The Internet Was Made For Porn

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The joke for as long as I can remember was that the internet was made for porn, and, in many ways, it can certainly seem that way. These days politicians are harping on porn being a health issue as if this were the 1950s all over again.

Having been born and raised in America, I believe we are very sexually repressed compared to most of the world. I have lived in Europe and Israel and noticed in many parts of the West that there is a shunning of the human body.

I was raised rather differently than most of my friends, my father being raised in Morocco where he was born, and raised in France, Israel, and the US; and my mother being raised in Los Angeles. This has afforded me the opportunity of being raised in a very unique way. I wasn’t taught to be shameful of sex. In fact, it was a very open discussion in my family. My mother was also a sexual education teacher at a time, and I remember being taught as young as nine about sexuality and how babies are born. My mother even sat all my buddies and I down when we were becoming teenagers to talk about safe sex. I still remember that lesson with a condom over a banana, but thanks to my mother drilling into mine and my friends’ heads about sexuality being natural and the practice of safe sex, none of my friends have contracted any STDs or had unwanted pregnancies. When many of my friends were being yelled at by their parents for viewing porn or having nude magazines, I was being given magazines by my own parents. When I was at bar mitzvah at 13 years old in 2004, my mother told me she signed me up for a subscription to Playboy and paid for it until I was 18. She also always gave me the Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition when it came out, and would always leave her Victoria’s Secret or other catalogs on my bed when they came in and she already had figured out what she wanted to order. My dad would bring me the less “mom-approved” magazines, as he would travel a lot.

My father had operated a computer consulting business, so I was one of the very first people in my area to get access to the blazing-fast (at the time) 256kbps DSL connection, and by 2004 we were at a whopping 3mbps on Time Warner Cable internet. I remember downloading movies, music, and even porn through Kazaa and WinMX (SFW links) before my teen years and before BitTorrent had existed as a protocol. I was introduced to the whole concept of downloading Warez software, movies, and music back when “leetspeak” was commonplace online and we referred to pornography as “pr0n”.

But, of course, I turned 13 in 2004, long after the internet was a common feature in a home, and I had the unique privilege of being one of the only people I knew at the time to have a personal computer in my own bedroom as well as IBM X20 and T40 laptops when most families had one single computer for the whole house.

The most my parents tried to ever really do to curb my access to the pornographic material was through some crude web blocks by today’s standards, and passwording the computer back in the days of Windows 2000 and Windows XP being newer operating systems. But this was also the time when my adventure into GNU/Linux began and I found easy ways of circumventing their ways to lock me out. Eventually my parents gave up and just sat me down and talked to me about it. My parents knew I had access to this material and instead of berating me with how sinful it is and that a nice Jewish boy shouldn’t think of these things, we had a conversation.

But my mother and father just always reminded me how I am supposed to treat a woman and that pornography isn’t a representation of what happens in real life: not all women like to be treated that way or enjoy having sex that way. Sex is something I should enjoy, and should enjoy with someone special. But I was never looked down upon, yelled at, berated, or had any negativity when it came to sex. An example is the several times my parents walked in on me yanking it to some videos, and merely turned around and said, “Sorry, I should have knocked.” My upbringing was a stark contrast to some of my other friends who had more religious backgrounds and prudish parents. Let’s just say I knew a lot of my friends that ended up with a lot of therapy and some serious issues, to say the least, when it came to their views on sex, and some of their relationships with women. In fact, I have even watched porn with some of my girlfriends and we would try some things out.

There is now a slew of state politicians looking to ban online porn because they say it causes rape and sex trafficking, but at the same time some of those states are only demanding a fee. They are demanding device manufacturers to install a porn filter that would have to be removed for a fee. This goes to show how out of touch politicians are with technology to think that 1) we won’t find a way around it, 2) that any device manufacturer will expend the time to research, develop, and implement it, 3) how effective it would be, and 4) that something we see translates to us being more aggressive. This is the same kind of asinine bullshit politicians say about violent video games causing school shootings. Being a person who grew up playing Doom, Halo, and all the extreme violent games politicians raved about and also being an individual watching the porn they say causes rape and sex trafficking, I can honestly say that I and all of my friends have never once thought, “gee this porn is awesome, I’m going to go rape a person or get a hooker and kill them.” After playing Grand Theft Auto to some hardcore porn in the background, I can say the most I have ever acted on from porn is honestly going to my girlfriend and saying, “Hey can we watch this porn and do some of the stuff on it?”

