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kpete Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-17-06 08:26 PM
Original message
Policing Porn Not Part of Job Description-Homeland Sec Officers Reassigned
Edited on Fri Feb-17-06 08:28 PM by kpete
Policing Porn Is Not Part of Job Description
Montgomery Homeland Security Officers Reassigned After Library Incident

By Cameron W. Barr
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, February 17, 2006; Page B08

Two uniformed men strolled into the main room of the Little Falls library in Bethesda one day last week and demanded the attention of all patrons using the computers. Then they made their announcement: The viewing of Internet pornography was forbidden.

The men looked stern and wore baseball caps emblazoned with the words "Homeland Security." The bizarre scene unfolded Feb. 9, leaving some residents confused and forcing county officials to explain how employees assigned to protect county buildings against terrorists came to see it as their job to police the viewing of pornography.

After the two men made their announcement, one of them challenged an Internet user's choice of viewing material and asked him to step outside, according to a witness. A librarian intervened, and the two men went into the library's work area to discuss the matter. A police officer arrived. In the end, no one had to step outside except the uniformed men.

They were officers of the security division of Montgomery County's Homeland Security Department, an unarmed force that patrols about 300 county buildings -- but is not responsible for enforcing obscenity laws.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/20...
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havocmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-17-06 08:29 PM
Response to Original message
1. Some people can't be trusted with a little authority and a uniform
Such people probably love the turn toward a New American Fascist Culture. Look for more of this happening.
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bluestateguy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-17-06 08:30 PM
Response to Original message
2. Amazing the things that can come under the umbrella of "Homeland Security"
Another big government nanny state waste of resources.

I will say this, however: if looking at internet porn is so important to somebody they should save up and get a computer and internet connection of their own.

I've seem some of the people who come into my university library just to look at porn on the public computers, and let's just say that, er, they don't look like the pick of the litter. Let's not kid ourselves, most of these folks are not doing "research". I just think it's tacky and stupid to go to the public library to look at porn.

But I still think that using a Homeland Security bureau is a misuse of government resources.
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benburch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-17-06 08:30 PM
Response to Original message
3. Earlier discussion of this story.
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bluestateguy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-17-06 08:31 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. Yes, but this is this discussion of this story
:eyes:
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benburch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-17-06 08:32 PM
Response to Reply #4
6. Right...
But sometimes it helps to see what's been said already...
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rodeodance Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-17-06 08:40 PM
Response to Reply #3
8. Thanks.
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CrazyOrangeCat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-17-06 08:31 PM
Response to Original message
5. What I would love to understand . . .
. . . who ARE these LOSERS that allow themselves to work at a job like that?

Unfortunately, I think I know the answer. They're the same type that allowed themselves to become Stormtroopers.

God, this has been a helluva week.

The slide into Fascism just gets faster and more bizarre every day.
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seemunkee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-17-06 08:55 PM
Response to Reply #5
12.  A job for two, who are now of job age, the police.
Edited on Fri Feb-17-06 09:30 PM by seemunkee
Damn, picture from Clockwork Orange didn't work
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rodeodance Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-17-06 08:39 PM
Response to Original message
7. Why would they only be re-assigned?--why not give them pink slips.
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rodeodance Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-17-06 08:45 PM
Response to Original message
9. the 'officers' thought they were enforcing a sexual harassment policy.
Still makes to no sense to me.



Later that afternoon, Montgomery County's chief administrative officer, Bruce Romer, issued a statement calling the incident "unfortunate" and "regrettable" -- two words that bureaucrats often deploy when things have gone awry. He said the officers had been reassigned to other duties.

Romer said the officers believed they were enforcing the county's sexual harassment policy but "overstepped their authority" and had to be reminded that Montgomery "supports the rights of patrons to view the materials of their choice."

The sexual harassment policy forbids the "display of offensive or obscene printed or visual material." But in a library, which is both a public arena and a county workplace, the U.S. Constitution trumps Montgomery's rules.

