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Posts Tagged ‘hysteria’

I scan a lot of articles every day in search of material for this blog, so I simply don’t have time to read most of them thoroughly even if I feature them in a news column; even if they’re interesting I generally read most of them in a somewhat cursory fashion, stopping to read more thoroughly whenever I hit a point that seems important.  And if a piece is longer than 1000 words or so, I’ll generally start skipping at about that point to see if there’s anything of note further down.  So when I find myself reading an article in its entirety, that is noteworthy in itself, as in the case of this post:

The parents of the 1980s and 1990s were Baby Boomers…until recently…the most panicky and gullible generation in American History…They grew up sheltered, coddled, [and] emotionally stultified…by PTSD-ridden survivors of World War 2 in atomized nuclear families…without nearby relatives…disconnected from the filial and familial bonds that had historically characterized social institutions…under the most suffocating and paranoid propaganda campaign ever undertaken in the West up to that point…Is it any wonder that this generation fell for every conspiracy theory that could be cooked up to fleece them? Is it any wonder that, once they had children they got paranoid? Or that, as parents, they freaked out about the same sex/drugs/rock’n’roll culture that they enjoyed and championed in their youth? Or that they believed that the risk for child-abduction in the 80s was both new and ubiquitous? Or that they believed that there was a Satanist behind every bush and that one in four young girls are being raped in occult rituals so that their babies might be sacrificed at a Black Mass?…Gen X and the Millennials grew up watching this insanity, and the State power that followed it. When a child claims (or is claimed by others) to be abused, the State comes in and runs through a bureaucratic checklist, frequently resulting in long-term fracturing of families, sending children into a…system where they are more likely to be abused than if they stayed with relatives or friends, all while the State was willing and able to violate every point of law and civil liberties at the merest rumor of abuse, domestic violence, drug use, or sexual or religious deviance…They had to submit to more onerous interference in their personal lives…and/or submitting to the most invasive surveillance state in world history…People in such a situation don’t have many children, and tend to be too fearful as parents to let their children actually grow up…

That’s a good taste of it, but I think you’ll find the whole piece worth your time.

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I’ve mentioned my friend, Dr. David Ley, in this blog many times before, and he wrote a guest essay for me back in ’14.  I recently saw him tweeting about this, and upon my request he expanded those thoughts into this new guest essay.

In 2020, the world saw a tragedy unfold in Atlanta, Georgia, as Robert Aaron Long committed multiple murders at massage parlors.  Long later identified himself as a “sex addict” and claimed that he engaged in these crimes in order to rid himself of temptations.  When arrested, Long was allegedly also on his way to Tampa, Florida, in order to commit similar violent attacks targeted at aspects of the adult film industry.  Long pled guilty to some charges, but still faces trial in Atlanta for other murders.  In September, 2021, a former Marine burst into a Florida family’s home, executing and torturing the family of four.  The assailant identified to police that he believed the family held a kidnapped, sex-trafficked female child, and he was intending to rescue her.  In August 2021, Instagram influencer and former stripper Mercedes Morr was slain by an obsessed male fan, apparently enraged by the idea she had betrayed him to be with another man.  In December, 2016, a North Carolina man fired multiple shots into a Washington, DC pizza restaurant, having come to the restaurant in order to rescue children that he believed were held there for sexual-trafficking and exploitation.  This theory had abounded in conservative media, connecting Democratic politicians and public figures to conspiracy theories alleging rings of pedophiles hid throughout society and government, secretly abusing and exploiting children.

Sexual anxiety and fear is a favorite target of media hyperbole, as it serves as an easy means to create uncertainty and interest in potential consumers.  Suggesting to an audience that their spouse may be unfaithful, or even that the viewer/reader is not a skilled lover, are guaranteed ways to hook an audience, and keep them reading, watching or clicking.  Claims of sex-trafficking, and cries to “save the kids” are remarkably effective ploys to raise money, has been demonstrated numerous times with groups such as Operation Underground Railroad, where daring raids to save children are staged to raise donations, though the activities achieve little and may actually promote children being put at risk.  Unfortunately, while these tactics trigger donations, salacious interest or mild insecurity in many, these tactics can trigger intense panic, even delusions, in persons with severe underlying mental illness.  In the 1990’s, media sex panic over Satanic ritual abuse sex cults led to countless individuals developing false memories that they themselves had been sexually abused by secret cults of brainwashing Satan-worshiping doctors, daycare providers and neighbors.

Earlier this year, I appeared on The Dr. Phil Show, where a woman was interviewed who held beliefs that she had been sex-trafficked, raped, and brainwashed by a host of assailants, ranging from Beto O’Rourke to Harvey Weinstein, Jeffrey Epstein, and even her adult son.  My role on the show was to gently try to invite her to consider that her beliefs might be inaccurate, and less important than her desire to re-establish a relationship with her son.  During the recovered memory movement and the Satanic Ritual Abuse panic, families were destroyed as people developed false memories.  Many later recanted these memories, and had to try to restore their relationships, though sadly, many did not and families remained sundered on the basis of these delusional beliefs.  I found it fascinating how this woman’s beliefs in the men who had abused her reflected the names and headlines of sex scandals, suggesting how these names and stories had infiltrated her vulnerable thinking.

Media sex panics do far more than just sell books and commercials. They destroy lives, families, careers.  They affect the thinking of vulnerable individuals, who act based on those panics, and the degree to which those hyperbolic claims infiltrate their disturbed thinking.  Sadly, some of those individuals act in dangerous, violent ways.  We must begin to discuss ways to hold the media at large responsible for the consequences of their exploitation of sexual anxiety.  Perhaps then we can invite the media to temper their clickbait driven reporting with an understanding of the potential impact of their words on vulnerable minds, and people who become innocent targets of their sensationalism.

