March 15, 2017
We're from the Government...
Speaking of Reason*... I got into an interesting discussion on FB yesterday. I was, of course, defending pedophilia and child pornography -- libertarianism can be such a good time, someday.
I won't re-litigate, but I had commented on the current cover story "Safe Sex, Dangerous State" with a flippant "Is there anything government cannot ruin?" a friend and two strangers engaged more seriously. Surely protecting minors from exploitation and harm is a valid role of government. Huh, pederast?
Well, of course. But I had just read this issue this weekend. And the point is that it is done badly and capriciously because the crimes are so objectionable. If free speech protects Illinois Nazis, the Westburo Baptists, and flag-burners, surely rights of due process extend to the most distasteful crimes.
That was a long intro for a short post. The answer to my flippant question comes from another article in the same issue. Jacob Sullum inadvertently points out something the government excels at. They took over a child-pornography website to great effect! Why couldn't they get these guys to handle the ObamaCare Exchanges?
That argument did not deter the FBI from continuing to distribute child pornography. In 2015, after arresting the operator of The Playpen, a "dark web" source of child pornography, the bureau took over the site and operated it for two weeks. During that time, about 100,000 people visited the site, accessing at least 48,000 photos, 200 videos, and 13,000 links. The FBI not only allowed continued access to The Playpen; it seems to have made the site more popular by making it faster and more accessible. The FBI's version attracted some 50,000 visitors per week, up from 11,000 before the government takeover.
You think you can make this stuff up. You're wrong. We're from the government, and here to help. Posted by John Kranz at March 15, 2017 12:48 PM