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Pennsylvania Child Porn Act Overturned 337

Posted by michael
from the porn-for-everyone dept.
Ghoser777 writes "According to MSNBC, a Pennsylvanian law that required ISPs to filter/block websites containing child porn has been overturned by a federal judge. Child porn is still illegal under U.S. federal law, but the judge found that 'there is an abundance of evidence that implementation of the Act has resulted in massive suppression of speech protected by the First Amendment.'"
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Pennsylvania Child Porn Act Overturned

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  • protect yourself (Score:5, Interesting)

    by crazyray (776321) * on Saturday September 11, 2004 @05:05AM (#10219798)
    If you run an ISP, and are worried about some government agency forcing you to sacrifice your subscibers rights, heres a good place to start to learn about the latest battles. http://www.eff.org/minilinks/archives/cat_free_spe ech.php [eff.org]
    • by polecat_redux (779887) <[moc.liamg] [ta] [hciwmaps]> on Saturday September 11, 2004 @06:24AM (#10219978)
      OK, is there any good reason for an ISP to log the activities of its customers? There should be no need to correlate IP to website A, or FTP B, or even newsgroup A.B.W.. They should just provide the connection and be done with it.
      • by lxt (724570) on Saturday September 11, 2004 @09:58AM (#10220437) Journal
        I don't think that's a very insightful comment - by that logic ISPs wouldn't investigate spam activities, phishing, and the like. For the average Joe, it might be a good idea, but in practice it just wouldn't work.

        A (probably slightly flawed) analogy would be tracking devices in cars. The vast majority of the public would be heavily oppossed to any form of continous government or police monitoring of their whereabouts whilst driving. People don't want to be penalised for what they see as "small" violations of the law (minor speeding and the like).

        The same with the internet - the vast majority of people don't want their usage to be tracked, because they don't wan't to be penalised for what they see as "small" violations of the law (copyright theft via P2P, those under 18 viewing pornography, etc.)

        However, once your car's been stolent, you'd probably really want a vehicle tracking device so you could get your car back. The same with the internet - once you've been hit with a large spam attack / DDoS etc. you'd probably want to find out who carried it out, via logs. Home users with little technical experience would expect their ISP to help, certainly with spam.
        • by binarybum (468664)

          You're correct in that this is the attitude that most users have - a sort of sophomoric stay out of my business mom and dad!.. but by the way can I borrow a few bucks and the car? Major ISPs like AOL are currently nailing this attitude with ads describing how they will protect your children for you and monitor your email for you.
          That's all well and good, but many of us do just want a reliable connection and are willing to sacrafice some of these protective luxuries for the sake of autonomy. I can pr
        • by nurb432 (527695) on Saturday September 11, 2004 @01:14PM (#10221347) Homepage Journal
          No you are incorrect, in my case at least, I don't want to be tracked because its *none's* dammed business what I'm doing.. None, Zero, Zilch.

          The ISP does NOT need to know what I'm accessing, the government does NOT need to know where I'm driving.. or where I had lunch yesterday.

          It has nothing to do with 'getting away' with "little things", as you put it. It has to do with tracking citizens doing legal activities, and a violation of the rights guaranteed to me by the 4th amendment...

          That being said, I I'm really doing something wrong, then a court order is all that is needed to track me for the sake of collecting evidence an active case, which I DO support.. But only then, not 'just because'.. or for a 'crime sweep' sort of concept.

          And do address your last statement, no I wouldn't want my next car to be tracked by the state because it was stolen and trashed.. Perhaps, if *I* am the *only* one that can track it, and no one else can, i might consider it.. My car, my business..

          Same goes for the ISP, they don't need to know content of the emails.. Monitoring bandwidth usage is acceptable as its part of good network management, but it stops there and does not go into tracking of content.. nope.. no sir.

          As a side note what liberties our fore-fathers faught and died for that you willingly trade in for a bit of percieved 'safety', you dont desrve to have in the first place..

  • Ehhh... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by corvair2k1 (658439) on Saturday September 11, 2004 @05:09AM (#10219807)
    A tough issue, of course, but this can be somewhat equated to the situation with p2p. Would we have the networks be responsible for copyright infringment, or the users themselves? Shouldn't we be policing the users instead of the ISPs?
    • Re:Ehhh... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Moridineas (213502) on Saturday September 11, 2004 @05:15AM (#10219815) Journal
      Judging from the outrage many on slashdot express every time the RIAA sends out more subpoenas, I don't know that a lot of people would agree with that statement :-p
      • Re:Ehhh... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by CosmeticLobotamy (155360) on Saturday September 11, 2004 @05:20AM (#10219823)
        More would agree with it if the RIAA hadn't blown all its goodwill suing the wrong people and being mean in general. You don't get a second chance when you're a giant bitch on top of being wrong on your first go.
        • More would agree with it if the RIAA hadn't blown all its goodwill suing the wrong people and being mean in general. You don't get a second chance when you're a giant bitch on top of being wrong on your first go.

