Protecting child victims of sexual abuse

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 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.

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5 Responses to “Protecting child victims of sexual abuse”

  1. Hank Says:

    I basically agree, but there has to be some control to this. We dont want to live in North-Korea, do we?

  2. BlingYou Says:

    I agree completely with you Hank -- there is a need for this to be controlled in some way, like the police or whoever does this are controlled today. There are laws and regulations that must be respected when you introduce something that limits the access to information on the Internet, just like there are laws and regulations that limit what we can read in the paper or in books. For me, the Internet is nothing other than a service provided to us, and a service we expect to work -- much like electricity or water. I would not like it if people could tap into the water supply and add various poisons or other bad stuff without my knowledge. Before you know it, you have worms coming out your fosset 🙂 Its here where the control mechanisms comes into play, stopping just that from happening while at the same time making sure that I do get the water I want. Anyway, l hope they manage to get this pretty low level of regulation in order. I will have no problem living with something like this.

  3. StraighGuy Says:

    There are many things to think about before accepting police to patrol the internet -- among others -- do we want to be controlled? Many of us are downloading stuff like music, movies, programs etc and can be found, prosecuted and punished just like the guys who want to look at pictures of abused kids. Its all crime, but on different levels -- mind you -- but still, its a criminal offense.

    I think many people are scared of too much police on the internet because they are afraid of their own security, and to avoid any unpleasant rendezvouses with the police, they decide to oppose all policing. If this results in kids being re-victimized again and again by bad guys, so be it. It is, in their mind -- not mine, a small price to pay to be able to access information for free.

    Stating, what for me is the obvious, things like this might not be very politically correct, as I should say its because of dissidents in China and other oppressed people, but I basically think that most people think of themselves first and foremost. Its sad, really..

  4. BlingYou Says:

    I think you are touching on something important StraightGuy, our will to accept certain types of crimes, because we benefit from them ourselves, at the expense of others. We are, and I am really not including myself in this, willing to let the rights of some kids we don’t know, or even better, that come from some country we have hardly heard of rather than accepting that our crimes might be detected. Its very double standard(ish) in my book, but even I have some skeletons in my closet. I too have downloaded some stuff over the years which its origin was.. unknown. Still, I think its time to allow laws to apply on the Internet as we would IRL, and I am willing and able to pay for whatever content I want to have.

    The “dissidents in china”-card is always played when “freedom of speech”-advocates claim that any control, even that of limiting access to or preventing the distribution of, child abuse material, will be abused and our access to governmental critical information, religious material, stuff on abortion etc will suffer. I think that is a flawed argument and basically not true. If it is, prove it!

    We have to allow some form of control and censorship on the Internet, just as we accept that not everything is published in our newspapers, books or shown on TV. Why are there no protests against editors in newspapers channeling and shaping information to fit their needs and views? I guess its probably because we accept that not all information is good information, and there are some things we just dont need to see or know -- and we trust that the editors are using their good judgement in evaluating the information. I think the same should apply on the Internet -- its basically just another media outlet.

  5. BlingYou Says:

    Unfortunately, the (/irony on) wise (/irony off) men and women of the European Parliament chose to use the “revised” text, so now child abuse material MAY be blocked if all efforts to delete it has failed. The abuse I think it is to allow it to be available online for all to see and use for sexual reasons is allowed to continue.

    I am hoping for better laws on the protection of one’s personal integrity -- and I hope the child victims sue the daylight out of the politicians that allowed them to be re-victimized like this. The lack of foresight and plain common sense should worry anyone living in a EU country. These people are paid very well to uphold and protect your interests -- I feel that they are not. Not at all.

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