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CENSORED! BY U.S. GOVERNMENT!
June 23, 2005 12:03 PM   Subscribe

CENSORED! BY U.S. GOVERNMENT!

Changes to our photo policy mandated by the Bush Administration.

Always on the lookout for hot guys and ways to keep people from having fun, the U.S. Dept. of Justice is taking a break from prosecuting terrorists to do something it thinks is more important: restricting your right to view and share photos online.
posted by ericb (74 comments total)

 
"All member photos identified as adult on our site are temporarily unavailable for public view as the result of the sudden, and unconstitutional, decision by the U.S. Dept. of Justice to place new restrictions on all Web sites around the world that do business in the United States. (I guess nobody ever told them the internet is borderless.) Gay.com thinks your adult photos should be sexy, secure and legally protected, so we've joined with other companies to seek an injunction against this ruling. We're doing everything possible to minimize its impact on you."
posted by ericb at 12:03 PM on June 23, 2005


"About these new government regulations

* The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals has previously found these regulations to be unconstitutional, yet the Bush Administration has chosen to implement them anyway

* The new regulations go into effect June 23, 2005

* It applies only to "sexually explicit" content, not content that is merely "lascivious" (Hmmm, I don't know what explicit means, but I know it when I see it!)"
posted by ericb at 12:05 PM on June 23, 2005


the U.S. Dept. of Justice is taking a break from prosecuting terrorists to do something it thinks is more important: restricting your right to view and share photos online.

False dichotomy? Can't they do both?
posted by dios at 12:08 PM on June 23, 2005


Blue Law Makes Webmasters See Red .
posted by ericb at 12:09 PM on June 23, 2005


5. All cartoons are prohibited.

What does Shrub have against Bugs Bunny and Tweety?

Did the regime go after anyone aside from Gay.com?
posted by fenriq at 12:10 PM on June 23, 2005


Have these guys actually gotten some kinda threat from the DOJ or are they just fear mongering?
posted by MrLint at 12:10 PM on June 23, 2005


Free Speech Coalition Files Motion Seeking 2257 Temporary Restraining Order.
posted by ericb at 12:11 PM on June 23, 2005


We'll use this example of a pornograph image to spell out the problems with this law.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 12:12 PM on June 23, 2005


This is going to get struck down so fast it'll make your head spin.
posted by bshort at 12:12 PM on June 23, 2005


America sucks more every... two hours.
posted by wakko at 12:12 PM on June 23, 2005


I saw via BoingBoing that rotten.com's http://ratemyboner.com/ and http://www.gapingmaw.com/ have also closed down for now. I assume there are lots of other adult-oriented web sites scrambling to deal with this, as well. Thankfully, http://www.ratemypuppy.com/ is still open.
posted by tippiedog at 12:14 PM on June 23, 2005


What will White House pals Mary Carey and Jeff Gannon do now?
posted by ericb at 12:14 PM on June 23, 2005


gapingmaw.com, ratemyboobies.com, and I think one other part of rotten.com was shut down. (Both work safe unless "boobies" is a flag.)

On preview, beaten by tippiedog
posted by daninnj at 12:14 PM on June 23, 2005


But, but, but...where's the Administration going to find another hired assfucker journalist now?
posted by trondant at 12:15 PM on June 23, 2005


great ... our government's outsourcing sex now
posted by pyramid termite at 12:16 PM on June 23, 2005


Why does it seem more and more apparent that the lawmakers in "charge" have no fucking idea what the internet is and that they have very little control over it?
posted by fenriq at 12:16 PM on June 23, 2005


"An image of a person in a bondage or fetish outfit is allowed (but please, no polyester!)."

Careful with that 'tongue in cheek', Eugene.
posted by mischief at 12:19 PM on June 23, 2005


Time to delete all the nude tags from my Flickr photos. :(
posted by dsquid at 12:22 PM on June 23, 2005


/me buys ericb a Coke
posted by trondant at 12:24 PM on June 23, 2005


Mrlint, the enactment of these rules IS a threat. They state specifically that if the sites with adult images do not have full social security numbers, contact information and other documentation for any sexual images on their site, even if they never took the picture themselves, they can go away for five years. Five years federal.

