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Washington Attempts to Make us All Culpable for Online Child Pornography
Reason Magazine ^ | 07/12/2011 | Matt Welch

Posted on 07/12/2011 1:31:16 PM PDT by The Magical Mischief Tour

Have you heard about The Protecting Children from Internet Pornographers Act of 2011? It's the latest in a l-o-n-g line of just terrible bills proposed to calm (though never quite eliminate) the fears of middle-aged people about what that scary Internet might potentially do to Our Children. There's a hearing on the legislation taking place as we speak. Here's Cato's Jim Harper:

It's got everything: porn, children, the Internet. And it's got everything: financial services providers dragooned into law enforcement, data retention requirements heaped on Internet service providers, expanded "administrative subpoena" authority. (Administrative subpoenas are an improvisation to accommodate the massive power of the bureaucracy, and they've become another end-run around the Fourth Amendment. If it's "administrative" it must be reasonable, goes the non-thinking...)

This isn't a bill about child predation. It's a bald-faced attack on privacy and limited government.

Meanwhile, former Reasoner Julian Sanchez (also of Cato) muses that "I guess the 'You Are All Criminals Act' didn't have the same ring," and provides some context:

Thanks to an unwise Supreme Court decision dating from the 70s, information about your private activites loses its Fourth Amendment protection when its held by a "third party" corporation, like a phone company or Internet provider. As many legal scholars have noted, however, this allows constitutional privacy safeguards to be circumvented via a clever two-step process. Step one: The government forces private businesses (ideally the kind a citizen in the modern world can't easily avoid dealing with) to collect and store certain kinds of information about everyone—anyone might turn out to be a criminal, after all. No Fourth Amendment issue there, because it's not the government gathering it! Step two: The government gets a subpoena or court order to obtain that information, quite possibly without your knowledge. No Fourth Amendment problem here either, according to the Supreme Court, because now they're just getting a corporation's business records, not your private records. It makes no difference that they're only keeping those records because the government said they had to.

Current law already allows law enforcement to require retention of data about specific suspects—including e-mails and other information as well as IP addresses—to ensure that evidence isn't erased while they build up enough evidence for a court order. But why spearfish when you can lower a dragnet? Blanket data requirements ensure easy access to a year-and-a-half snapshot of the online activities of millions of Americans—every one a *potential criminal.

Re-read Jacob Sullum's phenomenal piece about "Perverted Justice" from our July special issue on criminal justice. That Time cover above comes from our great Radley Balko/Jeff Winkler collection of "The Top 10 Most Absurd Time Covers of The Past 40 Years."


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Crime/Corruption; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: 4thamendment; bigbrother; internet; privacy

1 posted on 07/12/2011 1:31:20 PM PDT by The Magical Mischief Tour
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To: The Magical Mischief Tour

What is frustrating is that Congress could pass a bill that would be both constitutional and protecting. But, they just have to pander and get votes. It’s infuriating.


2 posted on 07/12/2011 1:34:45 PM PDT by RIghtwardHo
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To: The Magical Mischief Tour

...


3 posted on 07/12/2011 1:35:15 PM PDT by maine-iac7 (I AM ISRAEL)
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To: All

Know What Your Gov't Is Up To
By Keeping The News Going
On The WWW #1 Conservative Site
Free Republic!!

4 posted on 07/12/2011 1:38:09 PM PDT by musicman (Until I see the REAL Long Form Vault BC, he's just "PRES__ENT" Obama = Without "ID")
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To: The Magical Mischief Tour

Many libertarians are in favor of kiddie porn and this article is proof. Might as well come out supporting NAMBLA


5 posted on 07/12/2011 1:38:29 PM PDT by GeronL (The Right to Life came before the Right to Happiness)
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To: RIghtwardHo
There's a great quote from Atlas Shrugged about big government's need to create as large a criminal class as possible so they can concentrate on selective enforcement rather than going after actual criminals. I'll post it if I can find it or someone else doesn't beat me to it.
6 posted on 07/12/2011 1:40:39 PM PDT by Vigilanteman (Obama: Fake black man. Fake Messiah. Fake American. How many fakes can you fit in one Zer0?)
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To: GeronL
Many libertarians are in favor of kiddie porn and this article is proof. Might as well come out supporting NAMBLA

Man, you're just eat up with stupid, aren't you...

7 posted on 07/12/2011 1:41:33 PM PDT by The Magical Mischief Tour (With The Resistance...)
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To: GeronL

You are full of it, dude.


8 posted on 07/12/2011 1:42:30 PM PDT by GSWarrior
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To: GeronL

kiddie porn, legalize drugs, homosexual marriage AND they would be masturbating on street corners too.

