money. e were all treated the other day to the spectacle of a pornography star attending a 5epu(lican Party fundraiser.But there is another, more ominous, reason for the government1s inaction on this issue, and it is of a piece with the war on terror.!he attacks of 2eptem(er 33 gave the administration a reason for going to war9 *ust as importantly, it gave the administration a reason for creating the #omeland 2ecurity :epartment and the Patriot Act. 2eptem(er 33, in my view, was a 5eichstag fire.8hild pornography will (e the second 5eichstag fire, giving the administration the popular support it needs to (egin censoring the %nternet. !his will (e due to two, parallel, tracks"%n the first place, no one in their right mind would o(*ect to removing child pornography from the %nternet ;as long as we can all agree what child pornography is<.%n the second place, international terrorist and “alternative intelligence groups have (een using pornographic images for years to encode information. !hose of you who have seen the Morgan 7reeman film,
Along Came A Spider
;&''3<, will (e familiar with the concept. A digital image, whether of a cat or a dog, or of Paris #ilton having se$, is nothing more than a collection of 31s and '1s. %t1s data. !he analog image has (een digiti+ed so that it can (e stored on a computer or relayed over the telephone or (road(and ca(le wires. %t is therefore possi(le to insert other data into this image in such a way that the original does not display any tampering (ut a receiver, with the right software, can decode the digiti+ed image and retrieve the em(edded data.!his is commonly done with hard)core pornographic images for a good reason" these images are usually only accessi(le (y someone who possesses a password to the site that stores the image. !his is the first level of secure access. !he second level is the digiti+ed image itself, which must (e decoded on the receiver1s end. 8onsidering the vast amount of adult we(sites,some &=' million pages representing more than 3 million pornographic we(sites,the task of searching through all of them and sifting the enormous amount of data ;even with programs such as >chelon and other 02A devices in place< is daunting. Another reason for using pornography is that security investigators will normally search for data “in the open on a sei+ed hard)drive" document files ;whether encrypted or not<, maps, charts, etc. Pornographic images will appear to (e stored for the user1s amusement rather than as an intelligence tool, thus (uying valua(le time, and the decryption tools necessary for revealing the em(edded code are different from standard decryption devices. 8hat rooms on adult we(sites are another means of secure communication. ould an underground cell “chat on an Al)?aeda we(site, which is su(*ect to the scrutiny of the world1s intelligence agencies/ Pro(a(ly not. But a secure adult site, accessi(le with a credit card ;however illegally o(tained or phonied)up<, where the chatters use a series of code)words that are se$ual in nature, is virtually impervious to “eavesdropping. !he administration, under the guise of hunting down pedophiles, could install filtering software on the 0et which would ostensi(ly (e used to track violations of child pornography laws (ut which could (e e$panded ;@uietly< to include other activity.7ew persons in our 8ongress or anywhere else raised their voices in alarm over the creation and passage of the Patriot Act. hy would anyone want to stand in the way of our government enacting a law that would help them protect us against terrorists and other (ad guys/ !he fact that the Act could (e used against us seemed like a faraway threat, something that could (e remedied later.!hen there was the case of the romance novelist whose home was raided (efore dawn (y si$ federal agents one day last year.