Up Front by Emma Hart

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Up Front: Because You Should Know

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  • Graeme Edgeler,

    ... if you look at the legislation that governs censorship in New Zealand, nowhere is child pornography separated from other objectionable material.

    I refer you to section 132A.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 3202 posts Report Reply

  • Idiot Savant,

    Unfortunately, if its all done in secret, we never know whether there is mission creep or not, until its too late.

    Palmerston North • Since Nov 2006 • 1711 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov,

    That's an ambiguous construction. Just how dodgy was that flatmate?

    ha. The flatmate was ok....a little morbid...the subsequent cactus trip on the other hand was far from ok, No one wants to be chased through the good people of New Brighton's sections at 3am by imaginary murder. But when the sun came up.......

    Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Mar 2008 • 2281 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    I refer you to section 132A.

    I stand corrected, which I pretty much expect as a matter of course from Graeme. I'd looked here, on the Internal Affairs website - and other pages on that site where they talk about what their job is.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4650 posts Report Reply

  • Stewart,

    There's always creep. People just can't help themselves. "Oh, that's shocking/disgusting. Normal people* wouldn't object to not bebing able to access that...".

    * As in "normal people don't know about depraved shit like that..."

    Te Ika A Maui - Whakatane… • Since Oct 2008 • 577 posts Report Reply

  • Stewart,

    bebing = being, obv.

    Te Ika A Maui - Whakatane… • Since Oct 2008 • 577 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Beard,

    For example there are Hindu paintings showing a queen mating with a white stallion for a ritual and there are ancient Greek images on pottery that are pornographic.

    Jpgs plz :-)

    So no. I change my mind. Whilst I want some things blocked I do think we should be very careful to avoid creep.

    My thoughts too. Child pornography that requires the abuse of actual children is obviously abhorrent, exploitative and illegal, and I don't think anyone here would support it. Literary, artistic, philosophical or scientific explorations of the mind and actions of paedophiles should be seen as not only acceptable but necessary, as art & science need to help us understand all aspects of the human condition, even the most objectionable. But there's a middle ground - say, drawings or animations of child sex abuse that appear intended to arouse desire in paedophiles - that requires careful attention: it doesn't require abuse for its production, but it could normalise or encourage abuse.

    That's where I'd hope that very careful and liberal-minded "consideration is given to the extent, degree and manner in which the publication describes, depicts, or deals with" the various content mentioned in the act. Half of the news "describes" or "deals with" the most horrific acts of torture and abuse, and while it might not be a great loss if we heard much less of the likes of Weatherson and his acts, none would call for a world in which we can't discuss these things."Extent, degree and manner" can make all the difference between serious exploration of the extremes of the human mind and the sort of vileness that condones and perhaps even spurs on such acts. But it is also highly subjective, and the thought of the fundy wing of certain political parties getting hold of the censors fills me with dread.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1040 posts Report Reply

  • Lyndon Hood,

    That's all BDSM material. All of it. BDSM practice is LEGAL.

    Bear in mind that you're in the "consideration is given to the extent, degree and manner" section there. The relevant bit of the act being that it doesn't just deal with the matters the law mentions, but does so "in such a manner that the availability of the publication is likely to be injurious to the public good".

    It appears tha tin practice some matters are considered automatically bad, but this would not be one as far as I can see.

    But yes, invisible web censoring wtf?

    Banned lists for sudry countries have appeared on wikileaks recently. So among all the other issues, compiling big lists of things you don't want people to look at is a risky strategy.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1115 posts Report Reply

  • Zippy Gonzales,

    Am interested in the Ombudsmen decision. There's no good reason the DIA can't release some obtuse breakdown of decisions. For example, list the clause/s that triggered the banning of the 7000 URLs.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 186 posts Report Reply

  • Tess Rooney,

    Jpgs plz :-)

    The pictures of it that I have seen were in a book in a university library. So you'll have to find your own :)

    Since May 2009 • 267 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    It appears that in practice some matters are considered automatically bad, but this would not be one as far as I can see

    Well, yeah, the 'degree' clauses should mean that, say, a serious film that involved a couple of BDSM scenes for obvious SLAPS value wouldn't get banned. But if you haved two porn films of the same degree of explicitness, and one's vanilla porn and the other's BDSM porn? One gets restricted and the other gets banned?

    I haz seen teh prony pottery too. UC Classics Dept keeps it locked away, or at least did back in my day. My goodness, what you got for a couple of chickens back in those days...

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4650 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Beard,

    The pictures of it that I have seen were in a book in a university library. So you'll have to find your own :)

    Don't worry, I will ... though I may wait until I'm home before searching :-)

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1040 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Beard,

    But if you haved two porn films of the same degree of explicitness, and one's vanilla porn and the other's BDSM porn? One gets restricted and the other gets banned?

    I wonder whether there may be three scenarios:

    - BDSM shown clearly as consensual play

    - Acts of bondage, coercion and infliction of pain that are presented as if real rather than play, but the context makes it clearly part of a fantasy (as in "Oh no, the wicked pirate/slavemaster/alien/cop has tied me up and is about to have his/her way with me!")