Here's your scarf.
posted by jscott at 12:37 PM on June 23, 2005


Actually, I wonder how many photos on personals boards (straight and gay both) are of 'underage' advertisers.
posted by mischief at 12:38 PM on June 23, 2005


Why does it seem more and more apparent that the lawmakers in "charge" have no fucking idea what the internet is and that they have very little control over it?

Actually this seems like a great example of how much control the government does have over the internet. Secondly, consider the Chinese segment in relation to the idea that Internet comms technology is intrinsically free from inhibition.

restricting your right to view and share photos'

So videos are still okay? Whew.
posted by nervousfritz at 12:44 PM on June 23, 2005


The Free Speech Council and the DoJ have some sort of agreement in place to postpone any implementation of these changes.

news link at adult-industry news site - possibly NSFW.
posted by lowlife at 12:48 PM on June 23, 2005


*polishes firearms*
*buys ammunition*
*lies in wait*
posted by Smedleyman at 12:49 PM on June 23, 2005


nervousfritz, but they don't seem to realize that the internet isn't just a US based entity. The US government has no jurisdiction to tell other nations what kind of images they can post on the internet and with what documentation.

How are they proposing to tell an ISP in another country what they need to do? On what authority? What are they going to do when other countries just laugh at the stupid policy?

This is dumb legislation written by people who do not have a real understanding of the scope of the internet. Its not a simple light switch that can be turned on or off anymore. And its not even sentient yet!
posted by fenriq at 12:51 PM on June 23, 2005


I'm curious. What's to stop anyone from hosting a site in a country is less draconian laws, and thus out of the jurisdiction of the DOJ? I can't see the feds shutting down sites in Finland for violating US law.
posted by mullingitover at 12:53 PM on June 23, 2005


This law will never pass Constitutional muster, and no one will ever be successfully prosecuted under it. Not that that's really any consolation in the short term.
posted by pardonyou? at 12:55 PM on June 23, 2005


great, just what i need, a flood of gay guys infiltrating MySpace. as if i didnt have enough competition.
posted by tsarfan at 12:57 PM on June 23, 2005


Another MeFi discussion here.
posted by greasy_skillet at 1:01 PM on June 23, 2005


If the porn industry created a central shared repository of records fulfilling these requirements, would that be sufficient? Each porn actor (and anyone else who cared to apply) could be issued a porn number that would refer to relevant records at well-known physical and web addresses. Numbers could be embedded in the photos for easy checking.

Not that I'm saying I like this law. I'm just trying to think of a way to get around it or easily comply with it until the US has a good administration.
posted by pracowity at 1:14 PM on June 23, 2005


False dichotomy? Can't they do both?
posted by dios at 9:08 PM CET on June 23 [!]


welcome home
posted by mr.marx at 1:24 PM on June 23, 2005


False dichotomy? Can't they do both?
posted by dios at 12:08 PM PST on June 23


I wasn't aware that the DoJ had infinite resources. Every dollar spent enforcing this law is a dollar that isn't spent finding terrorists.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 1:29 PM on June 23, 2005


Marx, Chyme, against the protests of my shrieking conscience I gotta side with dios on this one.

I find it really annoying when people say things like "there must not be any more starving children in the world, because the US government spent money on X". "Still no cure for cancer" is getting old even on Fark, where you expect crappy arguments like that.

That said, I agree with the spirit of the statement, which was "damn, this is a shitty thing for the DoJ to do".
posted by gurple at 1:33 PM on June 23, 2005


"I gotta side with dios on this one."

I'm being serious. It's a huge waste of resources with zero benefit for the citizenry. Why waste our money on something so stupid?
posted by Optimus Chyme at 1:37 PM on June 23, 2005


pracowity writes "Each porn actor (and anyone else who cared to apply) could be issued a porn number"

Could anyone have his/her own porn number, just for the fun of it? Do we get a card, so people can say they're card-carrying pornographers? An is it an arbitrary number or a formatted code that also says what you do, like
XXXXXX-OO-MM-VV-AA-GG-LL-TT...:
XXXXXX- unique ID
OO - does oral? 00-no 01-yes hetero 11-yes homo 02-yes hetero grupal 22-yes homo grupal 03-yes any 33-yes any grupal
VV - does vaginal?
etc...
posted by nkyad at 1:39 PM on June 23, 2005


Talk about bad timing...
The Flickr team has up and moved this week to Californ-i-a and has
been singing Beach Boys songs non-stop since arrival. And you're
moving too!

