Bush seeks omigod (shhhh) p*o*r*n

Thursday, January 19, 2006
I don't get this at all.


The Bush administration on Wednesday asked a federal judge to order Google to turn over a broad range of material from its closely guarded databases.
...
In court papers filed in U.S. District Court in San Jose, Justice Department lawyers revealed that Google has refused to comply with a subpoena issued last year for the records, which include a request for 1 million random Web addresses and records of all Google searches from any one-week period.
...
government lawyers said in court papers they are developing a defense of the 1998 law based on the argument that it is far more effective than software filters in protecting children from porn. To back that claim, the government has subpoenaed search engines to develop a factual record of how often Web users encounter online porn and how Web searches turn up material they say is ``harmful to minors.''
Hey, Bush. I love ya, but DAMN. Why don't you hire 1000 Ashcrofts to sit at their computers for a week and, you know, Google. It would be cheaper. And, maybe I'm dumb, but when an adult hunts for you-know-what, what does it mean if he actually finds some?

The QUANTITY of stuff available has no relationship to accessibility. This is just plain DUMB.

And do you have any idea what you've done to the artist community? (like anyone here cares) The sites I frequent have gone overboard in their fear of Ashkroft's Amerika (no matter he isn't AG anymore). There's a Gorelick wall mentality in place now. Credit Card companies have gone bonkers as well and have made extremely strict rules about what sites they associate with.

Most of the rules are fine. But in their zeal they even forbid unclothed infants. I mean, not just diapers are required, but t-shirts as well.

This has gotten out of control.

30 comments:

Buddy Larsen said...

I've been wondering when the right side of the Pubs would get around to net porn. There's really no solution to the freedom vs child-welfare problem. About all ya can do is make certain the kids know that it's a byproduct of liberty, and not a thing that's endorsed by society.

flenser said...

But it (porn in general) is endorsed by society. So I don't think kids will be fooled.

Buddy Larsen said...

It's definitely endorsed by the segments that control the marketplace. This of course is one of the beefs-of-record of our enemy in the GWoT.

Syl said...

It's definitely endorsed by the segments that control the marketplace.

Okay. If that's true, then why have I never ever in my life seen a piece of porn? Ever?

I've seen renders of nekkid women (fewer these days for sure) but they're in fantasy settings and all make believe.

So if the 'segments that control the marketplace' REALLY endorse porn, then they're doing a pretty lousy job of it.

Syl said...

And, btw, the renders of nekkid women I've seen aren't doing anything beyond holding a sword in a temple, or fluttering around flowers with wings.

terrye said...

I heard about this and thought there has to be more to it.

You know I actually thought about posting a picture of my brother and I taking a bath when we were little kids. One of those, guess which one I am kind of pics and then I thought someone might not like this. A strange feeling because the picture itself is so innocent.

Buddy Larsen said...

I guess it's a matter of definition, Syl. Loosely used, a lot of advertising and a lot of violent video games aim at the base instincts.

For example, the kids at the local high school are passing around a movie called "The Devil's Rejects". It's all Goth--glorifying slasher-murder, meth, and hard sex. No, I didn't watch it--I googled it. Some guy named Rob Zombie, 40-something, makes these movies for 15 yr olds. The kids don't think twice about it--it's 'just a movie'.

I personally feel like this stuff should be as it was in the 50s--nowhere to be found.

I'd move to one of the Outer Planets, to keep my kids away from this stuff, and away from the kids who watch it, if it was possible.

But, that ain't gonna happen. It's everywhere, uncontrollable, and we're all just gonna stand by and hope all this turns out not too badly.

Syl said...

terrye

I know what you mean. That's the thing with the little baby 3d model I have. So many sweet innocent pictures I had in mind but sheesh.

Syl said...

buddy

We're talking about different things. I hate the slasher stuff and really think it's dangerous.

terrye said...

Who was it that said when it came to porn he would know it when he saw it?

flenser said...

Okay. If that's true, then why have I never ever in my life seen a piece of porn? Ever?

It depends on your defintion of porn I guess, but it may also be a question of, how can I put this delicately, age. Or at least the circles you move in.

Modern pop culture is very pornified. The "Girls Gone Wild" videos are an example. Paris Hilton and Pamela Anderson have starred in their own porn videos. A lot of rap and hip-hop culture is unbelievably crude; not just the lyrics, but the music videos and the behavior of the people who go to the nightclubs. Having a girlfriend in the porn business is considered very cool for todays male music stars. And it seems to be a requirment for a woman in the pop music world to be good looking and be willing to pose in a mens magazine. Really, porn is hard to miss.

There are some interesting books which have come out recently on the porn topic. I'll hunt up some links later.

Buddy Larsen said...

Call me an old fool, but the older I get, the more I see why those particular books were chosen for inclusion in the bible. The story of Soddom and Gommorah is there because the lesson had already been learned, several thousand years ago, about hedonism's relationship to the life arc of a gathering of people as an entity. Used to think it was just a taboo related to keeping folks working on the crops. Later, I realized what exactly 'working on the crops' meant about trying to help build a better future.

terrye said...