“If you don’t like it then don’t look.”


9 posted on 07/12/2011 1:44:46 PM PDT by Berlin_Freeper
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To: The Magical Mischief Tour

Very disturbing from a constitutional perspective, but how does it make us all culpable for on-line pornography?


10 posted on 07/12/2011 1:47:08 PM PDT by dangus
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To: GeronL
Many libertarians are in favor of kiddie porn and this article is proof. Might as well come out supporting NAMBLA

Many conservatives are as much in favor of the nanny-state and government over-reach as liberals and the sentence above is proof.
11 posted on 07/12/2011 1:51:12 PM PDT by AnotherUnixGeek
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To: GeronL
Many libertarians are in favor of kiddie porn and this article is proof. Might as well come out supporting NAMBLA

What? I'm not a libertarian, but even I think that's an incredibly stupid comment.

12 posted on 07/12/2011 1:55:27 PM PDT by Titus Quinctius Cincinnatus ("Armed forces abroad are of little value unless there is prudent counsel at home." - Cicero)
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To: Vigilanteman

BRILLIANT quote!!


13 posted on 07/12/2011 2:12:49 PM PDT by RIghtwardHo
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To: GeronL

About the only thing that counts today as bannable kiddie porn (and this proposed law wouldn’t change it because it became a USSC level constitutional challenge) is material in which photography of actual minors performing actual indecent acts appears. I.e. which can be traced back to the sexual exploitation of minors. That it looks like something unspeakable doesn’t count, if “no children were harmed in the filming of this video” and what looks indecent is something else, like consenting adults, trick photography, animation, computer aided simulation, etc. With ever more powerful photograph and movie editing software now available even for free, “authentic” kiddie porn will likely become a very rare bird, making this a vast overkill. In the meantime, all those dossiers kept by “little brother” will be as vulnerable as any computer database to hackers and crackers.


14 posted on 07/12/2011 2:13:10 PM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (Hawk)
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To: dangus

If you’re an ISP and you decline to keep this kind of dossier on your customers, you get socked by Uncle Sammo.


15 posted on 07/12/2011 2:15:02 PM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (Hawk)
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To: HiTech RedNeck

Still now sure how it makes ISPs culpable for child porn, let alone “us all.”


16 posted on 07/12/2011 2:20:05 PM PDT by dangus
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To: HiTech RedNeck

What I mean is that I have debated liberaltarians online who actually do want to legalize the possession of REAL kiddie porn and lower the “age of consent” to 11 or even abolish it.


17 posted on 07/12/2011 2:24:28 PM PDT by GeronL (The Right to Life came before the Right to Happiness)
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To: dangus

Taken literally that’s hyperbole, but it makes a lot of little brothers responsible for helping to police it without the secrecy safeguards you’d expect from a confidential government activity. It will be easy to tar people who don’t want these little brothers with the accusation that they must be for kiddie porn. Shoot, just look higher in this thread (unless an administrator has zotted it). This makes a zinger of a sound bite which takes a detailed explanation to refute.


18 posted on 07/12/2011 2:25:47 PM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (Hawk)
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To: Vigilanteman
Is this the one you meant?

"The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren't enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws"
~~Ayn Rand

I keep this on my homepage, unfortunately it come in hand all too often.

19 posted on 07/12/2011 2:32:27 PM PDT by Las Vegas Ron (Woah, Obama will appease Trump, but not Lakin? Thanks LSM)
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To: GeronL

But is this a fair representation of the whole? Libertarians have their own “big tent” and it doesn’t necessarily mean a strong movement to open the door for child exploitation, any more than the Log Cabin Republicans are represented by Sarah Palin, Michelle Bachmann, or even Mitt Romney. Some libertarians have religious reasons to believe that a return to biblical standards of consent vis a vis actual marriage and its expected relations would not be an evil thing, and among them they would disagree about what kind of sanctions should be placed upon explicit pictures of such relations.


20 posted on 07/12/2011 2:32:31 PM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (Hawk)
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To: Las Vegas Ron
Yikes!!

I keep this on my homepage, unfortunately it come in hand all too often.

comes in handy....oy

21 posted on 07/12/2011 2:34:07 PM PDT by Las Vegas Ron (Woah, Obama will appease Trump, but not Lakin? Thanks LSM)
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To: Las Vegas Ron

Someone is going to accuse you of a dirty minded Freudian slip, I just know it.


22 posted on 07/12/2011 2:35:31 PM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (Hawk)
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To: HiTech RedNeck

>> Taken literally that’s hyperbole, <<

What you mean is “don’t take it literally, it’s only hyperbole” Or, in other words, “I figured people wouldn’t be as sympathetic to the rights of child pornographers, so I deceitfully tricked them into reading an article, knowing full well that my headline was a complete, absurd, bald-faced, ridiculous lie.”

