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Rick Falkvinge On Child Porn and Freedom Of the Press 580

Posted by timothy
from the all-consuming-taboo dept.
bazorg writes "Rick Falkvinge of the Swedish Pirate Party blogs on the subject of freedom of the press and foresees how users of Google glasses could be charged for possession and distribution of illegal porn. 'Child pornography is a toxic subject, but a very important one that cannot and should not be ignored. This is an attempt to bring the topic to a serious discussion, and explain why possession of child pornography need to be re-legalized in the next ten years.'"
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Rick Falkvinge On Child Porn and Freedom Of the Press

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  • by elucido (870205) on Sunday September 09, 2012 @09:14AM (#41279693)

    Possession of bits of any source or type out not be a crime. What you have here is a thought crime, and it doesn't actually deter actual abuse against children to criminalize or attempt to criminalize the thoughts or track down the bits. Chasing bits does not keep flesh and blood children safe from flesh and blood predators but I suppose it keeps pictures (bits) safe from creepy thinking adults.

    A lot of laws are going to have to change with the advance in technology. Neuroscience will soon reveal all about the brain, making our paranoid about child predators seem about as effective as the paranoia about witches or communists. It's 2012 and at this time Google probably has everyone's thoughts...*cough* search records in a database. At the same time with neuroscience and in specific FMRI we will know what other humans are thinking, this technology does exist and ought to completely change the justice system.

    The main problem with crime in the past is we assumed we would never know what anyone else is thinking, never have complete understanding of motives, never know the best forms of deterring certain events but imagine for a moment that its some point in the future and we know what everyone's thoughts were before they committed the criminal act? Would we view the acts in the same way if we knew the exact thoughts behind the act? If a criminal could not lie and an FMRI lie detector test has 100% accuracy could we change the justice system completely? What about detecting psychopaths, sociopaths, and others who aren't capable of remorse, empathy or guilt prior to sentencing? As far as I'm concerned we should be moving toward abolishing prisons altogether not because we wont have dangerous people but because eventually our understanding of human behavior will be such that we wont need so many prisoners and also if we wanted to we could probably just use house arrest on the non-violent.

    We have to do away with the concept of good and evil. There is no good and evil. There may be smart and stupid or competent and incompetent but there is no good and evil. A sociopath or psychopath is not evil, they are simply retarded in a particular physical area of brain development. It hinders their decision making in the same way that any other disorder can hinder decision making in that it makes them less emotionally intelligent. This has been proven by neuroscientists when under FMRI we can see sociopaths brains aren't capable of experiencing empathy, remorse, and have trouble detecting or interpreting fear in the face and body language of others.

    If we were talking about artificial intelligence we'd be talking about it like it's a bug that the AI cannot detect fear, or cannot properly make use of the empathy functions or subroutines, but because it's a human being we call the problem sociopathy and in human beings the problem is physical and not a matter of programming so it cannot be easily fixed. For these sorts of individuals we need prisons, but according to most estimates they only represent 1% of the general population yet 20% of the prisoners. This would mean 80% of prisoners aren't sociopaths or psychopaths, even if we assume 50% of that 80% are violent it still leaves 40$ or so of prisoners who aren't sociopaths or psychopaths and who aren't violent.

    The most radical idea I'm going to propose is that we get rid of the idea of criminal responsibility. This probably wont happen until far into the future but if we make it into the future with powerful AI and technology, and we understand human thinking and feeling, at least theoretically we will eventually know the true motivations behind all actions. If the universe is predetermined and a lot of actions are based on genes, consequences, what brain type you have, environment, and situations, none of which an individual has full control over, just what is responsible for crime? The role of suggestion, of subliminal triggers, the role of desperation and poverty, the role of lack of intelligence, a lot of different things can convince a person that

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 09, 2012 @09:25AM (#41279767)
    CP enforcement is an absolute rats nest of problematic issues. The real pain isn't coming from people deleting evidence of child abuse, it's the edge cases where law and common sense contradict. Throw in trans-national companies being expected to police their networks and varying national laws, you get a recipe for serious problems. As a flavor of what can happen, some parts of the world (like the UK and some states in the USA) have different definitions of what a child is for the purpose of CP law vs age of consent law. So you can have sex at one age, but not film yourself doing it until a later age. Another issue is that some countries don't criminalize CP possession at all (Japan, Russia). So if an American company finds CP in the possession of someone who lives in Japan, what happens? What about the case where the person is of legal age in one place but not another?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 09, 2012 @09:27AM (#41279791)

    "there is no good and evil. A sociopath or psychopath is not evil, they are simply retarded in a particular physical area of brain development"

    I agree. I'd go even further: they are not retarded, they are just different.

    But at the same time, I'll say, put them away, preferably before they cause trouble.

    I'm thinking it's a mistake to give everyone full civic rights at 18 and then see where that leads. People should gain civic rights gradually and at an individual pace, much like your car insurance premiums.

  • by G-forze (1169271) on Sunday September 09, 2012 @09:29AM (#41279801)
    Did you even read the article? One of the examples is young people taking pictures of themselves, which makes them child pornographers in the eyes of the law. Is that reasonable? How is that in any way exploitation?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 09, 2012 @09:29AM (#41279803)

    He didn't say that (intentional) production should be legalized, just possession. Laws against possession of anything are ridiculous, because someone can just mail the offending item to you and suddenly you're a criminal even though you didn't do anything.

