who is a minor. I work as hard as the next guy, trying to make the economy recover.

    However, until I get arrested, just for exercising my first ammendment right to speech, the speech that I'll be making will be against Bush, Cheyney and Ashcroft.

    Why go through all this? Why not just go back to being a database programmer working in a cube somewhere? Because I love what I do. I've built my own company from the ground up, and kept it going. The fundamentalists aren't the only people who believe in what they're doing. They're also not the only people who will stick up for their way of life.

    • by commodoresloat (172735) on Tuesday April 06, 2004 @07:47PM (#8786711)
      However, until I get arrested, just for exercising my first ammendment right to speech, the speech that I'll be making will be against Bush, Cheyney and Ashcroft.

      It is a sad but inescapable fact of modern America that most of the populace has left the defense of basic first Amendment values to commercial pornographers. I'm glad to hear this guy's voice, but it is disappointing that we aren't hearing many more such voices among Americans who don't make pornography for a living.

  • by Newer Guy (520108) on Tuesday April 06, 2004 @07:03PM (#8786234)
    Here in Los Angeles county where unemployment is higher then the national average, it's estimated that Pr0n accounts for over 100,000 jobs. Great idea Johnny Asscroft! Get RID of jobs during a recession!!
  • Bush Lost!!! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by attobyte (20206) on Tuesday April 06, 2004 @07:04PM (#8786251)
    You take away a person's porn they will not vote for you!!! Mark my words :)
  • by Theovon (109752) on Tuesday April 06, 2004 @07:04PM (#8786256)
    This is what bugs me so much about these ultra-conservatives. I may or may not feel that porn is wrong, but I don't want them deciding it on my behalf!

    I guess they have nothing better to do... no terrorists left to hunt for, so they're going after "immoral" people. *sigh*

    I personally feel that some kinds of porn ARE wrong.

    Consider child porn. Some people say that children are capable of understanding sex. Some say they are not. Either way, the risk of psychological damage is great enough that that we should play it safe. (Actually, I think child porn is a horrible violation of a child's rights, but the "play it safe, because you can't be sure" approach is easier for some people to buy.)

    But when you have consenting adults engaging in acts that are intended to be viewed only by consenting adults, who is being hurt?

    Here, the "play it safe" argument lands on the side of choice. Children aren't born with much knowlege, so they are to be guided and protected so that when they grow up, they can make informed choices. Until they DO grow up, their rights are restricted. But once they have reached a certain age, the responsibilities for their actions moves from their mentors to themselves, and with that responsibility also comes many freedoms.

    So, to play it safe with children, we shield. To play it safe with adults, we allow them to choose. This seems very reasonable to me.

    So, while I may feel grossed out by seeing a scat video, I don't feel the need to restrict other informed adults from having a different reaction.

    Now, you may ask, is it HEALTHY for people to be watching these sorts of things? Violence can teach violence, and playing with feces is linked to certain mental disorders. Could certain kinds of porn make viewers mentally unhealthy?

    Possibly. But consider the FDA and the Surgeon General. The FDA has laws which protect consumers from unknowningly buying foods which contain harmful chemicals, etc. Science has been used to prove that certain chemicals and microbes are harmful. Similarly, tobacco and alcohol containers sport labels which warn of their potentially harmful effects. But once again, science (and many DUI deaths) have proven that people need to be warned about these things.

    But (a) Science has not shown any compelling evidence that porn is bad for your health, and (b) you are still allowed to buy alcohol and tobacco.

    So, if the government wants to put a warning label on porn that says "we're not absolutely sure, but watching this could possibly harm your mind", then I'm all for it!

    But that is the extent to which they should interfere. Oh, and I am definately in support of prosecuting child pornographers.
  • Porn invasion! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by lightspawn (155347) on Tuesday April 06, 2004 @07:11PM (#8786324) Homepage
    In a speech in 2002, Ashcroft made it clear that the Justice Department intends to try. He said pornography "invades our homes persistently though the mail, phone, VCR, cable TV and the Internet..."

    Huh?

