Feds seek Google records in porn probe


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rick_reno
January 19, 2006, 09:47 PM
It's for the children.

http://www.cnn.com/2006/TECH/internet/01/19/google.recrods.ap/index.html

SAN JOSE, California (AP) -- The Bush administration, seeking to revive an online pornography law struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court, has subpoenaed Google Inc. for details on what its users have been looking for through its popular search engine.

Google has refused to comply with the subpoena, issued last year, for a broad range of material from its databases, including a request for 1 million random Web addresses and records of all Google searches from any one-week period, lawyers for the U.S. Justice Department said in papers filed Wednesday in federal court in San Jose.

Privacy advocates have been increasingly scrutinizing Google's practices as the company expands its offerings to include e-mail, driving directions, photo-sharing, instant messaging and Web journals.

Although Google pledges to protect personal information, the company's privacy policy says it complies with legal and government requests. Google also has no stated guidelines on how long it keeps data, leading critics to warn that retention is potentially forever given cheap storage costs.

The government contends it needs the data to determine how often pornography shows up in online searches as part of an effort to revive an Internet child protection law that was struck down two years ago by the U.S. Supreme Court on free-speech grounds.

The 1998 Child Online Protection Act would have required adults to use access codes or other ways of registering before they could see objectionable material online, and it would have punished violators with fines up to $50,000 or jail time. The high court ruled that technology such as filtering software may better protect children.

The matter is now before a federal court in Pennsylvania, and the government wants the Google data to help argue that the law is more effective than software in protecting children from porn.

The Mountain View-based company told The San Jose Mercury News that it opposes releasing the information because it would violate the privacy rights of its users and would reveal company trade secrets.

Nicole Wong, an associate general counsel for Google, said the company will fight the government's efforts "vigorously."

"Google is not a party to this lawsuit, and the demand for the information is overreaching," Wong said.

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Lobotomy Boy
January 19, 2006, 09:59 PM
Yikes. I'd better delete my MILFs cookies...

Biker
January 19, 2006, 10:10 PM
Um....well...I'm sure that mature/latex/lesbian porn is legal. Right?

Anyone?:uhoh:

Biker

davec
January 19, 2006, 10:11 PM
once they can see what porn you look at, what do they look at next?

Lobotomy Boy
January 19, 2006, 10:13 PM
I think they might have crossed a line when they brought in the donkeys. They were brought across the border from Mexico illegally and I'm pretty sure they were underaged burros.

Seriously, though, if anyone thought that the Bush administration wasn't making a concerted effort to systematically dismantle the bill of rights, that they were just trying to protect us from "the terrorists," then what the hell is this all about?

Sindawe
January 19, 2006, 10:32 PM
Seriously, though, if anyone thought that the Bush administration wasn't making a concerted effort to systematically dismantle the bill of rights, that they were just trying to protect us from "the terrorists," then what the hell is this all about?Oh, you're just being all upset and melodramatic LB. Here, a nice cold glass of Kool-Aid will make you feel MUCH better. :rolleyes:

Its about control. Control of the flow of information, to make sure that only Government Approved facts are seen and read by the populace.

Goebbels would have been proud.

Mr.V.
January 19, 2006, 10:48 PM
DAMN!

Vote for Republicans and you get to keep your guns but end up prosecuted if you love a girl who may have gone wild.
Vote for Democrats and they hand out subscriptions to creampie.com but not until you register your pellet gun.

It's time for a 3rd party that's not quite as crazy as the libertarians...

BostonGeorge
January 19, 2006, 11:15 PM
It's time for a 3rd party that's not quite as crazy as the libertarians...

Or a less crazy libertarian candidate.

Optical Serenity
January 19, 2006, 11:19 PM
DAMN!

Vote for Republicans and you get to keep your guns but end up prosecuted if you love a girl who may have gone wild.
Vote for Democrats and they hand out subscriptions to creampie.com but not until you register your pellet gun.

It's time for a 3rd party that's not quite as crazy as the libertarians...

+1 This is a great post! Haha :D :D :D

CAnnoneer
January 19, 2006, 11:30 PM
One would assume that the administration would have more important things to concern themselves with in this day and age, than porn.

Apparently, one would be wrong...

Let's see how much more they will manage to discredit themselves by this year's elections.

torpid
January 19, 2006, 11:33 PM
"From my cold, dead, calloused hand..."

(sorry) :p

Lobotomy Boy
January 19, 2006, 11:34 PM
One would assume that the administration would have more important things to concern themselves with in this day and age, than porn.

Everytime you abuse yourself while surfing donkey porn, you support terrorism.

Standing Wolf
January 19, 2006, 11:43 PM
Jorge Bush has time to go on a crusade against porn while the nation's borders stand unwatched unguarded?

I think we, the people need to reorganize the action items list for the federal trough feeders, starting by voting a lot of them out of office.

Biker
January 19, 2006, 11:45 PM
"From my cold, dead, calloused hand..."

(sorry) :p
Ya got me...
:evil:
Biker

Malone LaVeigh
January 19, 2006, 11:54 PM
Porn, shmorn. My latest google search (~5 min ago) was "HK 91".

I don't particularly like the gestapo knowing that.

pete f
January 19, 2006, 11:54 PM
smoke screens all smoke and mirrors

benEzra
January 19, 2006, 11:58 PM
Been following this on DU. Google is the only search engine so far to refuse to hand over it's records, which is why it's in the news. The government already has the records from Yahoo and MSN, supposedly.

I wonder if this is legit (seems so irrational as to be almost unbelievable). I wonder if it's for real, or it's a cover for fishing expeditions into other search categories. I have no idea.

My opinion of Google went up considerably as a result of this, FWIW.

I can't imagine what legal justification the FBI is using to try to sieze these records, though--how could they get a warrant, since NO CRIMES ARE BEING COMMITTED, because the law they want to use tax dollars to lobby for was struck down by SCOTUS?

Strange...

Lobotomy Boy
January 20, 2006, 12:10 AM
Imagine that the FBI or NSA uses this information to search for anyone who has searched for key words that might indicate terroism, like "weapons," "firearm," "Constitutional," "Amendment," "civil rights," "militia," "Al Qaeda," "Osama Bin Laden," "assault weapon," "battle rifle," "gun," etc. A major argument put forth by Bush apologists for supporting the administration's increasing infringement on Constitutional rights is: "If you're not a terrorist, what do you have to worry about?" If things progress in the direction they're going, we all may end up in Gitmo or some black facility in a third-world country.

Herself
January 20, 2006, 12:15 AM
Ahh, the Feds. Tormented by the thought that some creepy nebbish who could never, ever get a date, not even with me when I was single, might be happy.

Yeah, gotta nip that in the bud. Babies are found under cabbage leaves and hugging and kissing are slightly...shameful.

Bah!

Plenty of the things you men like to look kinda gross me out. (Now there was a drawback to working in radio: DJs seem to be major customers of the Adult industry...) That's why I don't look at 'em. What could be simpler?

It's feeelthy peekchures today. Tomorrow it will be searches for eeeevilll guns!

After that, I dunno. Maybe Uncle Sam can round up the Unitarians and agnostics, they're pretty easy targets.

--H

Manedwolf
January 20, 2006, 12:41 AM
Been following this on DU. Google is the only search engine so far to refuse to hand over it's records, which is why it's in the news. The government already has the records from Yahoo and MSN, supposedly.

I wonder if this is legit (seems so irrational as to be almost unbelievable). I wonder if it's for real, or it's a cover for fishing expeditions into other search categories. I have no idea.

My opinion of Google went up considerably as a result of this, FWIW.

I can't imagine what legal justification the FBI is using to try to sieze these records, though--how could they get a warrant, since NO CRIMES ARE BEING COMMITTED, because the law they want to use tax dollars to lobby for was struck down by SCOTUS?

Strange...

When Google was first formed, their corporate motto placed in the lobby was "Don't be evil." Gotta admire that from a company...

Bartholomew Roberts
January 20, 2006, 01:01 AM
Well I have absolutely no problem with the Feds knowing what websites I visited, as long as you aren't a terrorist* or a perv* you have nothing to fear.

* as defined by the Department of Justice independent from judicial or legislative branch input. Definitions may change without warning.

rick_reno
January 20, 2006, 01:07 AM
When I posted this I put "It's for the children" at the head of the post. Sorry - my mistake. It should have read "It's for the children terrorists".

odysseus
January 20, 2006, 02:47 AM
Well I have absolutely no problem with the Feds knowing what websites I visited, as long as you aren't a terrorist* or a perv* you have nothing to fear.

* as defined by the Department of Justice independent from judicial or legislative branch input. Definitions may change without warning.


Awesome. Yes.

Plenty of the things you men like to look kinda gross me out.

At the risk of sounding obtuse, it takes 2 to tango! :eek: :D

Can'thavenuthingood
January 20, 2006, 03:05 AM
We're approaching this from the wrong perspective.

They have a lonnnnnnnnnng list of names and are going to plug them into the past Searches and find out what an enemy of the state/administration is doing and then discredit, pile on and harass into bankruptcy. There problem taken care of.

Instead of FBI files to find a nugget of information for extortion or to make one adhere to the plan, we have Internet searches.

Also must devise a plan to attach some sort of software gizmo to get fees, taxes, surcharges and donations.

It's late.

Vick

PCGS65
January 20, 2006, 04:58 AM
Well the government already listens to all phone communications in the name of security and taxes all phones.
They are just dying to find a way to control/tax the internet in the name of law enforcement.
They already bait internet users into acts of crime! But that's not enough anymore.
I think we are going to see a whole set of internet laws. But first they must find a way to watch what you say/search before implementing such laws.
Just one more arm of the police state trying to imprison people.

71Commander
January 20, 2006, 05:10 AM
Um....well...I'm sure that mature/latex/lesbian porn is legal. Right?

Anyone?:uhoh:

Biker

Last I heard is that it's not illegal.

RealGun
January 20, 2006, 07:14 AM
What I care about is not having to be aware of porn when I am not looking for it, didn't ask for it. I don't want it to ruin the internet to the point of it being for adults only, so messed up that parents can't control it and allow access by their children, assuming the parents choose to care.