  • by Elbereth (58257) on Sunday September 09, 2012 @09:33AM (#41279827) Journal

    Some of his arguments are good, while some of them are stupid. Yes, I admit that, in a moment of weakness, I actually read the linked article. I promise never to do this again.

    His first point is probably his weakest and stupidest. It's a paranoid fantasy (involving some kind of uber-nerd/uber-hipster cross) about the government coming down harder on witnesses of a crime than the actual perpetrator. He also loads it with emotional appeals. It's not really very compelling, and it almost caused me to stop reading the article right there. It reminded me of the over-the-top, paranoid fantasies and fallacies that were popular during the time of SOPA. Anyone who dared to call people out on that was labeled a fascist sympathizer, or sometimes just a "concern troll". It bothered me a lot more to be labeled a "concern troll", because the underlying message was that it was perfectly OK to use logical fallacies and propaganda in the service of a greater good. I reject this, and I think using these techniques just hurts a movement. There's always a better argument against authoritarianism than simplistic logical fallacies, such as the slippery slope or appeal to emotion. It's lazy.

    The rest of his arguments were actually a lot better. He made some pretty decent points, including the fact that free speech necessarily opposes censorship of even the most offensive speech. He also brings up age of consent laws and the recent spate of "no tolerance" cases against teens who have sent naked pictures to each other. Obviously, there are some problems with the law here. My own personal solution is to lower the age of majority, but I think that's going to be way too contentious. Since nobody is likely to support that, I'd say that we should enact so-called "Romeo and Juliet" laws, which allow teens to screw around with each other without fear of being charged with rape or child porn.

    Anyways, it's pretty much standard for progressive politics, and I've seen the same arguments from many people. As a progressive, I generally agree. This wasn't a particularly insightful or well-written example, but it's still good to see that there are progressives out there, spreading the message.

  • by Hentes (2461350) on Sunday September 09, 2012 @09:35AM (#41279839)

    Defending child pornography will just make it easier for copyright lobbyists to claim that all pirates are pedophiles. This is a bad strategy.

  • by clorkster (1996844) on Sunday September 09, 2012 @09:35AM (#41279847)

    If you still support the ban on child pornography then why isn't there a ban on obscene "teen erotica" literature? Why not ban text descriptions, or ban stories which encourage child abuse?

    No actual people are physically harmed.

  • by dmomo (256005) on Sunday September 09, 2012 @09:36AM (#41279853) Homepage

    No. "technically" you are correct. Philosophically you are way off target. Philosophy requires that you think more deeply about imlications, causes and effects. You do know that child porn is created because there is a demand for it, right? Your argument about the flesh and blood predators is just wrong. Maybe not all, but children I deed ARE exploited because of that demand. One might not be paying for it, but by swapping, downloading, and arguably by mere possession, they are enabling contributing to the ecosystem that helps the underground economy thrive.

  • by elucido (870205) on Sunday September 09, 2012 @09:42AM (#41279889)

    Defending child pornography will just make it easier for copyright lobbyists to claim that all pirates are pedophiles. This is a bad strategy.

    Pedophile has become communist. It's like being a witch. You're guilty until proven innocent and it can be used as political weapon to oppress all sorts of different groups of people. If you're part of Occupy Wallstreet, Anonymous, or just a rogue journalist you can be framed by a child porn virus and made to look like a pedophile.

    So if the fear is you can't be an activist because you fear looking like a pedophile, you're appealing to fear and basically saying don't fight for free speech at all because they'll make you into a pedophile. Of course they can also make you into a rapist or make you dead given the right set of circumstances and if they knew how to get away with it.

  • by Hatta (162192) on Sunday September 09, 2012 @09:54AM (#41279955) Journal

    We can't even get Cannabis legalized here, and the arguments for that are much more overwhelming. When children are involved, people shut off their brains.

  • by Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) on Sunday September 09, 2012 @09:56AM (#41279967) Journal

    One likes to think the person would be considered a hero rather than be charged, but I can see it going wrong for them.

    These are the same people who brought you marijuana residue on walls not being evidence of past use or possession, but the vanishingly small amounts of THC in the wall residue was possession in and of itself.

    These are the same people who, when presented with more intrusive powers to track terrorists, claimed, golly, no, we will never, ever, not no way, not no how, ever use it for anything but terrorism, then, immediately after the law was passed, started using it against drugs, saying, "The law doesn't specifically state terrorism only, sorry!" They didn't even bother trying to conjure up the meme that drug selling is "a kind of" terrorism. They didn't have to.

    These are the same people who are trying to get teenagers registered as lifelong felony producers of child porn who must register as sex offenders wherever they go for the rest of their lives because they took a nude shot of themselves and sent it to friends.

    So...with these common horror stories as the tip of the iceberg, I wouldn't put it beyond some prosecutor to try to jail a guy who accidentally filmed a child rape then took it to police as a producer of child porn.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 09, 2012 @09:57AM (#41279977)

    Make it possible to trace any image or film from any camera

    Worst. Idea. Ever.

