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Federal Effort on Web Obscenity Shows Few Results

From the New York Times:

WASHINGTON, Aug. 9 — Tom Rogers, a retired Indianapolis detective, toils away most days in his suburban home office reviewing sexual Web sites and other Internet traffic to see whether they qualify as obscene material whose purveyors should be prosecuted by the Justice Department.

In the last few years, 67,000 citizens’ complaints have been deemed legitimate under the program and passed on to the Justice Department and federal prosecutors.

The number of prosecutions resulting from those referrals is zero.

That may help explain why no one — not Justice Department officials, not Mr. Wolf, not even the religious antipornography crusader who runs the program — seems eager to call the project a shining success.

The department Web site invites citizens to report material that they believe is obscene so it can be investigated and, perhaps, prosecuted. Clicking on the site to make a report takes the user to ObscenityCrimes.org, which is run by Morality in Media, the grant recipient.

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