On Apr 20, 1:52 am, Allen Salkin, New York Times <nyti...@telecom-
Pat, thanks for posting this. I think it's important for people to
know some background about the organization.
This was recently discussed on rec.arts.tv and many people were
troubled by the group's tactics.
What is also troubling is that the moment someone questions whether a
group like this is acting properly, the person is accussed of being in
favor of perverts. Not different than the commie witchhunts of the
1950s, anyone who questioned McCarthy & Co became one of the bad guys.
I am not in favor of the perverts. But I don't want innocent people
caught up and blamed for something they didn't do. Given the intense
emotions associated with this issue, I'm afraid that could happen.
> According to a transcript of an online chat ...
On this newsgroup we already discussed how easy it is for hackers to
"hijack" someone's computer or account. It seems very easy an illegal
activity could be faked and blamed on an innocent person through such
hijacking. A "transcript" has no fingerprints on it, it is prepared
It's also very easy for someone to lose their account password or it
to be stolen. If someone steals your wallet, you'll know it fairly
soon and can report the loss of your credit cards and stop misuse.
But if someone steals your account password, you may not discover it
for a long time, if ever. Someone else is doing illegal activity
under your name and you get blamed for it.
It's one thing if someone loses a few hundred bucks from a lost
wallet. It's quite another if someone is accused of an extremely
serious crime with grave consequences.
Note that just engaging in an inappropriate chat room conversation is
illegal. They have gone after such people, even if they didn't show
up at the arranged "meet".
> "I have a low opinion of men in general," he said. "The most heinous
> crimes in our society are committed by males."
It's troubling that someone starts out with a prejudiced attitude like
> One concern about Perverted Justice's nonprofessional force of
> vigilantes, raised by Lt. Joseph Donohue, head of the New York State
> Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, is that decoys
> impersonating teenagers may be too aggressive, not understanding the
> need to let predators initiate the sexual chat and therefore not
> gathering chat-log evidence that will stand up in court.
> [TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: While I am not a lawyer, I have been
> instructed by attornies about the difference between 'entrapment' and
> 'enticement'. If the government or its agents break the law in an
> effort to get you to also break the law, that is entrapment, and it
> is illegal and unconstitutional.
I am not a lawyer, so I can't comment on the legal aspects. But in
the opinion of many, this group's tactics comes awfully close to
crossing the line into illegal entrapment.
So what do others think of this issue?
[public replies, please]
[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: In the early 1950's, when television
was still a rather new medium, without a lot of programs to show,
_all *THREE*_ of the televison stations in Chicago elected to telecast
the McCarthy senate hearings from Washingon, DC on a daily basis that
one summer (I think it was 1951 or 1952.) They started at 9 AM each
weekday (because McCarthy started his hearings at 10 AM Eastern time),
continued on until mid-afternoon when he stopped for the day.
McCarthy took a break for lunch at about 1:00 PM for thirty minutes or
so, and Channel 9 WGN-TV put on thirty minutes of Bozo Circus. I do
not recall what the other two stations played during McCarthy's lunch
break. But then they all went back to McCarthy after his lunch and
stayed with him until he dismissed each day. McCarthy was such a funny
man! He really was! An _extremely closeted_ homosexual (as was his
good friend J. Edgar Hoover.) If you watched it on TV, along about 2
or 2:30 PM Central time, McCarthy would begin getting fidgity and
looking at his watch. One of his favorite lines was "I have here in my
desk a secret list of men who are homosexual and disloyal to the
government." No one ever got to see his 'list'. But as he kept
looking at the clock and fidgiting, he never failed to run the
hearings past 3:30 or 3:45 PM eastern time, because he wanted to get
out and down to the gay bars in Washington, DC when they opened each
afternoon. He and J. Edgar ...; McCarthy made an excuse once saying he
only went to the gay bars to continue his 'research' looking for
'Communists' and homosexuals. That 'secret list' he would never allow
anyone to examine ... he was such a funny man, and a real embarassment
to Republicans and people in Wisconsin. PAT]