Note: This column represents the opinions
of the writer and as such, is not purported as fact
Several stories in recent days show that the issue of pornography and the Internet
is far from dead.
It's now becoming increasingly common to see headlines in the mainstream news
which describe how someone has been arrested on charges of possessing downloaded
illegal pornographic material.
In order to properly understand the problem it's important to distinguish
between harmless "erotica" and evil mind-altering "pornography.
The fact that we have an age-based censorship system clearly indicates that
one man's erotica is another minor's pornography -- and the age of the
viewer is an important element of determining the legality of such material.
And this is where I get angry.
Not because I think that minors should be given free access to images of
naked people engaged in "adult" acts -- but because the authorities seem
uninterested in addressing perhaps the single biggest pornography problem
on the Net.
Yes, while the Department of Internal Affairs is happy to stake out
chat-rooms and act on tip-offs from overseas website raids, they don't
appear to be prepared, or willing, to address the issue of porno spam
sent to minors.
Even though I've never registered for any "adult" website in my life
(does that make me abnormal I wonder?), my mailbox is regularly loaded
with solicitations purporting to be from nubile young femmes engaged
in all manner of "adult acts."
If your kids use email, check their inbox and you'll see that they also get
these spam messages inviting them to visit websites laden with adult images that
would almost certainly be given an R18 (or higher) classification.
It would surprise me very much if these solicitations, when delivered
to the mailbox of a minor, are at all legal -- but is the DIA or anyone
else doing anything about it?
in Tuesday's Herald has reportedly left authorities "disturbed" -- but
what about all those 10 year-olds who have received spam from "Layla and Bob",
inviting them to come and preview the images from their bedroom webcam
at http://www.... ??? We probably have no idea just how many kids act on these
invitations do we?
Aren't authorities "disturbed" by the thousands of similar emails that fill
our kids mailboxes on a daily basis?
Let me make it quite clear that I'm not suggesting we divert resources
from the important job of tracking down kiddy-porn merchants and putting them
out of business -- but I think this boat has more than one leak and the
issue of porno spam in kids mailboxes is not being given sufficient priority.
Of course there's always the issue of how to deal with this problem -- after
all, the senders of these spams are invariably outside NZ's jurisdiction right?
Well, by delivering an illegal solicitation to a minor, surely whoever sends
that spam is breaking NZ law, regardless of where they send that spam from?
Can't we call on the international resources of
Interpol or whatever network
is presently being used to hunt down and detain the kiddy-porn merchants to
do the same for this type of illegal and offensive behaviour?
What do you think? A storm in a teacup perhaps?
Or are you as concerned as I am?
Even the spammers' lame claim that "you can just
hit delete" doesn't carry any weight when this material lands in our kids'
Is it time to give your newly (re)elected MP and the Commissioner for Children
a call and remind them of their obligation to protect our kids from this type
Want Broadband? Move South!
If you're one of the many Kiwis who live just a little way out of the
main centres and have no show of getting access to *real* broadband DSL
services then maybe you ought to move south.
According to the BBC,
broadband internet is about to span a fair chunk of Antarctica.
Yes folks -- we will soon have broadband at the South Pole -- but not at
South Head an hour from Auckland. Go figure :-)
Have your say.
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