    Well, not the worst, but just... no. This is the exact same reasoning as strip-searching everyone at the airports or the government putting cameras inside your house filming everything you do. Because if it's not illegal you've got nothing to hide, right?

    And criminals *will* find a way to strip that information from their videos. Does that flag it as illegal? Sure. But it was already illegal to begin with.

    All this will do is take away the privacy of legitimate users.

  • by cpghost (719344) on Sunday September 09, 2012 @10:02AM (#41280015) Homepage

    When children are involved, people shut off their brains.

    When children are involved, most animal species shut off their brains; why should homo sapiens be an exception? This is pure instinct at work, instinct that developed in millions years of evolution. Without it, we wouldn't belong to the survivors of Nature, and wouldn't even be here. Of course, this deeply rooted instinct is easy prey for populist politicians and a prime tool of political manipulative scare tactics. It has always be, it will always be.

  • by cheekyjohnson (1873388) on Sunday September 09, 2012 @10:10AM (#41280045)

    Are we really arguing that no actual people are being physically harmed when children are being forced to engage in sexual activity?

    No. Only in the making of the child pornography is a child actually harmed.

  • by Jedi Alec (258881) on Sunday September 09, 2012 @10:10AM (#41280049)

    People should gain civic rights gradually and at an individual pace, much like your car insurance premiums.

    There is one major problem with this and other suggestions for ways of "earning" the right to vote. There's gotta be people who determine who passed and who doesn't, and those people will inevitably yield to corruption. And because their victims can't vote, there's no way to get rid of them.

  • Not a troll (Score:3, Insightful)

    by elucido (870205) on Sunday September 09, 2012 @10:24AM (#41280127)

    You had me interested until "There is no good and evil".

    VERY elaborate troll, good work.

    I hope you don't actually want me to elaborate, since you're so much off on so much levels; I'll just point the most obvious:

    Pedo material (on a computer) are just bits => pedo material on a printed medium is just paper? Oh, have I already mentioned that to have pedo material on your pc someone, somewhere a child has been harassed (at the least), AND someone, somewhere has harassed a child? There is still "no good and evil"?

    2nd: If someone exterminated your family that would be bad, wouldn't it? Still no good and evil?
    3rd: Choice. You're ignoring the very root of human nature. "Getting rid of the idea of criminal responsibility" is like removing human nature from human beings. What's left are automata (which is in line with your post)

    Bonus Ponts: "Neuroscience will soon reveal all about the brain" HAHAHA! No. Don't count on it anytime soon ("soon" as in my "grandchildern lifespan"). It actually might be impossibile, but who knows.

    Anyway, a very good troll, cheers.

    There is no scientifically objective basis for determining "evil". We can say destructive and replace that with "evil" in our discussion if you'd like. In that case psychopaths are more destructive not because they are "evil" but because their brains are literally retarded in areas which would prevent them from being destructive. They lack the ability to resist their urges, lack inhibition, lack remorse, guilt, empathy, compassion, pity. Their frontal lobe development is like that of children and in some cases they have less impulse control than children yet our society treats them as adults.

    What I'm saying is there is competent and incompetent, smart and dumb, but there is no objective good or evil. A smart or competent person is a person skilled at making decisions which are in their self interest and in the best interest of the group. None of us are perfect in this but we strive to be as smart or as competent as we can, as smart as our brains and knowledge allow. Just as some people are never going to be good at mathematics or at many different intellectual pursuits because they are less intellectually inclined, the same can be said with regard to decision making/ethics. Some people are simple ethically retarded and when you understand that then you know they aren't evil.

  • by fustakrakich (1673220) on Sunday September 09, 2012 @10:28AM (#41280161) Journal

    This is no different from all the other 'prohibitions' we live through. Religious prohibition on sex is what makes kiddie porn and other perversions an issue. Societies with the strictest rules are often the most perverted. They may hide it from the outsiders pretty well, but inside the castle, a bigger orgy you'll never find.

  • by elucido (870205) on Sunday September 09, 2012 @10:30AM (#41280175)

    Philosophy doesn't cover instinctive urges, except to rationalize their suppression. A person will satisfy their desires, no matter what. Those desires become distorted and perverted when puritanical prohibitions against normal, healthy sex, including play 'sex' amongst the kids, are imposed. Prohibition against regular sex actually aids and abets kiddie porn, makes the desire stronger, because of the religious guilt imposed on adults, and they pass it on to the kids. We need more intimate conjugal visits in the work place, seeing as they can always call you at home during suppertime...

    A psychopath will satisfy their desires no matter what. Most people aren't psychopaths and do suppress the vast majority of their subconscious urges.

    You may have had a dream about murdering your boss but it doesn't mean you'll go do it because you'll think of all the risks and consequences and weigh it out. A psychopath would be unable to resist the urge and would go do it without any thought for the consequences and the lack of empathy would make it much easier for them to enjoy the nature of the act.

    So once again I don't think you're correct. I don't think prohibition is correct either because suppressing peoples urges can bring risks of its own, this is why we have violent movies, video games, combat sports, so people don't have to kill their boss.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 09, 2012 @10:33AM (#41280195)

    "earning" the right to vote

    Every adult should have the right to vote, even death-row inmates. Disenfrachasing felons is much worse then gerrymandering.

