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Re: Child Porn as Thoughtcrime

Declan McCullagh wrote:

>  Not so, says Bruce Taylor, the chief architect of the CDA and a
>  professional cyber-scaremonger. The former Federal porn-prosecutor
>  believes that "not all censorship is bad."
>  "Foreign countries have an obligation to restrict obscenity and child
>  pornography on the Internet by the treaty of 1911," says Taylor. "It's
>  an agreement between the states to cooperate and to use international
>  laws to prosecute obscenity." And to Taylor, books and copies of
>  Penthouse magazine can be obscene.

The status of such treaties governing internal policies is very suspect.
In the first place a great many of the countries that signed the
treaty will not exist. Technically neither Germany nor France exist in
that form since both have been reformed under entirely new

In addition it is always open to a soveriegn nation to abrogate a
This may entail sanctions but unless the UN were involved it would be 
unlikely in the extreeme that any significant effect would be caused.
At this stage a UN resolution would seem more relevant than a treaty
from 1911 intended to entrench Victorian morality.

As a European I note that the US happily gives itself the "right" to
unilaterally withdraw from treaties of far more significance such as
SALT-II or GATT on entirely spurious grounds. The US has also withdrawn
from the World court after being found guilty of terrorist acts in 
Nicaragua. As such the likes of Bruce Taylor don't exactly have a strong
case. If the US thinks it can pick and choose amongst its international
obligations then other countries are likely to consider they have equal
rights to do so.

I don't think that kiddie porn is likely to be the breaking factor
Anyone who has been following the European news will understand that
events in Belgium makes that exceptionaly unlikely. I think it most 
unlikely that any President would be foolish enough to send Mr Taylor 
over to explain US demands. He is transparently disingenuous and 
conveniently ill-informed. The small town American parochialism he
represents is even less popular in Europe than in California or
amongst East coast intellectuals.

Where I see a more likely breaking point is over cannabis which many
countries are finding disproportionately expensive to control. Since 
the US is rapidly becomming the worlds largest supplier demands from
that quarter may be treated with less than full concern. Spain and
the Netherlands have both reformed their drug laws and the UK may 
well end up doing so in the long term, reform of the prostitution
laws will probably come first however.