Law in the Internet Society

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TabooTopics 7 - 08 Sep 2008 - Main.EbenMoglen
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META TOPICPARENT name="EyesWideShut"
Virginia Man Gets 20 Years for Anime Child Porn --
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 -- JoshS - 07 Sep 2008
  • Don't apologize--edit. This is a wiki, not a blog, and you should always return to your writing and make edits to improve clarity and compression before adding new comments. Others will edit these pages later, condensing and removing comments, so you should be assiduous to clean up ahead of them.
 Assuming we agree that the actual harm is not the pornography itself but rather the actions viewing it might elicit, I think supporting a law like the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act on utilitarian grounds is an uphill battle. If these laws reduce the availability of violent pornography, then, those who use the pornography as a substitute for engaging in the abusive behavior might well be driven to acts of violence or child molestation.
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 As for the privacy argument you bring up, Josh, I would constrain it in two ways: First, someone's sovereignty over his home clearly can't be absolute. Fiefdom or not, I believe we can all agree that people should be prosecuted for some crimes--murder and fraud are easy examples--even if they are largely carried out behind closed doors. Secondly, and related to the first point, many actions performed within one's home have direct effects outside that physical space. Physical barriers like the walls of your home or even your own computer have little value when dealing with online activities. The government is forced to pay more attention to what you do in places that used to be considered private. At the same time, the surveillance is, at least in some sense, less intrusive in nature; physical searches are replaced by electronic monitoring. One can be both more closely watched than before and yet less inconvenienced by it--depending on how the information that is gathered is used.

-- AndreiVoinigescu - 07 Sep 2008

  • Our concern here won't be whether people who believe taboos think they are logically supported--of course they do. Just as the common sense of those who believe in the taboo against child pornography tells them it causes child molestation or other harm, those who believe in the taboo against eating raw seal blubber during the menstrual period know, as a matter of common sense unquestionable by anyone who knows the way the world works, that it offends the spirits, and thus causes seal to be harder to catch. In a culture where it is shameful to be overheard making the noises of defecation, it is just common sense that the toilets should play music. Our concern is with whether taboos that can be violated by a bitstream can be meaningfully enforced in a global network which directly links persons subject to the taboo with those who are outside its range.%ENDCOLOR

Revision 7r7 - 08 Sep 2008 - 03:21:55 - EbenMoglen
Revision 6r6 - 07 Sep 2008 - 20:13:53 - AndreiVoinigescu
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