samedi, juin 25, 2005

goodbye free speech and privacy rights

W. and his cronies have just tried to ban all online adult photos and images under the guise of protecting children. The insidious bit is that they tried to do an end-run around the judiciary, which is currently considering the matter. Essentially, it would give the Bush Administration and its allies in the religious right powerful legal and rhetorical tools to silence Web sites and media outlets it finds offensive. The irony: the law they've implemented doesn't actually meet its stated purpose, protecting children.

The law threatens Web sites that show adult photos and images in retail offerings, personal ads or other member-generated content, as well as the porn industry in general. It originated in 1988 with a government mandate to stamp out child pornography. That legislation, nicknamed the "Traci Lords Act," was aimed at producers of sexually explicit videos and films, and was designed to protect minors like Ms. Lords from exploitation by requiring those producers to maintain files with government IDs of all performers -- and to make those files available for federal government inspection.

On May 24, 2005, Gonzales tried an end run around the 10th Circuit, reissuing the regulations and giving sites only until June 23, 2005 to comply.

Essentially, your ability to exchange material that could potentially be considered sexually explicit by the Department of Justice would be crippled, and along with it, your rights to privacy and free speech.

Because of the danger of selective enforcement of these regulations, many fear that the current cultural and political climate -- with such a widespread movement against the so-called "homosexual agenda" by religious groups -- provides the current administration with a convenient tool to go after LGBT freedoms first.

The case continues on September 7, 2005.
Via Rick

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