“Senator: Illegal images must be reported”
The headline makes it seem reasonable enough, until you read on and realise that “obscenity laws” also apply to most porn and, given the vagueness of the bill, possibly things like swearing.
And then, of course, you remember that “sex offenders” include people who get drunk and peed in a bush somewhere and were caught, and kids who mooned their high school principal.
Also note yet another attempt at having people register their e-mails, similar to the proposed Schumer/McCain bill due in January.
This won’t pass, obviously, and even if it did, it would be widely ignored.
This sort of thing is a dangerous slippery slope nonetheless, both because of the attempts to make the internet “child-safe” at the expense of freedom of speech, and because it takes even more rights and civil liberties away from convicted sex offenders.
I’m not sympathising with rapists or pedophiles, obviously, but very few people realise how incredibly easy it is to end up being labelled a sex offender, and how far-reaching the consequences can be. Add to that that if these people are online, they’ve presumably already done their time in prison. Double jeopardy isn’t just a segment on a game show.
And finally, people just need to stop trying to legislate what they don’t understand. Clearly the internet is beyond people like McCain and Ted Stevens and, to be honest, most of Congress. There’s no shame in letting more competent people deal with things, y’know.
But as long as blatant pandering continues to get votes, McCain (and others) will continue doing it. And if nothing else, “sex offenders” and porn make better bogeymen than even terrorists.