"While we can’t speculate on the agendas of the groups behind SESTA, we can study those same groups’ past advocacy work. Given that history, one could be forgiven for thinking that some of these groups see SESTA as a mere stepping stone to banning pornography from the Internet or blurring the legal distinctions between sex work and trafficking."
Too many laws in America are stalking horses for restricting, not just commercial sexual activity, but all unapproved sexual activity. And the people who'd be doing the approving don't look like people I want in charge of my or my kid's sex life.
Child pornography and sex trafficking are both real, serious, problems. We should deal with them, not work to make it harder for sex workers and horny teenagers. But for a lot of the pressure groups in this area, the second thing is _their actual goal_.
In America, we have parts of Nevada and that's it. Filming a sex act and paying for it is legal (if you do your due diligence and make sure you have all the right paperwork, a good lawyer, and for good measure you should probably only film in California and Florida -- it's why there are so few industries who can afford the lawyers to do porn, but that's another issue entirely...)
The right way to deal with sex trafficking is to make it legal for people to do what they want with sex/their bodies, create as safe a sex-work industry as you can, and make it more difficult for illegitimate people in the sex industry to work.
This just takes me back to the Child Safety Protection Act of 1994. Over a decade later we're fighting the same bullshit.
The closest I'm aware of is that Leeds has the first (and only?) "official" red light district, and my understanding was that that's more a case of the police not asking or prosecuting rather than it actually being allowed or legal.
(There's plenty of discussion to be had over whether we should or not, this reply is more of a "oh really, do we?" sorta comment).
You cannot work in a "brothel" (i.e. not under the same roof as another sex worker), you cannot have a paid "pimp" (arguably not even to do the accounts or to make sure you are safe), you cannot solicit in a public place.
As you say, sometimes police will not enforce these rules, but other times they may use the threat of criminalisation to coerce sex workers.
Sex workers typically advocate for the "New Zealand model" of full decriminalisation - which is understood to be safer for sex workers.
The extremely small numbers of countries involved and the methods that exist of estimating the actual magnitude make it very hard to do any of (1) control for potential confounding factors, (2) be confident in the correlation even assuming no confounding factors and accuracy in the figures, (3) be sure there are not systematic measurement biases (resulting in higher count to actual number ratios with legalized prostitution) distorting the results, or (4) be sure that the measured differences are real even absent systematic bias.
(3) is perhaps especially important because a central thesis of the advocacy of legalization as a means to fight trafficking is that it makes trafficking more detectable by breaking the apparent or actual shared interest of perpetrators and victims in concealing sex trafficking when prostitution is illegal. (One sided decriminalization also aims to do this, but arguably stigmatizes and marginalizes all participants in prostitution of any kind in much the same way as criminalization, even though it only penalizes one side.)
Note that this is policy being tried in India to fight corruption--don't penalize giving bribes, just taking them. Now every bribe taker is at risk of being reported and the reporter is not at risk.
>Given that history, one could be forgiven for thinking that some of these groups see SESTA as a mere stepping stone to banning pornography from the Internet
This is one of their main goals.
>blurring the legal distinctions between sex work and trafficking
I think this has largely been achieved.
Definitely true, and it's worth noting that crackdowns on 'trafficking' and 'abetting' sex work in the US consistently undermine not sex work but safe sex work.
- Acts like "renting an apartment out for a sex worker" become abetting, which drives sex work to happen on the street and at client's residences - the places where serious violence are most likely.
- Any attempt at collaboration, like sex workers sharing the cost of private security or hygienic supplies, can be reclassified as a form of trafficking. (The tortured legal logic is that "you give me $10 and I buy paper towels for us both" constitutes taking money from a sex worker and enabling their business, and therefore trafficking.)
- When Washington, D.C. attempted to crack down on sex work, women carrying condoms were arrested or forced to throw them away - a move which did nothing to prevent trading sex for money, but effectively undermined safety and disease prevention.
- When the government moved against Backpage, quite a lot of sex workers were deeply upset. Because the website didn't make sex work happen, it helped it happen safely, allowing workers to choose their clients before meeting them in person.
Over and over again, we see that anti-trafficking laws are actually used to marginalize sex work and destroy any possibility of a safe, healthy, or voluntary environment for the workers. At a certain point, it looks like the scenario of vulnerable sex workers who face constant violence is actually being driven by these laws that punish any worker who tries to live a better life.
They view sex work as fundamentally abusive and degrading, something that no one should even consider as an option, and therefore needs to be illegal so that police can intervene -- just like organ harvesting, suicide, and a lot of drug laws. Then you make the punishment for facilitating it in any way steep as a deterrent.
My concern is that even within a framework where all sex work is objectionable, these are bad laws. If they made voluntary sex work harder, they'd be successes within that frame. But they don't - they leave the basic transaction untouched, and only undermine worker safety from disease and assault.
The situation is actually very similar with drugs. A law that reduced voluntary, non-addictive use would upset some people and please others. But the laws we actually have aren't a success even if you think all drug use is immoral. Crackdowns on supply haven't reduced use, but have increased prices and violence while lowering purity. Crackdowns on drug trafficking haven't reduced use, but have, though the iron law of prohibition, driven a shift to harder and deadlier drugs. And restriction of paraphernalia hasn't reduced use, but has pushed users to unsafe practices like sharing and reusing needles.