Michigander
January 20, 2006, 07:32 AM
Interesting (over-the-top?) information about Google here (http://www.google-watch.org/).

cuchulainn
January 20, 2006, 07:40 AM
The government contends it needs the data to determine how often pornography shows up in online searches as part of an effort to revive an Internet child protection law that was struck down two years ago by the U.S. Supreme Court on free-speech grounds.OK folks, I'm 100% in Google's camp on this, and I wouldn't put it past the feds to seek a grand database that they could use to link Joe back to his bad habits. However, I don't think the feds would be able to use Google's data that way.

Does Google save the IP address of each searcher, assuming the IP address is not hidden behind a firewall? Is there some other way to use search-engine data to identify particular searchers out of billions of searches?

As best I can tell, the feds are trying to gauge the percentages of certain searches, not who searched what. They're conducting a big -- bogus -- fishing expedition, but not the type being described in this thread.

Maybe I'm wrong. If so, please correct me.

Again, in no way am I defending the feds. I'm simply trying to get to the reality of the situation.

RealGun
January 20, 2006, 07:53 AM
OK folks, I'm 100% in Google's camp on this, and I wouldn't put it past the feds to seek a grand database that they could use to link Joe back to his bad habits. However, I don't think the feds would be able to use Google's data that way.

Does Google save the IP address of each searcher, assuming the IP address is not hidden behind a firewall? Is there some other way to use search-engine data to identify particular searchers out of billions of searches?

As best I can tell, the feds are trying to gauge the percentages of certain searches, not who searched what. They're conducting a big -- bogus -- fishing expedition, but not the type being described in this thread.

Maybe I'm wrong. If so, please correct me.

Again, in no way am I defending the feds. I'm simply trying to get to the reality of the situation.

If enabling cookies was required, I believe there would be adequate data to maintain a database of which computer searched for what. If you can be passed a cookie file, the same information can be stored on the other side.

sm
January 20, 2006, 08:06 AM
None of the .gov's business.
I suggest .gov read the COTUS and BoR if they really want to get to know We The People.

Literature , some of which is now banned in schools, is full of all sorts of things that "offended" folks. Tip: don't meddle and keep your nose out of other folks business.

I don't care what folks do. None of my business. The flip side it nobody's business what I do. Parents are supposed to Parent, it is the Parents responsibility to use filters if need at home, and to be a Parent when a child has a question in regard to something seen on a computer, TV, Movies, books.

Ever taken a Medical Class? For instance I took Anatomy and Physiology. Textbooks were quite explicit in text and color pictures. I had the Textbook open to the Reproductive System and my landlord came to check on some maintanance. You would think a Lady whom gave birth to a couple of kids would know something about this...I bet she never snooped at my textbooks ever again when I was gone.

We used computers and class related websites too. Not porn, educational material to learn. Some classmates had kids, computer filters had to be turned off to access in private homes. Sit the kids down and explain what mom/ dad is taking in school. Helps to teach the birds and bees using technology. Not getting the kids into kiddie porn, just being responsible parents.

At College we are not to access Porn sites, Gambling sites and to observe other Copyright infringemnent matters on College Computers. This is the College and students agree to Terms.

Being in CIS/IT studies, there times a student has a need and I have gone with them to the folks that run our lab. Up front and honest about accessing a Medical Site that may come up as being porn. One student needed information about Protitutes in doing some research for a Sociolgy and Criminal Justice Paper. Folks concerned about being flagged for researching Breast, Ovarian, or Testicular cancers.
College usually sets these permissions up on a block of computers not easily seen by others, or use a room not in use.

.gov has no business flagging folks for what they are accessing - or what .gov thinks folks are accessing, for whatever reason.

We The People, includes Parents, Students, and even Perverts.
That is why the US is a Republic - and not a Police State.

Igloodude
January 20, 2006, 08:43 AM
Last I heard is that it's not illegal.

It depends on what they're doing. If it is obscene (http://www.usdoj.gov/opa/pr/2005/May/05_crm_242.htm), then yes, it is illegal per the Communications Decency Act to distribute it on the internet or anywhere else. And, since the most socially conservative town in the US presumably has access to the internet, that town's standard of decency applies to the internet. Which apparently means sadomasochism and possibly bondage, among less common bits.

But you're probably okay, it is only illegal to distribute it, not to view it.

And as regard Google, I am assuming they'll probably give up the fight, and have been using and recommending scroogle.org (http://www.scroogle.org/) for exactly this reason.

Janitor
January 20, 2006, 08:54 AM
Hmmmm.

I wonder if this has something to do with the dissapearance of twogirlsadogandme.com?

Camp David
January 20, 2006, 09:03 AM
None of the .gov's business....gov has no business flagging folks for [B]what they are accessing...

I agree to a certain extent; the government should concentrate on putting the porn operators and purveyors of on-line pornography out of business and prohibiting their illegal trade, so you have no need to access... that's the route to go.

71Commander
January 20, 2006, 09:03 AM
It depends on what they're doing. If it is obscene, then yes, it is illegal

Wasn't Larry Flynt dragged down this road in Cincinatti?

Community standards on obscenity don't stand up in court.

Lobotomy Boy
January 20, 2006, 09:10 AM
What I care about is not having to be aware of porn when I am not looking for it, didn't ask for it. I don't want it to ruin the internet to the point of it being for adults only, so messed up that parents can't control it and allow access by their children, assuming the parents choose to care.


You might want to quit typing in "lesbianfisters.com" or "chixwdix.com" if you're accessing too much porn in your Internet searches, Realgun;) . I kid!

SkaerE
January 20, 2006, 09:26 AM
I have to say, I'm offended by the internet searches these days.

Can you believe a google search for "Busty Blonde" or "Asian Anal" brings back a responce from something other than porn?!

I'm in shock. After all, the internet is for porn.

http://www.youtube.com/player.swf?video_id=lr_HR-iIlYg&l=196

:evil:

Lobotomy Boy
January 20, 2006, 09:33 AM
Seriously, love it, hate it, or don't care one way or another, but pornography is the downside of a free-market economy combined with a free press. You can try to destroy both of those, destroying our liberty in the process, but even if you are successful, our liberty will be the only casualty. Do gooders have been trying to stamp out prostitution, the world's oldest profession, since time immemorial, but even the worst tyrant in the most Draconian police state has failed to do so. People are people, and people are driven by hormones in spite of the best intentions of the delicate flowers who are easily offended by the baser aspects of humanity. When an institution tries to deny the humanity of its members it creates a pressure cooker that results in the sodomizing of tens of thousands of innocent alter boys. Better to let the pervs engage in their autoerotic activities in the privacy of their own homes.

Biker
January 20, 2006, 09:41 AM
Last I heard is that it's not illegal.

:evil: ;)

Biker

Manedwolf
January 20, 2006, 09:46 AM
Do gooders have been trying to stamp out prostitution, the world's oldest profession, since time immemorial, but even the worst tyrant in the most Draconian police state has failed to do so. People are people, and people are driven by hormones in spite of the best intentions of the delicate flowers who are easily offended by the baser aspects of humanity.

What's even more ironic is that it consistently seems that the loudest objecting "moral" voices are the ones who continually keep getting caught after hours soliciting prostitutes, or far, far worse. It seems to be the most loudly "I am more moral than you are" sorts who are into the "um..ew, I didn't even know that WAS a fetish" nastiness, when it's exposed.

And the amusing thing about this sort of violation of privacy is that even the holier-than-thou noisemakers aren't exempt. Someone screaming that all pornographic materials are evil in overcompensation for their own shame doesn't negate the search records that show that they're a rather ardent consumer of it.

Generally, to me, if someone says "Eh, not really into it, fine for other people", I'll believe them. If they foam and froth and scream and give a sermon about how evil it is, with lots of lurid detail, I tend to believe that they've got at least half a dozen paid memberships to seriously wierd sites that they peruse in the wee hours.

RealGun
January 20, 2006, 09:57 AM
There is good porn and bad porn. A site that charges for access to the material is a bona fide business. If a kid is old enough to have a credit card and establish an account, willing to be accountable to parents for the charges, I don't see any problem. A site that doesn't charge is either just evil or should be considered for adults only, those with the rights that everyone is so concerned about. If a site with material classified as porn was required to charge for access, I think that's a pretty clever way to restrict access by kids considered too young to view it.

Manedwolf
January 20, 2006, 10:08 AM
A site that doesn't charge is either just evil or should be considered for adults only, those with the rights that everyone is so concerned about.

How about parents being parents and NOT letting their kids go out on the web alone? The web isn't a safe nursery, nor should it be. It's a city. Cities have redlight districts. Would you drop a kid off in the the middle of a major city and let them run around? Then why would you let them on the web unaccompanied, either?

Parents using the web for a babysitter instead of something that needs to be OBSERVED while their children are using it are the issue, here. These are the same parents who whine that society should help raise their kids, remember.

Lupinus
January 20, 2006, 10:08 AM
They did a report on this on FoxNes this morning. According to them the goverment wants info only on those who have typed in keywords relating to child porn, not just porn in general. Makes me wonder just who has their facts messed up.

Edited to add-
If it is for child porn, and child porn only I would side with the feds on this one, child porn is a crime and a sick one at that. And keeping information on who is participating in it is wrong.

Now if it is general records to sift through or records for porn in general I am 100% with Google.

Also according to FoxNews other search engines like Yahoo have complied.

Manedwolf
January 20, 2006, 10:10 AM
They did a report on this on FoxNes this morning. According to them they want info only on those who have typed in keyords relating to child porn, not just porn in general. Makes me wonder just who has their facts messed up.

Oh, I'm sure that works really well. Sort of like how firewalls will slam the PORN filter down and report anyone in an office who tries to look up something like breast cancer resources. Because we all know there's no words in the English language with multiple contexts. :rolleyes:

Lupinus
January 20, 2006, 10:21 AM
Oh, I'm sure that works really well. Sort of like how firewalls will slam the PORN filter down and report anyone in an office who tries to look up something like breast cancer resources. Because we all know there's no words in the English language with multiple contexts.
Agreed. But there are a few pretty specific words out there that can't be said here.

Though sadly, porn has gotten good at sticking words in what they submit so that it pops up in searchs with nothing to do with it.

Ezekiel
January 20, 2006, 10:36 AM
I just Googled "Feds" and "records" in order to support my ongoing fetish with tinfoil and was sent to THIS very thread! :)

Okay, not really, but "goat porn" does seem to permeate the airwaves using a variety of search engine tricks...

