Vice Squad
Friday, August 24, 2007
Obscenity Omission

I am still playing catch-up on vice-related news following my month in Tbilisi; today I discovered this August 10 New York Times article concerning, a webpage (operated by Morality in Media and linked to by the Justice Department) on which folks can turn in internet sites that they suspect contain illegal obscenity. Two retired police officers seek out illegal cyberporn and review the sites identified through the web informant page. According to the Times article, these efforts are funded through federal grants made to Morality in Media. And for those of us who think that our own toil has a Sisyphean element, take heart.

In the last few years, 67,000 citizens' complaints have been deemed legitimate under the program and passed on to the Justice Department and federal prosecutors.

The number of prosecutions resulting from those referrals is zero.

In what is surely a coincidence, Vice Squad's own Northern District of Illinois leads the nation in supplying the seemingly fruitless smut referrals.

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