Deterrent effects are real, though they're exceptionally weak in these cases; sex and drugs have some of the most inelastic demand outside of food and water. But my concern is that these laws aren't actually deterrents against any step essential for the transaction. They're entirely deterrents against incidental features that make the transaction safer or healthier, and so rather than reducing the behavior they simply reduce safety.
Indeed, “combating sex trafficking” seems to already be a euphemism for cracking down on sex work of all kinds.
The big two seem to welcome these changes: google lobbied in support of at least some of this, while zuckerberg says he’s ok with expanded regulation of facebook.
Reglatory capture is being used to lock down our industry (and, maybe democracy) before our very eyes.
>I think this has largely been achieved.
The text of the bill makes this obvious; whatever the public rhetoric, the legal text talks about prostitution, period. No qualifications regarding consent or exploitation.
See what Tinder did to dating; nobody can have any illusion they are getting a "premium" faithful partner and it pushes the attractiveness/transaction narrative and quick disposability to most intimate relationships. Not a way to build a stable civilization, rather a hyper-competitive cruel society where nothing is ever enough.
Unless these warts are addressed by a proper patch, our civilization has no future (IMO). I can wonder about motivations of those groups, whether it is really continuation of civilization, or just taking advantage of usual biological idealistic attitude of males to work hard for carrot-and-stick motivations in a form of a woman they desire, and harvesting that energy for their own selfish reasons, painting it white as necessary for everybody.
If we're talking about what's known from history, this is total nonsense. Polygamy was permitted in China into the 20th century. China was the best place in the world by a whole host of metrics up to about the 17th century. It is still known now for the cultural stability it's displayed for the past couple millennia.
What did you mean by "classical non-dying civilization"?
WRT Opium Wars I always found the casualty figures astonishing:
Going back up to my original example, you see polygamy practiced in China in the warring states period (ca. 500 - 200 BC), in the early Han (ca. 200 BC - 0), and the later Han (ca. 0 - 200 AD), and the three kingdoms period (ca. 200 - 300), and the Tang dynasty (ca. 600 - 900), and the Song dynasty (960 - 1279), and the Yuan dynasty (1271-1368; wasn't even a Chinese government), and the Ming dynasty (ca. 1368-1644), and the Qing dynasty (1644-1912; also not a Chinese government. The Qing actually outlawed foot binding, though this was not effective.), as well as through all the other intermediate periods not mentioned in that list.
However you want to count the end of a civilization, there won't be any relationship at all to polygamy practice; one changes and the other doesn't.
It's easier if you restrict access to sex to males, make rules that almost everybody can get it at some point in a committed relationship, instead of having only the most attractive males having it all with most females and the rest waiting for leftovers, and to drive any aberrations from this ideal underground, out of sight. I believe that's how past civilizations worked and in general people didn't talk openly about their side affairs and society built guilt/shaming wall to publicly scorn anyone that was doing it outside private sphere and didn't keep secrecy/discretion. We call it repression now, though it likely had its evolutionary reason as those rules survived and attempts to get rid of them vanished.
Men aren't the only potentially productive elements of society, though. "Females" are real people, not abstract objects which exist only to provide sex and motivation for men. (And if sex really is the primary motivation for men to do anything, maybe we ought to have more women running things…)
Also I am very strongly agains paradigm where "everybody can get sex in commited relationship". It is wrong, because it would punish good people who end up with abusive, cruel, overly controlling, violent ot simply very difficult people. (Of both genders of course).
There is no and should not be entitlement to have partner.
Whether you like it or not, it is politically incorrect or going against the Zeitgeist, males still do most of the difficult, manual work that keeps the world running and is invisible to most women. There is a very little hope females would step up to the challenge as what we see so far is cherry picking high-income jobs isolated from crushing challenges of manual work and heavy robotics is not there yet. So if you tell those males they aren't desirable, they can't be entitled to have a partner, you allow them free access to cheap sex/sensory satisfaction, gaming etc. what you'll get is they just wouldn't care about work anymore, live minimalist lifestyles, working only to pay their immediate expenses, your society will be on a path to decline. By removing this "carrot" of a desirable woman, you neutered one of primary motivations of males to do anything at all. As they see 5% top guys getting all the girls and girls being fine with it during their desirable ages, and being interested in them only when their desirability wanes, and that only for financial reasons, why would they even bother being involved with society? So they simply drop out, do whatever they like, don't contribute to taxes, don't do any menial work, refuse to be slaves and disengage from society. I see it on my cousin, who was a top graduate of the most prestigious university of my country, and since graduation he is not working (a few years already), disgusted by women, and playing some stupid online games all day, without any way to poke him to do anything at all as it all seems pointless to him.
So please keep closing your eyes, let's have another completely lost generation and see how our civilization tanks in front of our eyes.
I would suggest you to study reinforcement learning, which even if using really stupid models, could show you how small changes in rewards can completely reshape environments, not mentioning complete removal of rewards, as is happening these days.
I cant believe your opinion of men is so low. And if you see your existence as a slave, but with sex then it is ok to be slave? Men in history did a lot of things, good and bad, for their own purposes, not just in exchange for a sex. By all statistics, Americans spend more time in work then ever and men on average more then women.
No being entitled to partner is not same as not being desirable. It primary means that world does not own you a partner and the potential partner has right to not be in relationship with you. You might be desirable to someone else. (And some guys are really too dangerous or sociopathic to be dated.)
