Sunday, April 23, 2006

So the Bush administration is pushing more for the mandatory data retention. All of our privacy is slowly being taken away from us and everyone is standing by and letting it happen because they are "thinking of the children" ... Again, I re-iterate that child porn is sick and wrong and it is illegal and should be prosecuted, however, the laws that are supposed to be for this purpose really aren't at all. Here is a post I read on slashdot that makes some very very good points:

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

This post was made by miyako at

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