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Catherine MacKinnon lives in a small world…where there can be no woman who gets to make decisions about her own life.  –  Scott Greenfield

Feminists and Other Puritans (#671)

MacKinnon has come out from under her rock to explain why OnlyFans isn’t really a woman’s choice“:

[Catharine MacKinnon believes that] if you don’t see the evil [of sex work], it’s only because the evil has blinded you to the evil…the idea that [women can] choose [it] is anathema.  It can’t be true because no one would make such an undignified choice…Maggie McNeill would disagree with this characterization, rather vehemently I would guess.  As would many others, including those who have taken advantage of the opportunity presented by OnlyFans…But to the MacKinnons wielding their axes as they destroy barrels of demon rum, save us from reefer madness, and prevent helpless oppressed women from doing as they choose with their bodies, there are only exploited victims because no women would ever choose to live in a way that fails to meet MacKinnon’s approval…

Pyrrhic Victory (#1020)

The glassholes are back, only worse:

Facebook’s new camera glasses…are not called Facebook Glasses — they are called Ray-Ban Stories..because they are made in partnership with Ray-Ban…Knowing that Facebook is discussing building facial recognition into these things curdles the stomach…The privacy features for the glasses wearer are decent; privacy features for the rest of the world? Not so much…Your data and images may be safe from the prying eyes of Mark Zuckerberg, sure, but the real danger here is…the fact that you’re walking around wearing barely perceptible spy glasses, taking videos and photos of anyone you want, likely without them noticing…The sleek Wayfarer frame design means that unlike Google Glass or the flashy bright yellow Snapchat Spectacles, these look very much like regular sunglasses…

You Were Warned (#1046)

Australia’s rulers seem even more eager to destroy the internet than US rulers:

Australia’s High Court…has ruled that Facebook users are responsible for the content of complete strangers who post defamatory comments on their posts…the…ruling…is just a small part of a larger case brought against Australian news outlets, including the Sydney Morning HeraldThe Age, and The Australian, among others, by a man who said he was defamed in the Facebook comments of the newspapers’ stories in 2016…Dylan Voller…was [tortured by screws]…at a [prison for legal minors] in 2015 when undercover video of kids being…abused [by screws] was captured and…[bootlickers on Facebook] fabricate[d] stories about [Voller]…to imply that…he…somehow deserved the treatment…Voller’s full case against the media companies can now go forward…The High Court ruling is arguably one of Australia’s dumbest in recent memory…

I Spy (#1064) 

Pigs want to root around in people’s social media in order to destroy their lives:

LAPD…has directed its [thugs] to [demand] the social media information of every [person] they interview, including individuals who are not arrested or accused of a crime…the “field interview cards”…reveal that LAPD [thugs] are [demanding]…Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and other social media accounts, alongside basic biographical information…the Brennan Center for Justice…conducted a review of 40 other…US [cop shops] and was unable to find another…that [admitted to] social media collection on interview cards…LAPD…us[ed] the cards to falsely label [victims] as gang members…and prosecutors have previously used Facebook photos and “likes” to make dubious…allegations of criminal gang activity…LAPD also shares data with federal [cop shops and spook houses via] “fusion centers”, and [also feeds the data into] “predictive policing” [scams]

The Implosion Begins (#1163)

Everyone who spread “sex trafficking” hysteria contributed to this atrocity:

…a former Marine beset by delusions of child sex trafficking [based on propaganda spread by the government and anti-sex groups for two decades]…massacre[d]…a Florida family…Bryan Riley…[happened to see] Justice Gleason mowing his lawn with his 11-year-old daughter in the yard…an[d cast the girl as a character in his delusion] named Amber who was suicidal and being held by a supposed sex trafficking ring that God had told him to confront.  In fact, no one named Amber lived at the home and Gleason repeatedly told Riley that before asking him to leave their initial encounter…Riley left angrily…[then] left his home around 1 a.m. Sunday and went to the Gleason home…because, Riley later told detectives, “God told me to kill everyone and save Amber cause she’s a victim of sex trafficking”…The 11-year-old girl survived the attack despite being shot multiple times…her family huddled in a bathroom after Riley shot his way into the home, killed their dog and then attacked everyone hiding there…The victims are Gleason…his…girlfriend, Theresa Lanham; their baby boy, Jody…and…Lanham’s mother [Catherine Delgado]…

It seems likely that even the imaginary “trafficking victim’s” name was derived from government-backed hysteria: “Amber”, as in “Amber alert”.  Also: the sheriff in the story, Grady Judd, has for years eagerly promoted the same ugly propaganda which shaped Riley’s delusions to justify his pocket police state.

Dangerous Speech (#1171)

This is little more than a delay in a case the government cannot win fairly:

Judge Susan Brnovich has granted the [Backpage] defense’s motion for a mistrial. “I, at the beginning of this, gave the government some leeway…Yet, in the [government’s] opening and with every witness thereafter, it seems, the government has abused that leeway”…The opening statement from federal prosecutor Reggie Jones “was close to causing mistrial,” she said.  Then, despite agreeing “to minimize the focus on child sex trafficking” from then on out, the government continued to harp on it.  And despite being told that witnesses could only talk about Backpage’s general reputation if it was tied to communication with specific defendants in this case, government witnesses like Sharon Cooper “talked about the reputation of Backpage untethered from communications with the defendants,…I will call the jury in to dismiss them and then we will set a date a couple weeks out to talk about when we can reconvene”…

To Molest and Rape (#1171)

“Having inappropriate behavior” is a really awkward way to say “molesting”:

A [typical and representative] Ashland [Tennessee cop] has been arrested for [molesting] a minor [girl]…Benjamin Moore…was…[also] charged with…official misconduct…and…tampering with evidence…

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This is an inherently abusive power that [cops] should not have.  –  Wesley Hottot

If Men Were Angels

“Youth pastors” are as bad as cops:

A woman is suing the Grace Baptist Church in Lansingburgh, [New York, because] its leadership ignored her daily sexual abuse as a [teen from 15-17] at the hands of a youth pastor – then claimed that she had “led him on”…Larry Hallock…sexually abused the victim “on a daily basis” between 2000 and 2002 in the church…Hallock’s wife sent the [victim] several letters acknowledging…the abuse…

No Moss

This time Rolling Stone wasn’t alone in gulping down a load of codswallop:

KFOR, an Oklahoma news channel, reported last week that rural hospitals throughout the state were in danger of becoming overwhelmed by…overdoses of ivermectin, an anti-parasite drug promoted by [anti-]vaccine [cranks] as a possible treatment for COVID-19.  The story went viral…under the headline: “Patients overdosing on ivermectin backing up rural Oklahoma hospitals”…[and] was quickly picked up by…Rolling Stone, Newsweekand the New York Daily Newsin fact, [there’s] little reason to believe a purported strain on Oklahoma hospitals is caused by ivermectin overdoses; one hospital served by the doctor quoted in the KFOR article released a statement saying it has not treated any ivermectin overdoses, nor has it been forced to turn away patients…but…at no point did [the interviewed doctor, Jason] McElyea actually come out and say that ivermectin overdoses were straining hospitals…It was the journalist, Katelyn Ogle, who added that framing…This means, of course, that if the national media outlets had called the doctor or the hospitals, they would have easily uncovered the error.  Instead, they [careless]ly spread it…