Your cousin is not working class men looking for hard labor job, his issue is not that women don't want working class men. University men don't do physically demanding work. But his parents should either find him counseling for depression or alternatively stop enabling his lifestyle (depending on what is cause of his passivity). By your definition should be among top percent - majority of population does not have degree. Besides, it sounds like you want girlfriend for him so that girlfriend partly becomes his mom to force him to work and partly uses sex to blackmail him into work. Wtf for both of them.
Choosing mate for a girl purely on how much he earns and whether he is hard worker is receipt for disaster for her. It just does not even sound as if women were humans from your analysis, you treat them like a chocolate prize cake.
You don't care at all about what she can achieve (and she is significantly less likely to spend all her time playing games), she is literally just piece of meat for him to have sex between wold of warcraft raids - in the hope that he will work afterwards.
Huh? Wow, I am speechless... Are you sure you wanted to type that?
Imagine an artist with a muse. She occupies his mind, drives his creativity, unreachability of her perfection inspires hard work and progress, creating works of wonder. Now that artist finally gets intimate with his muse, faces the reality and brutal disappoinment with the illusion that was driving him, making him incapacitated for a while. So the carrot in the form of an ideal woman was responsible for some outstanding work that wouldn't happen otherwise; the moment the goal he hoped for was reached, the illusion was gone, and the well of artistic inspiration in the form of this muse was dry. Yet, something remained from this - a work of art, something the whole society benefits from.
Try to apply this throughout the society to understand how great works were completed; this was one of a few main motivations (of course there were other ones for different works).
I care less about his painting then about women who will become target of his wrath when he gets confronted with reality. And even he would be happier if he never went the illusion way.
Plenty of productive men are not like the artist in that story.
Traditions, as myths, are stories we tell ourselves. That is, social engineered stuff that stick around, because people care to keep them around, for various reasons (some, only for the ludicrous reason that "people told it that way before, we shall not change a bit of it").
Your civilization, our civilization, _has_ no future. Not one civilization on earth has had a future that spanned more than a few millennia. History is full of only that: civilization, as people, appear, grow, and die into something else.
They all evolved, changed, disappeared, what have you.
I have a few nits. Due to some lesser social sicknesses, polygamy gets a bad rap in the West. It's not always the right course and like everything else, there is the potential for abuse, but it is a normal and functional component in most pre-Roman/non-Christian social structures.
Also, national law is the wrong place to codify such intimate issues. Self-sufficiency is important along all axes, including moral and social ones. The community needs to be empowered and entrusted with the ability to make these standards on its own. Federal law is a very dangerous place for such things to wind up.
Anyway, this isn't really the right venue for this type of discussion, but I thought I'd lend some moral support since I expect you'll get eviscerated for this.
But ok, if you assumed that "survival of our civilization" equals the survival of certain biological lineages, wouldn't the most efficient solution be to increase research into in-vitro fertilisation and synthetic sperm and remove men from the equation completely?
If you are into optimization algorithms, what we observe in the nature might be one of those. Messing with this optimization might get us to states we never wanted.
> ...you have to restrict sexuality and force desirable men to keep a single wife and vice versa.
is not a dystopia but just a necessary evil.
It's a subtle difference. I understand.
It seems like they are succeeding already: https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/9kgwnp/porn-on-go...
Which groups are you referring to?
So we expect the services to simply shift to use other facilitators. Do they hope the new facilitators will be better for the victims? That, again, seems misguided: we know for a fact that traditional, pre-internet facilitators, like pimps and underground brothels, are exceptionally damaging for victims, physically, emotionally and economically. Any underground, high friction market, will have large margins for the traders (traffickers) and make the producers worse off.
Is the intention to drag prostitutes into legality, in supervised establishments where they can be protected by the state? Shouldn't that start with a nation-wide ban of anti-brothel laws that effectively force prostitutes to work underground?
So what exactly is the point of this bill? Denying independent prostitutes autonomy and forcing them in the hands of traffickers? Did they even ask themselves these questions? Do they even understand the purpose is harm-reduction across a whole at-risk social class, not some crusade against a Hollywood vision of innocence abused?
It really sounds like this was touted as a way to reduce prostitution and sex trafficking and nobody involved ever questioned if it would really do that, because simply questioning a bill like this can get your name in the news about how much you support sex trafficking. And that news story will never go away, 10 years from now people will be bringing that story up about how you once opposed a bill designed to reduce sex trafficking, and how can anyone trust someone that once supported something so vile?
With this reasoning, one can slip anything into a bill with a nice name. This has already done a lot of harm.
(After all, how can someone oppose the PATRIOT act when the nation is in danger? etc)
I'm not a supporter of this bill, but to play devil's advocate: this isn't about eliminating prostitution, which as you said is impossible. It's not about all or nothing, it's about degrees.
Supporters of the bill think that by making prostitution more difficult, it will be more rare. That doesn't contradict what opponents of the bill worry about, that it will make sex work more dangerous: it's possible it will decrease the amount and also increase the risk.
It's similar to the topic of legalizing drugs: for example, it's very possible that legalizing heroin will increase usage (easier to buy, lower prices) but reduce risk (regulated product, less criminal involvement).
It's a tradeoff in both cases, and obviously reasonable people can disagree on whether it's worth it or not.
