Somehow I have missed most of the brouhaha over the law enacted last year to protect children and stop child pornography by establishing Internet filtering. I really only noticed the whole discussion this week, and read through some stuff on it today.

No one will surely dispute that the intention of the law makers has been good - it's sickening that any child would have to suffer such abuse, and anyone distributing the material should be locked up for good. Yet, it does seem to me that the critique of the measures taken against child porn on the Internet by the Finnish police are entirely justified. The methods not only don't work, they're also causing a whole lot of collateral damage against innocent people, labeling entirely innocuous content having nothing to do with child abuse nor pornography as such. That would be defamation and libel. Worse yet, it seems this "sweep it under the carpet" measure is being used instead of proper action even in jurisdictions where local law enforcement would certainly co-operate. I hope that's not really true, but that's what it looks like.

The problem is far too important to be dealt with using such ineffective and misdirected methods. We must help our lawmakers understand the environment they're trying to govern, and the implications of their actions, otherwise the stream of laws with good intentions but bad consequences will continue.