I think the older we get the more easily offended we are. Hell if I know why.

But I could just smack that Paris Hilton. That girl pisses me off.

Knucklehead said...

There's a whole lot of information missing in this Mercury News article.

The Bush administration on Wednesday asked a federal judge to order Google to turn over a broad range of material from its closely guarded databases.

The move is part of a government effort to revive an Internet child protection law struck down two years ago by the U.S. Supreme Court. The law was meant to punish online pornography sites that make their content accessible to minors. The government contends it needs the Google data to determine how often pornography shows up in online searches.


Whether by intent or not, that opening obfuscates a whole lot of stuff. Where to start unraveling...

The first thing that jumps to mind is "What the heck is the government doing trying to subpoena a company's database records. This must be a porn witch hunt by the fundie whackos!"

And it may well be all that, more, or far less.

Let's parse a bit...

The move is part of a government effort to revive an Internet child protection law struck down two years ago by the U.S. Supreme Court. The law was meant to punish online pornography sites that make their content accessible to minors.

Leave aside for a moment whether or not it is a good idea for the government to try and punish online pornography sites that "make their content accessible to minors".

What's interesting here is this bit about a government effort to revive an Internet child protection law struck down two years ago by the U.S. Supreme Court.

If the administration is trying to "revive" a law that was "struck down" byt SCOTUS that implies that there some life beating somewhere in the heart of whatever this law is. Sight unseen, whatever case this was, it's a reasonable guess that the "strike down" wasn't SCOTUS saying "sorry, Mr. Executive Branch, but there's no constitutional justification for punishing pornographers for making their content available to minors" but, rather, "Sorry, Mr. Executive Branch, but you haven't shown that pornographers are making content available to minors."

It seems, to me at least, that the Justice Dept. was essentially sent away to get their facts in better order rather than told to stop persecuting porn sites. (A quick scan of the "Motion to Compel" supports this speculation; it's PDF and I can't seem to cut and paste.)

But there's more. Apparently SCOTUS instructed the government to prepare its defense of "COPA". COPA may or may not be a good law, Idunno, but winding its way through the legal system seems legit enough.

The question, or at least a question, is where the sort of information that would allow the government to build its defense of COPA resides. It doesn't, or shouldn't, reside in any government databases. They may be listening and scanning packets for terrorist activities but they sure aren't going to bring any cases against porn sites without information obtained from legit sites under due process.

Google's got the data. They probably are the only ones who do. What the government seems to be demanding is "randomized" for the sake of statistical analysis rather than gathering evidence for some prosecution. They are telling Google, as far as I understand this, to cough up a million records from one week, any week, so that we can show that kiddies are hammering at porn sites and the porn sites are doing anything to keep them out.

I find the surface level argument against submitting to this subpoena a bit dubious (there seems to be a sufficient amount of dubiousness to go around here).

From the Mercury News site, "about the subpoena:

Google subpoena

THE ISSUE: The Bush administration wants Google to turn over material from its databases to determine how often pornography shows up in online searches.

WHAT GOOGLE SAYS: It opposes releasing the information, saying it would violate users' privacy and reveal trade secrets.

WHAT'S AT STAKE: Privacy advocates are concerned that the vast amount of information Google and other search engines know about their users could be thrown open to anyone with a court order."


Maybe it's just me, but why on earth should Google be excluded from the power of subpoena when every other citizen and business enterprise is subject to it?

Any does anybody else find the position of the "privacy advocates" a bit tortured? Google holds an enormous amount of information about its "users", the vast majority of whom have no clue how much information Google has collected about them or what Google does with the info or how it is protected yet for some reason we should all be terrified that this data could be "thrown open to anyone with a court order."

Is there some restraint on what Google can and can't collect and what it can and can't do with it? Why should the only thing the "users" and the "data" are protected from be "court orders"? What am I missing?

Julian Biggs said...

terrye - the legal definition has developed some since Justice Stewart's famous turn of phrase. see here, for example, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miller_test

syl - notice the art exception.

Knucklehead said...

Terrye,

Can we watch while you spank her?

flenser said...

Knucklehead

We could film it and put it on the web. I smell a moneymaker!

Knucklehead said...

Just don't let the kiddies access it! Just to be safe we might want to wait until after Google is forced to select and deliver a week's worth of data. Don't want it to be our week of money-making that gets mined.

Buddy Larsen said...

Time and Newsweek would fly to your rescue--right?

Syl said...

flenser

And it seems to be a requirment for a woman in the pop music world to be good looking and be willing to pose in a mens magazine. Really, porn is hard to miss.

So nudity fits your definition of porn?


knuck

They are telling Google, as far as I understand this, to cough up a million records from one week, any week, so that we can show that kiddies are hammering at porn sites and the porn sites are doing anything to keep them out.

But that's not what the records will give them, Knuck. If you read my posting, that's basically my point. How would these records show WHO is searching? The only information the govt can glean is what percentage of searches on the 'net are for porn. Then they'd have to examine the sites coughed up and make a judgement as to which are porn. Say 12,456 links pop up in the results . Are they going to claim that someone was thus exposed to 12,456 porn sites?


julian biggs

notice the art exception

Tell that to VISA. Then you have the problem of who decides what is art.