Is there any evidence to that? The best the legislation can hope for is going to pre-Internet levels. Are they actually lower?
There are many unfortunate casualties in the current U.S political cold civil war that's been going on since the last election. They are seeking to eliminate anything that could lead to further unexpected political outcomes by going scorched earth on all kinds of online speech.
Which is nearly every online community. The economics of accurate moderation to legal standards are completely unrealistic.
People see hundred billion dollar companies and assume they're swimming in cash, but most of them have something like ten billion in annual revenue against a billion users. The total is large but the amount per user is not.
There is zero possibility of paying someone with the legal knowledge to make accurate balancing decisions to read and evaluate the legality of every user's posts. And short of that you're going to have huge numbers of false positives or false negatives.
Pass a law that prohibits false negatives and the result is false positives through the roof. Past the point that it will shutter legitimate forums.
It's more about perceived sin reduction and dogma, rather than harm reduction and logic.
I think you hit the nail on the head. As a society, we've relied on people making shallow surface level laws to correct deep, tangled problems for too long.
Our system of laws is in dire need of a good pruning back and rearchitecting. IANAL, but I have been doing legal research for a while now, and when I'm reading law, it is very clear to me at least that when you start looking at law as something systematic, you run into diagrams that would make any system architect have a heart attack.
The structures I end up at show a lack of "feed-forward" thinking in their implementations. Namely being structured with little or no thought to consequence, or guidance for interpretation or application built in.
For the non-techies who may not be able to understand my comment, imagine implementing something complex like an internal combustion engine, but never writing a manual or communicating it's specifications. That's what I'm getting at.
And yes, I'm aware that the legislature specifies executive branch entities to do the administrative law elucidation. However, there are far fewer release valves for bad law in those cases or means for changing overly restrictive guidance. Entities are given carte blanche to pass unchallengable "iron fist" level directives that have no recourse EXCEPT an already over-taxed legislature.
I fear this is very much like anti-immigrant fervor. It's important for legislators to look like they're "doing something." But it's just as important for the measures they take to be ineffective. Why? because systemic hypocrisy.
This measure (along with anti-immigrant measures) creates / maintains an underclass of workers with very few legal rights. Because these measures are wrapped in a mantle of fake righteousness, they satisy both the need to "do something" and the need to keep that underclass going.
Love this quote:
> But a leading proponent of the legislation, Bruce Taylor of the National Law Center for Children and Families, said yesterday that the court "jumped off the bridge" with its "absolute" decision. Saying "the technology overwhelmed the court," Taylor predicted the Supreme Court would reject the ruling. "They haven't got a prayer of having this upheld on appeal," he said.
These twits are going to win eventually, just slowly.
This is basically my expectation for how all privacy and legal freedom end on the internet. It's easier to pass a law than repeal it, and so this stuff will get done by throwing up slight variants of the same bills over and over until they get through Congress and the courts. Constitutionality can be ensured by getting lucky with wording and a friendly court. Passage comes from simply wearing down the opposition, who are drastically less well-funded and organized than the advocates.
I honestly have no idea what can be done about it. Internet freedoms work like a ratchet, and even winning 95% of the fights means that everything gets worse every year and never gets better.
This argument is stupid. The fundamental freedoms that the internet provide to the global community are too important to be taken away by old lawmakers with no understanding of the way Cyberspace works.
People in "tech" overall does not want to study other subjects than computer science, they do not want publish publications with other people, change the way the Internet works (in their own direction) nor organize with other people.
There is very little indicating that the support for free speech in "tech" is any more substantial than any industry's support for what serves them at the moment.
>People in "tech" overall does not want to study other subjects than computer science
People in a field are fans of that field and want to study it deeply? Surprises me for sure.
Because I am using the word vaguely to largely mean tech culture.
> People in a field are fans of that field and want to study it deeply? Surprises me for sure.
It is not a surprise to me. I am the one arguing that people don't actually think it is that important. Because usually when you think something is important you show an interest in it.
There are people interested in technology that also study ethics, law, psychology or even just things like information systems which are subjects that raises these questions. But those people are few and far between and tends to have a more complex view of the issue.
It is impossible to prove that something doesn't exist, and more so to prove that something will not exist in the future.
The burden of proof is entirely on the party that claims existence - in this case, of harfmul effects of the Internet on society.
>The results are well deserved.
Hello victim blaming.
I'm against sex traffickers as much as the next guy, but this is not the way to stop them.
I'd never heard of this. I'm not trying to call you out or anything, but do you have any sources or further reading? I'd be interested in seeing how this works.
I mean, not all...
What if someone phone's them up and says I host sex trafficking? Or I do something else illegal in the US that is fine in the EU or elsewhere?
I simply don't want the risk of the US gov'd or law interfering with me or my business.
Where can Internet refugees go?
I'm moving my mail to Protonmail, away from my current mail provider (which I was planning to do anyway once the contract ran out since they are against net-neutrality but I'll speed things up now)
My DNS is also currently hosted in the US, via Cloudflare and another provider. I will move those into OVH too but I'll have to wait for atleast two contracts to run out for that too.
Considering the GDPR, I guess the EU is the current bastion of privacy and a free-er internet.
The tools for building apps with it already exist: https://hackernoon.com/so-you-want-to-build-a-p2p-twitter-wi...