Stalkers in Blue

Another cop demonstrating what he is:

A [typical and representative] Arkansas [cop] will spend ten years in prison for stalking a…woman for more than three years…In 2016, Skylar Galloway was working at a family-owned gas station…The owner’s brother was [typical and representative cop] Mark Holland…Galloway eventually moved and switched jobs.  A month later, anonymous emails came [demanding] nude photos…[along with threats] like “If I have to come over there, I’ll take my own pics. I’m going to get what I want.”  Another read, “You are going to scream and moan, but you probably won’t really like it.”  She started filing police reports…but was turned away [because birds of a feather]…So she decided to…start…investigating…[and] after three years of digging. she realized it was Holland in December 2019.  Within five days, he was arrested by his own department and charged with 20 felonies…

Social Distancing (#1046)

Once a government takes more power, it never really relinquishes it again:

[Using the excuse of] coronavirus…Australia’s federal and state governments imposed draconian restrictions on its citizens [that even the] Prime Minister…[admits are far] too heavy…Before 2020, the idea of Australia all but forbidding its citizens from leaving the country, a restriction associated with Communist regimes, was unthinkable.  Today, it is…policy…Intrastate travel within Australia is also severely restricted…The state of Victoria announced a curfew and suspended its Parliament for key parts of the pandemic…In New South Wales…the…military [was deployed] to enforce lockdowns…anti-lockdown protests were banned, and when dissenters gathered anyway, hundreds were arrested and fined…Enduring rules of th[is] sort would certainly render a country a police state…with COVID-19 now thought to be endemic, rather than a temporary emergency the nation could avoid, how much time must pass before we must regard Australia as illiberal and unfree?…

A Broker in Pillage (#1072)

A good argument for refusing to roll over and let yourself be robbed:

Stephen Lara [was pulled over in Nevada by a cop using the common pretext]…that he’d been…following a…truck too closely…the [pigs rooted through]…his…vehicle, [steal]ing nearly $87,000 in a zip-top bag from Lara’s trunk and [pretend]ing a drug-sniffing dog had detected something on the cash…Lara…was charged with no crime.  But [cops]…call[ed] a [DEA spook] to [engineer] an “adoption,” [a scam] which allows [local cops to circumvent state laws curtailing such robbery by enlisting] federal authorities to [pretend that they were the ones who] seize[d] cash or property the[n give most of it back to the local pigs]…It was only after Lara got a lawyer, sued and talked with The Washington Post about his ordeal that the government said it would return his money [due to the bad publicity]…Justice Department [mouthpiece] Joshua Stueve [oinked that] the government “is reviewing existing policy on adoptive forfeitures”…

You Were Warned (#1108)

Prohibitionists, censors and profiteers will continue to harass businesses thus until FOSTA is overturned:

A federal lawsuit accusing Twitter of sex trafficking can move forward, says District Judge Joseph C. Spero, in a decision that could portend a dangerous expansion of how courts define “sex trafficking”…[under] FOSTA…The case…was brought by…Morality in Media, [the Kennedy-era pro-censorship group] that also opposes NetflixAmazon, and Cosmopolitan magazine [and now wants to be called “The National Center on Sexual Exploitation”.  MiM wants the court to rule]…that soliciting a sex video from someone under age 18 amounts to sex trafficking…[and that] unwittingly providing a platform for a third party to post or link to that video makes one part of a sex trafficking enterprise…the teens—who were 13 or 14 years old at the time—recorded themselves engaging in sexual activity and used Snapchat to share these videos with a third party [the]y believed to be a peer.  The recipient turned out to be an adult, who allegedly blackmailed one of the teens…into providing additional sexual content…The perpetrator could have been held individually responsible, since blackmail and soliciting obscenity from minors are both crimes.  Instead, [MiM] is going after a bigger, richer, and much more high-profile target…

To Molest and Rape (#1168)

Notice how often predatory cops’ victims are underage?

A Los Angeles Co[p]…has been arrested for…molesting a 16-year-old girl in Rancho Cucamonga.  Antonio Heriberto Galindo…coached girls’ softball teams…[as a means of finding and grooming] victims…

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Who will be the victims of the government’s next attack on legally protected speech that it wishes to silence? – Michael Lacey & Jim Larkin

Acting and Activism 

Why are so many “celebrities” such hypocritical trash?

[Comedian Bill] Maher [said] during Friday’s Real Time…“OnlyFans is staying in the porn business…because their fans would not take it…if there’s one thing millennials love more than canceling the patriarchy it’s women having sex for money”…So, in Maher’s mind, “women having sex for money” is anti-feminist and a product of the patriarchy.  Women couldn’t possibly be sex workers of their own volition…It’s…strange given how Maher has solicited the services of sex workers in the past…and dated a number of others—including Karine Steffans…who once said of him, “Bill wants someone he can put down in an argument, tell you how ghetto you are, how big your butt is and that you’re an idiot”…

A Whore in Church

Matthew 21:31 seems pretty straightforward to me:

A Christian OnlyFans star…has been [attacked by religious fanatics for] saying “Jesus would have loved sex workers”.  Nita Marie…believes her sexuality is a divine gift, and that God gave her permission to strip…after [she] ask[ed] him directly in prayer – but…so…[called “Christians” who seem poorly acquainted with the Gospels] are calling her a “grifter”, and [some are so] delusional [they imagine] that it “might be Satan”…answering her prayers…

The Puritan Recrudescence (#1124)

I have no sympathy for members of the dangerous “porn addiction” cult:

“BlockerX”, a porn [autocensor] application, has failed to protect its Amazon AWS instance…result[ing in]…exposure of its user[s’]…personal details…The owner of the app…Atmana Innovations, responded immediately…but the period of exposure remains unknown.  “BlockerX” is a subscription service that…cost[s] users $7.50 per month or $180 in a single lifetime payment…[and censors anything its algorithms register as] adult content…The…danger for…exposed users…is extortionists who could…threaten…to publish the fact that they [imagine their normal sexual behavior constitutes an “]addiction[“]…

I Spy (#1154) 

Fascism is rapidly making private communications a thing of the past:

A federal court ruled…that…drugs [stolen] by police from a package [th]at [did not belong to them were] not seized unconstitutionally [despite the lack of a warrant]…At the center of the decision is a little-known [fascist pact between FedEx and the cops, which] allow[s pigs to root through]…parcels at the shipping behemoth’s sorting centers…if [they claim] a…dog [gave them permission]…cops…[can then] dress up as FedEx delivery men…[to deceive the victim and] arrest…them…The court d[ecision is based in the legal fiction that an individual’s property no longer belongs to him while in the hands of a third party, such as] FedEx…[thus creating the] con[venient pretense that] it…own[s the packages]…and it can [give them to] the police [without warrant or permission of the actual owner]…The agreement evokes Apple’s recent announcement that it will scan people’s photos [in order to sell them down the river]…the relationship between FedEx and police…has quietly existed for some time, says John Wesley Hall, an expert in Fourth Amendment law…”FedEx…[has] always cooperated…with them—even loans them the truck”…

It’s OK for a company to sell out its customers, because drugs are bad.