We're moving each and every pixel, bit, and byte, all your data, lock,
stock, and barrel, from our humble server shack in Canada to our new
server palace in the U.S. of A!
posted by wendell at 1:40 PM on June 23, 2005


"Not that I'm saying I like this law. I'm just trying to think of a way to get around it or easily comply with it until the US has a good administration."

Umm.. once you do that, people get used to it, nobody (except a small minority that everybody ignores anyway) complains, and the law remains a law.
posted by anonetal at 1:44 PM on June 23, 2005


Chyme: "It's a huge waste of resources with zero benefit for the citizenry."

That's an opinion. That's my opinion, too, but obviously not the DoJ's opinion. In the DoJ's opinion the overburdening of porn providers is justified by the lofty goal of somehow having some magical effect on the incidence of child porn.

The reason that they shouldn't be doing this isn't that the goal of reducing the incidence of child porn is bad. It's that this is a ridiculous way to try to do it, and that by the way this is unconstitutional.
posted by gurple at 1:45 PM on June 23, 2005


Marx, Chyme, against the protests of my shrieking conscience I gotta side with dios on this one.

NOOO, REALLY? FUCK! LIKE, MAN! WITH DIOS!!

and who are you again?
posted by mr.marx at 1:45 PM on June 23, 2005


can you imagine how different the world would be if the right-wing tried to stop graphic violence with the same vigor they reserve for stopping graphic sex?
posted by TechnoLustLuddite at 1:46 PM on June 23, 2005


If the porn industry created a central shared repository of records fulfilling these requirements, would that be sufficient?

(Five Years From Now...) "In other news, all registered card carrying pornographers must show up to "Community Re-Education" as decreed by Dobson Fatwa #23. Failure to comply will result in loss of property, or deportation."
posted by stratastar at 1:46 PM on June 23, 2005


Though it did not have any NSFW photos......
My current employer 'monitors' my internet traffic, and I am not sure that www.gay.com/personals is a url that I want in the company's logs on my internet activity.... A warning would have been nice.
posted by TheFeatheredMullet at 1:48 PM on June 23, 2005


someone getting head = bad
someone getting their head blown off = good
posted by TechnoLustLuddite at 1:50 PM on June 23, 2005


I am not sure that www.gay.com/personals is a url that I want in the company's logs
FeatheredMullet: look at the "status bar" in the bottom of your browser when you hover over a link..... and get back to work, damnit!
posted by TechnoLustLuddite at 1:53 PM on June 23, 2005


Though it did not have any NSFW photos......
My current employer 'monitors' my internet traffic, and I am not sure that www.gay.com/personals is a url that I want in the company's logs on my internet activity.... A warning would have been nice.
posted by TheFeatheredMullet at 1:48 PM PST on June 23


There is a little bar at the bottom that shows you what link you would be going to.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 1:53 PM on June 23, 2005


According to one of the articles, a central repository wouldn't meet the requirements as the records must be kept at the place of business (which prevents companies from hiring an outside company from doing the record keeping).
posted by drezdn at 1:54 PM on June 23, 2005


dios writes "False dichotomy? Can't they do both?"

Well, a lot of us thought that the US could both go to Iraq and catch Bin Laden, but at least some of us won't get fooled again.
posted by clevershark at 1:57 PM on June 23, 2005


Porn has cooties. The DOJ is the cootie exterminator. This is a good thing
posted by Malachi Constant at 1:58 PM on June 23, 2005


You know, there's an easy way to make this all work out. In the early days of Seattle, there were a ton of sex workers here to service all the loggers and gold rush weirdos and such. In censuses, they would declare their profession as "seamstress".

So all we need is a well-run Seamstresses' Union that can issue valid proof-of-age cards....
posted by gurple at 1:59 PM on June 23, 2005


Whoops, they forgot to censor Google!
http://images.google.com/images?q=teen&safe=off
posted by Zurishaddai at 2:00 PM on June 23, 2005


NOOO, REALLY? FUCK! LIKE, MAN! WITH DIOS!!

Er, no. Not fuck like man with Dios. SIDE with Dios.

The difference is that, without proof of age, I can legally post a picture of one, but not the other.
posted by gurple at 2:02 PM on June 23, 2005


Dear Senator Pornbuster,

As part of our efforts to comply with 2257, we are contacting you regarding your photo and ad titled "Naughty Married Christian Bottom Needs Punishing" placed on our site on May 13, 2005. Please fill out the attached form and forward it to us immediately. For your convenience, we have cc'd this letter to all media outlets, just in case they can help you complete any of the required information.