Myself, personally, I'd comply with legal takedowns because I don't want to get thrown in prison. But that doesn't mean it won't be exceptionally hard for things to be removed from a cryptographically secure P2P network.
There's a decent chance bad US Internet laws will be struck down by the courts on constitutional grounds, but most other places never had protections for those freedoms to begin with.
On the other hand, if you're going to be an outlaw anyway, you might as well do it somewhere where your bribes will actually buy you some measure of protection.
Just watching the GDPR mess makes you understand Brexit.
What are you talking about???
And SESTA/FOSTA is for avoiding human trafficking.
Complex far reaching laws often don't end up having the result they were said to be intended for.
It’s not like most of the mainland European countries are better in this regard. Few of them have strong legal protections for free expression, and some of them (like Germany) have explicit political censorship laws just like the UK.
GDPR will be a pain for a lot of businesses, but seems to be well designed to protect citizens by to reducing abuses of surveillance by private companies like those in the news right now with Facebook.
GDPR is the appropriate response to decades of giving industry an opportunity to self regulate its data collection practices (the "cookie law" was a warning shot ignored by industry), which has evidently spectacularly failed should you open any broadsheet newspaper this morning.
:%s/gun control laws/internet censorship/g
--edit: before you reach for that downvote button - im not conflating the two crimes they are both depreaved and horrible in their own way. I am noting a high degree of symmetry in the reaction of a heavy-handed government 'take away the rights of everyone' to what is isolated incidents of horror.
In one case americans seems willing to relinquish their rights to the government in the name of safety.
In the other americans seems to consider this overreacting
yet to me they seem to have high degree of symmetry
They are not. They happen with such regularity that you can reliably estimate them per year. They are empirically preventable.
Because most every bad crime out there can be reliably estimated and has ways of being prevented. The question is at what cost? We could prevent the vast majority of crimes committed by criminals released from prison by having all felonies punished by life without parole. But is that really reasonable? We could cut down on sexual abuse of children by outlawing any single adult from ever being alone with a child, regardless of relationship. But is that really reasonable?
And I highly suspect that there is no consensus on what liberties are acceptable to exchange for safety.
I'm not debating gun laws, Im pointing out how readily it seems people are willing to relinquish their rights in one case vs another which have remarkably high similarities.
One would assume that should things get bad enough for an actual civil war, some percentage of military would defect rather than fight their own.
One might also look to recent conflicts in Iraq, Afghanistan, and even Vietnam to see what a determined populace can do to resist.
Given there has already been one Civil War in US history, things don't look horribly great. It is also a very different country today now than it was then, so who knows how things would actually go.
I'd say if US gov had a plan of oppressing US citizens they'd just ban guns first. It's kinda hard to start civil war over this.
So instead of civil war you'd have hundred or few hundreds nutjobs with guns vs. US Army who might not feel particularly supportive of civilians disobeying direct order to give away their guns. Obeying is kinda their favorite thing.
> One might also look to recent conflicts in Iraq, Afghanistan, and even Vietnam to see what a determined populace can do to resist.
Let's look at more recent history of US military achievements:
You wan't to be on the loosing side of similar conflict?
> Given there has already been one Civil War in US history, things don't look horribly great. It is also a very different country today now than it was then, so who knows how things would actually go.
Last civil war was about right to own black people. They guys who really wanted to keep owning them actually managed to incite civil war, even had army with similar tech level and still lost. Can you imagine same thing happening about right to own guns?
The reason government lets you keep your guns is not that it's afraid of you. The reason is that it is not and doesn't mind all that much if some peasants die.
Which would itself be sure to spark widespread civil unrest, if not actual revolt. Even in the "reasonable European countries" compliance with bans are comically bad.
> So instead of civil war you'd have hundred or few hundreds nutjobs with guns vs. US Army who might not feel particularly supportive of civilians disobeying direct order to give away their guns. Obeying is kinda their favorite thing.
That's a horrible characterization of the state of the US military. In case you weren't aware, there's a reason officers pledge to the Constitution and not the president.
> Let's look at more recent history of US military achievements:
Yeah, how long have we been bogged down in the Middle East? You want to live in a country with 10+ year long civil war? Nasty as politics are these days, you think it's just going to be "Gun Nut vs. US Military" - no, it's going to be "Gun Nut drags liberal gun ban supporter into the street and executes him." as well. It's not going to be some magical, nice, clean rout like you're implying.
> even had army with similar tech level and still lost.
The numbers weren't even close on the rebel side.
> Can you imagine same thing happening about right to own guns?
For all the talk of "hunter's rights" and "sportmans," the reason for the 2A is explicitly to fight governmental tyranny. It is so the common man can fight. The government revoking that right will easily spark mass violence.
> The reason government lets you keep your guns is not that it's afraid of you. The reason is that it is not and doesn't mind all that much if some peasants die.
Well, you're entitled to your opinion.
 - https://reason.com/archives/2012/12/22/gun-restrictions-have...
In Poland, country of 36 million citizens there are around 20-30 cases of homicide or attempted homicide with firearms per year and another 20-30 cases of causing bodily harm using firearm which might be shooting someone or just hitting him with a gun. So compliance must not be that bad.
> In case you weren't aware, there's a reason officers pledge to the Constitution and not the president.
And what's in the constitution about president and obeying him? Do? Do not? As you fancy?
