‘sexting’

National Security? Protecting Kids? Porn Takes the Rap Again

Say you were the U.S. government and you wanted a record of every moment that every American was on the internet: every search, every transaction, every click. Of every American. And just for laughs, you also wanted every credit card number and bank account number an American used on the internet. What would you call such a law? * The No More Internet Privacy bill * The 1984 Really Is Here Big Brother bill * The Trust Your Government With Your Privacy bill No, those wouldn’t be very attractive with voters, would they. So instead, the House Judiciary Committee has…

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Everything is Now “Potential” Child Porn

It’s official—every picture with a minor in it is now “potential” child porn. Imagine this perfect storm: * A mean-spirited Sheriff’s Department with too much time on their hands; * A school run by spineless bureaucrats; * A population of compliant students’ parents * Detectives who apparently think “innocent until proven guilty” is SO over. They all came together last week at Big Bear Lake High School in Southern California. After the school’s annual yearbook had been out for a while, someone discovered, in the background of a photo of a school dance, a couple in which a young man…

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Anthony Weiner’s “Bad Judgment:” That is SO Not the Point

I wouldn’t want to be Anthony Weiner right now. Because everyone can see he’s conflicted about sex. But c’mon, aren’t you? Isn’t everyone? As Somerset Maugham wrote almost a century ago, “There is hardly anyone whose sexual life, if it were broadcast, would not fill the world with surprise and horror.” Would you want your mental sexual architecture exposed? Of course not. And that’s the problem: Everyone in America is conflicted about sex. But only people with certain kinds of sexual conflict get caught. Some people conflicted about sex never masturbate, never ask a woman what time it is just…

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What Kind of a Sick Mind Calls This Child Porn?

The internet has given anti-sex lawmakers the opportunity to create entire new classes of crime. Predictably, petty bureaucrats are seizing these laws to go after an assortment of “perpetrators,” no matter how trivial, petty, or pointless their “crime.” America has always aspired to have laws which punish the actual harming of actual people. Admittedly, we haven’t always attained this ideal; examples include criminalizing interracial marriage, arresting people who burn the flag, and banning grocery stores from operating on Sundays. But the biggest legal bonanza of digital technology is that it offers a virtual world in which activity that doesn’t harm…

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America’s War On Sex: Second Edition?

You may have read my most recent book, America’s War On Sex. It’s won a couple of awards, and I’ve lectured on the subject in dozens of cities. I’m pretty proud of it. The publisher (Praeger) has asked me about doing a second edition—updating it and perhaps adding other material. In some ways, it would be more complicated than just writing a whole new book. So I’ve been thinking about how to do it. How’s the War on Sex been going since the book was published? My initial answer is: “mixed.” Here’s the initial scorecard for the four years since…

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Giving Thanks for Sex…With a Bit of Melancholy

It’s Thanksgiving, so let’s give thanks for sex. Not just the huffing and puffing, the in-ing and out-ing, the sloshing around and drying off. Let’s give thanks for all the sexual rights we enjoy here in the U.S.—which billions of people in Russia, the Arab world, and many parts of Asia and Africa will never enjoy in their lifetimes. Most of these rights have to do with privacy and autonomy. These always look dangerous to repressive or religiously-driven regimes. Science and technology look pretty frightening to such regimes when they can be applied for sexual purposes—which they inevitably are, throughout…

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