    But other rights like right to "hang," loiter, drive a car, stay outside after curfew, go to the shopping mall etc could be conditioned on good behavior, underwriters and such.

  • by Golddess (1361003) on Sunday September 09, 2012 @10:44AM (#41280255)
    The problem with your analogies is they are not equivalent. You're not coming into possession of a bag of coke, or a stolen stereo, or an unlicensed firearm. You're coming into possession of a picture of a bag of coke, or a stolen stereo, or an unlicensed firearm. And I'm fairly certain that there is nothing illegal about possessing such pictures.

    Now maybe the answer isn't to legalize CP completely. Maybe it's simply to revise under what conditions possession of CP is a chargeable offense. But to say that possession of a physical object is equal to the possession of a recording of a physical object is just wrong.
  • by Bert64 (520050) <(bert) (at) (slashdot.firenzee.com)> on Sunday September 09, 2012 @10:55AM (#41280321) Homepage

    And fringe cases, where the person in possession is underage themselves, or barely older... Teenagers often have sexual relations with each other these days, and 15 year olds sending pictures to each other, or someone who's just turned 18 having pictures of his 17 and 11 months old girlfriend etc... This is clearly a whole different situation than a 40yr old having pictures of a 10yr old.

  • by tmosley (996283) on Sunday September 09, 2012 @10:59AM (#41280351)
    Consider this: if you stumbled across some child pornography, whether on the internet, or if you found a tape in the desert, or CDs in the attic of the house you bought a few years ago, you would be guilty of possession of child pornography. Say that these images depicted the brutal torture, rape, and murder of some number of toddlers. ANYONE would want to turn these over to the police so they could track down the monsters who hurt those children. But you realize that you are criminally liable, with the potential to wind up on a sex offender registry, lose your job, your family, your home, EVERYTHING, if the police or prosecutor decide that you might have wanked off while watching them or something. Rather than trying to help catch those monsters, you instead destroy the evidence, with tears in your eyes, because you aren't willing to endanger yourself or your family.

    How you wish that the children had only been tortured and murdered on tape. Then you could have turned it in without fear. Stop confusing possession of evidence of a crime with COMMISSION of a crime. Also stop confusing recording of a crime with the crime itself.
  • by Beryllium Sphere(tm) (193358) on Sunday September 09, 2012 @11:08AM (#41280403) Homepage Journal

    Legalized possession of images of child abuse allows a market for such things to grow larger that it would be otherwise, creating a demand for more child abuse. There could still be laws against profiting from child abuse, but the drug market has proved that where there is money to be made there will be supply.

    Someone who has evidence of child molestation could also be considered an accessory if they don't alert the authorities.

    That said, the article raised a point that's not at all hypothetical. Not long ago, here on Slashdot, an ISP mentioned occasionally finding kiddie porn on their servers. At first they tried notifying the police. After getting threatened with prosecution, they switched to a policy of quietly deleting it.

    Another key point that should be beyond argument is that the rape of a young child has *nothing* in common morally with a 17.9 year old sexting and the law should treat them separately.

  • Re:Why!? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by tmosley (996283) on Sunday September 09, 2012 @11:09AM (#41280413)
    Yes, possession of pictures depicting the murder of children is much better. That is why such images are legal. I mean, sure, some REALLY sick people get off on shit like that, but at least it doesn't depict SEX.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 09, 2012 @11:10AM (#41280417)

    It's not just the laws that we need to change, it's our entire attitude towards child pornography. Many people see child pornographers as some sort of pinnacle of pure evil. No one sees them as people. Child pornography is some pretty dark stuff, but the people who make it are fallible human beings. ANYONE could end up in the same place as them. Only when the general public stop demonizing child pornographers can this problem be approached rationally.

  • by fustakrakich (1673220) on Sunday September 09, 2012 @11:11AM (#41280423) Journal

    Most people aren't psychopaths and do suppress the vast majority of their subconscious urges.

    Suppressing them would be like suppressing the need for sleep. No, what most people do to redirect them, and even project them onto others. Literally 'the assassin accusing the assassin'. And, dare I say it, most people, as a group, do show a notable lack of empathy.. as they send out their armies to do their dirty business. Sociopathy runs a bit deeper than most people want to admit.

    If people are allowed to harmlessly express their fantasies, they're less likely to do real damage. The attempt to impose 'morality' only leads to madness. History couldn't be more obvious. The only 'stable' element of society is authority, which requires intense socoipathy to impose. Comes back like a zombie after every upheaval... rinse.. repeat..

  • by Iamthecheese (1264298) on Sunday September 09, 2012 @11:16AM (#41280439)
    I dispute that. Possession of CP gives pedophiles an outlet that doesn't harm a child. I believe the existence of that outlet would save many, many children. Far more than would be abused by people hoping to sell such pictures. Furthermore instances of child abuse would be easier to track and stop.
  • by sjames (1099) on Sunday September 09, 2012 @11:17AM (#41280441) Homepage

    RTFA! Nobody is claiming that actually exploiting a child should legal. Quite the contrary, there is a fear that if mere possession of evidence that someone ELSE exploited a child is illegal, the child will get no help because anyone who could alert the authorities will be too busy destroying the evidence.

