Won't someone please think of the children!
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Author:  Riff Raff [ Fri Mar 21, 2008 12:18 pm ]
Post subject:  Won't someone please think of the children!


I always thought the "To Catch A Predator" type stuff was pretty ridiculous, apart from the obvious entertainment value. If they just want to embarrass people on national television, I have no problem with that. But none of those people actually committed a crime, they just had some potential 'intent' to do so. Now this drops the bar for 'intent' to vastly lower levels. You don't even have to get in your car and drive somewhere, you can have sufficient intent apparently just by clicking on a link. At any rate, this story combines three different aspects of the law that just completely piss me off.

1. The entrapment of people for 'intent' to commit a crime. Obviously there's nothing illegal about chatting with adults online. But if that adult lies about their age and claims to be under 18 at any point, then it suddenly becomes a crime of 'intent'.

2. The false assumption that IP addresses can be associated with specific people. You just can't. You can make a decent guess sometimes, but you can never ever be sure about it. If you have a wireless router in your house, then you REALLY can't tell who was using that IP address. It could be a neighbor, or just someone sitting in a car on your street.

3. The fact that anyone convicted of a crime like this will be continually harrassed by sex offender registration requirements and other restrictions for the rest of their lives. If you bash someone in the head with a shovel, you can serve your time in jail and move on with your life. Not so if you were caught chatting with an adult online who claimed to be younger than they were. You'll be treated as a social pariah for many years to come. You may not be allowed to continue your chosen profession, because it involves coming into contact with children. You may be forced to move, because your house is too close to a school. The cops might suddenly decide that you're not allowed to even be at your house on Halloween, because kids might come to your door. There's no end to the amount of abuse for anyone tagged with the term "sex offender", regardless of the circumstances. You're branded for life apparently.

Author:  misty [ Fri Mar 21, 2008 2:59 pm ]
Post subject: 

I actually took the time to read through this ENTIRE article... and as someone pretty proficient with computers/internet/ip... this is complete bullshit.

First off, I absolutely cannot believe that the courts are allowing the federal government to get away with this. Regardless of whether or not it was advertised as "legal" or "illegal" the government should not be allowed to set up such a broad "trap" especially when there are so many "what-ifs" that can be associated with simply clicking on a link.

1) IP Addressing - I'm one of the more savvy tech users out there... so naturally, my wireless network is encrypted and uses a specific WPA key that is required to access the internet via my group of ISP given IP addresses. However... go to your network settings on your laptop and click "View Available Wireless Networks" in ANY local residential area... and you will see that this is not typically the case. All I would have to do is drive up next to your house, connect to your unprotected network, MAYBE do a release/renew on my IP address and VIOLA... the government now, apparently, can prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that I am you. Sure do hope I'm not doing anything illegal.

2) Probability of Intent - Since when is clicking on a link undeniably indicative of intent to download/view content? I don't know about anyone else... but I have been on google/photobucket/myspace etc... MANY a time when I attempted to click on one thing, and their website redirected me to advertised pages. Also, how many of us have honestly EVER clicked on a link that we did not intend to? Most of us simply close the window, click the back button, etc... and continue on with our lives. Imagine if, instead of peaceful redirection, you awoke to the FBI knocking on your front door.

3) Spyware/Adware/Etc - As for the fourth charge, one he was actually CONVICTED for... there are tons of people who's actual job it is to get things like those "thumbs.db" files onto your computer. It's called traffic/download generation... and they get paid to find ways to get you to click on/ link to/ download almost anything without you knowing it's happening. Bring me one of the computers from someone in the FBI who approved this. I would be willing to bet that I could find at least one, probably more, references/files/etc to some sort of illegal activity that they didn't even know existed on their hard drive.

I'm glad he destroyed his thumb drive/ hard drive. Honestly, you knock on my door, and I'm going to do the same thing. It's called privacy... in America, that's something we tend to value.

The sex offender registration system is flawed in general. I really can't make myself agree with the uniform standards to which they hold each person convicted of committing a "sex crime". That guy that wants to move in down the street that date raped several high school age girls? Yes... please notify me and the neighbors... we'll boycott/protest/whatever... and make sure he doesn't live near my sisters. However... that guy who was 18 and sleeping with his 16 year old girlfriend, consentually, but her mom found out and prosecuted? Leave him the fuck alone and let him move on with his life. She already caused him enough drama.

I'm literally sick to my stomach. *waves goodbye to civil liberties*

Author:  Riff Raff [ Fri Mar 21, 2008 3:36 pm ]
Post subject: 

misty wrote:
However... that guy who was 18 and sleeping with his 16 year old girlfriend, consentually, but her mom found out and prosecuted? Leave him the fuck alone and let him move on with his life. She already caused him enough drama.

Just FYI, that's a pretty apt description of former cast member Chad. He's been in jail for about four years now, not as a result of the initial incident but because he was broke, living at Sarah's house, and registering as a sex offender for that year required a fee he didn't have at the time. Next thing you know, he's at the Williamson County Jail followed shortly by the State Prison since failure to register is itself a felony punishable by two to ten years of jail time. And things like that are the reason 1 out of every 100 adults in the U.S. are in prison now - with Texas having the highest prisoner population in the nation.

Author:  moroninalunchbox [ Fri Mar 21, 2008 4:00 pm ]
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Do you know why he didn't have the fee? Because he couldn't get a job because he's a registered sex offender.

Situations like that PISS ME OFF to no end. Branded the rest of his life because of some 16 year old skank and her vengeful parents. People like that should fucking burn in hell... meanwhile ACTUAL rapists and molesters are running free.

I can't even talk about it anymore... GAH.

Author:  spiderlily [ Sat Mar 22, 2008 12:32 am ]
Post subject: 

I remain absolutely ppalled that that woman in Round Rock who had a completely consensual affair with a 16-year-old boy was sentenced to 22 years in prison 9when someone in Austin got 15 years for MURDER the same month) and had her parental rights to her two small children terminated. She had her prob;ems but from the news reports they both considered themselves in love and pursued a relationship. This just seems like overkill and like the harshness with which it was treated will ruin the lives of everyone involved past the point where healing will be possible.
Some states have a law stating there must be a certain number of years between the ages of the two people involved to avoid the 16/18 year old bf/gf scenario.
And yeah you can stumble into all kind of shit online... I did a google search on a recent biography of Marlon Brando I'll probably order off Amazon eventually, and ended up reading this forum where people were discussing it and all of a sudden, "he was corrupted by living among all the Jews in Hollywood" and off we go... it was a fuckin' white power site! Nothing I would ever go to on purpose... being half Jewish and not an assshole. I felt kind of like you do when you step in dogshit in the park. And I was thinking it'd be gross and very distresssing if anyone was keeping track of my online activity and assumed I was some idiot Nazi because of that. I'd be embarassed enough just to have anyone know what geeky stuff I look up as is.

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