At most public libraries in the Washington area, an adult can view pornography on a library computer more or less unfettered. Montgomery asks customers to be considerate of others when viewing Web sites. If others are put off, librarians will provide the viewer of the offending material with a "privacy screen."......
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lostexpectation Donating Member (312 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-17-06 09:47 PM
Response to Reply #9
17. what is this rubbish
no-one is viewing porn, who would view porn of any kind in library?? no library would allow that do it at home if you want
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Tesha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-18-06 06:39 PM
Response to Reply #17
21. Actually, this has been litigated.
Generally speaking, a library *CAN'T* control what you view
(although you can't, ahem, "enjoy" your porn too much in
a public place; that's still quite clearly illegal).

Tesha
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sandnsea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-17-06 08:48 PM
Response to Original message
10. What the hell?
Do you think we should all be calling our own county law enforcement offices and finding out how many counties these Homeland Security gestapo are in and what all they're involved in?!? I don't think they should be doing anything except terrorism investigations.
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saltpoint Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-17-06 08:52 PM
Response to Original message
11. As Mohammed Atta and whoever else flew commercial jets into the
World Trade Towers, quite frankly who among us was not overwhelmingly distraught over the possibility that some poor shmoe in Bethesda, Maryland might be viewing on-line porn?

:sarcasm:
_____

I can't say who these assholes were, but perhaps the boys and girls in the DHS might want to concentrate on why some folks in some other countries hate the United States and spend a good deal less time on monitoring people's natural curiosity in the library.



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qanda Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-17-06 09:00 PM
Response to Original message
13. I saw this on the news tonight
They wouldn't say if was part of their policy of Homeland Security to regularly monitor the library.
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druidity33 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-17-06 09:02 PM
Response to Original message
14. i betcha
they will try to make a law against viewing "controversial" (porn, etc.) material in libraries... something they purport will be to stop "raging sex maniacs" from harming our children while they are at the library... but which will actually serve to give them more power over the information we can recieve. Remember that Gonzalez wanted googles search records for reasons of "internet porn"... it'll be their hook.



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MissWaverly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-17-06 09:28 PM
Response to Original message
15. this is how they will unplug the internet
it will not be an information highway, it will be a highway to hell, a road to temptation
which America must be saved from, they will have to demand a right to every one's user
logs to save us from ourselves. That's what this whole "porn" war is about. They will
make this country more secure by confiscating our computers and locking up access.

Yes, sir, all in the name of freedom.
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Twist_U_Up Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-17-06 09:41 PM
Response to Original message
16. Welcome to the new Amerika
it only gets worse from here on out
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The Doctor. Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-17-06 10:10 PM
Response to Original message
18. My response to "Come Step outside"..
Edited on Fri Feb-17-06 10:12 PM by Dr_eldritch
*Laugh*
"Umm... No."

"Sir, we're with the Department of Homeland Security, you have to step outside now."

Me; "For precisely what reason do you feel the need to cause a scene?"

"Sir, by refusing to step outside, you're causing the scene. Now please come with us"

"That's funny, no one was looking at the researcher at a library computer until you two well-appointed bibliologists started making demands."

(A few of the patrons get the reference and try to stifle their snickering)

Irritated at what was an obvious but incomprehensible sleight, the men press on. Putting his hand on his belt as though he holstered an imaginary weapon, DHS guy #1 steps forward;

"Sir, If you..."

Me (Bold acquiescence), Okay! Okay!... I'll go. But can you show everyone here, including myself, what it is you find questionable or offensive on my screen. {turns screen toward patrons]

#1 "There's pornographic art, Like and orgy, and there seem to be very small children depicted... I didn't want to have to draw attention to it, that's why I wanted you to talk to us outside... so you wouldn't embarass yourself."

At that moment, the library erupts in laughter.

On the screen is a full display of the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.

"Oh my dear sir, I can assure you I'm not embarassed in the least."
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file83 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-17-06 10:40 PM
Response to Original message
19. And so it begins....little stories like this are going to become common.
Be afraid of the Government. Be very afraid.
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specimenfred1984 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-18-06 12:26 PM
Response to Original message
20. Man, That's Some Nazi-type Behavior
I'd fire those guys if I were their manager, fire them on the spot. I wonder where the thugs got "reassigned" to?
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eppur_se_muova Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-18-06 08:53 PM
Response to Original message
22. Are we turning into Saudi Arabia? with "morality police"? nt
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