    Consider, bad guy robs a bank. That is clearly a crime, no matter why he did it. Imagine if like child exploitation, possession of a video of someone robbing a bank was a crime of strict liability. Great, now the bank cannot even have cameras inside (just in case) much less give the police a video of the robbery where we clearly see the face of the robber. In the name of not glorifying bank robbery (as if the video somehow does that), we have made bank robbers everywhere safer against prosecution.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 09, 2012 @11:48AM (#41280697)

    I was taught that the most essential role of government was to protect the rights of the minorities against the will of the majority. I have also understood the smallest minority to be the individual. If 95% of a population can get their way, then so can I, just without them and their support. The government is there to stop them from taking away that right, not to join in on the madness in order to curry their favor by tacit support through inaction.

    If I wanted to be ruled by a majority, I would just join the majority. If you don't think that quanitity can be used to measure accuracy, then don't pander to a mob's ostensible authority by lumping unique individuals together and calling them the majority. Don't be afraid to stand up for something because terrible people might call you names.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 09, 2012 @12:02PM (#41280801)

    Also have to think about it on the other side. Someone has been in just a few minor accidents. They are actually more likely to have less insurance payments than someone who wasn't been in any accidents. The cause? Maybe they are a very good proactive driver, or maybe they are currently lucky. Sadly, thats how real life works. Someone with lots of debt, but with no irregularities in their payments is astronomically 'better' than someone with no debt, lots of money in the bank, but no credit.

  • by betterunixthanunix (980855) on Sunday September 09, 2012 @12:07PM (#41280839)

    Aren't there existing protections limiting prosecution to knowingly and intentionally committing crimes? I can't see how legalizing possession completely will "fix" the "problem" of accidental prosecution in an effective way. Baby/bathwater and all that.

    Unfortunately, possession of child pornography is a crime regardless of the reason you have it, regardless of whether or not you intended to possess it, regardless of whether or not you were even able to access it, regardless of whether or not you even knew you had it. Even cartoon depictions of child sex abuse are illegal in the United States.

    As for prosecution, the point here is that possession alone should not be a crime at all -- the original concept was to attack the producers of child porn by attacking their customers, since the producers themselves were so hard to find. The Internet has changed things: people can just download child pornography without paying for it. The law should at least be revised to reflect that fact, perhaps by making it a crime to pay (by money or by barter) rather than to possess. Yes, that means the police will have to actually gather evidence that a person was paying i.e. encouraging child rape, otherwise known as doing their jobs.

  • Re:Absurd (Score:5, Insightful)

    by serviscope_minor (664417) on Sunday September 09, 2012 @12:13PM (#41280885) Journal

    The author then invents a fairy tail where a person with eye glasses with a built-in camera turns a corner and records a child being raped. He then makes the erroneous conclusion that video recording a crime in process would be a crime itself. It would be illegal if the person who caught it with his camcorder just walked away and didn't report it or worse yet posted the recording on the Internet.

    Given that people have been arrested for illegal firearm posession for reporting a gun dumped on their property, your dismissal of the hazards here are, frankly, absurd.

    However, if turned over to the police it would NOT be pornography it would be evidence of child molestation. It would only become pornography if it were kept by the individual.

    ALL posession is illegal without special dispensation given. All possession. If you have some, for whatever reason it's up to the good grace of the police and prosecutor not o nail you for it.

    You are a very trusting soul if you are heppy for them to have that power.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 09, 2012 @12:34PM (#41281049)

    I think possession should be legalized because it is a thought crime, but also, the way the laws work right now makes it very easy to frame someone and really, really mess them up. Very little else that a hacker could do would get you thrown in jail as easily as CP possession because possession is enough to convict you. It's like catching a deadly airborne disease Not to mention the people we know of who have tried and failed to plant the stuff on other people's computers the old fashioned way. We hear about them because they are usually bad at it and fail, but if they don't fail, when all you need to convict is possession, you're screwed if you can't positively prove you were framed. If effectively turns "beyond a reasonable doubt" almost on it's head. And when that happens, the victim is potentially fucked for life with the way sex-offender laws are.

    Still, having the actual images floating out there can be potentially hurtful for the victim over time even if the deed is over and done with. CP makers still need to be caught and the images and the possession chain is critical evidence. Any CP legalization law should still require any CP that is found on networks and machines to be turned over to police with any evidence of where it came from by the possessor. The people who make that filth still need to be caught because they *are* sex-offending criminals who prey on children.

  • by elucido (870205) on Sunday September 09, 2012 @12:48PM (#41281165)

    Because they can be created without raping an actual child.

    So target the actual molester and not the bits. Someone could tell stories about how to molest children and maybe they write from experience and heck for sake of argument lets say a prisoner in prison for serial child molestation writes stories and books, should those books be banned?

    My point is the event already took place. The crime was already committed. The bits on the computer at best are digital representations of evidence of the crime but they aren't the crime. The bits did not molest the child.