          How would you have liked to see the RIAA police their content? I agree they're a bunch of anachronistic assholes, but to me it seems their biggest screwup was not doing the research to realize (if they could somehow do so) that one of the people they sued was a kid. Other than that, it seems lik

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

      by trevdak (797540) on Saturday September 11, 2004 @05:43AM (#10219883) Homepage
      While I agree that filtering child porn sites should not be a burden the ISPs should need to filter, one must also understand what the government is (or at least should be) trying to do.
      With drugs, arresting pot smokers will do little damage to drug dealers. Half of all college students would be in trouble. Instead, they crack down on the dealers. By intercepting one truckload of marijuana, the government can prevent the distribution of marijuana to thousands of people.
      Unfortunately, stoping child porn and digital copyright infringement is not as easy. One can smuggle thousands of dollars of bootleg cds or child pornography without putting them in condoms and swallowing them to get them past the border. It can simply be sent with a filesharing program or a website or one of a thousand other ways of sending a file. As with pot, half of all college kids (more like 80%) could be in trouble for copyright infringement, so stopping them is pointless. They need to work from the top down. They can't stop child pornography or media bootlegging in foreign countries, nor can they prevent the illegal material from entering the united states.
      The best they can do is filter ISPs or monitor individuals who visit fake sites. Setting up fake sites wouldn't work well because people probably have a source they trust for their child porn. While the actions taken were ineffective, I feel that they were a step in the right direction. Perhaps if/when there is an overhaul of internet protocols, monitoring illegal activities may be easier for the government.
      • Re:Ehhh... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by slashcop (711438) * on Saturday September 11, 2004 @05:52AM (#10219909)

        Setting up fake sites would be illegal. The only way to stop child porn is to stop its production and I don't know how you go about doing that with censorship. Censorship only increases demand.

        The alternative is to copy japan and let them watch whatever fake porn and arrest the people who own or create real childporn. The whole childporn debate should be about protecting children and not censorship.

        The way to protect children is to prevent children from being exploited in the first place, censorship of childporn sites won't make a difference because the site already exists. What makes a difference is shutting the site down and finding out where the owner got their pictures and if they refuse to talk then you put them in prison.

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

          by Motherfucking Shit (636021) on Saturday September 11, 2004 @07:21AM (#10220061) Journal
          Setting up fake sites would be illegal.
          No, it's not illegal, as long as no actual child porn is displayed prior to the "signup page," and this is how a lot of child porn busts are made. The feds set up a fake child porn website, wait for people to sign up, and then take them down. Similar activity takes place on Usenet. Legal porn newsgroups are covered with posts like "MANBOY TRADE," fishing for people who are willing to offer up their address in exchange for illegal pornography.

          There is no entrapment, because the feds aren't encouraging a crime that would not otherwise have taken place. The cops are making a situation available, but they aren't coercing anyone into the deal. It's perfectly legal for a cop to stand on a street corner "looking like" a drug dealer, and he can bust anyone who attempts to buy drugs from him. Likewise, it's perfectly legal for the law to set up a site that "looks like" a child porn site, and bust anyone who attempts to sign up.

          It's called a sting operation, and it's totally legal. IMO, this is where the majority of child protection tax dollars should be going. Not to legislation that gives states the right to set up secret "website blacklists" that ISPs are required to obey.
          • Re:Ehhh... (Score:4, Insightful)

            by timmyf2371 (586051) on Saturday September 11, 2004 @08:22AM (#10220177)
            Out of interest, which law would I be breaking for *not* looking at child porn (assuming there is no illegal content on the fake site) ?
            • Out of interest, which law would I be breaking for *not* looking at child porn (assuming there is no illegal content on the fake site) ?
              None that I know of. If you surf by one of these fake sites, no biggie. But if the fake site purports to offer child porn, and you sign up, you are definitely breaking the law. That's where the sting comes in, and tracking you by your credit card info is pretty easy.
              • Re:Ehhh... (Score:2, Insightful)

                by onewing (754420)
                I dont think you can have it both ways. Either you can't arrest them because they werent promised the child porn, or they were offered and its entrapment.