Dangerous Speech (#1159)

Michael Lacey & Jim Larkin remind you of what their trial, which began Wednesday, is actually about:

On April 6, 2018, the federal government eradicated an entire classified ads website containing speech that was 100-percent legal…The publication of speech…by users is legally protected; so is “offensive” speech and speech the government does not like.  Numerous federal courts said just that, in cases involving Backpage…whenever any concern arose…our company voluntarily aided law enforcement and government entities such as the U.S. Department of Justice, the FBI and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.  This is documented extensively by court records…and the government’s own reports…Since the FBI seized Backpage, adult advertising has, predictably, fled overseas to companies that do not respond to U.S. subpoenas…The culprits here are…self-serving politicians with historical vendettas and overzealous prosecutors who placed their own ambition above the safety and welfare of women…The prosecution has engaged in years of scurrilous tactics, such as destroying evidence, abusing the grand jury process, and seizing all the money we set aside for legal expenses…

If you haven’t been following this tag, I suggest you peruse it today; the various articles I’ve linked will show you exactly the kind of evil, completely-illegal shenanigans the government has pulled over the past three years in its crusade to crucify journalists who wouldn’t make obeisance to its censorious diktats.

To Molest and Rape (#1166)

Notice how often predatory cops’ victims are underage?

[Typical and representative Florida cop] Travis Ryan Pritchard [was sentenced] to 35 years in federal prison for [rap]ing…a 15-year-old [girl and filming it]…Pritchard was also [condemned to the]…sex offender [registry]…From December 2019 through May 2, 2020, Pritchard…had sexually abused [the victim] on a weekly basis…[but finally she had enough and reported him, and another cop role-played her to]…chat…with Pritchard using [a popular] app.  Late in the night of May 1, 2020, and into the early morning hours of the next day, Pritchard [harassed] the [cop he thought was his victim] to sneak out of her home to meet with him…Pritchard’s cellular telephone revealed many [such] conversations…[and a] folder containing numerous…child [porn pics, including one]…of the rape of a prepubescent [girl]…

The Next Target (#1166)

The sex worker rights movement is getting too loud to ignore“:

…It remains to be seen whether [OnlyFans] will be true to its word but to force the hand of such a giant corporation is no small feat…That a platform which built its fortune on the backs of sex workers might, at a moment’s notice, ditch us, is no surprise; it would be the latest in the slow but sure eradication of sex workers from online spaces…Throughout the fiasco, both MasterCard and OnlyFans were keen to separate themselves from the potential destitution of creators and to claim their credentials as non-haters of sex workers…multi-billion dollar companies fall[ing] over themselves to maintain the veneer of corporate virtue is grotesque…Still, in the conflicted responses there is hope…it’s clear that the sex worker rights movement is too loud to ignore…

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The only way to guarantee that such a powerful tool isn’t abused…is to never create it.  –  Apple in 2016

See No Evil

Moral panics really spin out of control as they age:

Spencer Elden, the man whose unusual baby portrait was used for…the…cover…of…Nirvana’s Nevermind, filed a lawsuit…[pretend]ing that the nude image constituted child pornography…[despite the fact that] non-sexualized nude photos of infants are…not considered child pornography under law.  [To circumvent this plain fact in order to cash in on “child porn” hysteria], Robert Y. Lewis, Elden’s [shyster, fantasizes]…that the inclusion of currency in the shot makes the baby appear “like a sex worker”…[Lewis demands] at least $150,000 from each of the defendants, who include…the…original Nirvana drummer…even though he had been replaced…before the album was recorded or the cover photography shot.  Elden has repeatedly recreated the pose as a teenager and adult, diving into pools to pose (with swim trunks on) on the occasion of the album’s 10th, 17th, 20th and 25th anniversaries…

“A sex worker”.  Seriously.  I reckon he’s supposed to be one of those hundreds of thousands of infant hookers needed to bring the average debut age down to 13.

For Those Who Think Legalization is a Good Idea (#648)

What “legal but heavily regulated” looks like in action:

On August 11, the Nagpur police put [up] a large number of barricades completely sealing the Ganga-Jamuna area….without any prior notice or reason [thu]s drastically affect[ing] the livelihood…of over a thousand sex workers who have been living and working for decades in the area…over 100 [cops] have been [sent to swagger around] the area at all times…Sex workers in India are one of the groups that are consistently at the receiving end of…state-sponsored police brutality…[even though] the profession is not illegal…brothel areas are repeatedly raided and their workers are harassed by the police…A petition by the National Network of Sex Workers, India (NNSW) demanding “Unseal Ganga Jamuna” has been put online and signed by more than 2700 people and organisations…

License to Rape (#720)

“Search” is the most common government euphemism for “molest”:

A Raleigh mother has filed a federal lawsuit against the TSA…a[fter] the[y]…violated her transgender teenager’s rights by [demanding] a strip-search at the airport.  Jamii Erway, 15 at the time, had a valid boarding pass [but] when [t]he [equipment regist]ered a “false positive”…a TSA [goon demanded]…to [leer at] her genitals…[and lied] “that she was not free to leave until she submitted to [the humiliation], in violation of TSA policy, the Fourth Amendment, and…the boundaries of civil and decent society”…the [goon further called the cops on the teenager]…and the[ir threatening] presence…[unsurprisingly] triggered…a…panic…[attack].  Rather than submit to the [molestation]…her mother, Kimberly Erway, rented a car and [they] drove 600 miles.  The Erways seek unspecified damages and an injunction preventing such a scenario from happening again…