    The bits DO molest the child in a non-physical way. Lets say something horrific happens to you, such as, oh I dont know... rape? it is horrible and traumatic, but it is over and you are healing. Then the rapists put it on youtube. Now people can watch you get raped over and over and over. When you walk into the office everyone stops and looks at you and then tries to pretend to be busy. They don't say "Hey Bob, watched your rape video today!" but you know they did. It's on the internet for anyone and everyone to see, and anyone you meet in your life may or may not be thinking "I saw the guy once... where was... oh SHIT it's butt-rape guy from youtube!"

    But that's not realistic, right? Because your rape video couldn't be on youtube, it would be illegal.

    There already are embarrassing bits of me and everyone else on the internet. It's 2012. Everyone has nudes somewhere in digital form. Everyone has a sex tape floating around. Everyone can be searched up in a search engine. Anyone could be jacking off to anything I've done or said or thinking anything about any of the bits of me floating around. It sucks but lets not act like thats going to be solved by censorship. Child porn sucks but teenagers and adults have cellphones and take pics and snapshots which will probably be used against them later and thats not including stupid stuff people say online while in altered states.

    We gotta learn to accept that all sorts of private aspects of our lives will be on the internet and that it will be on there forever. It's not just rape victims who have to deal with it.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 09, 2012 @01:03PM (#41281319)

    No. A pedophile is sexually attracted to children. A child molestor molests children. I can't believe your comment was rated "insightful".

  • by rrohbeck (944847) on Sunday September 09, 2012 @01:10PM (#41281375)

    A pedophile is someone sexually attracted to prepubescent children.
    The incidence of pedophilia is estimated to be around 1%, only slightly lower than homosexuality.
    Don't muddle pedophile/molester/rapist. Someone who molests a child is a child molester, not a pedophile.

  • by rrohbeck (944847) on Sunday September 09, 2012 @01:16PM (#41281421)

    The problem is calling 17 year olds "children."

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 09, 2012 @01:20PM (#41281457)

    It simply comes down to this:

    Possession of a computer file can be as severely punished as the act of sexually abusing a child.

    This is a moral outrage: that the government would have so much disrespect for the horror of child sexual abuse that they would equate it -- in terms of criminal punishment -- to the possession of a computer file on a hard disk.

    I know that my conclusion is deeply unpopular, but my sense of morality demands that I must come to this conclusion: Those who advocate severe punishment for the possession (not manufacture) of child pornography are acting immorally. They deny and cheapen the horror of child abuse by equating it to the mere act of clicking a mouse button.

    There are many dimensions to this issue: legal, psychological, technical, and so on, and we should debate them all. But for me, this is first and foremost a moral issue. Our governments now say that sexual abuse of a child is equal to clicking a mouse, and therefore they have lost their moral compass.

  • by Pseudonym Authority (1591027) <SammyKakeNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Sunday September 09, 2012 @01:40PM (#41281609)

    A high percentage of sexual abuse crimes committed against children are never reported.

    I've always wondered... How the fuck do they gather statistics about how many unreported crimes occur, if they were never reported? It's this kind of bullshit that has idiots claiming that 1 in every 3 children will be molested! The average child molester molest over 300 children in his career!. It makes no fucking sense. They've got to be just assuming some number occurs, then throwing in a Coefficient of Molestation or something until they get what they want, or what will alarm Senator Hardoncrime the most.

  • by Razed By TV (730353) on Sunday September 09, 2012 @01:41PM (#41281629)

    Fact is: If you sexually abuse anyone, be it a child, animal or fully grown human - it's abuse. It isn't more or less terrible if it is a defenseless child. You are defenseless if you where raped anyway, why is another human more or less worth than you?

    I'd like to take issue with this point. While it is a fact that "if you abuse someone it is abuse", it is much more a matter of opinion the severity of its horror. You can pretend this isn't true. You can pretend that the act of abusing an adult, who has better means of resisting as well as an understanding of what abuse is, is the same as abusing a child, who is easily exploited due to reliance on adults and in many cases is unable to communicate that they have been abused. Also, you can pretend that all rape victims were "defenseless" leading up to the moment of their abuse, but this is another fallacy.

  • by s.petry (762400) on Sunday September 09, 2012 @01:46PM (#41281681)

    The main problem with crime in the past is we assumed we would never know what anyone else is thinking, never have complete understanding of motives, never know the best forms of deterring certain events but imagine for a moment that its some point in the future and we know what everyone's thoughts were before they committed the criminal act? Would we view the acts in the same way if we knew the exact thoughts behind the act?If a criminal could not lie and an FMRI lie detector test has 100% accuracy could we change the justice system completely?

    This should never happen because anyone in their right mind should be fighting against someone being able to probe their thoughts. Evidence is one thing, however what you suggest is far worse than evidence. Better stand up now, make sure you keep the separation or else we are doomed.

    What about detecting psychopaths, sociopaths, and others who aren't capable of remorse, empathy or guilt prior to sentencing? As far as I'm concerned we should be moving toward abolishing prisons altogether not because we wont have dangerous people but because eventually our understanding of human behavior will be such that we wont need so many prisoners and also if we wanted to we could probably just use house arrest on the non-violent.

    This statement reeks of the same issue we have with "Monitoring tweets to detect sociopaths" and "DNS testing to determine future crimes". We see both already being discussed and both are rather poor attempts at Eugenics. A person's psychological state is not determined by DNA, or any what they may be typing now, but rather a result of sociological impact. Ever see the movie "Trading Places"? This would be a good start, but remember something. Eddie Murphey's character would have been jailed long before he was on the sidewalk by Eugenics if they could have tested his DNA. Walt and Mortimer would still be making $1.00 bets at the expense of fellow humans.

