Senators' Plan To Protect Kids Online: Massive Bureaucracy

from the just-what-we-needed dept

This year there have been tons of stories about attempts by politicians to put in place ridiculously bad laws, all in the name of protecting children. Many of these laws tend to pass, because no politician wants to vote against "protecting the children." However, these laws rarely do much to protect children -- they are simply designed for political purposes, to help politicians claim they're protecting the children in order to get votes. The latest case is no different. We've had a bunch of folks submit the story of John McCain and Chuck Schumer's silly bill to require sex offenders to register their email addresses, which seems to assume that people only have one email address. However, much more troublesome is another, less talked about, aspect of the bill, which would require any site that has user's post illegal images or videos to file a report with a government agency or face up to $300,000 in fines. Based on some readings of the bill, this would mean that if anyone happened to post a comment on your blog that included child pornography, not only would you have to delete it, but you would need to file a report about the incident. On the face of it, the reasoning makes sense. The government certainly would like to know the details of anyone posting child pornography in places. However, the reality suggests that this doesn't make the situation any better. It's just going to be a huge hassle for a lot of people who happen to have sites that allow comments. We get a ton of comment spam that some might consider crosses the line of what's appropriate. Are we going to need to file hundreds of these reports every day to remain in compliance with this law? Does that really help the government, or will it just overwhelm them with useless junk?

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  1. identicon
    dennis parrott, 11 Dec 2006 @ 5:37am

    well, the post is partly correct...

    while it is largely true that the morons we ALL elect are only trying to create the appearance of actually doing something about the largely overblown issue of "online child predators" there is one real important bit that was completely missed in why these bills get put on the floor for a vote and why they pass so easily....

    Pork! The Other Form of Graft!

    this silliness will create a whole new bureauracracy that will need some senator's big donors to run, will create opportunites for some other senator's big donors to become contractors to, yadayadayada... all the while giving the morons we've elected a great way to trumpet how they have struck some great blow against online child predators. and all the while the huddled masses of abused voters will be lulled into believing that steaming pile of lies and total fabrications and thinking that the money they are hemorraging from the treasury is going toward something worthwhile. before long, some other stupid, clueless boob of a politician will start going on about how we "need to declare war on online predators" and then the costs will start to really add up like that idiotic "war on drugs" we spend a BILLION PER WEEK on and that does NOTHING of any consequence.

    the plain and unfortunate truth is that the most effective means at a parent's disposal to help their kids stay out of these situations is for them to BE BETTER PARENTS! Spend time with your kids, educate your kids -- don't candycoat the world, teach them what goes on out there -- and make sure you know who you kids are hanging out with -- online and offline!

    But you know, the Nanny State is in full gear here in Amerika, my friends. Aind in the Nanny State, nobody should be expected to actually have to do their job, especially when that job is "hard" and in the Nanny State that means we need a "Program".

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