[quote=“dearpeter”]The government wants the data for a pretty legit reason - to get an idea of how much child porn and stuff is out there and to learn more about how net users located it. Google doesn’t really object to that goal, but they are worried about the precedent it sets. The government’s next request could be more invasive, and so on.
The thing about the child porn issue that I’ve always wondered about is why police tend to go after the consumers of it rather than the distributers. If there is a Web site showing illegal images, why not track down the domain holder and bust him? Wouldn’t tht be easier than monitoring everyone to try and catch them downloading something illegal? It is extremely simple to take a domain name and find out who owns it. It is also simple to take a Web site and find out exactly where the physical servers are that host it. So why does the stuff persist? There must be something I don’t understand, or maybe the authorities dont really want to “get rid of” the problem.[/quote]
Nice post, dearpeter.
I agree that it would be folly to target only the consumers, and not the producers/distributors.
While not being an expert in the field (then again, this is a discussion forum, and few among us are experts in any of the areas we discuss) my guess would be this: consumers are more likely to be caught – so we hear more stories about them.
First off, the consumers are far more numerous (even if producers are doing far more harm, per capita).
The second (and in my view more important) reason, is that a consumers who are caught with child porn on their computers are easy to identify, and convict. Yes, they can claim “someone else put it there”, or “I thought the people in those were 18” (although the later would be pretty fvcking tough if the subjects were 2 year old kids), but still… once they are caught, they are probably finished.
The search for originators, on the other hand, is far less likely --in any given case-- to prove effective. Keep in mind, the sick SOBs who produce this stuff surely know about anonymous scrambler connections, and websites that hide your location/identity, and so on.
Both due to their smaller number, and their ability to mask their identities, producers are almost certainly going to be caught in fewer cases (relative to consumers).
Obviously, this does not mean that the authorities should not be going after the producers. They should. It just means that when the people who are caught happen to be consumers (as they will be far more likely to be), it does not seem --to me-- to be necessary to ask why the producers aren’t also targeted. Because the producers are targeted as well. They are just fewer of them, and they are better at not getting caught.
Who knows – just my hunch.