Friday, March 23, 2007

No Child Porn Or No Porn For Child?

A federal judge in USA, thrashed down a law of 1998, which made it a crime for websites to allow children to gain access to explicit material on web. New York Times reports that the judge said that - 
"the law was ineffective, overly broad and at odds with free speech rights. Judge Reed added that there were far less restrictive methods like software filters that parents could use to control their children’s Internet use."
The question here is the clash between our desire to protect our children from anything which may destroy the joy of childhood, and freedom of expression, which more or less all constitutions guarantee their citizens.

Let's have a look at the first of the two contestants of clash here, viz. 'our' desire to protect our children from anything that destroys their 'joy of childhood'. Now the interesting part is who is this 'our' here? And what exactly is 'joy of childhood'? My doubt is whether parents [if they constitute 'our'] or elders can decide really as to what constitutes 'joy of childhood'? I mean if I am a child, then I may genuinely please myself by watching the explicit material. Isn't it true that as children we all felt an invisible desire to be able to at least watch 'such' things? Offcourse, there is no chance that we might be knowing where we were heading or where we would end up by such desire, unless the parents are psychopaths. Now if on the other hand, I am a parent, a normal parent, then what I would wish? Hmmm. Here is the tricky part – I would want to protect our children from the same things for which I had craved as a child.

If we go by this logic/ argument/ line of thought, then it is all a messy dilemma which leads us nowhere. Then what can be a plausible line of thinking for this question? Let’s look at it in this way – how about the child porn industry? Isn’t it the real issue? More than trying to protect my children from porn material, the important thing is protecting the children who are the exploited for quenching the carnal desires of some psychopaths by making them the unfortunate stars of third rate porn flicks. Earlier, on my previous blog, I had written a post about a story of frustrating battle with child porn. It seems to me that where the market forces enter the regard for humanitarian concerns is seriously and irreversibly undermined due to the complex web of survival that is woven around the illegal activities. A drug peddler supplies drugs, his business grows and turns into an empire and wealth is generated, a lot of people who support this illegal activity through totally legal professions [e.g. a transport man who doesn’t know what is inside those bags]. Now this does not remain a question of a drug peddler only. Along with him a lot of other innocent people are involved. Now magnify this situation to an international level where on one hand there is very high demand for child porn, on other there are all those innocent - guilty suppliers, and on the third side, there are thousands of children out there who have lost their human dignity even before they understand what exactly does that mean.

What should be done? Why there are no free and powerful apps that filter out / block out child porn content? Why there are no stringent sanctions on financial transactions which are related to this industry – this is possible, remember how effectively US has choked the finance channels of Al Qaeda. Is the question of child porn not critical enough?


[It would be interesting to see which ads Google Adsense throws up for this post!]
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