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Re: crypto for porno users

From: IN%"[email protected]"  "Moroni" 24-NOV-1995 14:52:11.13

>I wish we could get off the subject of the kiddie porn , it makes
>me wonder what people on this list are doing when they are not
>mailing out letters. Not to flame ,BUT it is such a serious issue
>and we all as adults and approaching adults should not treat it as
>an academic issue . It is the most victimizing of all crimes and
>I think of speak for some of us when I say that it would be better
>if we all found a way to get back to discussing the problems of
>cryptography as related to we not pornographers.

     I can see one argument that one should not discuss such
unpopular topics. That argument is that the person who brought them
up may act as a (hopefully inadvertent) _agent provocateur_ for
those who would condemn cryptography for protecting child
pornography and similarly unaccepted practices. However, I regard
self-censorship in reaction to fears of government as as evil as
governmental censorship. Consequently, I would like to give two
counterarguments to the idea that child pornography is not
something that should be cryptographically protected.
     The first is that one may legitimately disagree with the
government on what is child pornography. For instance, one may
disagree on what minimum age should be used. Governments are known
for being quite incoherent on rules on sexuality and the age of
consent. For instance, Britain's age for consent depends on the
type of sexuality involved; heterosexual sex receives a more
lenient age (18) than homosexual (21). (There are also, of course,
difficulties caused by such legal inconsistencies as simultaneously
deeming someone not to be of consenting age for sex yet to be
considered an adult when charged with murder; I refer to the
infamous Bobbit (sp?) trials).
     The second is that given new image modification technologies,
it is possible to produce what will seem child pornography, but
with no actual harm done to children. In some ways, this product
may reduce harm to children in some respects by providing a
"competing product" to actual child pornography, and thus
discourage its manufacture. Some will argue that such simulated
child pornography is useful by pedophiles in persuading children;
this argument appears similar to the one against cryptography that
it can be used for purposes generally agreed to be illegitimate. I
trust that the list does not find such an argument to be valid. I
will mention in this regard that I have no personal want to see
child pornography. However, I support the right of those who do to
do so, if no harm to others is committed.
     Sincerely Yours,