                I'd say what they could do at this point is monitor anyone that did sign up and bust them later.

                Maybe youve been watching too much Law and Order...
          • by poptones (653660)
            Jeez, read the news. Lookup "candyman" for one. Recently there was another bust made in russia involving one of the biggest site rings on the web, although I can't recall the name of it. The news report said the sites (along with a car, cameras, lighting equipment, costumes...) were seized - but they are still on the net, so you figure out who's running the show there. The feds will bust a site operator, then keep the site open (yes, delivering gigabyte after gigabyte of real actual child porn - your tax do
            • People love witch hunts and shouting "BLOOD!". They want others demonized and tortured.
            • The idea is to decrease demand for child porn. Without demand there will be no supply. At least that's the idea. Really it doesn't work that way. People will look for kiddie porn even though they know it's illegal. Just like busting pot smokers won't really decrease the demand for pot.

              And if you're wondering how this would protect American children, the answer is it won't--at least not much. I suppose every American pedophile who's arrested is less likely to molest children in the future, but that's

        • The sad source (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 11, 2004 @07:31AM (#10220076)
          "What makes a difference is shutting the site down and finding out where the owner got their pictures"

          Ah, but here's the rub:

          Adults aren't really involved in creating the child porn now.

          The VAST, VAST majority of child porn is now created by children, for children. Webcams are ubiquitous. Every twelve year old sending her boyfriend nudie pics or videochatting with him is creating child porn.

          When you consider that the age lmit for "child" in the case of pornography is 18, that body of work is *staggering.*

          Those pictures get out. Kids break up, they send them out as revenge, they forget to delete them when their parents sell the computer... whatever.

          The whole question of how to stop child porn production is now *completely irrelevant.* There's no guy at the photo-developing booth catching it before it's made anymore.

          Moreover, the "kids" who are taking naked picutres of themselves and sex partners probably keep those pictures. When you're 18 you're going to delete the photos of your first lay? I don't THINK SO.

          The law and the mindset we currently have regarding this material is outdated. There's no way to stop the supply when the supply is the children themselves. We need new laws that make it illegal to pay a child to be in pornography, to force a child, whatever... but that recognize there are just too many pictures of 16-year old girls and too much demand to control it.

          The most important thing to remember here is that it's not unreasonable for a man to be aroused by pictures of a 17-year old woman. A woman's breasts and hips are fully developed at that age... there's no magic switch that goes off at 18.

          As long as 17-year old girls take pictures of themselves, 30-year old men will traffic in those pictures. That's not a reasonable definition of pedophilia.

          • the age limit for "child" in the case of pornography is 18 what's scarry is the age limit for adult is what 13 now, so theoreticaly a 14yr boy have a naked picture of a 17 yr old girl could be arrested and tried as an adult for having the picture. Even weirder is the girl who is 17 could be tried as an adult for producing the child porn.
            • This is part of the reason legal enforcement won't work.

              In this country it's perfectly legal to have sex with a 16 year old - they are considered adult at that age (on the other hand 16 year old boys have been put on trial as paedophiles for having sex with their 15 year old girlfriends... the law is just as crappy over here).

              So if I produced a site showing 16 years olds in various, erm... 'poses', then it would be perfectly legal for me to do so.

              If someone on the US then viewed this site they would then
          • True. (Score:5, Insightful)

            by Grendel Drago (41496) on Saturday September 11, 2004 @10:57AM (#10220617) Homepage
            Adults aren't really involved in creating the child porn now.

            So, so true. Also, insightful. Child porn laws are supposed to protect kids by creating penalties for those who abuse them, or would abuse them, or think about abusing them, or something like that. I'm not sure. But things have changed since the seventies. Image and video replication is infinitely easier (digital); production is trivial---fifteen-dollar webcam at Wal-Mart instead of a basement photo lab.

            These 'wonderland' creeps that they found last year (was it last year?) that were involved with white slavery and such, that's what these laws are meant to prosecute. Not some guy searching for 'lolita' on eMule.

            There needs to be some division, some distinction, between porn created by evil, abusive adults, and porn created by bored teenagers under no compulsion by anyone. Because there really, really is a difference. But how do you put it into law?

