Home Office to clean up Sadville?

Art under the censor


British Home Secretary John Reid today vowed to cleanse the internet of Entartete Kunst, or degenerate art.

Reid says he wants "computer generated" images of child abuse prohibited. In the UK, it's illegal to harbour photographs, but legal to harbour artwork of child abuse.

"I am currently consulting cabinet colleagues about how we might ban the possession of computer-generated images of child abuse, including cartoons or other graphic illustrations of children being abused... while it is illegal to distribute these abhorrent images, it is entirely legal to possess them," Reid told the first meeting of the newly-formed Internet Child Safety Task Force.

The move is sure to raise questions that pit self-expression against the desire to clean up the net. We raised a couple of these with the Home Office.

Firstly, would work of artistic merit fall under the guidelines? For example, would an image of one of Jake and Dinos Chapman's sexualized sculptures of children qualify?

And secondly, was the Home Secretary seeking to criminalize role playing gamers?

Adults pose as children in Sadville

Bizarre as it is, on the much-hyped VR environment Second Life, some subscribers represent themselves as children, in the expectation of being abused. You can (if you wish) see a "child" being "raped" by an avatar of Star Trek's Lt. Spock, here.

"It's too early to say whether something will or not be in a law that we haven't started consulting on," a Home Office spokesperson told us. "We're putting together a consultation document - we're just at the starting point." ®


Other stories you might like

  • Tesla driver charged with vehicular manslaughter after deadly Autopilot crash

    Prosecution seems to be first of its kind in America

    A Tesla driver has seemingly become the first person in the US to be charged with vehicular manslaughter for a deadly crash in which the vehicle's Autopilot mode was engaged.

    According to the cops, the driver exited a highway in his Tesla Model S, ran a red light, and smashed into a Honda Civic at an intersection in Gardena, Los Angeles County, in late 2019. A man and woman in the second car were killed. The Tesla driver and a passenger survived and were taken to hospital.

    Prosecutors in California charged Kevin George Aziz Riad, 27, in October last year though details of the case are only just emerging, according to AP on Tuesday. Riad, a limousine service driver, is facing two counts of vehicular manslaughter, and is free on bail after pleading not guilty.

    Continue reading
  • AMD returns to smartphone graphics with new Samsung chip for your pocket computer

    We're back in black

    AMD's GPU technology is returning to mobile handsets with Samsung's Exynos 2200 system-on-chip, which was announced on Tuesday.

    The Exynos 2200 processor, fabricated using a 4nm process, has Armv9 CPU cores and the oddly named Xclipse GPU, which is an adaptation of AMD's RDNA 2 mainstream GPU architecture.

    AMD was in the handheld GPU market until 2009, when it sold the Imageon GPU and handheld business for $65m to Qualcomm, which turned the tech into the Adreno GPU for its Snapdragon family. AMD's Imageon processors were used in devices from Motorola, Panasonic, Palm and others making Windows Mobile handsets.

    Continue reading
  • Big shock: Guy who fled political violence and became rich in tech now struggles to care about political violence

    'I recognize that I come across as lacking empathy,' billionaire VC admits

    Billionaire tech investor and ex-Facebook senior executive Chamath Palihapitiya was publicly blasted after he said nobody really cares about the reported human rights abuse of Uyghur Muslims in China.

    The blunt comments were made during the latest episode of All-In, a podcast in which Palihapitiya chats to investors and entrepreneurs Jason Calacanis, David Sacks, and David Friedberg about technology.

    The group were debating the Biden administration’s response to what's said to be China's crackdown of Uyghur Muslims when Palihapitiya interrupted and said: “Nobody cares about what’s happening to the Uyghurs, okay? ... I’m telling you a very hard ugly truth, okay? Of all the things that I care about … yes, it is below my line.”

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022