Sunday, March 27, 2011

New York Times has huge story on sexting problem: case history in Washington State

The New York Times has a feature front page story on an incident in Washington state on how a innocent instance of “sexting” suddenly went viral and resulted in a number of 14 and 15 year old kids threatened with big time prosecution, in what seems like a travesty.  The story link is here. 

The New York Times starts its “paywall” tomorrow so soon these articles cannot be read for free (more than a limited number a month) without subscription. The Times offers several links and discussions today on the Washington state incident.  

The story does show how teens are unaware of the long term consequences of what adults seem to encourage them to do.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Social networking encryption, and legal technicalities make it easier for real criminals against children to hide; "members only" clubs encourage more crime

The Washington Post ran a disturbing story on p. A3 Thursday, March 24, about the use of “members only” rings by purveyors of c.p., and their use of encryption of major social networking sites to hide from authorities.  People have to send samples to join, encouraging family abuse. Authorities may not legally set up stings with illegal material, because that would break the law itself. (This is different from setting up stings as on NBC’s notorious series with Chris Hansen.)

The story is authored by Shankar Vedantam, with link here

The details are difficult to describe in space like this, but the story is significant. 

Monday, March 21, 2011

Parents know how to restrict kids' Internet access

Someone emailed me a link to an “Internet Provider” article, “10 Reasons Parents Take the Internet Away from Kids”, link here. I thought that, beyond the “obvious” concerns about child safety , a few of them were interesting: financial hardship (the Internet and especially broadband viewed as a luxury), and learning about “sacrifice” (the last point).   In any case, parents are more capable than what the government took them for when Congress passed COPA back in 1998. Enjoy the reading. 

Friday, March 18, 2011

ICANN approves new "adult" top-level domain: significant to COPA-like laws?

ICANN  (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) has approved the “.xxx” top-level domain suffix, the Washington Times reports today with a story by Cheryl Wetzstein, link here

The measure has some significance in the ongoing discussion here about filters and labeling. Conceivably, Congress could try to pass a law requiring some kinds of content to appear only in “
xxx” domains, which parents could block. 

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Oprah presents male abuse victims

Oprah Winfrey today rebroadcast a Nov. 2010 show about a particularly sensitive matter, adult men, over 200, publicly “admitting” that they had been abused.  Sometimes the perpetrators were Roman Catholic priests, but others gave stories of abuse from family members, even fathers. The basic link is here.  Among those who spoke out was Tyler Perry.

The details were quite graphic and explicit, and the complete episode may be watched at the link above.