Thursday, January 15, 2009

On Kafka and child porn

Interesting application of child porn laws:

In the Pennsylvania case, a school official seized the phone of one of the boys after he was caught using it during school hours in violation of a school rule, according to local police Capt. George Seranko. The official found the picture on the phone, and after some interrogation, discovered that two other girls had also e-mailed photos of themselves in the nude to friends. That's when the school called police, who obtained search warrants to seize the phones and examine them. Police showed the images to the local district attorney, who recommended they bring charges.

I've seen this happening so many times: An ambitious politician creates a law "for the good of the children" and before you know it people with pitchforks are setting libraries on fire.

Imagine this:
You are alone in your room. You look at yourself naked in the mirror. You take a picture of yourself, and you instantly are sex offender, branded for life. Any friends you send it too, instantly are too.


Two kids having consensual sex. Legally. The can invite kids of their own age to watch. Or even join in. When they watch through a window, they are legally OK. When they watch using a web cam, they all are instant sex offenders.

Or how about... you are surfing myspace and stumble across a profile page of a teen posting nude pictures of him/herself. Yes, that teen would be in violation of (amongst other things) the TOS. But still your browser dutifully downloads and stores the offending JPG. From then on, any computer forensics package run on your PC will provide the proof to convict you of possession of child porn.

Personally, I don't know what is scarier these days. The "evil hackers on the internet" or the "knights that protect us".

One group will try to to rip you off, and steal your money. The other can take away your home, freedom, custody of your kids.