Tuesday, January 06, 2004

Yet again we see the fallacy that it will be easy to just stop people from accessing child pornography. I'm not saying we should ignore child porn - far from it. I'm just saying that we are not doing the right things to fight this war effectively and constitutionally.

This is not the first time we've seen sweeping efforts to stop child pornography and "protect" children online, and it won't be the last. The efforts are always too restrictive (to the point where they are unconstitutional) and ineffective. I think this speaks to two things (amongst others).

First, there is this country's continual, irritating habit of fighting the wrong fight. I think it was put best in that article that maybe a better idea is to go after the child pornographers themselves. You know, get to the real root of the problem. But you see, we're lazy, and simpleminded, and we think that doing something like just imposing a blanket restriction on web sites is going to make it all go away. Nuh-uh. It's just like with video games: we don't look at what is fucked up mentally with kids that turn violent or question what the fuck is up with their parents. Instead, we sue the makers of Grand Theft Auto and boycott Brian (Marilyn Manson).

The other thing that this speaks to is a disgusting exploitation of a real issue for political means. I don't think that these laws are motivated only by a desire to protect children. The broad nature of these laws shows that they are trying to not just hit child porn, but lots of other things that they find offensive but couldn't limit access to any other way. Another example of this was when the RIAA came out and said that peer-to-peer networks were being used to distribute kiddie porn. What they were saying wasn't a lie, but their motivations were completely disingenuous. If P2P networks weren't being heavily used for swapping music, they wouldn't give a shit how much child porn was on there.

So, yeah. We're simple, we're stupid, and we're greedy. What else is new?

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