Friday, September 19, 2008

Double or Nothing

Christopher Soghoian has made a bet with his readers at Surveillance State to see if they could trigger a content takedown involving the King James Bible rather than the obscene materials involving minors that a new regulation is supposedly designed to control. The problem with these new rules, as Soghoian points out, is that they consign what is actually a law enforcement responsibility to a private, nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization: the high-profile Center for Missing & Exploited Children.

As he explains in "Cable giants bullied into new child porn censorship deal," cable companies that serve as Internet service providers have entered into a very unconventional agreement that does not involve the FCC or other governmental bodies.

The major national cable providers are all to sign a troubling yet major censorship deal with a private anti-child porn organization. The deal would give the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) carte blanche power to issue a takedown of any customer's content hosted on a cable provider's servers.

The group will provide each cable company with a list of Web site addresses that they believe contain child porn. The cable companies will then, per the agreement, scrub the content from their servers.

Soghoian's posting is also rhetorically interesting because he highlights the persuasive power of arguments that become linked to a prominent moral panic issue in recent decades, the electronic distribution of child pornography.

Labels: ,


Post a Comment

<< Home