Archive for February, 2011

Protecting child victims of sexual abuse

Friday, February 18th, 2011

The CIRCAMP web page

Its a strange world that we are living in. People can communicate across borders, across ethnisity, across color and sometimes across language on the Internet – we can share thoughts, opinions, pictures and other files. Thats all well and good and probably the best thing that has ever happened to humanity, but as with all good things, it can also be used for really horrible things.

I just read a blog entry informing me that a system that has been in place in a number of countries for years is to be voted upon by the European Parliament, namely having Internet Access blocking against child abuse material (child pornography) in place or not. The post is written by the crimes against children team at Interpol – so one should think that they know what they are talking about. Its not a case of censoring the Internet or blocking illegal material in general, the EU are going to vote whether countries “must” or “may” block access to images of children being raped.

“Must” or “May”? If there ever was a no-brainer, this would be it!

Are there any countries that will choose not to prevent the distribution of images of children that are sexually abused? Are there any arguments against having such a system? Does any country want their population to have access to this, willingly or unwillingly?

Any sensible person would probably answer those questions with a thundering “Hell, no!” – but there are..

While some countries in Europe and the rest of the world have chosen to remove access to raped children, many or most have not. The countries that have such blocking have not crumbled, their Internet is not broken or reduced in speed and availability, their police or politicians have not chosen to block political sites, they are not on a slippery slope towards eternal damnation – they are actually rising above those that bend over backwards to civil liberties groups that demand that the Internet be free from any policing.

Civil liberties my ass, and for who? For you, you who surf the Internet from your nice house somewhere or civil liberties for the victims of the abuse? Those that choose their own right to access to all information, even if being criminal to produce, distribute and possess, over the basic rights of others and in particular the victims – are, imho, morally depraved.

Shame on anyone that is willing to protect the people that crave and produce these images – as they are all equally responsible for its existence and availability. Free speech advocates thinking that access to images of child victims is free speech are just plain stupid and should go back and read up on rights in general. Free speech is stating that you disagree with your government and why without the fear of being arrested, free speech is not protecting the rights of criminals spewing out pictures of sexually abused children.

I live in a country where we accept a level of policing, both in society and on the Internet. We accept that there has to be rules, regulations and some basic structure to how we can behave and treat each other. Personally I have never, ever accidentally come across images of child sexual abuse nor have I ever seen my country’s warning page. I use the Internet a lot, but I obviously use different parts of it than the ones that object to having such blocking because of its limiting effect on their “freedom”.

The Internet is now such an integrated part of our existence that not having rules that apply for our benefit seems dated and unrealistic. Would you accept that your bookstore on occasion displayed such images in its windows or that the mailman from time to time put it in your mailbox? Probably not. Would you accept that a house on your street had such images plastered all over its inside and outside and let people travel from near and far to access it free or for a small fee? Probably not. Still, this is basically what is happening on the Web today. You can choose to view a funny video on youtube.com or choose to view a rape of a baby – its equally accessible, as its using the same technology and the same information highway to your screen.

I think this is unacceptable and anyone that willingly let this continue should be held accountable.