Best regards,


PornSiteThatCheatingPoliticiansUse.com
posted by neuroshred at 2:06 PM on June 23, 2005


In what way is this not another thin edge of a wedge?
posted by Smedleyman at 2:12 PM on June 23, 2005


"In the DoJ's opinion the overburdening of porn providers is justified by the lofty goal of somehow having some magical effect on the incidence of child porn."

Can we be real? Seriously. The vast majority of workers and administrators at the DOJ enjoy porn now and then. And they think making websites maintain such burdensome records is silly, and even unfair. But they understand reality more than most here seem to.

Our DOJ is a government entity which gets it's marching orders from people trying to win elections. And in the last set of national elections it became crystal clear that you won't win elections unless you pander to folks who believe porn is bad. Remember? The same folks who flooded the polls to make sure men couldn't be with other men in bad ways? The DOJ isn't trying to ram their personal ideology down your throats. They're just representing the wishes of those who aren't too lazy to vote.

If measures like this bother you, maybe during the next election you can break yourself away from The Daily Show and actually go vote.
posted by y6y6y6 at 2:24 PM on June 23, 2005


Well... it looks like I'll just have to go back to whacking my love stick against women's bottoms on the bus, and sneaking into college dorms to steal dirty panties... It's been a fun ride, internets, but reality calls once more.....

Seriously, I'm sure the owners of local video stores down by the warehouses (you know... the one with the 87 shelves of Kung Fu Fighter, Volume 1 and another 60 shelves of Cartoon Animation Korea's Aladdin in the front, buuuuut look at that... What's this? There's a mysterious beaded door next to the register..hmmmm) are holding their breaths waiting for the other ball to drop. You can take my Jpegs... but you'll never have my VHS tapes and DVDs!!! I can hear the faint rustle of plain paper bags just big enough to fit a VHS tape in as we speak....
posted by Debaser626 at 2:32 PM on June 23, 2005


y6... maybe next time they will have a fair election...
posted by Debaser626 at 2:33 PM on June 23, 2005


I wonder if it would be prudent for anyone with any photos on flckr (that aren't elsewhere) to make backup copies. Just on the offchance that they are rent asunder by these regs. I guess you just don't know what might flow on from this in terms of service and access restrictions due to compliance rigmarole. Wise move perhaps?
posted by peacay at 2:34 PM on June 23, 2005


Let's show them! If every democrat donated just $50 we could start our own internets! An internets free from sticky regulations and open to liberal expressiveness!
posted by guruguy9 at 2:35 PM on June 23, 2005


y6y6y6: If measures like this bother you, maybe during the next election you can break yourself away from The Daily Show and actually go vote.

How exactly did your assertion that this rule is somehow politically motivated somehow bypass the fact that the DoJ needs to at least have a DECLARED reason for it (stopping kiddie porn) and end up as a direct attack on my personal Daily-Show-loving (guilty as charged!) and non-voting (innocent, I'm afraid) tendencies?

Yeah. Vote for the right people. I've got that down. But when the wrong people win and start doing the wrong things, you've got to keep fighting 'em.

posted by gurple at 2:42 PM on June 23, 2005


heh, I forgot, can't put tags in posts. The above was meant to read:

...that this rule is somehow (gasp!) politically motivated...
posted by gurple at 2:43 PM on June 23, 2005


An image of a hand inside pants is prohibited as it implies masturbation.
Pictures with more that one person that include nudity are prohibited.
All cartoons are prohibited.


bwahahaha

Good parody.

Oh wait, it isn't.

...

Wellll, personally I'm grateful to the US government for keeping the whole world entertained. With all these restaurants blowing up in Baghdad, we all need a good laugh. This meta-satirical diversionary approach to terrorism is actually quite sophisticated, no?
posted by funambulist at 2:53 PM on June 23, 2005


Yeah. Vote for the right people. I've got that down. But when the wrong people win and start doing the wrong things, you've got to keep fighting 'em.