RealGun
January 20, 2006, 10:56 AM
How about parents being parents and NOT letting their kids go out on the web alone? The web isn't a safe nursery, nor should it be. It's a city. Cities have redlight districts. Would you drop a kid off in the the middle of a major city and let them run around? Then why would you let them on the web unaccompanied, either?

Parents using the web for a babysitter instead of something that needs to be OBSERVED while their children are using it are the issue, here. These are the same parents who whine that society should help raise their kids, remember.

Ever been a parent?

RealGun
January 20, 2006, 11:02 AM
I don't see singling out child porn on the internet as workable. What is illegal is taking the pictures and organizing the scene. The internet would just be used as a trace back to the actual crime. Penalizing private interest in viewing child porn is highly questionable.

cuchulainn
January 20, 2006, 11:07 AM
I don't see singling out child porn on the internet as workable. What is illegal is taking the pictures and organizing the scene. The internet would just be used as a trace back to the actual crime. Penalizing private interest in viewing child porn is highly questionable.If I'm not mistaken, child porn laws make viewing it illegal too -- on the grounds that by viewing it, you are supporting it (often financially) and thus are a knowing participant in the violation of a child.

xd9fan
January 20, 2006, 11:10 AM
Where are the "conservatives" of the GOP???? Where are they????

seansean
January 20, 2006, 11:17 AM
:o um....I guess I better stop doing those yahoo searches for "lusty latinas"....
on a more serious note, now that I know that yahoo gave up the search records, I will no longer use them. for anything.:fire:

rick_reno
January 20, 2006, 11:30 AM
They did a report on this on FoxNes this morning. According to them the goverment wants info only on those who have typed in keywords relating to child porn, not just porn in general. Makes me wonder just who has their facts messed up.

Now if it is general records to sift through or records for porn in general I am 100% with Google.

Also according to FoxNews other search engines like Yahoo have complied.

Not quite right. Fox news is almost as bad as Al Jazeera.

The Justice Department wants the court to compel Google to hand over 1 million random Web addresses from its search index as well as all the terms users typed into its search engine over a one-week period.

The reason: The government is in a legal fight to defend the constitutionality of the Child Online Protection Act. Although the case, Gonzales vs. ACLU, does not involve Google, the government says it needs the information from the search firm to ``understand the behavior of current Web users, to estimate how often Web users encounter harmful-to-minor materials in the course of their searches and to measure the effectiveness of filtering software in screening that material.''


Source and opinion - http://www.mercurynews.com/mld/mercurynews/news/opinion/13669370.htm

RealGun
January 20, 2006, 11:34 AM
If I'm not mistaken, child porn laws make viewing it illegal too -- on the grounds that by viewing it, you are supporting it (often financially) and thus are a knowing participant in the violation of a child.

That's the part that goes too far and establishes precedent for exercising the same judgement and power on something less offensive.

cuchulainn
January 20, 2006, 11:43 AM
That's the part that goes too far and establishes precedent for exercising the same judgement and power on something less offensiveA person who views child porn is paying someone else to rape a child and take pictures of it. The only precedent established is that a person cannot pay someone to commit a violent crime and record it for viewing pleasure.

The point is that if you knowingly participate in a rape, even if only indirectly, you commit a crime. You are aiding and abetting the crime by paying someone to do it.

If no child is violated in the creation of the porn (an 18 year old who looks 14), AFAIK, it wouldn't be a crime

RealGun
January 20, 2006, 11:45 AM
A person who views child porn is paying someone else to rape a child and take pictures of it. The only precedent established is that a person cannot pay someone to commit a violent crime and record it for viewing pleasure.

The point is that if you knowingly participate in a rape, even if only indirectly, you commit a crime. You are aiding and abetting the crime by paying someone to do it.

If no child is violated in the creation of the porn (an 18 year old who looks 14), AFAIK, it wouldn't be a crime

Nah. I reject the cause and effect argument. Supply is more guilty than demand.

cuchulainn
January 20, 2006, 11:51 AM
Nah. I reject the cause and effect argument. Supply is more guilty than demand.So, if Mr. X pays someone to rape your daughter and take pictures of it, Mr. X commits no crime because he doesn't do the actual raping or picture taking? Spare me.

It's not the viewing -- per se -- that's illegal (a cop can keep a database of kiddie porn for investigative purposes, for example). It's the aiding and abetting.

This is like hiring a hit man. You don't do the actual killing, so you commit no crime, right? Wrong.

A person cannot pay someone to commit a crime for him. That's what he does when he is a child porn consumer.

Beren
January 20, 2006, 11:53 AM
You are aiding and abetting the crime by paying someone to do it.

Using your logic, it becomes "okay" if the child porn is distributed freely?

cuchulainn
January 20, 2006, 12:01 PM
Using your logic, it becomes "okay" if the child porn is distributed freely?Yes, I focused too much on the money part.

It's also typically a crime to entice someone to commit a crime for you, even if no money is exchanged. If a woman talks her boyfriend into killing her ex-husband, even if no money is exchanged, she commits a crime.

Again, it's the aiding and abetting that's the crime. It's the knowing participation in and encouragement of a rape -- even if only indirectly.

m0ntels
January 20, 2006, 12:37 PM
It doesnt look like this has been posted yet...Google is saying no to turning over the data...

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060120/ap_on_hi_te/google_records;_ylt=Agof.hIeELwz0b11WMbJT_R34T0D;_ylu=X3oDMTA5aHJvMDdwBHNlYwN5bmNhdA--

Google Inc. is rebuffing the Bush administration's demand for a peek at what millions of people have been looking up on the Internet's leading search engine a request that underscores the potential for online databases to become tools for government surveillance.


Randy

RealGun
January 20, 2006, 12:58 PM
So, if Mr. X pays someone to rape your daughter and take pictures of it, Mr. X commits no crime because he doesn't do the actual raping or picture taking? Spare me.

It's not the viewing -- per se -- that's illegal (a cop can keep a database of kiddie porn for investigative purposes, for example). It's the aiding and abetting.

This is like hiring a hit man. You don't do the actual killing, so you commit no crime, right? Wrong.

A person cannot pay someone to commit a crime for him. That's what he does when he is a child porn consumer.

I liken it somewhat to a drug user versus a drug dealer, the dealer being more the demon in common references. I expect that the rationale will depend upon the emotional investment.

cuchulainn
January 20, 2006, 01:12 PM
I liken it somewhat to a drug user versus a drug dealer, the dealer being more the demon in common references. I expect that the rationale will depend upon the emotional investment.How you "liken it" and emotional investment are irrellevant. The fact is that when someone encourages and entices someone else to commit a crime, it's aiding and abetting, which also is a crime.

In any event, your drug analogy fails because it involves just two parties: the the dealer and the user. Kiddie porn has three parties. The dealer, the user and the child-victim. Thus, we can argue that drug use involves no victim. We cannot argue that use of kiddie porn involves no victim.

The question is whether the "user" -- who aid and abets the rape, often paying to see it committed -- shares some of the criminal guilt.

He does.

Beren
January 20, 2006, 01:16 PM
I liken it somewhat to a drug user versus a drug dealer, the dealer being more the demon in common references. I expect that the rationale will depend upon the emotional investment.

Not much of a fan of that comparison, either. Were heroin a legal product, that "drug dealer" would be your local pharmacist. Would we still picture the dealer as a "demon" in that context?

Child pornography is a secondary crime. It documents the sexual abuse of a child. It isn't the recorded images which are criminal to me, nor its replay, disgusting as it is. The crime is that which was recorded, and that crime should be aggressively prosecuted.

Here's another logic puzzle for you:

Suppose someone creates realistic child pornography that is entirely computer generated - should its creation and consumption be prosecuted the same as "regular" child porn?

RealGun
January 20, 2006, 01:20 PM
Suppose someone creates realistic child pornography that is entirely computer generated - should its creation and consumption be prosecuted the same as "regular" child porn?

I wouldn't think so. No child has been harmed or corrupted.

Daniel T
January 20, 2006, 01:31 PM
I wouldn't think so. No child has been harmed or corrupted.

Yeah, tell that to the slightly retarded guy I know in Dallas who stupidly accepted deferred ajudication for the "sexual assault" of a "minor" that only existed in a chat room.

I do happen to agree with you though. Too bad the whole situation is so fraught with emotion that there can never be an objective look at it.

Sindawe
January 20, 2006, 01:33 PM
I wouldn't think so. No child has been harmed or corrupted. Based on this article (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Child_pornography#Simulated) on Wikipedia, U.S Supreme Court as ruled such. http://supct.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/00-795.ZS.html

ceetee
January 20, 2006, 01:48 PM
Child pornography is a secondary crime. It documents the sexual abuse of a child. It isn't the recorded images which are criminal to me, nor its replay, disgusting as it is. The crime is that which was recorded, and that crime should be aggressively prosecuted.


Not entirely true. Child pornography has been determined to be so heinous that mere possession of an image is a felony. Just like the War on Drugs, The War on Child Pornography is being prosecuted from both ends; the users as well as the producers.


It's also typically a crime to entice someone to commit a crime for you, even if no money is exchanged. If a woman talks her boyfriend into killing her ex-husband, even if no money is exchanged, she commits a crime.

The word you're looking for is "conspiracy". It's illegal to conspire with others to commit an illegal act, even if no act occurs. Thought crime.

cuchulainn
January 20, 2006, 01:59 PM
ceetee: The word you're looking for is "conspiracy". It's illegal to conspire with others to commit an illegal act, even if no act occurs. Thought crime.No, the words I'm looking for are aiding and abetting since kiddie porn involves a crime actually occurring, with the viewer being an active and knowing participant in the rape.Sindawe: Based on this article on Wikipedia, U.S Supreme Court as ruled such. http://supct.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/00-795.ZS.htmlIf I read that correctly, SCOTUS struck down a law against "virtual child porn." I can live with that since no actual child is violated in its creation.Daniel T: Too bad the whole situation is so fraught with emotion that there can never be an objective look at it.Actually, everyone on both side of the debate in this thread has been doing a good job of keeping the emotionalism in check, so it is possible to take an objective look at it.

Sindawe
January 20, 2006, 02:00 PM
It's illegal to conspire with others to commit an illegal act, even if no act occurs. Thought crime.Unless of course one of the conspiritors happens to be an agent of the law. THAT person is free of blame, even if they were the most active or driving participant. :cuss:

cuchulainn
January 20, 2006, 02:14 PM
Incidentally, not every image of a minor in a sexual situation is child porn.