Panopticon (#986)

Cops even get their equipment to lie for them:

Michael Williams…was [locked in a cage for almost a year], accused [by cops] of killing a young man from [his] neighborhood who asked him for a ride during a night of unrest over police brutality in May…the [supposed] evidence against Williams didn’t come from an eyewitness or [snitch, but rather]…from a clip of [silent] security video showing a car driving through an intersection, and a loud bang [separately] picked up by a network of surveillance microphones.  Prosecutors [pretende]d…a secret algorithm that analyzed noises detected by the sensors indicated Williams shot and killed the man…ShotSpotter [claims have] increasingly been admitted in court cases…[as evidence despite the fact that] it…can miss live gunfire right under its microphones, or misclassify the sounds of fireworks or cars backfiring as gunshots.  F[antasy stories written]…by ShotSpotter’s employees have been used in court to [lie] that a defendant shot at police, or provide [lies about] the number of shots allegedly fired by defendants…the…system…[i]s a…black box largely inscrutable to the public, jurors and police oversight boards…[but] the company…fully admits that]…employees can and do modify the location or number of shots fired [on their own whims or] at the request of police…in the past, city dispatchers or police themselves could also make some of these changes

Stalkers in Blue (#987)

Once in a while, there are witnesses to the way cops act toward women:

Florida [cop]…Naci Tuzcuoglu…approached a woman singing karaoke at…[a] sports bar…[and] put his hands on her hips.  The woman…t[old] him she was married and not interested [but he kep harassing her, so she]…went outside and spoke to her husband…Tuzcuoglu [followed her]…and punched the man in the face…multiple times…[while] taunt[ing him]…“I’m a cop…What are you gonna do about it?”…

Choke Point (#1150)

“Progressives” are finally deigning to notice financial discrimination vs some sex workers:

OnlyFans…has faced widespread backlash from sex workers after it announced…that it will ban sexually explicit content starting Oct. 1.  Some LGBTQ OnlyFans creators say the changes could jeopardize one of their primary sources of income during the Covid-19 pandemic…

OnlyFans reversed its position the day after this article appeared, but I still featured it because it illustrates a disturbing trend I’ve seen lately: some “progressives” only seem to think sex workers deserve rights if they’re queer (especially trans).  Now, since the majority of sex workers are some flavor of LGBT, fighting for their rights will still help straight, cisgender sex workers as well.  But I think it’s pretty sad that some people don’t think human rights are worth supporting unless they’re the “correct” people’s rights.

I Spy (#1161)

Straight from the horse’s mouth:

Apple’s own employees have been expressing alarm [about its plans to snoop in customers’ phones].  The company [pretend]s reservations about the system are rooted in “misunderstandings.”  We disagree.  We wrote the only peer-reviewed publication on how to build a system like Apple’s — and…we’re not concerned because we misunderstand how Apple’s system works.  The problem is, we understand exactly how it works…Our system could be easily repurposed for surveillance and censorship.  The design wasn’t restricted to a specific category of content; a service could simply swap in any content-matching database, and the person using that service would be none the wiser.  A…government could, for example, compel a service to out people sharing disfavored political speech…WeChat, the popular Chinese messaging app, already uses content matching to identify dissident material.  India enacted rules this year that could require pre-screening content critical of government policy.  Russia recently fined GoogleFacebook and Twitter for not removing pro-democracy protest materials[, and US politicians are pressuring social media companies to censor anything they declare “misinformation”]…We warned against our own system design…[an]d planned to discuss paths forward at an academic conference this month…[but] the week before our presentation, Apple announced it would deploy its nearly identical system…

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The myth of sex addiction is a pathological view of male sexuality, sexual diversity, non-monogamy, and non-normative sexual desire.  –  David Ley

Here We Go Again 

Prohibitionism never, ever changes:

…in the early 20th century…prostitution became seen [by busybodies] as a social evil that concerned a wide range of [people who were completely univolved in it]…evangelical Christians, feminists, business leaders and medical experts demanded immediate and unrelenting repression of [sex work]…self-styled “abolitionists” in both the United States and the United Kingdom gained public support for their efforts by [spreading propaganda about a fantasized epidemic] of “white slavery”…the legislation they produced was antithetical to prostitutes’ interests…policies that sanctioned state control and punishment of prostitutes flourished…[but] rather than eliminating prostitution, the anti-prostitution movement simply changed the nature of the sex trade…and…subjected [all women] to increased state control.  During World War I, the “American Plan” authorized the arrest, inspection and detention of women suspected of carrying venereal disease…surveillance of women in the name of public health increasingly committed the U.S. to a “neo-regulationist” prostitution policy that controlled women’s bodies…

The article has some interesting information, but if you notice the faint reek of Swedish thinking (as if some cretin had stuffed used toilet paper down between the sofa cushions), it’s not your imagination.

Traffic Jam (#619)

You may remember that I called this as bullshit ten years ago:

St. Paul [Minnesota sow] Heather Weyker…[fabricated] an interstate sex trafficking ring run by Somali refugees…result[ing] in 30 indictments, 9 trials, and 0 convictions.  Hamdi Mohamud, then a 16-year-old refugee from Somalia, found herself caught up in that scheme in 2011, when one of Weyker’s witnesses, Muna Abdulkadir, tried to attack her and her friends at knifepoint.  Mohamud called the police…Weyker…arrested Mohamud and her friends for allegedly tampering with a federal witness, and Mohamud subsequently spent two years in jail before the trumped-up charges were dismissed…but…since [Weyker framed all those victims]…as part of a federal task force, she is entitled to absolute immunity and cannot be sued…Mohamud hopes to change that…by asking the Supreme Court to hear her case, which she made official last week…

No Difference (#888) 

American puritanism is a pox on the entire world:

One of the world’s most restrictive “anti-pornography” laws, the indecency statute passed by Uganda in 2014, has been struck by the nation’s Constitutional Court as unconstitutional…the law was “quashed” following pressure from women’s rights groups, with a panel of five judges unanimously ruling “that sections of the law that defined pornographic offenses, including a ban on ‘indecent’ clothing, were unconstitutional”…the…law…was [typically]…used for morality policing and led to…song lyrics and music videos…be[ing] labeled pornographic…[with] the…artists criminally liable…the [censorship law and an anti-LGBT law were passed due to lobbying by]…American evangelicals…[especially] the…International House of Prayer…the parent ministry of Exodus Cry