Eric Blair said...

The thing that annoys me here isn't really that the government is asking for the data; It's that Google doesn't want to give it up, while at the same time, I am willing to bet cash money they (Google) have done similar analysis and sold it to porn purveyors.

Yahoo seems to have already complied, from something I read this morning.

Syl: you *really* have never seen any pornography, ever?

Syl said...

eric

No. Now I feel left out. I've seen plenty of nudes, but they aren't doing anything. Sexual explicit stuff has never been allowed at the sites I visit and post to. There _are_ sites specifically for that using the same software I do. But I never joined up.

No photos...this is all 3D. So there isn't even the possibility of a human being harmed by having a photo taken.

(Though some humans do pose, nude, for photographers who use the photos for making skin textures for the 3D models.)

My first version of Poser had a little bug in the export routine. The male model was anatomically correct and you could toggle the 'parts' on and off. Well, I made myself a character and dressed him then exported the object for use in Bryce.

Imported into Bryce and his, um, parts were sticking out of his jeans. LOL

It's like me and guns. I don't like 'em (Joe has one though) but I'll defend your right to have one.

Syl said...

I used to teach Poser. It has a lot of quirks and a beginner can easily get frustrated. (I've since switched to DAZ Studio which is much friendlier.)

So to break the ice the first thing I showed them was how to load a figure then load and conform (fit) a skirt. Then be sure the skirt is selected and hit CTRL-D.

That's the Drop to Floor command, and the skirt would drop to the floor. (just showing the importance of selecting the item you want to work with.) And it always made everyone giggle.

Then one of their first asignmnets was to report the weirdest thing that Poser did. And the reports were usually hilarious. It got the students relaxed and able to laugh instead of getting frustrated when weird stuff happened.

All the human figures load bare nekkid. It's an art program and the original purpose was to use these instead of arranging a studio and hiring models to draw. Load a figure, pose it, and use it as your model.

The program has expanded considerably since the first version over a decade ago. Not it's got clothes even! :)

Syl said...

BTW, 'Drop to Floor' is for the times when one applies a preset pose to a figure, and it's feet end up off the ground. Stuff like that. It wasn't written to drop clothes off the figure specifically. LOL The clothes came a couple versions after the command.

Buddy Larsen said...

"Google": "Go Ogle"?

Knucklehead said...

Syl,

It may sound as if I'm trying to defend the government case here. I'm not. I don't know enough about to have judged whether or not I think this is a good idea or, even if it is, feasible.

How would these records show WHO is searching? The only information the govt can glean is what percentage of searches on the 'net are for porn. Then they'd have to examine the sites coughed up and make a judgement as to which are porn. Say 12,456 links pop up in the results . Are they going to claim that someone was thus exposed to 12,456 porn sites?

I don't believe that is all that can be gained from the data.

There are porn sites and plenty of them on the web. There may be a wide, grey area between art and pornography but I'd be willing to wager there is no shortage of stuff out there that you would agree probably ought to be made difficult for the "kiddies" to get at. There's a fari bit pretty sick stuff out there and a whole lot of just disgusting stuff - and one needn't be a hung up prude to find it disgusting. But anyway... back to the data.

The data can absolutely be mined in the following way, I have no doubt of it.

1. OK, run through our million records and tell me give figure out which are the one thousand highest traffic web sites.

2. OK, now tell me some stuff about the traffic that is hitting those sites:

- how much of it comes from k12.edu type sites?
- what times of day have large increases in traffic to these sites? (Are the latchkey legions dashing from school bus to porn sites?)
- what happens when these sites are first connected to - what protections are in place that would tend to discourage yutes from going any further (account establishment, warnings, charges, bills, and such).
- do the porn sites take actions that are designed to defeat filtering software that parents and schools put in place? Are they spefically doint things like farming domain names and ip addresses and such?

Some of this could be discovered manually by 1000 monkeys banging on keyboards. But some of it cannot be discovered without monitoring and collecting data. We essentially forbid the government from doing that (we don't really mind if they cheat on this a bit at the edges to get at the really nasty people, but we don't typically put the pornographers in the same category as mafia crime lords, drug kings, and terrorists).

Even if the nefarious government, especially when run by the Evil Chimpy McBushitler von Halliburton is monitoring the web and collecting this sort of data even his puppetmaster Emporer Karl Rovestein isn't arrogent enough to use that data in a court case.

Google, on the other hand, has no restraints whatsoever on what they can monitor and capture and virtually everyone who uses the web uses google. Other than Rovestein's personal database there's no better source of data about web traffic.

Knucklehead said...

Wow, that some pretty careful typing and proofreading there. That's embarassing. Oh well.

Buddy Larsen said...

Tha's ok, Cotton Mather--i'm sure Mae West can decipher ya.
\;-D

Seneca the Younger said...

Syl, I can hook you up. Just let me know.

flenser said...

syl

As I said;
It depends on your defintion of porn I guess

What is yours? The answer may explain why you claim never to have seen any.