            And also, in Australia, the age of Porn is sixteen, not eighteen as it is here in the US. Striking, that data which is perfectly legal, no cause for concern, in Australia, will cause one to be sent to the Being Raped to Death Big House here in America. We're both supposedly civilized nations here. Sheesh. If this isn't a moral absolute (like, say, killing someone---that's pretty much a moral absolute), it's kinda scary that we have such harsh penalties. Like drugs. Maybe weed will be legal in ten years. Nice consolation prize for someone who spent five of those years in jail on some stupid possession charge.

            --grendel drago
          • Can't we just change the law to use the same "consensual" definition used in rape cases, except of course ignoring statutory rape (or making the peenalty considerably less for that)?
      • Re:Ehhh... (Score:2, Insightful)

        by noodler (724788)
        "With drugs, arresting pot smokers will do little damage to drug dealers. Half of all college students would be in trouble. Instead, they crack down on the dealers. By intercepting one truckload of marijuana, the government can prevent the distribution of marijuana to thousands of people."

        ___

        but this is of course not what is happening.

        if you would take the ISP example to the drugs world it would mean that transportation companies would be held responsible for the drugs distribution.

        tracking down the dea
      • Re:Ehhh... (Score:5, Interesting)

        by CosmeticLobotamy (155360) on Saturday September 11, 2004 @06:20AM (#10219974)
        While it wasn't your main point and I don't know if you were arguing for it or not, the fact that arresting marijuana users would get 50% of college students arrested and punishing music downloaders would get 80% of college students in trouble should set off an alarm in anyone's head that maybe the law needs to be re-evaluated. (Not necessarily dropped, but definitely re-evaluated.)

        Closer to topic, your desire for more government monitoring is scary. But also not the point, and I won't argue it.

        (The following is obviously speculation, so if you have facts to refute or support it, I'm all ears.)

        Actually on-topic, while the whole child porn thing is disgusting, stopping internet sharing of it is not going to stop the abuse of the children the law aims to protect. The people who do this aren't doing it because they can make money doing it. They're going to be making the porn for themselves whether they can sell it and share it or not. The people consuming it aren't going to stop molesting children if they can't get their dirty pictures.

        I'm willing to bet that the number of kids helped by this law is going to be within the margin of butterfly-effects, so let's not waste time and money blocking people from reading melodramatic blogs.

        There are better ways to fight child abuse, and they conflict with this one.
        • While it wasn't your main point and I don't know if you were arguing for it or not, the fact that arresting marijuana users would get 50% of college students arrested and punishing music downloaders would get 80% of college students in trouble should set off an alarm in anyone's head that maybe the law needs to be re-evaluated. (Not necessarily dropped, but definitely re-evaluated.)

          Would you say the same about the speed limit then?

          • Of course I would say the same about the speed limit. Speed limits are supposed to be set to the 85th percentile speed. If it were done properly, then by definition only 15% of people would be speeders, and most of them would have a good reason. So yes, if 50% of people are committing a crime on your road, you've fucked up somewhere.
          • Re:Ehhh... (Score:5, Informative)

            by Bob Uhl (30977) <(moc.liamg) (ta) (24dnumdae)> on Saturday September 11, 2004 @12:29PM (#10221093) Homepage
            Oh, certainly. Having recently started driving at exactly the speed limit (rather than 20-30 over on highways and 5-15 over elsewhere), I have found that the limits are set absurdly low. It takes more than a third again as long to travel somewhere at 55 mph as it does at 75 mph, and on an interstate there is no safety difference (in fact, in this town everyone travels at 75 in the 55 sections anyway).

            The speed limits are set lower than the majority of drivers for two reasons: to generate revenue and to give the police reason to make drug & alcohol stops. It's illegal for a cop to point a gun at you and take your money, but it's perfectly legal for him to ticket you for an infraction of a lunatic traffic rule; it's illegal for him to stop your car to search it without a warrant, but perfectly legal for him to search it with a loosely-defined probably cause after having stopped you for an infraction of the above-mentioned lunatic traffic rule.

            Fortunately, I neither use nor carry drugs, so the latter doesn't affect me--but it's annoying nonetheless the way traffic rules are manipulated to over-ride little things like freedom from search and seizure.

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

          by necro2607 (771790)
          Your point that "maybe the law should be re-evaluated" is a great, fully valid point.

          I once heard someone say something about the fact that 'the youth' as a group decide "how things should be" as they're the most powerful group of people in society. Their minds are the most active and capable (bodies as well), they hold the key to whatever future lies ahead, and they pretty much decide how things are going to be, whether all the near-retirement CEOs like it or not...

