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Representative Peter King from New York has introduced a bill that would require that all camera phones emit “a tone or other sound audible within a reasonable radius of the phone” when a picture is taken. The idea is that this will prevent sexual predators from surreptitiously taking pornographic pictures of children and adolescents.

“When you break the big rules, you don’t get freedom. You get the little rules.” So said Chesterton, and as usual he was right. To curb the nastiest manifestations of a pornographic culture we must fiddle with the minutiae of people’s lives. This particular bill—which has no cosponsor, by the way—is silly, but without a radical cultural conversion, the general strategy it exemplifies may be inevitable.



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