Oh gurple, obviously you've got the wrong idea here--you're supposed to just sit back and keep your mouth shut like a good boy after your side's been beaten in an election. Might makes right, or didn't you know that? Let me repeat it in case you didn't catch that: MIGHT MAKES RIGHT! The winner in any contest is always the one who's got God on his side, isn't that obvious? Step in line with the Great Leader, or at least, figure out a way to feed at the trough along with the other little piggies and be thankful for your share of the slop.... Or else!
posted by all-seeing eye dog at 2:53 PM on June 23, 2005


The government "is passing these burdensome regulations to try to cause people to shut down or move out of the United States," Walters said.

A lot of things are going that way.
posted by mrgrimm at 2:56 PM on June 23, 2005


Step in line with the Great Leader, or at least, figure out a way to feed at the trough along with the other little piggies and be thankful for your share of the slop.... Or else!
posted by ericb at 2:59 PM on June 23, 2005


seems like a good time to recall the virtues of offshore hosting...
posted by moonbird at 5:47 PM on June 23, 2005


So, yeah, if this sticks and sites start moving out of the US because of it, what's this going to do to our economy? I don't mean the relocation of porn sites is going to cause a collapse, but what with the filesharing and this and who knows what else they come up with we're not going to win any points with the high-tech industry by creating these kinds of regulations. And we need the high-tech industry, because not much is looking happy in the U.S. outside of that arena.
posted by schroedinger at 6:46 PM on June 23, 2005


drezdn : "According to one of the articles, a central repository wouldn't meet the requirements as the records must be kept at the place of business (which prevents companies from hiring an outside company from doing the record keeping)."

Actually, not quite. A company could hire an outside company to do the record-keeping and then email/FTP/mail the records back to the company. Your records don't have to be made at the place of business, just stored there.

funambulist : "bwahahaha

Good parody.

Oh wait, it isn't. "


Actually, it is. Cartoons are fully allowed, hands in pants fully allowed, etc.
posted by Bugbread at 8:32 PM on June 23, 2005


In what way is this not another thin edge of a wedge?

It's not very thin.
posted by obvious at 8:51 PM on June 23, 2005


"It's not very thin.
posted by obvious at 8:51 PM PST on June 23 [!] "

Indeed. Consider how much press a pornographer got for "becoming Republican" W-everTF that means.

Certainly making it illegal while being in a comfortable position with lawmakers and with the forethought to align oneself with the new laws (before anyone else does) would let someone corner a large chunk of an obviously profitable business. Particularly once you re-pursuade your political allies to change direction (using the public outcry of course) and again legalize it.

But no one would think of such a crazy scheme!

Consolidate an industry and have a limited or shared monopoly and thus huge profits by exploiting political connections?
What a paranoid conspiracy theory! That'll never happen.
*cough* ADM *cough*
posted by Smedleyman at 9:46 AM on June 24, 2005


Guess this means that those who host sex-oriented weblogs such as Six Apart/LiveJournal, Google/Blogger, and other weblog hosting services are all a bunch of pornographers, eh?
posted by insomnia_lj at 10:37 AM on June 24, 2005


Flickr moved its servers to the USA? How stupid can they be?
posted by five fresh fish at 10:37 AM on June 24, 2005


pardonyou? writes "This law will never pass Constitutional muster, and no one will ever be successfully prosecuted under it. Not that that's really any consolation in the short term."

'Course if you're the test case it'll still suck to be you.

wendell writes "Talk about bad timing..."

No kidding, I didn't even know it was a canadian project.
posted by Mitheral at 12:31 PM on June 24, 2005


Pictures with more that one person that include nudity are prohibited.
All cartoons are prohibited.


If you actually read the Title 18 section 2257 (the part that was revised) youw ill see that neither of these things is true. The law still sucks, but paranoia helps no one.

Specifically, nudity is not a problem.

Specifically, simulated sexual activity is exempt. it must be >real< explicit sexual activity. this is why most r rated movies do not need to worry about this (you do know it applies to more than jsut the web, right?). specifically, the 18/2257 section applies to>real< humans. the text is very this. cartoons are not effected, neither are wholly digital creations. a href="http://www.freespeechcoalition.com/2257info.htm">http://www.freespeechcoalition.com/2257info.htm
posted by soulhuntre at 11:51 PM on June 25, 2005


Last comment, I wonder how many peopel realize this law pre-dates Bush, and that only minor changes int he enforcement AG guidelines are the issue now. Bush did not create, nor did he pass this law.

And yes, the law sucks rocks.
posted by soulhuntre at 11:53 PM on June 25, 2005


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