          I've also always been a firm believer t
        • by poptones (653660) on Saturday September 11, 2004 @08:50AM (#10220239) Journal
          While I'm certain there is scads of child porn circulating in private p2p circles and chat servers, there is alspo SCADS of child porn being created in russia by people who have no direct interest in pedophilia save the money it brings them. hit google and type "lolita" then spend an hour or two following the trail of thumbnail galleries and you'll find plenty of stuff made by people who do it just for the money simply because they can. When you have streets filled with Millions (literally) of homeless children life tends to be pretty cheap. Instead of wasting money tracking down people who want to look at pictures we need to be spending money finding - or creating - foster homes for those kids sucking dicks in train stations and freezing to death in doorways.

          And the people "consuming" this porn are NOT necessarily the people molesting children. The people actually molesting children are going to be trading their trophy shots in the underground, not visiting "mainstream" websites. My cousin ended up in jail for trying to fuck his daughter and he doesn't even know how to use a pc. Another cousin had her second husband imprisoned after she found out he had been repeatedly molesting her daughter (his stepdaughter). The jails are full of people who have molested children who aren't even pedophiles - they simply had the opportunity to fuck a little kid and got caught at it. Don't confuse child molestors with pedophiles.

  • by Gentlewhisper (759800) on Saturday September 11, 2004 @05:26AM (#10219837)
    Wow, this is certainly a step in the positive direction, in view of stuff like Patriot Act, and RIAA's ...

    At least someone in that court room still remember that Americans possess this thing called rights. While decisions like this probably won't stand against the corporate giants, at least 1984 has been postponed yet further..
    • At least someone in that court room still remember that Americans possess this thing called rights.

      It's quite ironic that you would use the word *rights* on Terrorism Day. It has been exactly 3 years since that word has begun to lose its meaning.

      Granted, the US is arguably the most powerful country in the world, but this power is nothing more than deception and manipulation. The US government is a lion tamer, while the population is the lion. With enough anger and conviction, the tables can be turne
      • show me one country that is not like that. I am indian, but now live in the US, in many ways India is the same too, people do act like idiots. The government does bend over to corporations...

        Once you get attacked it all the same, people will be angry and the govt will gladly enforce laws to take away rights....ironically to pacify them
  • by Raseri (812266) on Saturday September 11, 2004 @05:27AM (#10219845)
    Too bad the lawmakers never will. It's only a matter of time before the bill is rewritten in such a way that forces ISPs to use "expensive technology" to block kiddie porn.

    It's also unfortunate that the same logic hasn't been applied elsewhere [ala.org].
  • Praise God (Score:5, Interesting)

    by xombo (628858) on Saturday September 11, 2004 @05:33AM (#10219860)
    I wonder if you could legally view child pornography if you classified it as part of the belief of a religion.

    I'm not sayin', but I'm sayin'.

    Secondly, I wonder if the law had passed if ISPs would have done anything about FreeNet [freenetproject.org].
    • Re:Praise God (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Ralph Yarro (704772) on Saturday September 11, 2004 @06:04AM (#10219935) Homepage
      I wonder if you could legally view child pornography if you classified it as part of the belief of a religion.

      No you could not.

      The relevant legal point here would be that the legislation was not aimed at restricting exercise of religion.

      Legislatures have tried to act against religion in this way in the past, for example by banning animal sacrifice on "cruelty" grounds. This has failed because they haven't applied the same standards to other instances of animal killing e.g. for food. In this case, however, the banning of child pornorgraphy is clearly applied across the board, it is not targeted specifically at any religion nor at religions in general. It would be valid in much the same way that laws against murder are valid, even if the murder is a ritual sacrifice.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      I wonder if you could legally view child pornography if you classified it as part of the belief of a religion.

      1.Child Porn images (not photos) were attempted to be made illegal by congress, but judges ruled that was making an idea illegal, which is unconstitutional; so all ancient(ie pre-photo) Hindu sex images are legal.

      2.Whatever is in general practice CONTINUES to be allowed whether slavery when freedom for all is declared or cutting the foreskin off infants (the genital mutilation of OUR culture) whe
    • Almost certainly not. Rastafarians have no dispensation to use weed, which is a sacrament in their theology.
    • I wonder if you could legally view child pornography if you classified it as part of the belief of a religion.

      Two hurdles.