    I don't know about you, but porn doesn't send me mail, call me, pop in my VCR (even if I had one), or switch my (can't-purchase-individual-channels-yet) cable tv channels to make me watch it. If he wants to pick a fight with malware that pushes porn into the machines of people whose only crime was to be stupid enough to use ms-outlook that's fine, but somebody needs to explain to him the difference between push and pull technologies (insert sexual pun here).
  • by Qbertino (265505) on Tuesday April 06, 2004 @07:20PM (#8786444)
    ... I actually read the article.
    The investigation team seams to after some very extreme stuff.
    Anyhow I find it curious that they mentioned something like near-european like tolerance of pornography. What's that supposed to mean?
    Yes, believe it or not, you can see naked women on billboards advertising skin lotion. You can see naked women (and/or men) on magazines. Open them up and you see: Guess what? Naked women and/or men. Just that. No extreme posing, no sick and somewhat unaestetic pussy tearing or any of that kind of stuff.
    As prudish as a large portion of US citizens may be, the most extreme (and sick) porn I've ever seen comes from the US. I strongly suspect there's a link there somewhere.
    I met an american once who noticed the same. He said like 'Yeah, here in germany you keep turning your head for those magazines laid out right next to the newspaper and you're all mixed why no one's irritated. But when you look inside it's cuddly inocent naked girls, much softer porn than what you see in the american editions.' Right on.
    I'd say it may be time for you across the pond to lighten up a little, no? Ok, so some people say the US may be founded by all the crazy religious fanatics that got chucked out of europe a few centuries ago, but aren't things changing for the better over there? Or are they getting whorse?
    • by Dirtside (91468) on Tuesday April 06, 2004 @09:55PM (#8787895) Journal
      With regards to your sig, here are some polite corrections to your spelling and grammar :)
      ... I actually read the article. The investigation team seems to be after some very extreme stuff.
      Anyhow I find it curious that they mentioned something like near-european like tolerance of pornography. What's that supposed to mean?
      Yes, believe it or not, you can see naked women on billboards advertising skin lotion. You can see naked women (and/or men) on magazines. Open them up and you see: Guess what? Naked women and/or men. Just that. No extreme posing, no sick and somewhat unaesthetic pussy tearing or any of that kind of stuff.
      As prudish as a large portion of US citizens may be, the most extreme (and sick) porn I've ever seen comes from the US. I strongly suspect there's a link there somewhere. I met an american once who noticed the same. He said like 'Yeah, here in germany you keep turning your head for those magazines laid out right next to the newspaper and you're all mixed why no one's irritated. But when you look inside it's cuddly innocent naked girls, much softer porn than what you see in the american editions.' Right on. I'd say it may be time for you across the pond to lighten up a little, no? Ok, so some people say the US may be founded by all the crazy religious fanatics that got chucked out of europe a few centuries ago, but aren't things changing for the better over there? Or are they getting worse?
      Now, to answer your actual questions:
      What's that supposed to mean?
      It's "common knowledge" in the U.S. that most European countries are much more liberal in terms of pornography. What exactly that entails, of course, is unknown to most Americans -- we simply figure that it's just like it is here, only more so. I wasn't aware until I read your post that run-of-the-mill porn in Germany was generally softer than what we have here in the U.S., though. Interesting. (I would like to visit Germany some time, and not just for the porn ;))
      I strongly suspect there's a link there somewhere.
      One commonly-cited event is how when Denmark became the first European country to legalize pornography back in the 60s, the incidence of sex crimes dropped drastically. Japan, which has an enormous array of options for those seeking pornography (including some exceedingly bizarre stuff -- not extreme, just bizarre), has one of the lowest rates of sex crimes of any industrialized nation.

      The point is that giving people a harmless outlet (pornography) is a healthy thing, as opposed to forcing them to repress everything until they decide to go out and start raping people.

      I'd say it may be time for you across the pond to lighten up a little, no?
      Not all of us think that Ashcroft's approach to pornography is reasonable. I'm an American citizen, born and raised, and I'm firmly of the opinion that consenting adults should be allowed, sexually, to do whatever they want with each other -- including recording their sex acts and selling copies to other consenting adults. (Minus a few random corner cases.)
      Ok, so some people say the US may be founded by all the crazy religious fanatics that got chucked out of europe a few centuries ago,
      Which is responsible for both our historically strong work ethic, as well as our incredible puritanical streak...
      but aren't things changing for the better over there? Or are they getting whorse?
      I don't really have any statistics, but it seems to me that it's getting more polarized. That is, more people are coming to believe that things like pornography are just fine, but the people who think it's evil are holding that opinion more and more strongly.

      Like a lot of things, however, people generally only switch from one side to the other. The number of people who start out thinking pornography is okay, but then decide it's evil, is absolutely dwarfed by the number of people who start out sexually repressed but then find out that pornography can be a healthy outlet for emotions that might otherwise turn violent.

  • Non-consensual porn. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Rimbo (139781) <rimbosity AT sbcglobal DOT net> on Tuesday April 06, 2004 @07:21PM (#8786455) Homepage Journal
    I enjoy porn as much as the next red-blooded male, provided the next red-blooded male is currently spanking the monkey underneath a trenchcoat in a slimy XXX-rated film house, or skipping work to order yet another lap dance from a stripper. Maybe I enjoy porn more than the next red-blooded male.

    Either way, this move is overdue.

    Most of what I see is fine, if filthy. But there's a large portion I see where the subjects are clearly not volunteers.