> "Gun Nut drags liberal gun ban supporter into the street and executes him."
Sure. I just listed the sides that will be doing all the shooting, sniping, bombing, mortaring, drone-striking and gassing not all other collateral damage. You are right that it won't be nice or clean but it will be quick and remembered exactly the way US gov writes it down in history books.
> The government revoking that right will easily spark mass violence.
Did you notice how gov overreacted about occupy wall-street? Do you think how strong and fast or even preemptively will it react to possible armed movement that might want to oppose enacted law?
Best you can count on are small, split up pockets of resistance looking like crazies for the people outside.
> Well, you're entitled to your opinion.
As are you. I just have trouble understanding how can anyone think he can fight government of one of most advanced nation states with a gun.
They'd ban guns for people who can't prove citizenship, then for people who fail a citizenship test, and so on.
"It will be wrapped in a flag and carrying a cross."
If you're fighting the government head on in a conventional war, and the military sides with the government against the citizens, then of course you'll lose. So don't do that. Armed citizens defending themselves and their families on their own turf against modern militaries using asymmetric warfare techniques have actually proven pretty effective.
In any case, you're assuming an all-out civil war where the government has free reign to send in the military against its own citizens with no concern for political fallout, using whatever level of force is needed to achieve their objective. In practice they don't have that much freedom even when dealing with a foreign group intent on causing us harm. Under more realistic circumstances, the mere possibility of armed resistance serves as a major deterrent to tyranny vs. the ease with which unarmed civilians can be rounded up for "re-education".
Not sure about wiping them out but US got pretty good at killing them and not getting killed themselves in the process.
> Armed citizens defending themselves and their families on their own turf against modern militaries using asymmetric warfare techniques have actually proven pretty effective.
Examples? Preferably of last decade or two because modern military technology is ... well modern. And your future insurgency won't be countered even with today technology but future one.
> In any case, you're assuming an all-out civil war where the government has free reign to send in the military against its own citizens with no concern for political fallout, using whatever level of force is needed to achieve their objective. In practice they don't have that much freedom even when dealing with a foreign group intent on causing us harm.
If you own a gun to shoot your foot or spouse, government will happily restrict itself from interfering with your freedoms. Try to use it go gang up with few dozen of hundreds of citizens and oppose some tax regulation or something government actually cares about. You'll have FBI on your ass before you ramp up, and if that's not sufficient, yes, also military. And don't be so sure they'll restrict themselves then, especially if you fire even single shot at them. Even pointing your gun in their general direction could be enough to lift any restrictions.
> Under more realistic circumstances, the mere possibility of armed resistance serves as a major deterrent to tyranny vs. the ease with which unarmed civilians can be rounded up for "re-education".
I wonder why so many western countries don't descend into tyranny even though their citizens don't own guns.
IIIRC the Bundys did EXACTLY that and US government is having a tough time convicting them.
>>I wonder why so many western countries don't descend into tyranny even though their citizens don't own guns.
Maybe because America acts as a guarantor of security via NATO and thousands of other ways?
Actually, in one case, the lobbying groups are weak, and localized support in coastal areas. In other case, the lobbying groups are well organized, powerful, with a lot of support from constituents across the US.
Also, we (Americans) are stupid.
EDITED TO ADD: We (Humans) are stupid.
Edge case can be anything that gets people worked up. Child molestation, mass shootings, overt racism, sex trafficking, transgender, etc etc. It doesn't matter what your response is, the fact is people all have strong ones and are being manipulated because of it.
It's an adversarial attack vector on the entire nation.
You think the splash damage of free speech isn't significant? It's less immediate, but more significant. How do you think we got into modern wars like Iraq and Syria if not for media-supported propaganda, i.e. speech?
I agree with you that speech is more important! That’s why I am saying the side effects, the splash damage if you will, in limiting platforms where ordinary people can spread information because they might be used for sex trafficking, is not remotely comparable to banning a model of gun because it might be used to shoot a lot of people quickly.
The intended effects and effectiveness of the efforts aside, I think the potential for unintended side effects in FOSTA is of a completely different magnitude and nature.
Depending on the proposal, a ban on assault rifles is likely either:
- An ineffective nothingburger, targeting features that don't matter for lethality, that can easily be removed or changed, or features that can be built or re-added in a weekend in a garage (which only affects people who shoot recreationally, and not someone planning a shooting for weeks or months like mass shooters tend to do).
- A ban on most semi-auto guns including the vast majority of handguns people rely on for every day carry and self defense.
If you want to try to have an effective ban without nuking handguns too, you have to be fairly knowledgeable about guns and machining and very specific about what you're proposing, and there are likely still holes big enough to drive a falcon nine through.
And then, if you come up with such a proposal that actually might work, you have to run the gauntlet of:
1. It's unconstitutional.
2. Semi-auto long guns are actually better for self defense than handguns, the main reasons people use handguns are that long guns are less mobile/concealable and louder.
3. What exactly are you going to do about the tens of millions of banned guns and maybe hundreds of millions of banned magazines for those guns? Confiscation? Do you want a civil war? No confiscation? Then nefarious people will have no trouble getting them on the black market.
(chimeracoder's reply is completely right, but I didn't want to take the detour of getting into the technical definition of assault rifle when it makes no difference in this discussion.)