Remember the scene in American Beauty in which Thora Birch takes her shirt off in front of a window? It was cleary sexual, and she was a minor (age 16) when it was filmed.

Remember the scene in Pretty Baby that showed full frontal nudity of Brooke Shields (12 at the time of filming) in a pre-sex scene?

Thus, the law does accomodate the use of naked children in sexual situations for "art."

In Birch's case, her parents were present at the filming, as were (IIRC) child-protective representatives, etc. I assume that also was the case in the 1970s with Shields, but I don't know.

Malone LaVeigh
January 20, 2006, 02:59 PM
They did a report on this on FoxNes this morning. According to them the goverment wants info only on those who have typed in keywords relating to child porn, not just porn in general. Makes me wonder just who has their facts messed up.

Edited to add-
If it is for child porn, and child porn only I would side with the feds on this one, child porn is a crime and a sick one at that.
Some years ago, a school counsellor told me about a really good book about the issues facing girls the age (at that time) of my daughter. It was the Ophelia book, don't remember the full name. When I got home, not knowing the name, I went to a search engine and entered "teen girls book". You can imagine what I got.

So I suppose I'm in their database now...

Malone LaVeigh
January 20, 2006, 03:02 PM
No, the words I'm looking for are aiding and abetting since kiddie porn involves a crime actually occurring, with the viewer being an active and knowing participant in the rape.
Wouldn't that apply to all porn, then? Someone is filming an act in which someone is getting paid to have sex. Sounds like aiding and abetting prostitution to me.

Not that I think prostitution should be illegal, but I'm just one of those leftist libertarians.

Camp David
January 20, 2006, 03:06 PM
Incidentally, not every image of a minor in a sexual situation is child porn...If you are downloading it, chances are it is! You'd be hard pressed to defend it. I think that settles issue then and there!

odysseus
January 20, 2006, 03:09 PM
Wouldn't that apply to all porn, then? Someone is filming an act in which someone is getting paid to have sex. Sounds like aiding and abetting prostitution to me.

That's a great question to a conversation I had at a dinner party not long ago (yes sometimes we go into fun talks :) ). If prostitution is illegal in most all jurisdictions, then how is most adult pornography legal since they are filmed in the same jursidictions? How is there an entire billion dollar industry that is pure prostitution, with "agents" (pimps) and "stars" (da ho's) being paid money to have sex, all be it in front of a camera? Also not all the time is say the male participant being paid, as was brought to my attention - so it really sometimes is paid for pleasure, but filmed.

I am not trying to take a position on this from asking, what I am trying to find out is what is the legal framework that allows this form of prostitution to be legal and not another?

cuchulainn
January 20, 2006, 03:16 PM
Malone LaVeigh: Wouldn't that apply to all porn, then? Someone is filming an act in which someone is getting paid to have sex. Sounds like aiding and abetting prostitution to me.The difference is that prostitution (and other acts of adults getting paid for sex) -- like drug sale/use -- does not involve a third-party who is an innocent victim.

In any event, I see the rape/molestation/violation of a child as mala in se, while prostitution merely is mala prohibita.Camp David: If you are downloading it, chances are it is! You'd be hard pressed to defend it. I think that settles issue then and there!It is legal to view both movies (American Beauty and Pretty Baby) -- you can get either at any Blockbuster -- even though they involve actresses who were minors when they filmed sexual scenes while nude/partially nude. Thus, I don't see how it would be illegal to download the scenes or still shots to your computer (other than copyright violations, but that's another matter).

Lobotomy Boy
January 20, 2006, 03:17 PM
This is an interesting conversation about child porn, but the issue here is the government prying into our records. Child porn is a nasty business, but I have yet to see any hard data on how prevelant it really is. Often when the government trots out some heinous issue to use to scare us into forfeiting our civil liberties, that issue is something of a smoke screen. We all hate child porn, or at least most of us do, I assume. And someone, somewhere must be making a profit off of child porn. But what percentage of pornography on the Internet is child porn? Given the severe penalties and the relatively small audience for child porn, I'd have to guess the percentages are infintisimile.

Besides, the Justice Department is not even talking about child porn. The problem, as they see it, is that children are viewing regular porn. While this sounds like an issue of proper child supervision to me, with the socialist nanny-state mentality governing our society we seem to believe that it is government's job to supervise the children and not the parents' job. Thus the government is trying to use the straw dog of pornography to get some control over the Internet. (Think how hard forums like this one make it for the government to herd the population like mindless sheep.)

As for the mentality that the government is appealing to in order to accomplish this task, the following quote nails it:

Generally, to me, if someone says "Eh, not really into it, fine for other people", I'll believe them. If they foam and froth and scream and give a sermon about how evil it is, with lots of lurid detail, I tend to believe that they've got at least half a dozen paid memberships to seriously wierd sites that they peruse in the wee hours.


We loathe in others those qualities we most fear within ourselves.

Camp David
January 20, 2006, 03:23 PM
Thus, I don't see how it would be illegal to download the scenes or still shots to your computer (other than copyright violations, but that's another matter).

That's not the point...

This issue touches upon the definition of pornography and why even the U.S. Supreme Court had trouble defining it originally...

As I said, what you mentioned about "the scenes" is not the point... what you are describing would be scenes of movie that shouldn't be available apart from the larger whole. That is the point, regardless of whether they are available at Blockbuster or elsewhere. That sort of stuff on someone's would label that person guilty of quite a bit and obviously ill.

cuchulainn
January 20, 2006, 03:24 PM
Lobotomy Boy: This is an interesting conversation about child porn, but the issue here is the government prying into our records. Child porn is a nasty business, but I have yet to see any hard data on how prevelant it really is. Often when the government trots out some heinous issue to use to scare us into forfeiting our civil liberties, that issue is something of a smoke screen. We all hate child porn, or at least most of us do, I assume. Yes, and my defense of child porn laws in no way should be construed as a defense of the government's actions against Google.

cuchulainn
January 20, 2006, 03:31 PM
Camp David: what you are describing would be scenes of movie that shouldn't be available apart from the larger whole.1) Yes, if the filmakers did nothing but film those scenes, without the context of the movies, then the scenes probably would have been deemed child porn -- it's a context thing.

2) If somone splices out the naked pictures of Birch (at 16) or Shields (at 12) for prurient viewing pleasure, would that be considered child porn? Good question, given that the originating work was not child porn. I don't know.

cuchulainn
January 20, 2006, 03:45 PM
odyssius: I am not trying to take a position on this from asking, what I am trying to find out is what is the legal framework that allows this form of prostitution to be legal and not another?Because it's done for "artistic" purposes, which is protected by the first amendment.

Yes, a child porn defender might claim it too was for "artistic" purposes. But he could not get around the fact that the creation of the work involved the violation of a child -- making it a mala in se act.

Yes, someone else could then turn around and say, "But aren't the adults in porn also often victimized." Yes. I guess the law makes distinctions between the vicitmization of an adult and the victimization of a child.

cuchulainn
January 20, 2006, 03:53 PM
Here's another interesting point. About 10 years ago -- in either Ann Landers or Dear Abby, believe it or not -- I recall reading a letter from a guy who had sexual, naked pictures of his high school girlfriend. Both of them were minors when the pictures were taken. He wondered if he posessed child porn.

The lawyer consulted (by Ann or Abby) said that it was not a criminal act when it occured, since both he and his girlfriend were minors. But as soon as he turned 18, he became a criminal if he still posessed the pictures (even though the girl also now was an adult).

Take that for what it's worth, given that it came from Dear Abby/Ann Landers.

Waitone
January 20, 2006, 04:09 PM
Two points

1>Google needs to be rewarded for its stand and Yahoo needs to be punished.

2>Where are the guardians of our civil liberties, ACLU.

silliman89
January 20, 2006, 04:56 PM
cuchulainn -- #29
Does Google save the IP address of each searcher, assuming the IP address is not hidden behind a firewall? Is there some other way to use search-engine data to identify particular searchers out of billions of searches?

I don't know how long, or even if, Google saves IP addresses. There is no other way to identify searches though. Microsoft and Intel, at least, have proposed other ways IIRC, but nothing else has been implemented.

RealGun -- #30
If enabling cookies was required, I believe there would be adequate data to maintain a database of which computer searched for what. If you can be passed a cookie file, the same information can be stored on the other side.

That's true as far as it goes. What you need to keep in mind though is that most people (effectively everyone) connect to the internet through an Internet Service Provider (ISP). Every time you turn your computer on and connect, you get a new IP address from your ISP's range. If your ISP is your employer then they probably use DHCP to allocate IP's. In that case your IP address may change during a pause in your session if the DHCP server decides you weren't using it any more. (I don't know if commercial ISP's like AOL use DHCP or not.)

Bottom line is that it isn't even theoretically possible for any web site, such as Google, to know who you are by name unless you log in. They only route you packets of information by IP address. There may or may not be a record of the IP address, but if there is it is owned by your ISP not by you.

Theoretically, the Gov't could ask your ISP "who was assigned IP address 7.7.66.123 at 23:59 on 31Dec05?" But I've never worked anyplace that kept records of things like that, again assuming your employer is your ISP. I don't think the commercial ISP's keep records like that either, but I guess I don't know.

That's what you have to watch out for though if you're concerned about invasion of your privacy, subpoena of ISP records. This subpoena of search engine results is just, as others have mentioned, a nameless, faceless, compilation of statistics.

taliv
January 20, 2006, 05:29 PM
there are plenty of theoretical ways to identify searches.
there are lots of ways to track w/o using IP addresses.

Bottom line is that it isn't even theoretically possible for any web site, such as Google, to know who you are by name unless you log in.

that couldn't be further from the truth.

While google, specifically, has made a reputation off not being "evil", you shouldn't do anything over the internet you wouldn't want to be public knowledge (after taking into consideration the risk).

ceetee
January 20, 2006, 05:47 PM
No, the words I'm looking for are aiding and abetting since kiddie porn involves a crime actually occurring, with the viewer being an active and knowing participant in the rape.


In the "pickayune details" department: People "conspire" to commit a certain act together.

A person is "aided" or "abetted" after the fact, by someone who had no part in the actual crime, before, during, or after.

In most cases, "conspiracy" is a more serious charge than giving aid after the fact.