Better, more truthful headline: “Unconstitutional proposal would coerce internet readers to help government track child pornographers.”


23 posted on 07/12/2011 2:40:05 PM PDT by dangus
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To: dangus

“We’re all government snoops, now”?


24 posted on 07/12/2011 2:43:03 PM PDT by dangus
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To: HiTech RedNeck

I did not say they represented the whole movement


25 posted on 07/12/2011 2:44:17 PM PDT by GeronL (The Right to Life came before the Right to Happiness)
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To: HiTech RedNeck
Am donning nuclear blast flame suit as I type this!
26 posted on 07/12/2011 2:45:42 PM PDT by Las Vegas Ron (Woah, Obama will appease Trump, but not Lakin? Thanks LSM)
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To: GeronL
Many libertarians are in favor of kiddie porn and this article is proof. Might as well come out supporting NAMBLA

Who said the following?

Interestingly nude photographs of kids online is not illegal, do a search.

And this...

nude photographs of kids online, not porn of course, is legal. Some of the sites will make you very mad though so don't look for them.

______________________________________

Doing research?

27 posted on 07/12/2011 2:48:07 PM PDT by Ken H
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To: dangus

It would attract mindless accusations exactly in line with the headline. That’s the point.


28 posted on 07/12/2011 2:49:29 PM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (Hawk)
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To: Ken H

Or trolling in freepland? (How do I ping the Viking Kitties, who are never indecent because they have suits of fur?)


29 posted on 07/12/2011 2:50:57 PM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (Hawk)
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To: Las Vegas Ron

That’s the meat of the slightly longer quote which I was looking for. Thank you.


30 posted on 07/12/2011 2:51:06 PM PDT by Vigilanteman (Obama: Fake black man. Fake Messiah. Fake American. How many fakes can you fit in one Zer0?)
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To: Vigilanteman
You're welcome.

I'd say it was my pleasure but considering what I mistyped after the quote, I think I'll just shut up.....grrrr and lol!

31 posted on 07/12/2011 2:57:15 PM PDT by Las Vegas Ron (Woah, Obama will appease Trump, but not Lakin? Thanks LSM)
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To: GeronL
Many libertarians are in favor of kiddie porn and this article is proof. Might as well come out supporting NAMBLA

“Children who willingly participate in sexual acts have the right to make that decision as well, even if it’s distasteful to us personally...When we outlaw child pornography, the prices paid for child performers rise, increasing the incentives for parents to use children against their will.”
- Libertarian Presidential Front-Runner Defends Child Porn (2008)
http://www.thepolitic.com/archives/2008/04/25/libertarian-presidential-front-runner-defends-child-porn/

“We call for the repeal of all laws that restrict anyone, including children, from engaging in voluntary exchanges of goods, services or information regarding human sexuality, reproduction, birth control or related medical or biological technologies.”
- 2004 Libertarian Party Platform:
http://theirownwords.net/platforms/2004/Children.html

32 posted on 07/12/2011 3:06:20 PM PDT by Ronaldus Magnus
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To: HiTech RedNeck

Can you tell me why a person can’t get an ISP and an IP address from a company in a country that doesn’t give a crap about what our ruling class says they have to do?

It would seem to me that there should be a way to bypass all U.S. ISP companies and get an onramp offshore without being offshore.


33 posted on 07/12/2011 3:08:40 PM PDT by SUSSA
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To: The Magical Mischief Tour
I was somewhat enthusiastic about Michelle Bachmann until she signed a "pledge" that included, among other goals, a vow to eliminate porn.

Now, first of all, I don't really want a president who vows to eliminate behaviors she disapproves of and, second, she knows she couldn't do it on First Amendment grounds so is just pandering.

Someone I perceived as an intelligent woman turned out to be a big disappointment. May her time at the top of the polls be short.

34 posted on 07/12/2011 3:32:01 PM PDT by BfloGuy (The state is that great fiction, by which everyone tries to live at the expense of everyone else.)
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To: Ken H

I wish they were illegal. It would certainly make things easier.


35 posted on 07/12/2011 4:22:51 PM PDT by GeronL (The Right to Life came before the Right to Happiness)
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To: GeronL
That reminds me, I wonder how Bernie Ward is doing these days?

-PJ

36 posted on 07/12/2011 4:35:39 PM PDT by Political Junkie Too (Everyone's Irish on St. Patrick's Day, Mexican on Cinco de Mayo, and American on Election Day.)
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