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In our Taking Liberties blog, not only will we keep you uptodate on the progress of the film, we'll also post news about the ongoing civil liberties movements we're related to.

Friday, 20 April 2007

Operation Ore

Nothing gets the tabloid juices flowing quite like child porn so when the police announced that thousands of British residents were being investigated for viewing child pornography after the credit card details of purchasers processed by the US portal site Landslide, the headlines began immediately. People (mostly men) were arrested in a blaze of publicity and many have since been successfully prosecuted. However, Duncan Campell yesterday published an article in the Guardian which shows that the operation may not have been built on the sturdy foundations that we were lead to believe. Firstly, not all of the sites that Landslide processed were child porn sites some were just regular porn. This means that some of the names on the list were merely using the Internet in the traditional way. Secondly, the police didn’t take into account the massive amount of credit card fraud that was going on. So a lot of the people on the list had no idea what was being done in their name.

The stigma of an arrest for child porn is enough to ruin someone’s life and people are often considered guilty whether any charges are actually filed or not. The stigma in this operation has lead to the suicide of 39 men, some of whom had nothing to do with child pornography. For example, Commodore David White was found dead 24 hours after being suspended from the Navy because of an investigation by the police, despite the fact that the police had found no evidence against him.

Investigations into child pornography are essential but the hysteria that surrounds them isn’t. We need to be absolutely sure before branding someone a paedophile because this seems to be an area of the law where innocent until proven guilty does not apply.,,2059880,00.html

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