Regardless, kudos to Google for not bending over for Big Brother.

silliman89
January 20, 2006, 05:49 PM
there are plenty of theoretical ways to identify searches.
there are lots of ways to track w/o using IP addresses.

Would you care to provide an example?

The only other identifying info I know of is MAC address, but that's only used inside the gateway router.

MDG1976
January 20, 2006, 05:55 PM
Maybe I'll buy that tinfoil after all...

taliv
January 20, 2006, 05:55 PM
sure, peruse www.bigbrotherinside.org for way more details than you ever wanted to know about the intel chip serial numbers

In January, 1999, Intel announced that all new Pentium III processors would include a unique identifier, the Processor Serial Number (PSN).

Although Intel made a utility available to consumers that would allow the consumer the choice of enabling or disabling the PSN, it was shown that rogue web sites were able to access the PSN, even if the PSN were diabled. The PSN has the potential to transform the World Wide Web from a largely anonymous environment into one where individuals are expected, or even required, to identify themselves in order to participate in online activities, communicate, and make purchases.

that's one example.

Regardless, kudos to Google for not bending over for Big Brother.

i agree, but keep in mind that yesterday's private company whose culture was dominated by well-intentioned liberals is today's public company, run by stock holders who want a return on the $480/share they invested.

KriegHund
January 20, 2006, 06:05 PM
The internet is the new frontier.
Like any frontier, the governement wants to control and regulate it ASAP.
At least i will be able to remember the day when there was a place where the government wasnt totally all pervasive.

Considering how widespread the porn business is online, i doubt the government will be able to wrangle it.

Not only that, but our society is becoming more open the- sometimes strange- wants of the human mind. The old farts who cry "for the children!" are a dying breed.

In 20 years, we will either live in a police state, or the most liberal (not leftist, democrat liberal) society the world has ever seen.
Personally, i see that as a wonderful thing.

And im curious if they would also track/regulate/ban porn not involving humans (CG, hentai etc.)

cordex
January 20, 2006, 06:33 PM
Just had a thought ...
Lots of discussion about how the viewing of child porn (whatever your definition) by non-law-enforcement is and should be illegal because it supports the creation thereof.

Couldn't the same argument be made about pictures and videos of people dying?

As with child pornography, there are those out there who are stimulated for whatever freakish reason by images of death. There was a video out a while back called "Faces of Death" that purported to show a compilation of various killings and accidental deaths.

Wouldn't viewing of such images encourage the crime of further killing in much the same way as viewing child pornography is said to encourage the crime of child molestation?
Here's another interesting point. About 10 years ago -- in either Ann Landers or Dear Abby, believe it or not -- I recall reading a letter from a guy who had sexual, naked pictures of his high school girlfriend. Both of them were minors when the pictures were taken. He wondered if he posessed child porn.

The lawyer consulted (by Ann or Abby) said that it was not a criminal act when it occured, since both he and his girlfriend were minors. But as soon as he turned 18, he became a criminal if he still posessed the pictures (even though the girl also now was an adult).

Take that for what it's worth, given that it came from Dear Abby/Ann Landers.
I don't think that is accurate. A while back an underage girl took pictures of herself naked and sent them to people in some chatrooms. She was later charged with producing and distributing child pornography. Of herself. I really don't think that the boyfriend's being underage would have protected him from prosecution if the "victim" of the crime of child pornography can be prosecuted for "victimizing" themselves.

For what it is worth, the concept of child porn disgusts me, but drawing the line confuses me. I'm not sure what makes a picture of a topless young woman when she is 17 years and 364 days old a felony, another picture taken the same day art, and another taken the next day legal pornography. I'm not sure why in some US jurisdictions a 14 year old can legally have sex but can't legally show a picture of themselves partially nude. The gestalt just doesn't make sense.

308win
January 20, 2006, 06:39 PM
My opinion of Google went up considerably as a result of this, FWIW.


Strange...
Before you start handing out freedom awards consider that Google may be concerned that its user base will find out what information it has collected about them. Just my cynical self ruminating.

silliman89
January 20, 2006, 06:42 PM
taliv -- #87
sure, peruse www.bigbrotherinside.org for way more details than you ever wanted to know about the intel chip serial numbers

Intel introduced the PSN 7 years ago. Everybody complained. Nobody liked it. It came turned off by default. No one turned it on and used it. Intel discontinued it. This is what I was referring to in my first post when I said Intel had proposed other ways to identify searches. I direct your attention to the top of the page of the link you provided.

Latest News (April 28, 2000)

Intel to Drop PSN in New Chips!

Even bigbrotherinside.org has had nothing to say about this for almost 6 years. It's just not an issue.

Now don't get me wrong. This was a big deal back then. It's good that everyone complained. This could have turned into the Orwellian nightmare that your website was talking about. But that's not what happened.

The facts are that most of us (i.e. more than half) don't have PIII processors. (My memory from the time is that not even all PIII's had PSN's, but I could be mistaken.) If we do have chips with PSN's, they're probably turned off, as they came from the factory. That may not sound very reassuring, but that leads to the fact that no one ever bothered to use PSN's to build these giant databases matching everyone's personal private info to their computer ID. There was never any money in it because it never caught on.

If you're sitting around today worried that you've left an audit trail every place you've ever been on the web because of Intel PSN's, you're mistaken.

taliv
January 20, 2006, 07:01 PM
Bottom line is that it isn't even theoretically possible for any web site, such as Google, to know who you are by name unless you log in.

you asked for an example, i provided one. there are plenty more that are in use currently (cookies, beacons, spyware, just to name a few). i'm just pointing out that it is more than theoretically possible.

If we do have chips with PSN's, they're probably turned off, as they came from the factory. That may not sound very reassuring, but that leads to the fact that no one ever bothered to use PSN's to build these giant databases matching everyone's personal private info to their computer ID. There was never any money in it because it never caught on.

as the quote i posted mentioned, due to bugs, even when they are turned off, they can still be used to identify your chip. lots of companies out there are building giant databases than can identify you personally. it has caught on. there's tons of money in it. if you doubt that, ask yourself why companies like krogers offer big discounts on all their products for nothing more than swiping your card so they can track what you've purchased.

KriegHund
January 20, 2006, 07:50 PM
My ISP remains the same, at least insofar as Diablo 2, warcraft 3, and stronghold is concerned.

I remember hearing that while phone modems change IP's (Making IP bans on them useless) cable modems remained the same?

Ill look it up...

silliman89
January 20, 2006, 08:03 PM
taliv -- #92
i'm just pointing out that it is more than theoretically possible.

I stand corrected that one can theorize about it, so it is theoretically possible. I guess I was grandstanding and overstated my case there. However I feel that is a semantic error, and while it may be embarrassing to me, it doesn't invalidate the point I was making.

In fact I have to be more careful and say that I was talking about legitimate web pages like Google and Yahoo which, like Intel, are high profile companies. They would not get away with using spyware which is a program much like a virus, unintentionally downloaded onto your computer.

Spyware could look into all your files for personal info and send it back to it's creator. Hackers can get away with things like that because they only attack small numbers of people. Eventually, a lot of hackers attack the wrong computer, or get sloppy, and get caught. Many more probably never do, I would guess. But if Google or any large company tried something like that, they'd get caught right away and everyone would be talking about it.

Cookies only place information on your computer that the web page already knows. In order for a cookie to contain your personal identity, you have to tell that info to the web page in the first place. A web page could use a cookie to assign you an individual ID and then track your history with that ID number, but there's no way to use a cookie to find out who you are unless you tell the web page your name.

I've never heard of beacons, but I did a web search. Are you talking about encoded software that causes your computer to emit an electromagnetic signal that can be received by a van out in front of your house? I fail to see how that applies to this specific discussion.

taliv -- #92
lots of companies out there are building giant databases than can identify you personally. it has caught on. there's tons of money in it.

Yes, but these customer databases aren't based on your computer's processor serial number. Any store with a credit card or member card, or any web page you log into, keeps track of you and what you buy. There's money in that. But it's only done after you tell them who you are. I don't log into search engines and tell them who I am.

Search engines make their money from their sponsors. Companies pay them to be featured prominently in a search. They probably keep track of the kinds of searches that are done in order to better bill their sponsors. They don't keep track of individual people and their personal search history because there isn't any way to obtain that info passively, and they wouldn't be able to get away with invasively stealing personal info with spyware.

Now if someone's logging onto a small porno site to look at underage girls, then you've got a lot to be afraid of. That site will probably be shut down soon. They have no reason not to infect your computer with spyware and steal your personal info. After they do, they'll probably sell it. I'm sure there are huge lists floating around from this sort of thing.

After thinking about what you've said, I'll modify my earlier statement though. Bottom line is that it isn't possible for a legitimate web site that wants to stay in business, such as Google, to know who you are by name unless you log in.

Waitone
January 20, 2006, 08:21 PM
Old News directly applicable

http://news.com.com/NSA+granted+Net+location-tracking+patent/2100-7348_3-5875953.html

<snip> The NSA did not respond Wednesday to an interview request, and the patent description talks only generally about the technology's potential uses. It says the geographic location of Internet users could be used to "measure the effectiveness of advertising across geographic regions" or flag a password that "could be noted or disabled if not used from or near the appropriate location."

Other applications of the geo-location patent, invented by Stephen Huffman and Michael Reifer of Maryland, could relate to the NSA's signals intelligence mission--which is, bluntly put, spying on the communications of non-U.S. citizens.

"If someone's engaged in a dialogue or frequenting a 'bad' Web site, the NSA might want to know where they are," said Mike Liebhold, a senior researcher at the Institute for the Future who has studied geo-location technology. "It wouldn't give them precision, but it would give them a clue that they could use to narrow down the location with other intelligence methods."<snip>

silliman89
January 20, 2006, 08:21 PM
KriegHund -- #93
I remember hearing that while phone modems change IP's (Making IP bans on them useless) cable modems remained the same?

I think all you're referring to is that modems hang up when you're done, so you can use the phone too, while cable modems remain on line continuously. You can turn your computer off and leave your cable modem on. When you turn your computer back on, you should still have the same IP address because your ISP server and your cable modem have never disconnected. If you power off your cable modem then I expect you'd get a different IP next time you power back up.

It's possible though that cable modems might have something like a MAC address as NIC cards do. Then your ISP might statically assign an IP address to your cable modem. I don't see why they'd do that though. It's much more manpower intensive which is why corporate LAN's have been switching to dynamic address assignment, mostly through DHCP, for years now.

