Friday, February 20, 2009

Somebody thought of the children

It turns out, when you think about them, the problems aren't that big:
Report Calls Online Threats to Children Overblown
Oh, and this:
The Myth of Rampant Teenage Promiscuity
Of course, this won't stop the know-nothingness of law enforcement everywhere. In the first story, the Attorney General of Connecticut asks, who you gonna believe, me or your lying eyes?
Mr. Blumenthal said it “downplayed the predator threat,” relied on outdated research and failed to provide a specific plan for improving the safety of social networking.

“Children are solicited every day online,” Mr. Blumenthal said. “Some fall prey, and the results are tragic. That harsh reality defies the statistical academic research underlying the report.”

In what social networks may view as something of an exoneration after years of pressure from law enforcement, the report said sites like MySpace and Facebook “do not appear to have increased the overall risk of solicitation.”
It's worth pointing out that Blumenthal was one of the AGs who pushed to have this task force created, and now that it's coming back with something as shocking as a disinterested, empirical conclusion he's disowning it. What a maroon.

To bring this back to what I was discussing last week: the alleged threat of child predation is one of the planks being used to build the gallows for a free Internet. And it's almost entirely hallucinatory, certainly insofar as it justifies massive new expansions of warrantless surveillance. On top of that, it's also the fig-leaf being used by the (I believe) far more influential copyright lobby, aiming to legitimize the constant surveillance of IP traffic in an effort to preserve a zombie business model.

So if the threat of child predation is a myth, and the only remaining reason to submit to massive surveillance is preserving the profits of large, mostly foreign-owned corporations, why the fuck is this even under discussion?

1 comment:

Niles said...

Isn't that the threat used *every* time by people wanting to control media? Comic books, rock music, heretical philosophy, radio, tv, video games...

This all sounds verrrrry familiar, only of course now they're bolder about throwing in the coercive sex angle.

At one time, bicycles were considered contributors to the breakdown of society, because ne'erdowells would commit crimes et al and then...hop on a bike and escape consequences at speeds such that no moral person on foot could catch them.

It's all about the get away you know.