U.S. Courts: Defenders of the Porn


#1

U.S. Courts: Defenders of the Porn

thetrumpet.com/index.php?page=article&id=3044

A U.S. district judge has ruled against the 1998 Child Online Protection Act (copa), designed to protect children from online pornography.

Judge Lowell Reed Jr. argued: “[P]erhaps we do the minors of this country harm if First Amendment protections, which they will with age inherit fully, are chipped away in the name of their protection.” In other words, if the ruling were upheld, it might become marginally more difficult for adults to access pornographic content and much more difficult for children (abcnews.com, March 22).

The plaintiffs against copa ranged from homosexual newspapers to so-called “sex educators” who feel they should be able to disseminate explicit pictures for educational purposes, and from artists who portray nude content to bookstores that may offer adult-only content—in other words, exactly the sort of people and organizations that many would like not to influence their children with pornographic material.

Lest you worry that some of these organizations’ rights have already been trampled, rest assured that copa was never enforced. Thanks to these plaintiffs, copa has been in legal limbo from its inception and has been under a temporary injunction upheld by the Supreme Court since 2004. Not one porn enthusiast or unsuspecting child was restricted by copa.

This is not the first time a U.S. court has struck down laws that protect children from pornography. In 1997, the Supreme Court declared the Communications Decency Act unconstitutional, specifically stating that prohibiting “patently offensive display” violated the First Amendment. In 2002, the high court struck down the 1996 Child Pornography Prevention Act, giving the okay to “virtual” child pornography (never mind that modern technology allows simulations that would be indistinguishable from the real thing).

We cannot rely on the court system to protect our children. Nor can we rely on the government. In this latest case, an attorney for the government argued that it is unreasonable to “expect all parents to shoulder the burden to cut off every possible source of adult content for their children, rather than the government’s addressing the problem at its source.”

The attorney correctly identifies the government’s responsibility, but where the government has failed, it is imperative that parents step in to close the breach. Installing a filter is just one step you can take to protect your children, but there is much more you can and should do. Don’t allow your child to be on the Internet in another room behind closed doors. Proverbs 29:15 warns that “a child left to himself brings his mother to shame.” Be aware of the websites or chat rooms your child is visiting. Ask the child, but also learn how to check the Internet history files on your computer. As the parent, you have the responsibility and the right to know what your children are doing on the Internet, and an obligation to take steps to protect your children’s minds. For more tips on how to do that, please read our article in the July 2005 Trumpet.

:eek:


#2

Some judges and other lawyers are simply out of touch with reality, as well as probably out of touch with the law. They drift more and more away as they fall into activism and the result is that they depart from common sense.

Free speech originated because the world no longer wanted people to be punished for voicing their disapproval of the current government. The idea that free speech is to cover offensive speech is nonsense. Just because someone could be offended doesn’t mean an expression should be banned, true, but the intent to cause offence is by no means to be protected by the law. That’s absurd. There’s no right to offend. I would say there’s a right not to be offended. Funny thing, that right seems to exist for gay people who can’t be told their conduct is immoral, but it doesn’t seem to exist for people who don’t want things thrown in their faces such as, let’s say, gay pride parades.

The influence of lobbyists on the forming and passing of new law is a travesty and a scandal. It’s something that should be fought and eradicated. I think we’ve had enough of idiots making up bizarre and absurd rights such as the right to target children with pornography or violence.


#3

I think we have two problems here, one, many of these judges have not been affected within their own lives to the violence on-line porn has on families and two, possible they themselves may not want their access to it taken away.


#4

Good. COPA was a broken and ineffective law anyway, applying an impossibly broad standard that would likely have made Michelangelo’s David a violator. How is one country going to regulate the content of an international network?


#5

By putting pressure on the providers. If we can regulate smoking advertisements aimed at our youth, why not porn?


#6

The problem with that is that many of the providers aren’t even located in the States. The US can make all the laws it wants and still have absolutely no effect on them. The genie’s out of the bottle, and it’s not going back in.


#7

Is the internet service you using in the US or in another country? If it is illegal to have child porn on a home computer then why cannot we arrest the internet service providers whom lets it pass through their servers? If it is in their computers then wouldn’t they be just as guilty the as the person recieving it?


#8

If I’m not mistaken, this bill was meant to controll online pornography on computers with public access . For instance, libraries would have been required to use pornography blocking software. What is wrong with this Mirdath? Adults could still access pornography in the comfort of their own homes. Actually, the major networks bring it into our homes with movies like “Hannibal Lecor” during prime time. There is a scene in this movie that I inadvertantly saw while channel surfing one night that I truely regret having seen - thinking about all the children who saw it as well (most without their parents knowledge) makes me physically ill. I could not believe that movie was showing at that hour. I can control what my own children see at home (we have only one tv and we watch everything as a family when the kids are awake), but I cannot control what my neighbors allow their children to see - most through benign neglect. I guess we will just have to wait with baited breath to see what the effects of our extreme view of 1st Amendment rights will have on our children.


#9

COPA specifically excluded service providers (which is at least one thing it got right), nor should they be held accountable as they are guilty of nothing. AT&T is not responsible if you use their phone lines to plan a murder, for instance.

[quote=HumbleMom]If I’m not mistaken, this bill was meant to controll online pornography on computers with public access . For instance, libraries would have been required to use pornography blocking software. What is wrong with this Mirdath?
[/quote]

Many libraries already have blocking software. It isn’t perfect, nor will it ever be. There is little point in mandating libraries block all pornography whatsoever as it simply can’t happen. New websites come up all the time, and it takes a while for them to be added to the blacklists; people use proxies to circumvent filters entirely; people could conceivably upload their own porn to a public computer from a disc or USB key just to cause trouble. And that’s not even getting into other distribution methods; while most filesharing protocols aren’t too hard to block, removing access to ftp or Usenet is considerably more difficult. Simply put, legislating content controls is misguided, utterly unenforceable, and likely to cause more harm than good.

I guess we will just have to wait with baited breath to see what the effects of our extreme view of 1st Amendment rights will have on our children.

See, that’s what parents are for: to teach them how to distinguish good and bad, embrace the good, avoid the bad. Just as many people here decry the use of the television as a babysitter, so too should they be wary of using internet filters as school crossing guards.


#10

Here is a commentary on a related issue:

PANDERING TO CHILD PORNOGRAPHERS
uexpress.com/maggiegallagher/?uc_full_date=20070327

The OP link is right that we can’t rely only on the legal system, but surely our legal system can offer children some better protection from porn and increasingly sexualized images.

Sure parents are responsible, but it’s too easy to say parents are obliged to monitor constantly and at every moment what their children are viewing on TV or the internet.

"Oh we can’t prevent child pornography, so why bother trying … " - that is a cop-out which minimizes how damaging porn is to all involved with it. Even if we can reduce it that is a good thing.


#11

Unquestionably. However, that’d be done by arresting, charging, and imprisoning the producers, not by poorly filtering what’s already there. COPA then is like trying to use a carpenter’s square to beat in a nail: different problem.


#12

I don’t see it as a different problem. I see it as a different proposed solution. Everyone has their opinion about what the best solution is. I see no reason why more than one approach cannot be used simultaneously, given how destructive pornography is in general, and how destructive child porn is in particular.


closed #13

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