    Rape porn. "Hidden cameras." Girls under 18. "Amateurs" who don't look willing. You may not see a gun in the picture, but the girl keeps nervously looking at someone off-camera, instead of enjoying her hot dog.

    It takes the fun out of wanking. I want to objectify women who want to be objectified, thank you very much.

    It's past time for a crackdown. The government has my blessing.
    • by FsG (648587) on Tuesday April 06, 2004 @07:50PM (#8786752)
      I understand your objection, but here's something for you to consider: I've seen murder in movies, but it doesn't mean that actual people died in their filming. All of the things you refer to (particularly the rape porn) could have been staged by the porn company to get customers who want, well, rape porn. Sick, I know - but hardly *bad* if the whole thing was staged and the filmee was willing.
  • by BrookHarty (9119) on Tuesday April 06, 2004 @07:34PM (#8786591) Homepage Journal
    Either way, Nguyen, father of a 2-year-old girl, and his co-workers spend their days scouring the Internet for the most obscene material, following leads sent in by citizens and tracking pornographers operating under different names. The job wears on them all, day after day, so much so that the obscenity division has recently set up in-house counseling for them to talk about what they're seeing and how it is affecting them.

    Time to call Childrens Services, Nyuyen surfs porn all day, he must be an unfit parent. Take his child away.

    The knife cuts both ways, go after the puppets in government with the same tactics. This is why you triple check your IRS reportings, and make sure that girl you making home sex tapes is over 18.

    The right wing controlled Government will go after you with all its powers, and any little law can be used against you. Fight back with the legal system, they will use it against you. (A man sued a judge in montana, the judge classified him as a terrorist.) (A gay couple has to fight all the way to the supreme court to fight for their right to be gay. You can thank Texas.)

    The legal system is neither just nor fair. The hardcore religious faction is on par with the Taliban, they just use the courts instead of violence. The voilence comes after you loose in court, while you are being handcuffed and thrown in a cell.

    So remember folks, BUSH is pulling the FBI off terrorism to fight PORN. PORN didnt bomb the trade towers on 911.
  • by bat, blind as a (450375) on Tuesday April 06, 2004 @07:36PM (#8786608)
    Bush wants everyone to have broadband. The DoJ wants to rid the internet of porn. I don't think the left hand knows what the right hand is doing. (no pun intended - well, ok, it is)
  • by leereyno (32197) on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @02:42AM (#8789767) Homepage Journal
    As far as I'm concerned John Ashcroft is waging war on the American people. I don't see anything difference between him using the power of the state to attack pornography, and other regimes using the power of the state to attack political dissidents. Porn is harmless. I don't particularly like it myself, at least not the crude garbage that accounts for 95% of it. But even though I don't like it doesn't mean I don't appreciate its value as a tool for creating a healthier society. Porn serves a very important purpose, and that is to make sex and sexuality something that is seen as ordinary and commonplace. When talking about sex is as uneventful as talking about the weather then society will be a lot better off. As it stands right now there are still an awful lot of neurotic people out there. Talk about sex and they get all twittery. Some even become angry or embarassed. Why? Because they've been conned into thinking of sex as something bad, or something to worry about. That is not just stupid, its sick. For many people like that there just isn't anything that can be done, except wait for them to die that is. Luckily people aren't born that way. Instead they are psychologically conditioned to have those thoughts and feelings. This conditioning is little more than mass brainwashing. Its end result is a person who has fixed ideas and emotional responses that don't change, even if he or she has experiences that would warrant that they change. They are impaired from thinking, impaired from forming their own conclusions, and impaired from changing their minds when the facts dictate that they should. They feel bad and anxious about sex because they were made to feel that way about it. This brainwashing depends upon lies. And not just lies, but lies told within an environment where the truth is hidden and questions and curiosity are strongly discouraged. This is what has commonly been called sexual repression and it is a form of mental and emotional torture. Porn undermines it, and if for no other reason than that it is a positive influence. Not because porn shows sex accurately or truly, but because it prevents sex from being made into a secret shame. I hate to say this because I'll sound Alec Baldwin, but if Ashcroft's crap is allowed to fly, I do belive I may leave the country.

    This country is going to shit in a hurry in general . The american people are stuck between neo-bolshevik nimrods on the left, and puritanical pinheads on the right. How are we supposed to elect a wise and prudent government when this what we have to build it with?

    Ashcroft has, in one fell swoop, angered and incensed me more than just about any of the crap I've seen come from the left over the past decade. You have to go all the way back to the 60's to find something that the left has done to top this nonsense.

    Any SOB who will put a man like Ashcroft in power and give him free reign to persecute the American people sure as hell isn't going to get my vote.

    I'm at a loss for words. I think my beer money's going to be going to the EFF and the ACLU this year.

    Lee

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