Neither Addiction Nor Epidemic (#1033) 

It’s always a pleasure to watch experts trash harmful sex myths:

…it’s important to recognize that the concept of sex addiction was introduced…in the 1980’s during the HIV/AIDS crisis.  As…a society, we were terrified of sexual excess, of non-monogamy, of casual sex, of sex outside relationships, and of gay male sex…It is not by accident…that gay men get diagnosed as sex addicts…around three times more than anybody else.  The second very large group…are people struggling with a moral conflict over their sexual desires…[due to growing] up in religious household or communities where they were taught that any sex other than hetero sex within marriage is a sin…the third group…[consists of] men who get in trouble for sexual behavior…who self-identify as sex addicts to avoid responsibility for those behaviors…going to sex workers is…literally a diagnostic criterion in the sex addiction screening test that many therapists use…sex workers are [therefore] framed as analogous to either a drug or a drug dealer…self-destructive things that help people destroy their lives…

Welcome to the Future (#1052)

Prohibition by human idiots is bad enough:

Over the past two decades, the US…has poured hundreds of millions of dollars into developing and maintaining state-level prescription drug databases…In the past few years…a single [fascist collusion] called Appriss has…merg[ed] the[se] into…a…national prescription drug registry…[managed by] algorithms to generate “data insights” and…[accessing] huge reservoirs of data outside state drug registries to arrive at them.  NarxCare…is Appriss’…“analytics tool”…that purports to instantly and automatically identify a patient’s risk of misusing opioids…the software mines state registries for [so-called] red flags indicating that she has engaged in “drug shopping” behavior…the[n]…assigns each patient a unique, comprehensive Overdose Risk Score…Appriss is adamant that a NarxCare score is not meant to supplant a doctor’s diagnosis.  But physicians ignore these numbers at their peril.  Nearly every state now uses Appriss software…and most legally require physicians and pharmacists to consult them…on penalty of losing their license.  In some states, p[igs]…can also [root in this database]…without a warrant…to prosecute both doctors and patients…

The Pro-Rape Coalition (#1096)

Sex workers and allies speak out about Nick Kristof’s latest anti-sex crusade:

Kristof’s “The Children of Pornhub” — a…[propaganda screed] dropped as 2020 was winding to a close…triggered the removal of millions of videos from Pornhub and led to both Mastercard and Visa cutting ties with the adult industry giant…protecting…l[egal minor]s [ca]n’t  [be accomplished with] sweeping legislation and widespread content moderation, which endanger the safety and income of sex workers [and the civil liberties of everyone]…“Treating child sexual abuse as a moral failing is the wrong approach and is harmful to sex workers,” [says] Jeremy Malcolm, director of the child protection organization Prostasia Foundation…“dealing with [child sexual abuse] through a harm reduction lens is far more effective and less likely to [be used to cloak]…intended [attacks] on marginalized communities”…

Legal Is as Legal Does (#1151) 

It looks like Victoria is about to become the world’s fourth jurisdiction to achieve decriminalization:

Victoria will join a growing number of states by decriminalising sex work…the…government announced it would begin a two-year legislative overhaul, starting with the removal of offences and criminal penalties for consensual sex work, with the aim of having it passed by Parliament by the end of the year…sex work will be regulated through existing government agencies and…laws will be updated to support a decriminalised system…Victoria will join New Zealand, the Northern Territory and NSW…

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Coming together, even in private, is a radical, resistant, and dangerous act for [those] whose very identities are criminalised.  –  Erin Kilbride

Only Rights Can Stop the Wrongs

The story is the same the world over:

Sex worker activists are among the most at risk defenders of human rights in the world, facing multiple threats and violent attacks…research…published…by…Front Line Defenders…found that their visibility as sex workers who are advocates for their communities’ rights makes them more vulnerable to the violations routinely suffered by sex workers.  In addition, they face unique, targeted abuse for their human rights work.  Drawing on the experience of 300 individuals in Tanzania, Kyrgyzstan, El Salvador and Myanmar, the report focuses on cases of sexual assault, threats from managers and clients, [and police] raids…physical attacks and…surveillance…

Torture Chamber 

A “mistake” during “correction”.  This is not reformable:

A man was brutally beaten by [violently-deranged thugs] and denied medical treatment at the Valencia County [New Mexico] jail…Marvin Silva…was…naked in a holding c[age]…when a [screw rolled up and vomited out the magic word “]contraband[” at Silva’s dentures, thus giving a gang of dangerous cretins an excuse to]…beat Silva…[their cronies pretending to be] medical personnel [then] denied Silva’s [obvious need] for medical care before he was [thrown out] to walk 5 miles toward home…[with] fractured ribs, a collapsed lung, [and] injuries to the spleen…head, neck and abdomen…

Banishment (#848)

How a country treats its prisoners reveals a great deal about it:

For many men…co[nvicted]…of…[so-called] sex offenses in Texas, their prison term never really ends…because they’re [condemned to a different prison pretended to be] a…mental health facility…Civil commitment is the practice of [warehous]ing people…[for years or decades] past their release date, on the [pretense] that they are so dangerous they need therapy…Of course…if the state really…wanted them to have treatment and counseling, they had…20 to 25 years…in an ordinary prison before being civilly committed…For their first year or two…the men are required to wear electronic ankle monitors that they have to pay for…The…only…way…out…[is to] work their way up through four tiers of [shaming and humiliation mislabeled as] treatment…they have to keep a masturbation log…[includ]ing…what they’re masturbating about…so [a so-called therapist can arbitrarily declare] it…deviant…the prison also employs polygraphs and penile plethysmography…When an inmate moves up a tier, which can take a year, he can find himself demoted for [arbitrar]y reasons…One man who had…made it through all four tiers was finally about to get his release hearing.  But…a [screw vindictively] knocked [him] back down to tier 1…He went to his cell and hanged himself…Another man…[treated similarly] castrated himself…Until recently, inmates also had to pay a 33 percent tax on any packages they got, further isolating them from any support system they might have on the outside…

Shame, Shame (#951)

In which a bluenose describes cartoon nudity as “horrifying”:

…a new…website…boasts that it developed…image translation algorithms to “nudify” female bodies, and that the technology is so powerful there is not a woman in the world, regardless of race or nationality, who is safe from being “nudified.”  But it doesn’t work on men…the results are strikingly realistic, often bearing no glitches or visual clues that the photos are deepfakes…The [hysterical reactions of prudes] lays bare the grim and increasingly dangerous reality [that censorship is becoming increasingly popular among sheltered ninnies who can’t conceive of a more harmful use for]…powerful deepfake tools…[than realistic porn cartoons, such as cops manufacturing evidence to frame innocent people and/or excuse brutality and murder]…

The solution to this problem isn’t increasing the censorship powers of the already-bloated police state, as these rabid pearl-clutchers are demanding; it’s fighting the idea that a woman’s body is something to be ashamed of.  But good luck explaining that to people who actually think fake nude pictures are worse than totalitarianism.

