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[ih] [IP] EFF calls for signatures from Internet Engineers against censorship

On Dec 21, 2011, at 10:44 AM, Paul Vixie wrote:

> On 12/21/2011 2:19 PM, John Curran wrote:
>> For example, if you had a bill which specified SOPA-like measures entirely 
>> for the purposes of defeating child pornography, I might very well support
>> such a bill.  Yes, the measures would have technical issues, would be readily
>> subverted, the powers might be abused, etc...  but in the end, the need for
>> a very high deterrent to such crimes warrants all of the downsides (as a 
>> quick review of the adopted legislation in this area will demonstrate)
> I think you'd be wrong to support such a bill, whose positive impact
> could never be more than to signify the government's displeasure toward
> a certain kind of content -- it would not protect children from this
> kind of abuse -- whereas its negative impacts would be far reaching. See:
> http://thehill.com/blogs/congress-blog/technology/199435-mandates-cant-alter-facts

Paul - 
  Child pornography is not "a certain kind of content"; it is evidence 
  of heinous crime.  Its treatment is covered by statutes that not only
  make the production and sale a federal crime, but also the knowing 
  advertisement, distribution, transportation, receipt, or possession 
  of the material. These laws were very effective at preventing its 
  propagation over the Internet (you likely remember the widespread 
  removal of the respective alt newsgroups from the commercials feeds 
  that occurred around that time...) I received numerous orders when
  running two nationwide ISPs to take action with respect to child
  porn, and while the due process was rather expeditious and there
  were occasions of mistakes and compensated parties, I never had
  any regret in acting on the orders nor do I expect did any of the
  folks in law enforcement. (Btw, the only reason that we've now lost 
  ground is the emergence of peer-to-peer networks anchored in a 
  handful of countries with deep criminal/government entanglements)

  Despite the assertions of folks that Internet should "route around
  censorship", there are actual children being harmed when we don't
  use every measure at our disposal to pursue the creators of child
  pornography. The crime has already occurred in the case of child 
  pornography and if pursuit of the culprits requires alteration
  or blocking of DNS, in most states one can face being charged as 
  an accessory for failure to act in preventing its distribution.

  We should not meddle in the Internet infrastructure (DNS and IP 
  service) for routine commercial disputes but in my view that's 
  irrelevant when it comes to prosecution for this crime of great 
  harm to innocent victims. Luckily, the existing statutes are 
  already more than sufficient, and can shutdown everything from
  any communications service to a container ship or Fedex hub if 
  that is what it takes to get the job done.
  We need to keep in mind that some folks view the business and
  economic impact from copyright violators with similar priority, 
  and that any perceived technical limitations that we assert are
  going to be quickly dismissed as irrelevant.  This will continue 
  unless/until we can move the discussion in another direction (such 
  as requiring more international law enforcement cooperation)