That still wouldn't allow anyone besides your ISP to know who you were. If that were true, it would just mean you'd have the same anonymous address all the time.

silliman89
January 20, 2006, 08:42 PM
Waitone -- #95
Old News directly applicable

http://news.com.com/NSA+granted+Net+...3-5875953.html

That's very interesting. I've never heard of anything like this. The source is only from last fall, so it's not that old.

The NSA's patent relies on measuring the latency, meaning the time lag between computers exchanging data, of "numerous" locations on the Internet and building a "network latency topology map." Then, at least in theory, the Internet address to be identified can be looked up on the map by measuring how long it takes known computers to connect to the unknown one.

The technique isn't foolproof. People using a dial-up connection can't be traced beyond their Internet service provider--which could be in an different area of the country

So this doesn't pinpoint your house or anything like that. It certainly doesn't allow you to be tracked by name. BG's or Feds, if you differentiate, can't find you using this.

cordex
January 20, 2006, 09:29 PM
Bottom line is that it isn't even theoretically possible for any web site, such as Google, to know who you are by name unless you log in. They only route you packets of information by IP address. There may or may not be a record of the IP address, but if there is it is owned by your ISP not by you.
Tracking IP addresses is good enough, for the most part.
If you go to your local internet Cafe, boot up an Anonym.OS LiveCD, have Anonym.OS scramble your MAC address, connect to the TOR network, bring up the secured Firefox browser that comes packed with it, start browsing and never log in with any personally identifiable information you can come close to being anonymous.
You are correct in saying that Google probably won't know who you are, but it would be a tremendous mistake to think you are anonymous on the 'net.
Theoretically, the Gov't could ask your ISP "who was assigned IP address 7.7.66.123 at 23:59 on 31Dec05?" But I've never worked anyplace that kept records of things like that, again assuming your employer is your ISP. I don't think the commercial ISP's keep records like that either, but I guess I don't know.
Not theoretically at all. They do it all the time. There's a reason even the lowliest hackers take control of poorly secured computers and set them up as proxies to bounce their packets before doing anything obvious.

Many ISPs work with the government on a request basis, not even requiring a supoena. And be assured, commercial ISPs do keep those kinds of logs, and you might be surprised as to what information is automatically kept at most businesses. You may not know how to get to the logs, but they're there.
That's what you have to watch out for though if you're concerned about invasion of your privacy, subpoena of ISP records. This subpoena of search engine results is just, as others have mentioned, a nameless, faceless, compilation of statistics.
It's really not as faceless as you might think.
"If someone's engaged in a dialogue or frequenting a 'bad' Web site, the NSA might want to know where they are," said Mike Liebhold, a senior researcher at the Institute for the Future who has studied geo-location technology. "It wouldn't give them precision, but it would give them a clue that they could use to narrow down the location with other intelligence methods."
They've got a new method, but in reality this is nothing new. Heck, try this:
Grab your IP address and go to: http://www.dnsstuff.com/
Put the IP address in the "City From IP" box and click "Find City"
It might not be your exact city, but it'll probably be close.

BenW
January 20, 2006, 10:47 PM
Anonym.OS

http://theory.kaos.to/projects.html

benEzra
January 20, 2006, 11:21 PM
Before you start handing out freedom awards consider that Google may be concerned that its user base will find out what information it has collected about them. Just my cynical self ruminating.
Entirely true. But the same calculus would apply to Yahoo and MSN, who handed over their info without protest. Maybe they hoped to keep it a secret?

Regarding search engines being able to identify you personally--if you are a member of Yahoo and a cookie, then Yahoo does indeed know who you are when you log on. On our previous computer, my wife had a My Yahoo thing and whenever one of us would use the regular Yahoo search page, it would greet her with her screen name.

CAnnoneer
January 20, 2006, 11:26 PM
Plenty of the things you men like to look kinda gross me out.

It would be pretty disturbing if they did not. Men and women are supposed to be different. Relish the differences.

taliv
January 21, 2006, 12:40 AM
I've never heard of beacons, but I did a web search. Are you talking about encoded software that causes your computer to emit an electromagnetic signal that can be received by a van out in front of your house? I fail to see how that applies to this specific discussion.

no. try here (http://www.google.com/search?client=firefox-a&rls=org.mozilla%3Aen-US%3Aofficial_s&hl=en&q=web+beacons&btnG=Google+Search).

Also called a Web bug or a pixel tag or a clear GIF. Used in combination with cookies, a Web beacon is an often-transparent graphic image, usually no larger than 1 pixel x 1 pixel, that is placed on a Web site or in an e-mail that is used to monitor the behavior of the user visiting the Web site or sending the e-mail.

i can't stress enough that the fact that you've never heard of a technology has no bearing on whether or not it can be used to track you.

sorry for the brief response, i'll try to give more detail sometime this weekend

hoppinglark
January 21, 2006, 02:05 AM
Could someone please explain to me what's so bad about this?
If I walk down the street to the video store and want to buy a dirty movies I have to prove I'm over 18.
If I buy a dirty movie or magazine and give it to kids, it's illegal.

But not on the Internet?

sorry I dont see the boogeymen on this one...

Ryder
January 21, 2006, 04:01 AM
Reward Google? You think they are doing this to benefit our rights?

This makes up for the fact that they ban advertisers of firearms?

Whatever :D

Entertaining thread even if I am not in their databanks.

Nematocyst
January 21, 2006, 05:16 AM
"From my cold, dead, calloused hand..." <The only significant chuckle I experienced while reading this thread>

Yeah, I 'explored' porn for a while, <he admits>.

But it got old.

Then, I found 'gun porn'.

Why, even cheerleaders covered with whipped cream sitting on illegal female donkies doesn't trump a fine set of vintage shotguns, or ... even better <panting now> explicit pictures of 642's.

Oh my g ... I'm ... so <pant> excited ...:evil:

For the last six months, my google searches have been dominated
(to the total exclusion of 'porn' <what ever that means>)
by googles on the following:

Savage arms
Remington 700
Remington 700 XCR <hot>
870P
frangible
reduced recoil shotgun ammo
ayoob
.357
SW 642
Kahr 9mm
CZ .22LR
.243
.308
7mm08...

And I've learned much.

Go go oogle.

:cool:

Johnny_Yuma
January 21, 2006, 05:45 AM
Um....well...I'm sure that mature/latex/lesbian porn is legal. Right?

Anyone?:uhoh:

Biker

They'll have to prosecute most of the Bureau special agents I know before they get to you!:evil: And ALL of the DEA agents....

JY

Herself
January 21, 2006, 11:10 AM
It would be pretty disturbing if they did not. Men and women are supposed to be different. Relish the differences.
Duh. That was why I mentioned it.

--H

Old Dog
January 21, 2006, 11:27 AM
Interesting to me how many people focus mainly on the technical aspects of this whole situation. For a moment, can we look at the actual issue of child porn (without getting too off-track from the thread)?

I wonder if perhaps many of those who enjoy gazing at images of child pornography on their computers may just, one day, put their sick lust for sexual experiences with children into action ...Or -- perhaps they already have abused children, and supplement that experience with computer child porn.

Or maybe images of child porn on the computer are enough to satisfy someone who might otherwise commit actual child sexual abuse? Somehow I doubt this, though ...

I'm wondering if any of our attorneys onboard have ever prosecuted or defended a child sex abuse case and had it come to light that the defendent was a frequent viewer of child porn images on his computer?

I served as a member of a court-martial (the equivalent of being on a civilian jury) a few years back. The defendent was charged with multiple sexual offenses on a young girl (who had been five at the time). We, the members, were sent out of the court numerous times as the admissibility of certain evidence was being discussed. As it happened, we were not allowed to hear (or see) some of the evidence as there were issues of how the prosecution had obtained the evidence.

We voted to hammer the defendent. There was more than enough evidence (the girl testified) that she'd been abused. However, we could have added even more years to the sentence -- and we would have, had we heard the disallowed evidence: the local PD had seized the defendent's computers, in which he had stored hundreds of images of child sexual abuse, and further, had been accessing for a long time, websites containing child porn.

Anyway, I wish such things did not exist. However, I applaud Google's stance (thus far) -- but, as a previous poster pointed out, there's probably more to it than what we know -- surely Google is protecting itself, and also as said, perhaps Google doesn't want some information about its own practices coming to light.

I find it interesting that we come to object now, on Consitutional grounds, of government intrusion into our lives -- in aspects of our lives that did not even exist 20 years ago. Fascinating.

Lobotomy Boy
January 21, 2006, 11:43 AM
I wonder if perhaps many of those who enjoy gazing at images of child pornography on their computers...

I wonder how many of those people actually exist. I'm sure there are some, and they are despicable to be sure, but what are their actual numbers? Is this really as huge a problem as the Justice Department would have us believe? If it is, as I suspect, a statistically insignificant problem, why would the Justice Department use this heinous but infrequent problem to whip us into a self-righteous frenzy? Could the JD have other motives, like perhaps frightening us into giving up even more of our liberty than we already have?

I suspect the reason we have never seen any actual statistics on the frequency of child porn is because once we saw how rare it really is the JD would have a harder time using it as a tool for fear mongering.

hoppinglark
January 21, 2006, 12:42 PM
I don't know about that.

when yahoo chat had user rooms there was always a few preteen pic trading rooms in the list
*shudders*

I'm always getting junk in my email that features, "young russians" "preteen girls in croatia" and other sick names that warrent an instant delete.

It's big overseas, so i think it has a following here too.

BenW
January 21, 2006, 12:51 PM
Interesting to me how many people focus mainly on the technical aspects of this whole situation. For a moment, can we look at the actual issue of child porn (without getting too off-track from the thread)?
Old Dog, it is my sincerest hope that no one who posts on this forum is engaged in the despicable activity of child pornography. I think what many of us are arguing is the "foot in the door" principle. When I see something like this, I temper my "yeah, get the dirty bastards" response with the question: "What would my most loathed politician do with this methodology of information gathering?"

For me, the question of what the gov is doing here is really no different than what they do with the Patriot Act. The Patriot Act, under the current administration, does little to affect me based on the way I live my life (other than the headaches at the airport). But under an administration completely opposed to my political philosophy, it scares me to death. Hence I don't like the Patriot Act. Same with the request for web surfing habits. Today it's child porn, in 2 years it could be "terrorists buying evil SKS 'assault rifles' from aimsurplus.com".