Elephant in the Parlor (#1078)

People keep pretending “politician hires whores” is something more than a yawn:

Hunter Biden claimed…to [have]…lost a total of three computers – the first abandoned at a Delaware computer store and the second seized by federal agents –  each likely to hold…embarrassing pictures, videos and communications…The third laptop…was taken by Russian drug dealers after they partied with [him] in Vegas, he told a prostitute in a conversation caught on camera.  After filming himself having sex with the woman using his laptop in January 2019, Hunter left the camera rolling as he recounted [the] Vegas bender…

The Implosion Begins (#1091)

Everyone who spread “sex trafficking” hysteria contributed to this atrocity:

Matthew Taylor Coleman…kill[ed] his young children…after he said he became “enlightened” by [“sex trafficking” propaganda of the]…QAnon [branch]…Coleman’s…3-year-old son, Kaleo, was found stabbed 17 times at a ranch in Baja California…[his] 10-month-old daughter, Roxy, was stabbed 12 times…Coleman told investigators he used a spear-fishing gun to shoot and kill his children and then moved the spear…stabbing them with it…[because] “he believed his children were going to grow into monsters so he had to kill them…[he] was receiving visions and signs revealing that his wife…possessed serpent DNA and had passed it onto his children…he…knew it was wrong, but it was the only…course of action that would save the world”…The QAnon movement evolved out of [the “sex trafficking” hysteria intentionally spread by governments, police agencies, news media and “rescue industry” profiteers for the past 18 years]…

The Next Target (#1160)

It was only a matter of time before “sex trafficking” fetishists extended their pet fantasy to OnlyFans:

…Ann Wagner…the religious-right [politician]…who was the original drafter of FOSTA-SESTA, has released a letter to the Justice Department asking for an investigation into OnlyFans, claiming — without…any…evidence [whatsoever] — that the platform has “become a major marketplace for buying and selling Child Sexual Abuse Material…in the United States, as well as soliciting sexual activity with minors.”  Wagner also penned an editorial for congressional news site Roll Call stating her [ill-informed] opinion that all “sex work” (her quotation marks) is “illegal”…Wagner also [fantasized about]…the impact of FOSTA-SESTA…[whose] impact on human trafficking investigations has also been demonstrably the exact opposite of what Wagner claims

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[Tit censorship laws] sexually objectify women rather than treating them as people in their own right.  –  Judge Roger Gregory

To Molest and Rape

Cops constantly demonstrate exactly what they are:

A [typical and representative Pennsylavania cop]…was [riding around] in his p[igmobile] on Aug. 1, 2019, when he signaled to a woman he knew and when she walked over, he exposed himself to her and then grabbed her arm and put her hand on his penis…after the 22-year-old woman pulled away from [him] in [disgust and shock]…he told her, “You better not fucking tell anyone”…[but unfortunately for molester cop William Lance] there was a witness in the victim’s car…[the complaint was buried until June, when a social media post entitled “Officer Lance is a PERV” asked other victims to come forward]…Lance…[w]as [then rewarded with a paid vacation and]…charge[d with]…official misconduct…

Little Boxes (#748)

Puritans claim a law that only applies to women is “non-discriminatory”:

A federal appeals court…refused to strike down an ordinance banning women but not men from going topless on public beaches in Ocean City, Maryland, [prete]nding that the law does not violate the Equal Protections Clause of the Constitution [by belching out the magic words]…“protection of public sensibilities” [and claiming that a gland specifically activated during motherhood is somehow anti-family]…

Not for Any Reason Whatsoever

Do I really have to add, “Not because you saw a man house-shopping”?

[Out-of-control cops assaulted] a Black man, his teen son and his real estate agent as they were touring a home for sale in a Michigan neighborhood after a white resident falsely accused them of breaking into the house.  Roy Thorne…and his 15-year-old son, Samuel…[were] with Eric Brown, a Realtor who is also Black…Samuel was the first to notice…[cops playing soldier a]round…the ho[use with guns drawn]…Thorne, an Army veteran, told his son and Brown to get down and stay away from the windows…the [cops threatened the]…three…with [loaded weapons and demanded they perform acts of obeisance.  Fortunately]…the [cops weren’t as paranoid as many are]…and…subsequently released [their victims after] about 10 minutes…The [Cop Excuse-making] Department [claimed it was perfectly reasonable for armed thugs to go around threatening to murder ordinary people doing mundane things] and [absurdly claimed] race “played no role” in their [deranged] response…

Panopticon (#1078)

Tell me again how my work is degrading?

…As many workers have shifted to performing their duties at home, some companies are pushing for increasing levels of…staff [surveillance] in an effort to [magnify] the oversight of the office at home…[law professor] Veena Dubal [said]…“the reality is that it’s much more intrusive than surveillance conducted by a boss.”  [Customer service company] Teleperformance spokesman Mark Pfeiffer said…“We are committed to [excusing our dehumanizing practices with a lot of buzzwords]”…However…in March, members of Teleperformance’s global workforce…were sent an eight-page addendum to their existing employment contracts that asked them to agree to new home surveillance rules…[which include] having video cameras installed in their home…pointing at their workspace, to record and monitor [them] in real time…They must also agree to sharing data and images related to any children they have…and to sharing biometric data including fingerprints and photos…Pfeiffer…said that cameras were used for spot checks of the company’s clean desk policy and [belched out the word “]security[” multiple times]…

“Clean desk policy” sounds like the kind of rule nuns imposed on us in grammar school.

