porn in America, part 2

Following up on my previous post, a man was sentenced to 20 years last week for looking at child porn on the Internet. The man did not save any porn to his computer, but rather had it in the cache of his Internet browser. As the defense unsuccessfully argued, a computer user has no control over the contents of his browser cache – content is automatically downloaded to the cache when a user enters a website. Depending on your browser, others pages of a website may be downloaded from pages you don’t ever visit. Under the law, possession of child porn is treated as child sex exploitation, with a minimum of 5 years in prison.


The ruling is problematic for a number of reasons. For one, users on the Internet can unknowingly download material by any number of ways. Any click to any unknown website may potentially uncover illicit material. Many seedy porn sites bombard the user with a loop of windows, none of which are opened with the users consent or initiative. Users of file sharing software face a risk of downloading illicit content with every download, since there is no way to know if the name of a file describes its contents.

Massive amounts of legal and pirated porn are shared on the Internet, and while this behavior may ethically and legally questionable from a copyright standpoint, it’s ridiculous to legally equivocate accidentally downloading child porn to raping kids.

For that matter, it’s absurd to legally equivocate intentionally downloading child porn to sexually exploiting children. The intention behind such laws to make it easier to convict child molesters, but the actual incentive for police forces is to go after relatively harmless but more common perverts rather than actual rapists, wasting police resources. Using 18 as the arbitrary age of adulthood is another inane reflection of social conservatism that dilutes resources and sometimes unjustly punishes non-coercive (even if unhealthy and immoral) actions.

Establishing rational laws for the protection of minors is a complex matter that requires evaluating the potential physical and emotional damage to children and fundamentally, the development of the cognitive facilities necessary to rationally enter (and exit) relationships. Unfortunately, absurd sexual conservatism stemming from the platonic ethics of Christian love is widespread in American adults. It drives the irrational laws dealing with prostitution, media censorship, and child abuse on the one hand, and the creation of emotionally infant and sexually repressed adults on the other, who are more likely to become abusers themselves because of an inability to enjoy healthy sexual relationships.

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One Response to porn in America, part 2

  1. Wow, I think it’s time for me to clean my cache. I look at a lot of porn.

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