CAnnoneer
January 21, 2006, 08:58 PM
we could have added even more years to the sentence -- and we would have, had we heard the disallowed evidence: the local PD had seized the defendent's computers, in which he had stored hundreds of images of child sexual abuse, and further, had been accessing for a long time, websites containing child porn.


Please explain why you would add more years because he had pictures on his computer.

By the same logic, would you add more years to a person found guilty of firearm manslaughter because he has a large gun collection?

Old Dog
January 21, 2006, 09:37 PM
Please explain why you would add more years because he had pictures on his computer.
Excellent question. If you've any experience as a member of a jury, you might find out that every jury member's feelings regarding the guilt or innocence of the defendent are different. Some members practically need to see film of a defendent committing the crime. Others will readily believe the witness or victim testimony, regardless of whether or not there's other corroborating evidence (i.e., DNA or other physical evidence).

In the case I mentioned, we had a couple CM members who weren't totally convinced by the testimony of the victim (as you know, children can be "coached" by the prosecution or simply make up stories outright).

Had there been other evidence (that we, the CM members were exposed to), it would have been much, much easier to get a vote for the maximum sentence during the sentencing stage of the court martial. Often -- jury trials reach verdicts, or sentences, as a result of compromise.

By the same logic, would you add more years to a person found guilty of firearm manslaughter because he has a large gun collection?Absolutely not. For one thing -- that's NOT the same logic. CAnnoneer, c'mon, I expect better from you.

antarti
January 23, 2006, 05:18 PM
wonder if perhaps many of those who enjoy gazing at images of child pornography on their computers may just, one day, put their sick lust for sexual experiences with children into action ...Or -- perhaps they already have abused children, and supplement that experience with computer child porn.

I don't think there's a single form of punishment I would mind seeing inflicted on those who victimize children, but we're not talking about good police-work and arrest of the guilty here.

Any automated system is going to have problems differentiating the scumbag from the victim of some popup scripting or browser hijacking who thinks what just came onscreen is disgusting and in fact never asked for it. By that point, the file has been cached (by the browser and possibly the OS disk cache), cookies could be planted or updated, and the http requests and responses have been sent. No matter the link title was "Oriental Gardening for beginners" and the URL actually took you somewhere else, the electric eye noted it.

The creation of the porn is the crime, and like murder, I don't think people who see the equivalent of the chalk outlines and morgue pics years later should be prosecuted as if they encouraged, planned or committed it. There is a difference, but not to a machine.

This is a crime too heinous to tar and feather the innocent with even the accusation of it without solid evidence. Good luck restoring any semblance of your reputation after an arrest even if it goes nowhere.

CAS700850
January 23, 2006, 05:30 PM
Let's say they get the list. My name pops up. I'll admit that I've looked around to see what's out there. Purely an intellectual exercise. ;)

So what? Did I break any laws? Are they gonna try and use that for a P.C. statement in support of a search warrant to look and see if I have kiddie porn?

I'm afraid that this will be just another list my name appears on, and yet another reason while I may be an "undesirable" when Big Brother creates his militirized future state. Guns? Check. Porn? Check. Fatty foods? Check. Alcohol? Check. Lawyer? Double check. :D

KriegHund
January 23, 2006, 05:42 PM
(Qoute that used to be here wasnt really relavent.)
The problem can be related to guns.

There are those who abuse guns. The anti-gunners wish to ban all guns because of this, "To save a single life makes it wortwhile". They wish to regulate and track gun owners for this purpose.

All people are monitered because of a few sick ****s just like all gun owners must be monitered because of a few physco killers.

Im all for tracking down child pornographers and viewers thereof. What i am NOT for is tracking every single google search to do so.

You cannot have it both ways...

To further inforce the point, ill rephrase that.

Im all for tracking down murders and the people that help them. What i am NOT for is registering every single gun owner to do so.

Manedwolf
January 23, 2006, 05:45 PM
Old Dog, it is my sincerest hope that no one who posts on this forum is engaged in the despicable activity of child pornography. I think what many of us are arguing is the "foot in the door" principle. When I see something like this, I temper my "yeah, get the dirty bastards" response with the question: "What would my most loathed politician do with this methodology of information gathering?"

For me, the question of what the gov is doing here is really no different than what they do with the Patriot Act. The Patriot Act, under the current administration, does little to affect me based on the way I live my life (other than the headaches at the airport). But under an administration completely opposed to my political philosophy, it scares me to death. Hence I don't like the Patriot Act. Same with the request for web surfing habits. Today it's child porn, in 2 years it could be "terrorists buying evil SKS 'assault rifles' from aimsurplus.com".

There's also the fact that simply accusing someone of having viewed child porn, even just as RUMOR, is the smear tactic equivalent of tying them into a sack and throwing them off a cliff.

There is NO way to recover in the public eye from a rumor, even, of something that universally revilled.

KriegHund
January 23, 2006, 05:53 PM
There's also the fact that simply accusing someone of having viewed child porn, even just as RUMOR, is the smear tactic equivalent of tying them into a sack and throwing them off a cliff.

There is NO way to recover in the public eye from a rumor, even, of something that universally revilled.

Good point.

SALEM WITCH HUNT

Find no traces of child porn on computer? THEY MUST HAVE DELETED IT!
After all, they have normal porn! They must be a sick, sick, sick dog!

1950's RED SCARE

That man was talking about child porn yesterday! What, no evidence? Well heck, he has pictures of his daughter holding a pink M-16 on the internet! He must have deleted or hidden the real pictures!

To sacrfice the liberty of all for the persucution of a few is to sacrifice all libertys for the persucution of all.

Old Dog
January 23, 2006, 06:08 PM
Krieghund, why are you quoting my post? Please re-read it, in its entirety again. Apparently you, and at least one or two others, have confused my statements with those of someone who's indicated support for the feds going after internet search records. Speaking of records, for the record, here's what I said: However, I applaud Google's stance (thus far) -- but, as a previous poster pointed out, there's probably more to it than what we know -- surely Google is protecting itself, and also as said, perhaps Google doesn't want some information about its own practices coming to light.

All I was asking was whether anyone on this forum was familiar with cases of sex offenders and child porn on the internet, while also relating a case that I was familiar with ...

The problem can be related to guns. No, no it cannot. Child pornography is a crime in and of itself. Depictions of firearms on computers are perfectly legal. Relating one's legal interest in guns to one possibly being guilty of other crimes is not at all related to illegal computer activity. While government interest in one's private activities on the internet while in one's own home may be a conflict with our 4th Amendment rights, to attempt to draw links between this issue and gun issues at this point seems a bit of a stretch ...

KriegHund
January 23, 2006, 06:17 PM
Krieghund, why are you quoting my post? Please re-read it, in its entirety again. Apparently you, and at least one or two others, have confused my statements with those of someone who's indicated support for the feds going after internet search records. Speaking of records, for the record, here's what I said:

All I was asking was whether anyone on this forum was familiar with cases of sex offenders and child porn on the internet, while also relating a case that I was familiar with ...

No, no it cannot. Child pornography is a crime in and of itself. Depictions of firearms on computers are perfectly legal. Relating one's legal interest in guns to one possibly being guilty of other crimes is not at all related to illegal computer activity. While government interest in one's private activities on the internet while in one's own home may be a conflict with our 4th Amendment rights, to attempt to draw links between this issue and gun issues at this point seems a bit of a stretch ...

A) Because it seemed to be in support of tracking interenet activity. Looking back...not so much. My apologies.

B) I was not refering to the depiction of (images of) guns on the internet. I was stating that the attempt to attack the few guilty by sacrificing the rights of the innocent is a foolish endeavour. Just as gun owners have lost rights because a few people have been murdered with guns.

ill say again...

All people are monitered because of a few sick ****s just like all gun owners must be monitered because of a few physco killers.

CAnnoneer
January 23, 2006, 09:51 PM
All people are monitered because of a few sick ****s just like all gun owners must be monitered because of a few physco killers.

+1

Excellent summary of the issue.

justashooter
January 24, 2006, 02:00 AM
in some countries sex with children is not illegal. porn with children filmed there is not considered illegal in those countries. cultural schemas are variable.

i think the american statute does not consider it a violation of law to access a web page that contains child porn, unless you pay for it, and thereby take ownership.

it seems clear that saving child porn in any format actually brings it into the US, where it is subject to US laws, and posession is a felony.

searching for child porn with a net browser is a grey area, i suppose. does a web search for "children having sex images" actually involve intent to engage in criminal activity? not always.

if you are doing research on the question for whatever reason, i suppose it does not. if you are seeking sexual gratification, i suppose it does. criminal conviction usually depends on demonstrable intent, as well as incident. the keith richards incident is case in point.

in a recent THR thread involving 4 young people who kicked a man to death, it was noted that they were found guilty of manslaughter, rather than murder. it seems the jury did not believe they intended to kill the fellow, but that their deliberate malicious actions resulted in his death.

similarly, intent is an issue with child porn prosecution. the desire of the actor in the incident is key. proving such desire is the role of the prosecutor.

last year a sherrif in a pennsylvania town was found to have stored hundreds of CP images on his office computer. when it locked up, he took it to repair. the technician who repaired the machine tied the problem to the photos and reported the situation to a state authority.

the sherrif's defense? he claimed to be in posession of the images as an adjunct to research into the area. i never heard whether he was convicted, but do know that he resigned.

rhubarb
January 24, 2006, 11:46 PM
Google: Do no evil?

Via Drudge:
http://today.reuters.com/news/newsarticle.aspx?type=internetNews&storyid=2006-01-25T003716Z_01_N24218238_RTRUKOC_0_US-GOOGLE-CHINA.xml&rpc=22

The new Chinese service at http://www.google.cn will offer a self-censored version of Google's popular search system that restricts access to thousands of terms and Web sites.

Hot topics might include issues like independence for Taiwan or Tibet or outlawed spiritual group Falun Gong.

Google is a business. Businesses do things that are good for business. Google Inc. doesn't give a rat's backside about your privacy. They are fighting the U.S. gummint's snooping to keep proprietary information secret. If it was in their business interest, they would turn you in in a minute.

CAnnoneer
January 25, 2006, 12:48 AM
No, no it cannot. Child pornography is a crime in and of itself. Depictions of firearms on computers are perfectly legal.