"Assault rifle" is well-defined with a standard definition. Assault rifles have been illegal for non-military, non-LEO use for decades (with a grandfather clause for rifles purchased before a certain date - these are incredibly expensive due to their rarity and belong mainly to collectors).
"Assault weapon" is completely undefined with no common consensus around what it refers to, and plenty of inconsistent or self-contradictory definitions in use.
I think you’re right when you say the technical detail of the assault rifle definition is irrelevant. Just because I don’t know as much about gun types as you does not mean that I can’t see that banning a particular type of firearm will not lead to civil war, but weakening 230 will lead to the centralization of censorship of the internet.
It is much easily defined and codified than "assault weapons".
Personally I'm surprised the anti-gun people don't go after magazines, instead fighting the same battle over and over again.
Freedom of speech should clearly only apply to however far your voice can carry unassisted by technology. Anything else is clearly too dangerous to allow the common citizenry to wield.
The whole point of freedom of speech and right to bear arms is a citizenry which can literally stand up to its own government. I can’t understand in this day and age, with country after country ravaged by war, people oppressed, tortured, detained without due process, jailed for wrongthink, etc. how I’m supposed to take anyone seriously that think I should actually give up my natural rights as a law abiding citizen.
Handguns are cheaper, easier to conceal, and easier to shoot yourself with.
Banning rifles to prevent gun deaths is a bit like banning oversized rear spoilers on cars to prevent car deaths. Sure cars with spoilers look faster and there is an association with street racing, but most vehicular deaths do not involve one.
You're inflating the FOSTA debate, it mean less than a general attack on free speech.
Assault rifles, by military definition, have selective fire.
None of my AR-15 rifles, or semi automatic 10/22 have that function.
I cannot have assault rifles without a manufacturer license as a civilian.
"Military grade" weapons are garbage, my guns are far superior than military grade in quality and reliability.
SESTA/FOSTA could be a stepping stone to prohibit more free speech.
It's insane that we see constant attacks on the first and second amendment by the government, all in one month.
"The EU is considering a copyright proposal that would require code-sharing platforms to monitor all content that users upload for potential copyright infringement (see the EU Commission’s proposed Article 13 of the Copyright Directive) … Upload filters (“censorship machines”) are one of the most controversial elements of the copyright proposal … EU policymakers have told us it would be very useful to hear directly from more developers. In particular, developers at European companies can make a significant impact."
Besides, what are you trying to argue here? That web sites should be forced to distribute anyone's content?
What I'm trying to argue is that they're hypocrites that are only against censorship when it's applied to them and endangers their profits.
I agree with everyone who says this will just drive prostitution underground, and isn't helpful. However, I am wondering about how hurtful it is to sites which are not designed to host personals or prostitution advertising.
Dating sites are in a gray area, and they have been vetting people's descriptions for a long time.
Social networking sites have flagging features, that others can use to flag profiles for review, under various categories. One of them can be specifically tailored to make sure this bill doesn't describe them as "reckless disregard".
All other sites that host user-generated content, such as programming forums, I think, are in no danger.
Again, this is not about the good intentions of the bill vs what it actually achieves to reduce human trafficking or prostitution. But rather, my comment is mainly about its effect on the vast majority of sites hosting user-generated content under section 230.
The term ‘participation in a venture’ means knowing conduct by an individual or entity, that assists, supports, or facilitates a violation.
"facilitating" means "make easier or less difficult". Hosting a website that allows people to talk about things, potentially including sex trafficking, certainly makes it easier, and under this law, any such website would be liable.
When you’ve got huge fines and jail time at stake, it’s better for the companies in question to err on the side of more censorship, not less, and it’s worse for everyone who uses the platform in question. So even though I agree with you, it’s already having the impact that a slippery slope argument would expect... that’s very worrying to me.
Fair enough, I don't want my daughters watching ads about amazing returns for beautiful girls in the prostitution industry.
No, I live in Brazil where prostitution is not illegal but profiting from prostitutes is.
So brothels and pimping are illegal - although there are plenty brothels, you only see pimping on very high level escorts and I never saw a place with sex slaves (but I saw this kind of place in other countries).
So this is my point, prostitution should be legal and physically safe both for prostitutes and Johns (nobody being beaten, mugged or otherwise ripped off) the same way tobacco smoking is legal. It is my opinion about safe recreational drugs as well. And like tobacco, companies should be prevented from mass-advertising.
Not to mention the clever(!?) technique of naming these bills such that those opposing them could be seen as supporting the various crimes they are intending to fight against.
"When governments fear the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny."
A common thread that appears on HN is the nostalgia laden post about how the internet used to be "smaller" and more "personal", with forums and chat rooms ruling the landscape instead of social media. This article mentions that large internet companies will be able to afford litigation, but medium sized companies will not. Small communities, however, are able to be moderated by a small team of humans.
The reason why reddit/4chan/twitter/craigslist/youtube are forced into sweeping censorship due to FOSTA/SESTA is because they have user bases too massive to comb through without a clumsy algorithm. They will become the network broadcast TV; small sites will become the internet reaction to that, what they were always supposed to be.
Obviously, SESTA/FOSTA is the dumbest way to build a smaller internet, hurts more user than it helps on massive platforms, and spreads unlawful activity to even smaller, darker corners of the internet. But grasping for silver linings here.