Nowadays, I am an IT consultant by trade and I have been hired by parents and businesses to ensure porn and other non-family or business-friendly topics can be blocked using technologies from OpenDNS, Dansguardian, PfblockerNG, Suricata, Snort, Watchguard, and dozens more I can list, can be circumvented with someone who has some basic googling skills and technical knowledge. It’s really no different than when I used to get around school firewalls by modifying Firefox to use a proxy script, or a bootable Linux CD to bypass the software firewall on each PC, or the time I made a VPN to route traffic from school through my home network. Trust me, kids will find a way, and I used to sell these ways to bypass school firewalls for a few bucks a person when I was in middle and high school.

The politicians proposing these measures are probably so ancient they are the kind that think the internet is actually a series of tubes as it was once coined by Alaskan senator Ted Stevens in 2006.

How, exactly, would device manufacturers implement this and how would it be maintained? I can tell you from personal experience, having to maintain my PfSense firewall I built for my personal use, it’s a lot of work maintaining the Intrusion Prevention and Detection Systems (IDS/IPS) and the private VPN server I have built to have similar features when I am on my phone. That’s a lot of work even just for security. I even get many calls from firewalls I set up made by Watchguard, Pfsense, Sophos, or others having false positives where the business needs to access a site that is wrongly classified as porn and I have to make an exception.

Now imagine this is a feature that is not optional anymore, but mandatory on every internet-connected device, meaning every smart TV, smartphone, laptop, desktop, and server. How would that work?

Well, it could be done on the hardware but that is prohibitively expensive to modify network interface cards to analyze this traffic in real time, so it would have to be done in software. However, software can be modified easily, so Microsoft and Apple may be able to modify the OS if required by law to include these features. However, what about all the Linux and FreeBSD-powered devices such as Android or other devices? Google could easily release Android with these features installed, but since it is a Linux-based OS, the software can be repackaged by the manufacturer or an end user to merely have that “feature-set” removed. I can tell you that is super easy as I repackage my own Ubuntu and Debian GNU/Linux operating systems regularly so I can have it set up just the way I want it out of the box. So some would say, you could implement it on the networking hardware like a router or modem, but routers and modems most often run on Linux so you could easily do the same for those. In fact, I have done that as my ASUS wifi access point, which is running a custom Linux called MerlinWRT and my firewall/router is a small Dell PC I installed Pfsense on, which is based on FreeBSD.

So, at the end of the day, what would end up happening is governments would force their way to the only common point of entry. They would begin performing man-in-the-middle type attacks to invade the privacy and security of all your internet connections at the internet service provider level. However, seeing as net neutrality was repealed, there is nothing legally stopping an ISP from performing this as net neutrality prevented the throttling or blocking of access to lawful content on the internet. It’s a rather unintended consequence with the repeal of net neutrality, as it not only barred businesses from messing with your internet, but it also prevented governments from doing the same. With these MITM attacks the ISP would be decrypting, analyzing, and re-encrypting all your traffic, even those with your credentials, so for that brief period in time, imagine any government agency could have access to all of your transmission and know exactly what you were doing. The average person would be left exposed, whilst people like me who know of VPNs would merely stop using sites located in the USA, hop on to NordVPN to secure our traffic over OpenVPN to a server located outside of the USA, then go back to downloading our pr0n the filesharing way over porn BitTorrent trackers just like I was doing it before I graduated high school. Or I could use the Canadian-owned PornHub to circumvent any US tracking. If I wanted to be really secure, nothing stops me from having a secure TOR connection to get access to porn on the darknet.

In conclusion, the idea that the government should determine what is moral is wrong. We should look at embracing protections of the internet, and embrace the fact that porn is not the driving force of what is wrong with our society. It’s merely another scapegoat for power-hungry politicians trying to squeeze more money from citizens. We need to understand that in the modern age of information anything we desire is within reach of a few keystrokes. We need to adapt our parenting to include that porn, violent video games, and more are common staples of society, and that we as parents or future parents have to teach our kids the same way as I was raised, that there is nothing wrong with it, but that it should be personally moderated and we understand the difference between reality and fantasy.

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Knowledge of Mac, GNU/Linux, Windows but preferring to use GNU/Linux. Bitcoin user and expert, Cyber Punk, Minarchist libertarian, Businessman, Firearm lover, Constitutionalist, and a supporter of Free, Libre, and Open Source Software (FLOSS).Businessman and IT Contractor by trade available for hire. Specializing in Medical, Dental, and Small Business IT solutions https://alonganon.info