Maybe that is the kernel of our disagreement. I can't see why child porn should be illegal, anymore than I can see why some believe guns should be illegal. Statutory rape is and should be illegal, but if somebody tapes the criminal act, how is that any different from "Cops", "Craziest Police Videos", or the 8 o'clock news showing a police chase? In all cases, there is an ongoing crime that is being recorded. Statutory rape may be more disgusting than your average mugging, but ultimately, the act itself is criminal, rather than necessarily the taping.

From that perspective, if the accused has a bunch of security tapes depicting shop robberies, why slam him with more years when indicted for hitting a 7-11?

The whole point for a jury is to convict "beyond reasonable doubt". That is why indirect circumstantial evidence should hold little to no value for a truly objective jury.

justashooter
January 25, 2006, 02:04 AM
I can't see why child porn should be illegal

it has to do with the definition of "obscenity", which is established in accordance with cultural conception.

possession and marketing of obscenity is specifically prohibited by statute. this is mala prohibita, whereas the act itself is defined as mala en pro se. either way, it's illegal.

if you don't agree it should be, write your congressman.

Can'thavenuthingood
January 25, 2006, 01:42 PM
"somebody tapes the criminal act, how is that any different from "Cops", "Craziest Police Videos", or the 8 o'clock news showing a police chase? "

In those cops vids there is a pursuit in progress, the crime was previously committed.

I understood the gov's request of Google to be one of just data, an attempt to build the case against child pornography.
They just wanted to count the hits to a specific site, not who or where the hits came from.

Is that an incorrect understanding of the issue?

Google has agreed to comply with China's wishes to censor many things. That makes it apparent to me that Goolge is just grandstanding and going for the dollars or yuan.

Vick

CAnnoneer
January 25, 2006, 03:26 PM
In those cops vids there is a pursuit in progress, the crime was previously committed.

The pursuit itself is an ongoing crime because the perp is evading a legal stop and/or arrest. Incidentally, the main reason perps get slammed harder for it is the endangerment of the public that comes with it. If you have ever been a by-stander in a police car chase, you know how scary and dangerous it is for every driver on the road.

CAnnoneer
January 25, 2006, 03:34 PM
it has to do with the definition of "obscenity", which is established in accordance with cultural conception.

And that is exactly the problem. Criminal law should be as blind to cultural issues as possible. Otherwise, it can be used as an oppressive tool of different intensity by the cultural majority. If the law always mimics the cultural majority in every issue, it is guaranteed the minority would always be one of criminals.

I maintain that it is preferable to limit criminal law to a few fundamental crimes, rather than allow it to become a tool for cultural comfort of the majority. That is also why I see this discussion as so directly applicable to 2A. What if in the future, the voting cultural majority becomes anti-gun? Does this mean they have the right to make gunownership criminal? It is yet another issue of the fundamental rights of the individual versus the wishes of the society.

RealGun
January 25, 2006, 03:47 PM
it has to do with the definition of "obscenity", which is established in accordance with cultural conception.

I am finding the term "cultural conception" unclear. Could you expand upon what you meant to convey?

Old Dog
January 25, 2006, 03:48 PM
Criminal law should be as blind to cultural issues as possible. Difficult to see this ever happening in any society.

And strike the word "cultural," insert "religion-based." Many believe that a number of religious proscriptions against certain acts, particularly in the area of sexual matters, were all grounded in practical, ultimately, scientific reasons.

Through the years, even primitive cultures became aware of the long-term results of such things as incest and sex with pre-pubescent children. Ultimately, these acts contributed to the destruction of the tribe. Over the years, these concepts became incorporated in religious teachings so as to provide moral strictures against the commission of these acts.

I'm sure you already knew this, though.

If the law always mimics the cultural majority in every issue, it is guaranteed the minority would always be one of criminals. No, that doesn't necessarily follow. Even such disparate religions such as Buddhism, Hinduism, Christianity, Islam and Judaism share much societal law and many, many prohibitions of certain types of behaviors ...

That is also why I see this discussion as so directly applicable to 2A. What if in the future, the voting cultural majority becomes anti-gun? Does this mean they have the right to make gunownership criminal? It is yet another issue of the fundamental rights of the individual versus the wishes of the society.Relating every single issue to the issue of 2nd Amendment rights is something that I see happening far too often on this forum. Granted, it is a firearms forum, but -- not every issue can be related to gun rights. The other thing is, we are certainly (in this country, at least) getting away from having a clear-cut voting cultural majority.

RealGun
January 25, 2006, 05:12 PM
Relating every single issue to the issue of 2nd Amendment rights is something that I see happening far too often on this forum. Granted, it is a firearms forum, but -- not every issue can be related to gun rights.

While the 2A is not really the essence of gun ownership, if one cannot relate an issue to gun ownership, it is off topic, correct?

The other thing is, we are certainly (in this country, at least) getting away from having a clear-cut voting cultural majority.

I don't believe there is supposed to be a cultural majority at a national level or that such is essential to the government of the US. All citizens are peers regardless. None are guests of the White Anglo-Saxon Protestants (WASPs), who might think of themselves as descendants of the Founding Fathers. One would have to accept the consequences of welcoming immigration or indulging in slavery.

By your own definition, if I read "cultural majority" as "religion-based majority", I could suppose that gaining and exercising clear control of the US by Christians was a real mission.

Old Dog
January 25, 2006, 06:46 PM
I don't think we're in disagreement here, RealGun. My post was in response to CAnnoneer's evident attempt to extrapolate a 2A issue from the issue of child pornography and societal constraints on (whatever its definition of) obscenity. I simply don't believe his argument has merit, although I do see where he's coming from.

And,
I don't believe there is supposed to be a cultural majority at a national level or that such is essential to the government of the US. I agree with you here -- I'd been referring the disappearance of the European Judeo-Christian portion of the country's populace that formerly did constitute a de facto "cultural majority."

By your own definition, if I read "cultural majority" as "religion-based majority", I could suppose that gaining and exercising clear control of the US by Christians was a real mission.Some already believe that the right-wing faction of the Republican party has achieved this and that this was their goal ... I don't buy it.

CAnnoneer
January 25, 2006, 09:15 PM
And strike the word "cultural," insert "religion-based."

I prefer to talk of the more general issue, because religion does not necessarily cover all grounds of a culture. Also, as you pointed out, in many ways most sensible religions have overlaps in certain areas, which means that being in the religious minority does not necessarily make you a cultural minority in a particular issue.

Another way to make the same argument is to say that a group of people sharing a culture in effect share values that produce morality, or moral judgments. If that morality is allowed to completely overlap the law, or the law is expanded to encompass all aspects of that morality, then the law may very well be quite oppressive and would certainly criminalize those that do not share a subset of aspects of that morality. In a situation like that, freedom is maximal only for the totally compliant, and non-existent for everybody else because dissent makes them criminals. Therefore, freedom then effectively exists for nobody.

Old Dog
January 25, 2006, 09:27 PM
I prefer to talk of the more general issue, because religion does not necessarily cover all grounds of a culture.But the thing is, most cultural rituals and taboos all either stem from some type of religious observance, or for whatever reason, were incorporated into a society's religious practices in early stages of that's culture's development.

And I see what you're saying, CAnnoneer, but when we're speaking of laws based on morality that concern such things as non-consensual sexual acts with children and viewing images of same, that's an entirely different kettle of fish than other laws, such as anti-abortion or anti-sodomy laws, that also were codified in scriptures of various religions.
If that morality is allowed to completely overlap the law, or the law is expanded to encompass all aspects of that morality, then the law may very well be quite oppressive and would certainly criminalize those that do not share a subset of aspects of that morality. In a situation like that, freedom is maximal only for the totally compliant, and non-existent for everybody else because dissent makes them criminals. As we see when a society becomes more secular, more laws of this nature are struck down (witness the legalization of abortion and the various stages of disappearance of laws that made homosexuality illegal, for example). However, it is important to draw a line, and some of these laws based on morality are certainly appropriate, and critically needed, for all societies. To wit, laws protecting young children from sexual abuse and incest.

RealGun
January 26, 2006, 09:02 AM
But the thing is, most cultural rituals and taboos all either stem from some type of religious observance, or for whatever reason, were incorporated into a society's religious practices in early stages of that's culture's development.

For me to make sense of this, I would rephrase it as "a society's cultural identity". For example, if "In God We Trust" and "one nation, under God" are successfully inserted as Trojan Horses, the religious can claim those as incremental justification for further inroads, later claiming them as evidence that the society (and the government) is inherently religion based.

Incrementalism is used for all sorts of social engineering, segments of the society constantly jockeying for position and dominance. There is a never ending need for control and uniformity. If there is a real interest in protecting diversity, its defense would need to be above board, in your face, and quite aggressive...none of this catering to righteous indignation about being persecuted and not having freedom of expression.

There is indeed a "freedom from religion" entitlement, at least in the USA. At the same time there is a freedom for religious expression at appropriate times and in appropriate places. I don't happen to think that civil war and genocide is a proper form of evangelism, but that would be the ultimate outcome of allowing religion to be directly relevant to the government.

I wouldn't say I am off topic here, because this thread is about the government wanting to define and impose standards of morality and to impose upon privacy in order to accomplish that mission. I am fine with it if talking in terms of real harm to developmental psychology, a healthy upbringing for a productive member of a society, but I am not supportive if concerned about how closely one follows the doctrine of a certain religion. Is Congress serving the needs of the country or are they responding to the protests of a special interest group?

I would love to see pornography eradicated. I am just not sure there is a valid basis for accomplishing that without fearful implications for many other aspects of life.

Lobotomy Boy
January 26, 2006, 09:48 AM
Good points, except for this:

I would love to see pornography eradicated.

Hey buddy, don't try to come between a man and his MILF.

mack
January 26, 2006, 04:47 PM
Well I think Google should just cooperate. In fact I think they should provide them with even more information, just to be sure. They should enthusiastically print hard copies of all their information on all their servers and of all their search results, and all the web pages they've cached and all the web pages they've linked to and then throw it all into boxes simply marked Google and ship it via trains, planes, and trucks to D.C. with a nice bill for their cost to print and ship it. :evil: :neener:

DRZinn
January 26, 2006, 05:33 PM
I like the way you think, but just remember who pays that bill in the end. And the larger one for sifting through all that stuff. Which they would.

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