      1) Freedom of Religion is provisional in that you can practice religion freely so long as the government also agrees with you that what you are practicing is a religion. So you very likely could not start up some fake sick religion called ChildPornology and demand to be allowed to watch child porn. The government is perfectly within it's legal rights to deny you the status of reli
  • A Delicate Subject. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by King_of_Prussia (741355) on Saturday September 11, 2004 @05:36AM (#10219865)
    With a topic as delicate as this one (child pornography) I think it is hard to argue reasonably either way -- one side you seem to be enabling the child pornographists through inaction, on the other you go against this mythical "free speech" business you USoAians have.

    My personal stance on the issue is manage it on a regional basis, if your country/state/city feels strongly enough about the issue they can ban the internet completely if it is voted on, and people not in the area are unaffected. As long as no legitimate content (eg "speech") is censored or blocked, there should be no problem with it. Hell, put a switch on every new PC saying "child pornography - ON/OFF" and let the consumers decide for themselves, instead of legislating it to high heaven.

    Let's face it, these child pornogrophers are always going to be releasing their stuff, it is up to the people weather they want to watch it or something made by more mature people. Simple as that.

    • by jimicus (737525) on Saturday September 11, 2004 @06:09AM (#10219947)
      No idea why you've been modded Troll.

      I think you make some excellent points. Indeed, a similar system exists in many countries if you only think about it for a minute - I'll use the UK as an example here.

      Child porn is illegal, but nobody has yet (to my knowledge) tried to enforce blocking at an ISP level. However, there is nothing to stop you buying Internet provision from a company which offers a "filtered" service, or installing software to filter it yourself.

      How effective this all is is another issue altogether, but at least in the above example the decision is made by the individual rather than the government. Indeed, I can think of a few uses, both personal and organisational:
      • Schools/Prisons/Workplaces.
      • People in the public eye who are concerned having seen others' careers disappear following child porn allegations.
      • Michael Jackson.

      Now, watch this get merrily modded down because I've said that people may voluntarily choose to have their internet access "censored".
      • He was modded troll because he was either a troll or he doesn't understand why you're not allowed to look at child porn. This isn't a "my kids were looking at it, somebody fix it" problem. It's a "this four year old was raped and people want to watch" problem. Child porn isn't something you generally stumble onto, so a voluntary filter is pointless, and I don't think a whole lot of child molesters would just frown and turn it on to avoid being naughty.

        You'll get modded down because you're dumb, not beca
        • by jimicus (737525)
          While I accept what you're saying, it is my opinion that the great majority of legislators aren't bright enough to appreciate the difference.

          I was actually thinking more about porn in general than child porn in particular - though re-reading I obviously didn't make that clear. By which definition I probably am dumb.
        • What to remember, is that it's not the child molestors viewing child porn. It's the child molestors who produce the material.

          Now, it's all well and good saying that if no-one views it then it'll stop the production - but child molestors will still get their "thrills" even if not selling/giving it away.

          • Yeah, I made a little jump, there, but only a very little one. Foot fetishists are only a willing girl away from doing ... whatever it is you do with feet. I'm willing to bet kid fetishists are about the same.
      • by Sircus (16869) on Saturday September 11, 2004 @07:06AM (#10220047) Homepage
        (aside: BT have tried blocking at an ISP level)

        The difficulty here is not that people want to choose whether to watch child porn or not, or that people want to allow others that choice. No mentally healthy person wants to watch child porn and nobody wants to give people the option.

        The problem is that by compulsorily filtering against child porn, all current technical solutions also catch a whole bunch of other stuff. It's like the Tuna fishermen - they go out to fish out tuna, but they end up catching dolphins too. Nobody cares about the tuna, but lots of people don't want the dolphins killed.

        If the child porn filters actually only filtered child porn, I'm sure they'd find very widespread acceptance. Since they don't, they have a chilling effect on other sorts of free speech, by blocking those sites in the mistaken belief that they're child porn.

        (This same argument applies to normal porn filters, with the difference that quite a lot of people want their porn filter set to "on")
        • If the child porn filters actually only filtered child porn, I'm sure they'd find very widespread acceptance. Since they don't, they have a chilling effect on other sorts of free speech, by blocking those sites in the mistaken belief that they're child porn.

          More importantly, once the filters are in place, it's very easy for government/big business to filter out anything they don't like. That's the real reason why such proposals pop up every now and then - a free communication channel is the worst nightm

    • >it is up to the people weather they want to watch it or something made by more mature people.

      Indeed - I prefer to watch pr0n made by mature people (but not too mature - preferably between 20 and 30 years of age)!
    • DUDE
      Fucking Quintana--that creep can roll, man--

      WALTER
      Yeah, but he's a fucking pervert, Dude.

