Thursday, August 02, 2007

Playground Bully

In "Self-proclaimed pedophile has parents on edge," The Los Angeles Times reports on how the well-publicized sexual fixation of webmaster Jack McClellan for underage girls is testing the boundaries of first amendment rights. McClennan has provided editorial content for several sites that includes non-pornographic images of children at public events with a user-generated content style review of the quantity and quality of access to little girls, or as McClellan calls them "LGs."

In turn, McClellan's exploits have raised anxieties among online parenting communities, such as Peachhead here in Southern California, whose members are enraged that the authorities have little power to reign in his activities, since McLellan has no criminal record, much less the constraints placed upon him if he were a registered sex offender.

The Internet rights of those with criminal intent can also be an issue for those who have already been convicted of a crime. A recent story on National Public Radio, "In Prison, Anti-Abortion Terrorist Taunts via Web," describes the first amendment controversies surrounding the web pages of the incarcerated. Some laws limit the degree to which prisoners can pose as journalists or profit from accounts of their crimes, but websites that publicize broader advocacy issues can be murkier for prison administrators who must adjudicate their legality.

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