That doesn't change the cost per user. You're essentially talking about having the users do the moderation, but that isn't enough when it comes to legal requirements. What happens when they make mistakes because they aren't lawyers?
If smaller communities take over it won't be because they're more economical, it will be for the same reasons that piracy sites continue to exist -- they're in violation of the law but for every one that gets shut down two more pop up.
The problem was always that they hid behind the guise that they were the unofficial Donald Trump fanclub when there really never was an alternative one with a more moderate userbase. The_Donald is fine to exist but they seemingly refuse to stay in their playpen and ahve their fun, they need to sling mud throughout the rest of reddit while they're there.
And just to state it, I don't think TD is the only sub guilty of this behavior. I don't think its even an issue exclusive to politics but I really wish Reddit took a more hard look at their rule enforcement to make things clear and had clear transparency for their enforcement of the rules.
Reddit is not interested in being a neutral platform, and the constant scapegoating of the people they drive into containment subs as being the cause rather than the result is both tiresome and idiotic. If you don't want people to isolate themselves and radicalize, don't drive them away from mainstream channels.
One if my main gripes with the current American left is their inability to see themselves as agents who cause the things they hate.
Haven't been there in a while, but an invariant of scrolling through SRS was that the linked posts had a high upvote count, before and after being linked from SRS page.
Which is the entire point of SRS - to show what kinds of things that that group finds objectionable gets upvoted on reddit.
I know that SRS is reddit's favorite bogeyman, but personally, I just haven't seen any evidence to the claim you made.
Note, I am not saying this to argue with you. I am writing this to provide a piece of anecdata to the person scrolling through this thread not much aware of the things being talked about.
So, yes, your wife is secretly donating money to harass prostitutes.
They are likely purposefully doing this to create a humongous barrier of entry for new incumbents. And a fresh new way to politically destroy competition.
This is why we need to decentralize as much as possible.
No, Gmail, Facebook, and Travelocity are not complicit in the sex trade by virtue of the fact that someone can use their services to conduct such actions. Section 230 still exists. Without it, yes, you might actually be right, and the internet would implode due to the liability involved in running any service at all. We already covered this 20 years ago.
The operative word in the new law is "knowingly." If Gmail knowingly provided services to a pimp, if Facebook knowingly hosted a group to facilitate trafficking, and if Travelocity knowingly sold sex tourism packages ("we see you're renting a hotel and a car-- would you like to add an underaged escort?"), then the law applies. Selling someone a ticket to Thailand isn't a crime. Giving them recommendations on the local brothels might be.
Backpage is in the shit because they knew they were hosting child prostitution ads and actively tried to hide it from police. Silk Road couldn't claim 230 because internal documents showed Ulbricht knew he was facilitating the drug trade (and even knew what the consequences would be!).
The message is clear-- if you're going to run an illegal site, don't participate in its content or market it for those purposes. Don't seed it or hire anybody to seed your content. Just stay out of it, run an agnostic platform and let the users generate their own content (4chan isn't technically a porn site, after all). If something is brought to your attention, delete it and document it-- you fulfilled your obligation.
You'd still have deniability as to what your users are up to; after all, you can't be expected to police all the user-generated content faster than they can create it.
For now… This law is a stepping stone to government–curated mandatory content filtering.
Facebook & Google are already testing & developing the technology voluntarily.
The government will initially say you don’t have use it, of course, but maybe if you choose to then you won’t have to worry about that nasty liability laws…
If it’s voluntarily then there’s no 1st amendment issue, they’ll have their lawyers argue.
And the people will agree, nodding along in their safe spaces, as even now they mindlessly repeat that “censorship is legal,” don’t you know, “if the corporations do it.”
And at first it will be fine. But all that’s left for that censorship dream to become a sweet reality is just one final missing puzzle piece. To make the list secret. So close!
How will they do it? Maybe they’ll say that a list of hashes /fingerprints of illegal content is “facilitating” child pornography, because after all that’s how Torrents and DHTs work. Is a magnet link not facilitating piracy?
Not convinced? Just then Google will deliver with an AI technology to recreate images from the Fingerprints, not quite perfect, but the cherry picked examples resembling the original content just enough to make you feel uncomfortable.
Could the Fingerprints be modified to prevent it? Is it possible they were in fact designed with this exact goal in mind from the very beginning?
You don’t dare to ask. You are not a PEDOPHILE.
The list becomes secret.
Do you think this is far fetched?
> internal documents showed Ulbricht knew he was facilitating the drug trade
They also showed him ordering hits on people for as long as it was necessary to serve as a convenient distraction.
If no. Discard or modify.
Google has said that it is now feasible for machine learning algorithms to police user content, which undermines the legal precedent. Honestly, I’m surprised this change had to go through congress, since the legal precedents were on shaky ground to start with.
I think you’ll fund the framers of the constitution did not anticipate the existence of publishers that cannot even enumerate the things they publish, and were completely silent on this issue.
A similar oversight occurred with online privacy: The government’s surveillance apparatus is much smaller than corporate America’s and nothing stops the government from buying legally available commercial surveillance data, so they just launder illegal searches through private industry.
(The CLOUD act extends this to launder the searches through foreign governments, and also expand US law enforcement’s jurisdiction to the whole planet—that seems much more likely to fall afoul of the constitution. Issues of sovereignty and protection against foreign influence were clearly well understood when the constitution was written.)