      DUDE
      Huh?

      WALTER
      The man is a sex offender. With a record. Spent six months in Chino for exposing himself to an eight-year-old.

      DUDE
      Huh.

      WALTER
      When he moved down to Venice he had to go door-to-door to tell everyone he's a pederast.

      DONNY
      What's a pederast, Walter?

      WALTER
      Shut the fuck up, Donny.

  • Wrong Target (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dangerz (540904) <stuff@tildastudi ... et minus painter> on Saturday September 11, 2004 @05:41AM (#10219877) Homepage
    Perhaps we should target those responsible. Surely some of these child pornographers are in the States and we have jurisdiction over them.

    Ignoring the problem and pretending it's not there is not going to fix it. Banning access to these sites does not remove the porn and help the kids; it simply blocks our access to it and let's the sick bastards keep doing what they do. I'd think most countries would have no problem arresting someone that did this kind of shit.
    • Re:Wrong Target (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Zemran (3101) on Saturday September 11, 2004 @07:07AM (#10220050) Homepage Journal
      No one is ignoring the problem. The issue here is the method used rather than the objective. If the method had stopped child porn there would not be a problem and the method would continue but the method did not do what it was meant to do. It block hundreds more sites than those it could legitemately target and therefore was blatently not working.

      If it had effectively blocked just the child porn I would be screaming how wrong this was, if it had only affected a couple of other sites I would still support it but it took down hundreds (probably thousands) of legitimate sites and was therefore not legitimate.
    • Ignoring the problem and pretending it's not there is not going to fix it. Banning access to these sites does not remove the porn and help the kids; it simply blocks our access to it and let's the sick bastards keep doing what they do.

      And then perhaps the'll do it real life instead of just watching pictures. We discovered over here that for normal porn, it *REDUCES* sexual assaults, not the other way around.

      I'd think most countries would have no problem arresting someone that did this kind of shit.

      Ye
  • by wg0350 (753504) on Saturday September 11, 2004 @06:22AM (#10219975) Homepage

    First and foremost, I do not advocate kiddie porn in any way shape or form. But a law requiring ISPs to block such information is not the solution. It is all to typical of society today that we find a quick solution to a problem and ignore the underlying issue.

    Blocking kiddie porn, will only result in people doing their best to bypass the blocking software. It becomes an ongoing battle.

    Stopping people looking at kiddie porn will not stop their desires to get hold of it. Who knows how far people like this are prepared to go to get what they want.

    We need to give these people help and education, not just drive them to other sources for their material.

    If the software can identify the porn/sites to block the stuff, then surely people who look at it could be offered help. Tackle the problem at the source. Remove the kiddie porn and the problem doesn't go away, remove the desire for kiddie porn and you have solved the problem.

    Yes I know this is advocating monitoring of what we look at but ultimately the ISPs know that already. But I believe it is a step towards a better solution than simply blocking.

    • If the software can identify the porn/sites to block the stuff, then surely people who look at it could be offered help. Tackle the problem at the source. Remove the kiddie porn and the problem doesn't go away, remove the desire for kiddie porn and you have solved the problem.

      This assumes the consumer mentality, and I don't agree with the idea. You aren't going to stop child pornography by going after the people who look at it; in fact, this is ass-backwards, and unfortunately it's the way that the US gover

      • I appreciate your comments, but I still don't think that this is entirely true

        Two examples:

        1) The British Press: Print story after story about the private lives of some poor person who happened to make a name for themselves. My belief is, and it doesn't sound to unreasonable, is that the stuff is printed because it sells. There is a demand for it. Remove the demand and the stories would disappear.

        2) Smoking: Smoking is bad (I think most agree). But as long as there is a demand for tobacco, som

        • I was trying to make the point that blocking kiddie porn will not have the desired effect. I think you agree with me on this. But if no one wanted kiddie porn, even daddies, then there would be none.

          I'm not sure that we really disagree upon the main point: dads are always going to be abusing daughters. It doesn't matter if "no one wanted kiddie porn, even daddies" - the daddies aren't in it for the porn, they're in it for the sexual gratification. The people who make kiddie porn aren't doing it to make kidd

          • Re: Right (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Oligonicella (659917)
            "And I believe they'd be doing it whether there was an audience or not. "

            On the money. Others should read up a bit on the history of this porn. Before the access explosion, ped's had sites with tons of this crap. No advertising, no limits. It was jollies, and those jollies will continue even with complete success at removing said content.