    - The presentation of coercion and violence in a situation that seems realistic, and where the inflictor seems to gain a malicious pleasure from humiliating and torturing his/her victims. I write "his/her", but I imagine that the extreme end of this would tend to be misogynistic as well as exploitative, angry and mean-spirited.

    The first two would probably seem acceptable to most liberal people, even if not to their particular taste. But the last variety would (or even perhaps should) seem objectionable, and while there are likely to be nuances even within this part of the spectrum, there would seem to be a point at which the hateful and disturbing can be distinguished from the edgy and transgressive.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1040 posts Report Reply

  • Thomas Beagle,

    Zippy - the DIA's refusal:

    The release of the filtering list (particularly in an electronic format) would facilitate access to images of child sexual buse images. I am therefore withholding this information in terms of section 6(c) of the Official Information Act (where the release of this information is likely to prejudice the maintenance of the law, including the prevention, investigation, and detection of offences, and the right to a fair trial).

    From here.

    New Zealand • Since Nov 2007 • 48 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic,

    Our workplace can boast at least one kiddy-porn trader behind bars - about 3½ years ago, we got him busted after he took in his PC to get fixed. We rang the cops, who then rang DIA, who sent along a couple of their agents to get the details. Apparently we still have the offender's power supply in our museum cabinet.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5420 posts Report Reply

  • Lyndon Hood,

    describes, depicts, expresses, or otherwise deals with matters such as sex... likely to be injurious to the public good

    Richard Worth?

    Anyway, looking at the act I'd have said it covers BDSM in an only slightly more specific way to how it covers "sex" in that section. But I don't not actually know. I've no wish to be the one saying to trust the censors, but that's not where I'd be alarmed.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1115 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov,

    Our workplace can boast at least one kiddy-porn trader behind bars - about 3½ years ago, we got him busted after he took in his PC to get fixed. We rang the cops, who then rang DIA, who sent along a couple of their agents to get the details. Apparently we still have the offender's power supply in our museum cabinet.

    Interested in how this goes down. What kind of repairs were required? How well was the incriminating material hidden?

    Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Mar 2008 • 2281 posts Report Reply

  • Tess Rooney,

    Don't worry, I will ... though I may wait until I'm home before searching :-)

    Well if you are determined it's the asvamedha sacrifice.

    Since May 2009 • 267 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    What kind of repairs were required? How well was the incriminating material hidden?

    I've heard endless iterations of this, and I'm very curious. Unless one of the incriminating pictures was the desktop background or something, what the hell are computer repair technicians doing checking out the contents of a customer's hard drive?

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    Having been shown people having their throat slashed by an inconsiderate flatmate, and hearing the gargled last gasps for breath, I'd have to disagree with you there Emma.

    A few years ago, after the invasion of Iraq, a flatmate thought it was a good idea to show me a video of some militants beheading an American. With a hacksaw. It wasn't immediately that I realised what was happening.

    Like you, I'm not a free speech absolutist. Some forms of expression should be illegal. And provided the reasonining behind the banning is clear, open, and contestable, I have no problem with specific forms of highly objectionable content being blocked. I'm not talking Catherine Breillat films or Two Girls One Cup here, no matter their artistic merits.

    WLG • Since Nov 2006 • 2264 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    there are Hindu paintings showing a queen mating with a white stallion for a ritual

    It may have been sexual activity, but I think you'll find that it wasn't mating.

    On the other hand, maybe that's where the centaurs came from....

    WLG • Since Nov 2006 • 2264 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov,

    Damn, so i guess that means I'm not a free speech absolutist ; ) And yes. re: the qualms about academics and needtoknowers having access to stuff, the blockage of both facebook and youtube at the same time has necessitated my use of hotspot shield , which is pretty damn good. These Government filters aren't a be and end all, but they draw a pretty articulate line in the sand which people may cross at their own risk.

    Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Mar 2008 • 2281 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole,

    Unless one of the incriminating pictures was the desktop background or something, what the hell are computer repair technicians doing checking out the contents of a customer's hard drive?

    Start, Recent Documents... That's perfectly legit if you're making sure the computer's working properly. Or even opening My Documents and seeing sus-looking thumbnails, which would also be entirely reasonable if you're checking that you haven't managed to accidentally delete large portions of a user's profile.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    But 'objectionable' is a subjective term. As Craig suggests, what about 'objectionable' material that's used for academic or theraputic purposes?

    Doesn't this apply to everything off the internet as well? Shouldn't they use the same standards that the censors use in relation to books, magazines, dvds, computer games etc?

    As you note, change of medium shouldn't mean a pass, nor should it mean that we suddenly go "Oh wait, objectionable, we can't apply that word to a document".

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    Kyle, that was in response to Tess's initial comment:

    Would it matter if they blocked all the objectionable material that they could? I'm not really seeing a downside here.

    A position Tess herself has backed away from. However, when you say:

    the same standards that the censors use in relation to books, magazines, dvds, computer games etc

    actually, there are already different rules for, say, books and dvds, which is why you'll never see a book with an M15+ sticker on it. So having different ways of applying standards to different media already happens.

    And as I've noted, decisions censors make about non-internet media are made public. Decisions made about internet sites are not.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4650 posts Report Reply

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