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..There's a little Samuel Pepys in all of us..

Wednesday, September 24, 2003

Ahh.. to what lengths will we go..
To allow freedom to any, means it must be allowed to those we fear.. and thus we all must see our freedoms diminish, so the asocial can be constrained, without appearing discriminated against..
There is an investigation ongoing in Britain.. Operation Ore.. It's designed to expose and prosecute those involved in internet paedophilia.. On the surface, any effort to protect children is to be applauded, as indeed this police action is designed to do. And what's more, there have been some convictions, among the hundreds of charges laid, and literally thousands of names investigated.
But among some of those investigated, are those who have had nothing to do with paedophilia whatsoever. Many of those who's names appeared on a list provided by the United States, date back to 1997, when credit card fraud on the net was a far easier proposition.. It's a slow process eliminating the wheat from the chaff, but it grinds on in defence of our children. Thus, it must be endured.
But here we have an ISP, Microsoft, announcing that three weeks from today, there will be no chat facilities provided by them. Quite a move, in that while Microsoft chat has never been a personal favourite, it has drawn some million faithful hits per month from this island alone.. Microsoft has always been one of the more heavily moderated chats as well, with rules of conduct and language strictly enforced.. much the same with AOL..
Yet how quickly Microsoft can throw away this aspect of the purpose of the net, due to their inability to successfully 'control' it.
One has said for years there should be age restrictions placed on those in chat.. for the most part, those rooms which allow complete unmonitored chat have a code of conduct of their own.. those serious on discussion do not suffer fools, or infants gladly.. and those bent on sexual cyberplay will soon find themselves ignored..
One would have to think, that rather than a throwing of hands in the air, and knee-jerking towards the cancellation of a service, anyone really concerned with the future of the net, and those who use it, would instead direct their attention towards education of the youth of this, or any country, on the proper use of chat..
It's a shame, but in this age of faster than light technological advances, children must learn when they can be 'innocent', and when they must not.. yet it would seem we've come to the point wherein 'Cynicism 101' should be taught, along with maths and spelling..
Ahh.. and while on the topic of cynicism..
It's the winding down of the Hutton Inquiry.. there have been revelations, more revelations, resignations, and recriminations, but while we've all been better entertained than we could normally have expected by our news of late, we've not had much in the way of hard answers to any of the questions. Lord Hutton will publish his decisions, his report, in about a months time.
As to what comfort it might bring to the family of Dr. Kelly, or his colleagues, or the BBC, or Downing Street, or the MoD, or the British motk..
We'll see, for while the Inquiry might end today, the machinations set in place by the events leading to the very cause of it all have yet to finish running their courses..

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