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[tor-talk] "the bad Tor like CP or drugs"

> Of course, I hope its only on the bad Tor like CP or drugs

I must say that I am uncomfortable with the sweeping, unqualified,
blanket condemnation that is "the bad Tor like CP or drugs". (And I
would be rather surprised if I were to be the only here who feels this
way.) Let me be clear: I would not dispute the characterization of at
least much and likely even most of what would fall under your
categorization as vile, repugnant, reprehensible and reprobate. I think
that anyone with the most minimal level of conscience and decency would
have to agree with that much. I am afraid, however, that the matter is
not as simple and black and white as your statement would imply. 

Perhaps I would best first point-out that laws vary, sometimes wildly,
by jurisdiction. A given substance or activity can be legal in one
jurisdiction while being illegal in another. Moreover, and perhaps more
fundamental and germane here, is the question of whether morality,
ethics, reason and societal good always align with the Law and the ways
in which it may be enforced. I would argue that in /many/, perhaps even
/most/ cases, the aforementioned values do, to varying degrees, align
with the Law. But certainly not in all /cases/. 

In the case of drugs, perhaps it will suffice for now to cite the
following. Last I heard, there were people suffering miserably, in many
cases from /terminal/ conditions, who insist that the only drug that
brings them any real relief is one that (at least in their jurisdiction)
either (a) does not enjoy the blessings of the Law at all or (b) has
restrictions that legally prevent said sufferer from obtaining the dose
that is necessary to bring him relief (or at least sufficient,
consistent, sustained relief). (In the case of a /terminal/ patient
experiencing excruciating pain, does it make sense for concern over
addiction to be a priority?) While I am not able to cite any actual data
here, I would suspect that such cases account for at least some
percentage of the commerce in illicit drugs that is carried-out under
the cover of Tor.

As for "CP" (i.e., "Child Pornography"), it is with trepidation that I
even step into what is understandably such a fraught topic. But it
cannot be avoided. For I am convinced that the hysteria that surrounds
and informs this area not only results in any number of instances of
injustice but also, in many cases at least, does nothing and sometimes
/worse-than-nothing/ to actually protect vulnerable children and

Perhaps the first thing to be pointed-out here is just how /extremely/
broad and often patently subjective, arbitrary and capricious the
category known as "CP" is. In many cases, an image that was /produced/
legally can be deemed illegal to /possess/, /distribute/ or /publish/
based on what amounts-to the criminalization of mere /thought/.

Take the example of a photo of a child modeling a swimsuit or even /any/
article of clothing. If done for the purpose of advertising the item
being modeled, such an image could be perfectly legal to produce. And,
if also done for the same advertising purpose, perfectly legal to
publish as well. But the very same image-- one that was produced
legally-- if published or even merely /possessed/ in a context in which
it could be argued that the purpose was its usage "for sexual
gratification", could be legally actionable. This, even in the absence
of any credible evidence that the possessor, publisher or distributor
(a) ever /acted-upon/ such /feelings/ with any actual child or
adolescent or (b) presents any threat of doing so. Basically, one can be
prosecuted and jailed merely for the charge of having committed the
victimless "crime" of deriving "sexual gratification" from the mere
/viewing/ of an /image/, an /inanimate object/.    

Likewise, with regard to non-sexual child or adolescent nudity. In both
cases, a determination and judgment of an individual's mere /thoughts/
can determine whether or not he will be prosecuted for the mere
possession, publication or distribution of an image that was /produced
legally/ by a completely unrelated third-party. (And obviously, I am not
talking here about any mere question of copyright violation.)

Then there is the case of DRAWN, cartoon-style images of what are
clearly FICTIONAL characters. These (and in some cases, at least, even
mere WRITTEN works of what is clearly complete FICTION and FANTASY), in
many jurisdictions, fall, to varying degrees, under the legal rubric of
"CP". (Including in many nations that pride themselves on being secular,
liberal democracies.)

Regarding any of the types of material or usages of said material that I
have cited above, remember that the question here is not what you, or I
or anyone else may think of them, per se*. Rather, the questions are 
(a) whether said materials and usages of said materials should be
/criminalized/ in the way that they presently are in many jurisdictions,
(b) whether the use of a technology such as Tor to circumvent said
restrictions can, summarily and without qualification, reasonably and
legitimately be branded "bad". 

I suspect that many, if not most, here would agree, at least in
considerable measure, with at least much of what I have written thus
far. Perhaps some would argue that at least some of the cases I raised
involve gray areas, in which there is room for reasonable and decent
people to disagree. But what about all those images and videos that
depict what no one of any conscience and decency could possibly argue as
being anything less than the patent abuse and exploitation of children
and adolescents? I would certainly agree with that characterization for
at least /much/ of the material that falls under the rubric of "CP".
Perhaps most or even a solid and maybe even /overwhelming/ majority of
it. The question, however, is whether the prevailing legal framework and
approach, under which the mere /possession/ and /viewing/ of mere
/images/ of the aforesaid heinous acts is (a) the most effective and
efficient means of preventing said acts (or even reasonably effective,
on balance, at doing so) and (b) just and justified. Compelling
arguments have been presented that it is neither.

Perhaps the most compelling of these that I have seen made goes as
follows. The images in question provide what often may be the strongest
evidence of the crimes that they depict. To criminalize the mere
/possession/ and even /viewing/ of such images effectively encourages
them to be hidden, at the very least, and, in many cases, destroyed. And
that, in turn, obviously makes it more difficult to find and apprehend
the perpetrators of the actual crimes in which minors were harmed. (And
thereby prevent said predators from being able to continue to prey upon
innocent victims.)

If that argument is valid, then would there not logically follow a
corresponding argument as follows: That Tor, to the extent that it
facilitates and aids in the distribution and publicizing of the
aforesaid evidence of crimes, is actually doing a /service/ to society
in doing so?

*That said, I must point-out that the drawn and written fiction in
question spans quite a broad range itself. To be sure much, perhaps even
most of it is without question quite vile, disgusting and disturbing.
Certainly, included in this category would be anything that celebrates,
glorifies,  whitewashes or merely suggests approval of any type of
violence, coercion or incest. But there is also at least some (both
drawn as well written material) that is far from such depravity and
filth and, at least relatively and in its own right, would seem rather
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