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Part 2: why Feds, legislators and prudes love pedos

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Worse, this irresponsible atmosphere of intellectual permissiveness makes it impossible for her to treat her pedo patients effectively, she lamented; but she offered not one shred of factual data establishing a causal relationship between access to library computers and crimes committed in the real world, or any data on the frequency of such outrages.

It was pure prude Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt (FUD), but it worked on a Congress terrified to appear soft on pedos whatever the cost in civil liberties might be. The CIPA, as we noted above, made it into law a few months later.

Puritanical alarmists sitting on the Child Online Protection Act (COPA) Commission argued before Congress in mid-2000 that the US government should forcibly defend our tender sprouts from on-line filth by imprisoning the purveyors of electronic obscenity.

"One well-placed prosecution could send a message to the providers of this material that it's not acceptable," COPA Commissioner and former Gary Hart squeeze turned anti-porn crusader Donna Rice Hughes, whose more than half-decent pair of tits may be evaluated here, recommended.

Former 'model' Rice has clearly seen The Light and accepted Jesus Christ as her Personal Savior since her days of soft-core posing and her scandalous overnight liaison with the then married former Colorado Senator, which scuppered his bid for the US presidency in 1987.

She has since cast out the demons by writing a book, Kids Online: Protecting Your Children in Cyberspace, which advocates a "more aggressive enforcement of cyber-crime laws," and urges citizens to "remember [that] public opinion drives public policy and law enforcement!"

And that it does, sadly.

The mainstream press swallows (the bait)

"The Web's Dark Secret" Newsweek Magazine emblazoned on its cover last week, along with a picture of a prepubescent child. "The Web has fed a shocking increase in the sexual exploitation of children," the subhead confidently claimed.

Open the story and you'll be confronted with this unsubstantiated claim: "before the Internet came along, pedophiles were lonely and hunted individuals. Authorities had child pornography under control. Today, networks of child abusers are proliferating worldwide."

The Internet accomplished it all, we're urged to believe. "Child pornography was pretty much eradicated in the 1980's. With the advent of the Internet, it exploded," the magazine quotes US Customs Service Cyber Smuggling Center chief Kevin Delli-Colli as saying.

We're told of an imminent "wide sweep" against pedos (no numbers, naturally) involving customers of a kiddie porn Web site called Blue Orchid, which has, apparently, been infiltrated in some manner by the Feds.

Good on them for nailing a cluster of abusive sickos. But shame on them for exploiting mainstream journos who lack the technical background to evaluate their claims, thereby using them as a mouthpiece to spread their propaganda.

The fact is, all that can be proven thus far is that the Internet has led to a greater awareness of pedophilia and child porn, as the diseased bastards who trade in this filth avail themselves of its many obvious conveniences.

Surely common sense argues that pedophilia was merely harder to track and assess before the Internet, because doing so relied on inefficient, difficult methods of investigation involving old-fashioned, tiring gumshoe detective work, for which only a limited number of people are actually qualified. Today, any fool can fire up a search engine, and with a modicum of cleverness in forming his queries, come up with heaps of pedophilia.

The Internet clearly makes it easier to find this garbage. But as for whether more of it is actually in circulation, and whether, consequently, more children are being raped and abused, there simply is no reliable data.

But there is rhetoric, and plenty of it, urging us to make a leap of faith that easier access to evidence of pedophilia equates with increased incidence of pedo activity. And the purpose behind this rhetoric, clearly, is to justify both more convenient access by law enforcement to Net surveillance, and censorship of anything the family-values lobby should deem inappropriate.

The battle, however complex and nuanced in its details, can ultimately be reduced to a single, fairly simple observation: a large number of influential people fervently desire to impose 'values' on the Internet and its users. On the other side are those who see it as essentially a research tool, a mechanism for adult communication and not a playground for children, best maintained permanently as value-neutral space.

We remain persuaded that what can be lost through an onerous law-enforcement presence and mandatory censorship outweighs any advantages to society in the name of exploited children who we doubt can trace their heartbreaking misfortunes solely to the Net.

With this in mind the pedo lobby itself has gone to pains to portray itself as more the victim of a witch hunt than an actual threat, and we will therefore examine the Internet's role in pedo advocacy in our next segment. ®

Related story

Part One: Interview with a Net pedophile

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