    This brings me to your next point.

    We have to do away with the concept of good and evil.

    Absolute idiocy. Those two concepts are how we have, and maintain, sociological morals which are required for us to survive as a society. Without those two concepts we would still be running around with sticks trying to steal each others women and food, and would have never progressed to the point we have. Does that mean perhaps that "Good" and "Evil" should be defined in to something more socially acceptable to atheists like yourself? I'm okay with that, but you can't do away with morality and maintain society. If you believe it's possible, I will simply point you to the US's decline. Since it's ugly to look at and you may see nothing wrong, how about Rome? Greece? Germany? The UK? Pick a history to study, and you will see that when morality no longer addresses "good" and "evil" even (and perhaps especially) for some people, society begins to decline in all areas. Remember that the goals of Governments for over 3000 years was setting and maintaining a set of morals and virtues, which in essence _are_ good and evil.

    Again, you are plain old telling a fable with your comment "A sociopath or psychopath is not evil, they are simply retarded in a particular physical area of brain development.". This is not true at all, since anyone is capable of being either of those, and worse. This is based on evidence, not speculation. Why do you neglect the impact society has on a person's psychological state, except that it would harm your argument?

    If you understood this, your next statement of " This would mean 80% of prisoners aren't sociopaths or psychopaths, even if we assume.." would be completely unnecessary. Society creates way more sociopaths and psychopaths than birth order. People are not always psychopaths or sociopaths, people do have the ability to repair damage caused by society and be "normal". This again is verifiable and well documented in psychology and sociology. You

  • by thesandtiger (819476) on Sunday September 09, 2012 @01:54PM (#41281749)

    The main distinction is that one of them is proven to create victims and one of them is not.

    Creating child porn by actually filming/taking pictures of or otherwise documenting the sexual abuse of a child absolutely is not just a thought crime. A real child is being victimized. Some people who create child porn do so because it gets them off, but some others do so for financial gain to be had from selling it to people who like viewing it. Because of that, simply owning it means that it is possible that one owning child porn is contributing to the financial incentive behind those creating it, and adding to the problem. The main point here is that a direct causal link can be reasonably drawn: If you have a real photo of a child really being sexually abused, it is absolutely the case that a child was sexually abused to create that photo.

    So, with real child porn it absolutely is not a thought crime - it's an actual crime, and people who possess it should be charged with a crime because they are to some extent intentionally facilitating the abuse of children. It may be an incredibly slender connection, but it is absolutely a connection to a child being sexually assaulted.

    With fictional stuff - drawings, photoshops, stories - there is absolutely no proven causal link between people writing and consuming those things and actual children being abused sexually. It may be that drawings, photoshops and stories about child sexual abuse encourage some people to do it, but it can't be proven because there are no children directly involved in the creation of those things. It would be roughly the same as saying that violent video games lead to murder sprees and as such should be banned. The problem here is that some people think that their own personal distaste for such things means that there must be a direct link between those things and children being hurt - that is not so. The main point here is that if you have some fiction about a child being sexually abused, you cannot say that absolutely a child must have been sexually abused to make that fiction.

    So, because there is no direct link between fictional child porn and children actually being hurt, THAT would be a thought crime. It would be roughly equivalent to putting someone up on charges of attempted murder because they spent all day playing Call of Duty and so clearly they must be about to kill someone. There's no actual child being assaulted/no person being killed, so there's no actual connection to a child being assaulted/person being killed. No link.

    There's also a grey area: Does fictionalized child porn create a culture in which child sexual abuse becomes more acceptable or more likely? Proponents of bans on fictionalized child porn say yes it does, while opponents either cite free speech or theories that fictionalized child porn reduces the likelihood of people seeking real child porn or actually abusing children themselves. Depending on how convincing one finds the arguments, one could go either way.

    Personally, I find any kind of representation of child sexual abuse presented as a form of sexual gratification (fictionalized or real) to be disgusting, but I'm at least willing to acknowledge that my being disgusted by something doesn't mean it should be criminalized if it can't be shown to actually cause harm to innocents. That's something all too many people who are on a "think of the children" crusade don't get: their personal distaste doesn't automatically change the facts to suit their opinions.

  • by elucido (870205) on Sunday September 09, 2012 @04:02PM (#41282799)

    But you know, thanks to the internet we have more access to violent porn than ever yet there hasn't been an explosion of Ted Bundys. In fact rapes have gone down and violent crime in general has gone down. Explain?

    I want to stop the next Ted Bundy too and I want to prevent rape, murder, torture, just like you do. I just don't think banning any kind of pornography will make a difference. People either have the ability to behave or they don't, they have impulse control or they don't, they have empathy or they don't. If we are dealing with psychopaths then they probably don't have any of that but what if the majority aren't psychopaths?

    Why are we locking people up who clearly aren't psychopaths? If they aren't psychopaths how do you know they are capable of child molestation? It's not like everyone is equally capable. It's like with rape, why assume everyone is equally capable of rape?

