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Big Brother Strikes Again

Big Brother Strikes Again

March 4, 2003
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" One of those pictures happens to feature the kids in the tub, and for all of you parents, you know you have them. The tech decides that this may potentially be child porn and reports it to the authorities, AFTER making a complete copy of your hard drive for evidence. "

Dateline Oklahoma (www.Newsok.com Quote): "State senators are scheduled to vote today on a bill to require computer technicians to report child pornography they find on computers they are repairing." Follow along as Tom Heike discusses this serious threat to your privacy, and the potential consequences that can result from the most innocently-intentioned actions:

Here we go again, uncle sammy has yet again found a way to take away another inch of our right to privacy. Where will it stop? We don't know. For the better part of the last hundred years, Ol' Unc has been whittling away at our freedom. Day by day, inch by inch we are getting close to being a communist state instead of a democratic society. I originally thought "That makes sense." when I read this article.

I soon started to think about the ramifications of this new law. According to the article the person repairing your computer would be legally obligated to report any child porn that he or she finds on your computer. For advocates of prosecuting child pornographers, myself included of course; this is a great victory and will go a long way toward curbing the problem.

As a potential consumer of such a business, I am absolutely horrified. Not because I have anything to hide mind you, only that I have visions of computer techs rummaging through my hard drive, in search of child porn and seeing private information such as banking, credit, or any other for that matter; while they are supposed to be replacing a CPU fan with a larger model. Now you might be saying that my fears are unfounded, they are not.

Imagine if you will: You take your computer to a technician for repair. The new law has taken effect and a few technicians have already faced the penalty — quote: "Under his bill, a technician who fails to report finding child pornography on a computer could be charged with a misdemeanor and fined up to $500" for failing to report suspected child porn on any computer that they repaired.

This is where it gets sticky. Having heard about the others, your repair tech comes across some pictures on your hard drive of your children. One of those pictures happens to feature the kids in the tub, and for all of you parents, you know you have them. The tech decides that this may potentially be child porn and reports it to the authorities, AFTER making a copy of your hard drive for evidence.

Now you must face ridicule from the community, scrutiny about EVERY aspect of your life by law enforcement officials, and the possibility that you may spend the next 15 years in prison, and all for a picture of your kids in the bath with a bubble beard. Scared yet? You should be.

We need to call the people who make our laws and tell them "NO" —do not vote for this measure, there is too much to lose, and unfortunately for the children, not enough to gain. I believe that the person who wrote this measure was too near-sighted, and did not think of the results that such a law would have beyond catching child pornographers.

I agree they need to be caught, but should it be at the expense of your freedom? Never.


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