            Those who remember CandyMan's spamming should also remember that he created site after site just for the perversion of it, not money. Every time they closed one
    • Thank you for reminding us to deal with the problem instead of the symptom.

      My understanding of people with obsession and compulsion towards _any_ type of porn is that the impetus stems from an inappropriate exposure to the subject matter during some formative period in a person's life. That "inappropriate exposure" can take many forms -- from the extreme (rape), "commonplace" (sexual experiences at too young an age), or subtle/obscure (a sensitive person being rebuked for normal sexuality by an authority f
  • by EEproms_Galore (755247) on Saturday September 11, 2004 @06:32AM (#10219990)
    For a second there I thought someone was making pr0n "for" children... I can imagine it now Jane likes finger painting tea parties with her dolls. ring 1800 SEXY and Jenny will play with your Megatron OOH crap gave them another idea..Im soo going to hell
  • by mod_parent_down (692943) on Saturday September 11, 2004 @07:27AM (#10220072)
    Maybe porn sites could just set the "evil bit" in the headers of pages that contain child porn, so that the ISPs won't need to guess which pages are the bad porn and which are the good porn.

  • traci lords (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 11, 2004 @07:31AM (#10220077)
    Read the comments with Traci Lords in mind and most of the comments become nonsense.

    "Child Porn" is NOT legally what most of you think it is. Some think its any nude of a child. It is not. Some think the child's genitals must be nude/visible to be legally porn - NOPE (not in the USA). Some think the child must look like a child - no again, look at a Traci Lords photo at age 17 (illegal in USA, I THINK legal in Germany).
  • by b-baggins (610215) on Saturday September 11, 2004 @08:41AM (#10220223) Journal
    Suppressing kiddie porn violates the first amendment. Banning political ads 60 days before an election protects American liberty.

    It's gotta be something in the water.
  • by BJZQ8 (644168) on Saturday September 11, 2004 @09:25AM (#10220339) Homepage Journal
    Any education-related grant application makes a huge effort to require schools and libraries to be "CIPA" (Children's Internet Protection Act) Compliant. There are certifications, forms, checkboxes, all manner of things to make sure you are using some sort of filtering. The problem is that the filtering requirements are a joke. Most S&L's put on some commercial package that filters by a small list of sites. I can, within 30 seconds, demonstrate how easy it is to get around things like this. Filtering does not work. But since filtering has been deemed "Good", the government shoves it down everybody's throat.
  • As I'm sure numerous people have already said in this discussion, child porn will not go away by blocking web sites. I'm sure that real pedophiles (by that I mean people who are serious about getting this material and not some curious 15 year old kid who wants to know what it's about) get their child porn either by meeting people they know irl or get it over heavily encrypted connections. Would a ring leader (or whatever they call it) share child porn over a public connection using www? I find that VERY un
  • of that episode of South Park featuring NAMBLA.

    "But dude, you HAVE SEX WITH CHILDREN!"

    Free speech is great, but c'mon.
  • Bring on the PGP (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Proc6 (518858) on Saturday September 11, 2004 @01:16PM (#10221362)
    Seems to me the government would shoot themselves in the foot ruling that an ISP is responsible for, and thus required to monitor everything that passes through its gateways. I think once the average person got the impression that every click, (intentional or accidental), every email they send or receive, etc are scrutinized by some law enforcement huddled in a van outside their house the desire for products with encryption built in and average-user easy (unlike what exists now) will climb.

    So then the government winds up with the average citizen PGP encrypting everything and their little Carnivore system is as useful as a clicking Zip-Drive. The sooner the better if you ask me.

  • by Master of Transhuman (597628) on Saturday September 11, 2004 @04:28PM (#10222386) Homepage
    There is no such thing as "protecting" children from porn - or anything else. Any such attempt is itself harm to children.

    There is no "harm" done to anyone (including people who are already freaks) - including children - from viewing porn or anything else.
    Any "harm" is self-inflicted.

    It's all ruminant evacuation.

    Any parents who buy into this crap are themselves doing harm to their children by not properly training them to deal with human reality.

    This "children are supposed to be innocent" bullshit started with moronic Christians and has nothing to do with human evolution or human history or practically any human culture.

    NONE of these laws are useful for anything but enabling freak cops and statists to bust people to enhance their psychotic need to push people around to demonstrate to themselves that they're better than other people.

    Humans. Morons.

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