End Demand (#1122)

Another good argument against criminalization from my friend Savannah Sly:

…criminalization efforts are like when you’re going after sharks:  You’re going to catch a lot of dolphins in your net…we are the dolphins, and we don’t want to suffer from the laws that should punish only the sharks…We want to stop all traffickers, but we want people who freely choose this work to be treated with respect and not criminalized.  Likewise, we don’t think our clients should be criminalized, because we as sex workers are adults who consent to seeing them.  Criminalizing our clients puts us under economic stress…

Unsafe for Human Consumption (#1141)

Cops want everyone to share their hysteria:

San Diego [cop]…David Faiivae [had a panic attack]…seconds after [another cop] finished testing a white powder he’d [found while rooting in someone else’s property] was…fentanyl.  The [hysterical cop’s panic attack]…was the subject of a 4-minute video…th[at]…became part of the latest [copaganda campaign against] fentanyl, a [life-saving] drug [that is not an aerosol and is so difficult to absorb through the skin that fentanyl patches for pain treatment rely on patented technology that took years to develop, but]…which [cops keep pretending can] kill [by casual exposure]…the body camera video [of Faiivae’s hysterical reaction] prompted internal discussions about…how [the video] could be used in a p[ropaganda] campaign to [spread] d[isinformation about] fentanyl…

The Next Target (#1142)

Pro-censorship sleazebags are embracing nuisance lawsuits as their latest weapon:

Leading [pro-censorship] crusader Laila Mickelwait — until last year a mouthpiece for the religious ministry Exodus Cry — has completed her rebranding with the full launch of a website called “Justice Defense Fund,” promoting “civil litigation and legislation” against adult content websites…late last year she incorporated herself as “Justice Defense Fund” through a PO Box in a Colorado strip mall…Mickelwait [is] us[ing] her personal Twitter account to direct people who have had issues with online billing to the new website for information on a class action suit…

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Th[is is] not a slippery slope; [i]t’s a fully built system just waiting for…pressure to make the slightest change.  –  India McKinney & Erica Portnoy

Monkey Business

Higher primates understand the concept of “value”:

The long-tailed macaques who roam the [the Uluwatu temple in Bali] are infamous for brazenly robbing unsuspecting tourists and clinging on to their possessions until food is offered as ransom payment.  Researchers have found they are also skilled at judging which items their victims value the most and using this information to maximise their profit…Mobile phones, wallets and prescription glasses are among the high-value possessions the monkeys aim to steal…and…demand better rewards…for higher-valued items…

If Men Were Angels

“Pastors” are as bad as cops:

[Australian] pastor Brian Houston has been charged for allegedly concealing child sexual abuse by his late father Frank Houston…in the 1970s…Frank Houston, who died in 2004, has been accused of abusing nine boys while a Pentecostal preacher…

A Broker in Pillage (#897)

Yet another government scam to steal Philadelphia citizens’ property:

…relocation towing…is when the police…or a private tow company moves legally parked vehicles to make room for a special event, utility work, or some other [pretext]…they are supposed to relay the new location of each vehicle to police headquarters, so when an owner finds their car missing and call 911, police can tell them where it is.  I[n reality]…drivers have reported spending days or weeks searching for their cars…because neither the [Philadelphia Parking Authority] nor police have any information about the tow.  Many…are recorded…with a pre-Internet system that relies mostly on handwritten notes and fax machines…The PPA [claims] tows from temporary no-parking zones are primarily a police function.  Police [claim] tow companies could be to blame for missing vehicles.  The tow companies [claim] police sometimes lose the information they provide.  Drivers who get sucked into the bureaucratic vortex describe it as city-sanctioned auto theft, often followed up by a shakedown by the PPA if the car was moved to an illegal parking space, then ticketed, towed or booted.  The resulting fees can be difficult or impossible to fight…

To Molest and Rape (#995)

Serial rapist rapes another vulnerable woman:

A [typical and representative] Spokane [cop out on bail]…for…[rap]ing a victim of domestic violence was arrested…[again] after another woman reported he raped her [before he was fired for the previously-reported rape]…Nathan Nash[‘s MO was the same]…in…both [cases; he]…responded to their calls for police assistance and later [raped them during pretended]…“follow-ups”…In the [new] case, Nash [displayed] his gun…then pushed the victim onto the couch, to[re] her clothes off, and raped her…he…[then forc]ed her in[to] the shower…[to wash away evidence]…the victim is disabled and has an apparent minor cognitive disability…

The Widening Gyre (#1057)

Observation: fools waste money.  Conclusion: “sex trafficking”!

Last May, the K-pop…group BTS entered into a partnership with McDonald’s to release a limited-edition promo meal that…almost immediately sold out, and enterprising individuals on social media decided to take advantage of the group’s enormous popularity by selling certain items from the meal online.  One item in particular, a chicken nugget shaped like a “crewmate” from the multiplayer online game Among Us, was auctioned off on eBay for nearly $100,000…[then] last month, [a TikTok idiot] posted a video accusing various eBay sellers peddling the BTS chicken nuggets of…“human trafficking”…The idea that a chicken nugget eBay listing would serve as a front for child trafficking was clearly ridiculous on its face.  Yet many of the commenters appeared to be…[just that ridiculous]…

I Spy (#1155)

The beginning of the end for private communication:

Apple has announced…new “protections for children”…in iCloud and iMessage…this means…Apple is planning to build a backdoor into its…system[s]…Apple’s…appease[ment of] government agencies…is a shocking about-face for users who have relied on the company’s leadership in privacy and security.  There are two main [spyware apps] the company is planning to install in every Apple device.  One…will scan all photos as they get uploaded into iCloud Photos to see if they match a photo in the database…maintained by…NCMEC…the other…scans all iMessage images sent or received by…accounts designated as owned by a minor…and…notifies the parent when…images [an algorithm decides are “sexual”] are sent or received.  All it would take to widen th[is]…backdoor…is an expansion of the…parameters to look for additional types of content…The abuse cases are easy to imagine: governments that outlaw homosexuality might require…[calling the cops on] apparent LGBTQ+ content, or an authoritarian regime might demand the classifier be able to spot popular satirical images or protest flyers…

I Spy (#1158)

Still think this djinni is ever going back into its bottle?

…several high-profile female journalists and activists…have…been targeted and harassed by authoritarian regimes in the Middle East through hack-and-leak attacks using the Pegasus spyware, created by Israeli surveillance technology company NSO Group.  The spyware transforms a phone into a surveillance device, activating microphones and cameras and exporting files without a user knowing…a key part of the harassment…is the use of private photos…[which would be] tame by Western standards…[but] are considered scandalous in…societies like Saudi Arabia and were…used to publicly shame these women and smear their reputations…Pegasus spyware is linked to human rights violations around the world…including the [murder] of Jamal Khashoggi…by Saudi agents…

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