A one-time school project gone terribly, terribly wrong.

21 September 2007

Final Post of the Day, I Promise

It's just there's so bloggably much out there.

An Alberta 18-year old pleaded guilty to charges of distributing child porn, thus avoiding jail time. His 17-year-old girlfriend had sent him several nude shots of herself, and the idiot was showing them around. The argument is that by turning those private pictures into public ones, he was distributing porn featuring an underage girl.

But it's him I sympathize with. I mean, she sent these images via the internet, for the FSM's sake! Internet privacy is a thorny issue, but generally the rule is pretty much that if you wouldn't do it on the street in front of your friends, neighbours, or parents, you shouldn't do it online. Not under your own name or identifiably, at any rate.

Hell, if her server's in the States I personally guarantee you that those pics are on the hard drive of someone over in the offices of the Effa-Bee-Eye; or possibly the Republican congressional caucus. All US servers must allow the FBI to monitor all traffic at their request and discretion, under the current Orwellian apparatus they're using instead of the rule of law these days.

For example, depending on what you wish to say on it, it's worth considering using a psuedonym on your blog, and perhaps confining yourself to a small but loyal group of Avid Fans (you are all loyal Avid Fans, right?) rather than the indiscriminate but appreciative hordes of readers who would surely overwhelm your server if you allowed it. Yeah, my anonymity and the failure of this blog to crack the Technorati top ten million isn't going to stop the CIA, but it allows me a certain freedom to say the things I feel need saying.

Such as: If you're going to e-mail naked pictures of yourself around, then accept that you lose control of the material as soon as you hit the "send" button. Just as surely and irrevocably as if you'd dropped them into H.M. Mail.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have some ex-girlfriends to wheedle. I also need to phone my parents and explain to them what will happen if they ever again show that picture of me in the tub to the bridge group. Though it may not qualify as porn--there's a strategically-placed plastic fish, you see.


At 2:32 p.m., Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Mr. Metro:

We've got our eyes on you, mister. You and your friend Winston Smith are in a big pile of shit. Room 125 awaits — the room of big hairy beavers — your greatest fear.
Better listen to some good jazz, MM.

E(CC)K [sic]

At 3:17 p.m., Blogger Metro said...

Beavers? Beavers? I laugh at your beavers.

Hell, I eat beavers for lunch!

And I have no idea where Winston Smith is, and refuse to comment further without my attorney present.

At 11:46 a.m., Blogger Wandering Coyote said...

What is FSM?

I agree that using a pseudonym on your blog is a must...I have one blogfriend who was using her real name and she got into A LOT of trouble with her work...stalking, harassment, you name it. When I heard, I advised her immediately to get her real name off the blog. She eventually had to password protect her site.

At 5:43 p.m., Anonymous raincoaster said...

Retroactive privacy doesn't work. But people's expectations are all messed up. I just taught a blogging class that included a best-selling author who'd released a book under her real name and wanted to do a blog to help publicize the book. She's worried about "privacy" and weirdos getting ideas about her from reading about her online. I told her that 65,000 people had already read her book and if she came anywhere near that exposure with her blog she'd be doing really, really well. She replied that she was worried about them getting her home address, to which I replied that she was listed in the phone book.

Either you exist on a public stage or you do not, Internet or no.

That said, I think your sympathy is misplaced. Sure, Canada Post can hand over our mail to the Mounties if we want, and sometimes things go astray, and if you use a private courier, God help you, but there is an expectation of privacy there. And that girl was too young to consent to the public display of her images, and that guy displayed them. The public display of the pictures is the issue, not her sending them. If she'd mailed them to him and he'd scanned and emailed them, same deal; the issue is the public display, not the picture-taking at all. It's just straight-up "blame the victim" and not worthy of you.

At 9:34 a.m., Blogger Metro said...

FSM = His Noodliness the Flying Spaghetti Monster, whose initials I was taking in vain, just there. But fortunately there is no "I'd Rather You Didn't" against that (the FSM doesn't go in for "commandments").

Point taken. Perhaps instead I should have pointed out to the young lady in question that sending nude pics of oneself almost always comes back to haunt one. As Jessica Hahn, Madonna, and several others can attest.

Point being that okay, the chump shouldn't have been flashing them around. But charging him with distributing child pornography is inappropriate and legalistic beyond the intent of the law.


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