    You can take two people and put them in bad environments and one could turn into a serial killing rapist and the other could become a priest and the difference would be in the brains of the individuals not the environment. The same could be said about porn, while some people would view child porn or have rape fantasies and ultimately be unable to resist their urge to act on it, the vast majority of people would be able to resist the urge. I'm willing to bed the vast majority of people have had dark fantasies of some sort, or just dangerous thoughts, whether thoughts of murder, rape, torture, or anything else, but we don't condemn them for these thoughts so why do we make a special category for people with pedophile thoughts?

    If you can think about killing your wife, your boss, or raping someone, and not get arrested, why should anyone else get arrested for whatever sick violent thought they think about? Creation of child pornography is not merely thinking about it so arrest people who create it but possession is just equal to thinking about it.

  • by Linsaran (728833) on Sunday September 09, 2012 @06:09PM (#41283519) Homepage

    Technically speaking the child continues to be harmed long after the making of the content. Imagine for a moment that you were victimized in some way. It doesn't have to be sexually, though certainly sexual abuse tends to be one of the more scarring forms of psychological trauma. Now imagine that your victimization was captured on film, and long after the abuse was over, you are periodically reminded of that abuse because the pictures of it resurface somewhere on the net.

    Heck just the KNOWING that there are people out there who are watching it for their own sick pleasure would be enough to add on years of therapy for most victims. Add in the potential for someone you know to see your victimization (even accidentally, plenty of people upload child pornography to sites just to get off on shocking people who see it, take a look at 4chan for example), and recognize you from it. There's plenty of ways that continuing to distribute bits and bytes of computer data that represents child pornography harms the people involved.

  • by ezakimak (160186) on Sunday September 09, 2012 @06:47PM (#41283703)

    I agree with some of your arguments.

    Thoughts should *never* be a crime.
    Child porn that already exists is just bits--the crime of creating it has already been committed.

    Here's what I see with having possession of child porn illegal:
    1) some people will have a fettish/fantasy of sex with minors--you *cannot* change that in them and hoping to do so is futile--and like you said, it's not a crime to think it.
    2) I'd much rather those people satisfy their urges in private with porn, leaving actual children safe
    3) if the porn is eliminated, some of those people may become frustrated to the point of satisfying their urges by harming children--this is obviously an undesireable outcome
    4) some people that harm children will do so regardless of porn--so regulating the porn does *nothing* to styme their actions--they simply need to be dealt with for the physical offenses they do commit

    Here's my proposal:
    - creating child porn remains illegal--go after the producers and sources of the content since they are committing physical offenses
    - possession of existing child porn is legalized--the damage has already been done, stop chasing the consumers of it--it's futile anyways
    - stop making a big deal out of the consumers--so long as they keep it to themselves it shouldn't be anybody's business
    - don't worrry about the existing content--the damage is done, removing it may incur more damage as per (3) above
    - only *producing* it should be illegal, sharing it should not be--it's just bits: a) I'd rather consumers be able to get it than not, b) this would eliminate all the crap that can happen when someone/thing (virus/malware/person/whatever) puts it on someone's system and they get in trouble for having or having transferred the bits whether knowingly or not

  • by yndrd1984 (730475) on Sunday September 09, 2012 @09:00PM (#41284389)

    just how the fuck did the child get in the photograph in the first place.

    CP covers a lot more that actual photographs of criminal acts. Depending on where you are, photos of merely naked children, photos of adults that look or are make to look young, CGI renderings, drawings/paintings, stick figures with captions, and even pure text can legally be counted as CP.

    I think that one of the main problems with discussing this issue is that one side hears "child porn" and thinks "actual video of someone anally raping an unwilling, kidnapped 8-year-old", and the other side is also including "topless pix my first girlfriend sent me when she was 16", "xkcd-style drawings with creepy captions", or "that Der Spiegel cover from the 60's".

  • by Tom (822) on Monday September 10, 2012 @03:10AM (#41285681) Homepage Journal

    The law basically "If you're going to abuse children keep it quiet."

    Joining the catholic church also helps a lot. Let's not ignore in all this hysteria that the vast majority of child abuse does not originate with strangers looking for more material for their kiddie porn collection. Most culprits are known to the victim and often very close. Family members are the largest group, priests and other persons of implicit trust the second largest.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 10, 2012 @11:27AM (#41288953)

    Thank you! My issue with CP is this exactly. At some point, some child WAS dragged into this issue. There is nothing that can defend placing a child into this potentially life shattering situation. They can not willingly opt into participating as a minor--for a reason. SICK SICK SICK people. "Outlet for the peds" Please. Medication, counceling, and/or jail time YES.

    As much as you might hate the facts, the facts are the facts. Taking pornography as an example, Japan has very few restrictions on the content of pornography short of genitals, and is home to very depraved (value judgment) pornography featuring very realistic rape and apparent violence towards women. Yet Japan enjoys some of the lowest incidence of rape in the world.

    Now consider nations with heavy restrictions or prohibition of pornography, like Saudi Arabia, which has some of the highest incidence of rape in the industrialized world.

    The fact is that outlets are better than just harmless, they're keeping actual living and breathing people safe. Huge collections of people are safer when potential attackers are abated.

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