Main Morals Pornography

Traffic Control: CP80 would protect children and families from porn

Last Thursday we watched Traffic Control, a documentary which highlights Ralph Yarro’s technology initiative to fight pornography called CP80. (I’ve written about CP80 previously.) The quick explanation is that if CP80 were legislated by government, pornography would be split from other content on the Internet into a separate “channel,” making it easier for parents, schools, and businesses who choose to reject it.

Traffic Control does a good job of explaining the porn epidemic that is sweeping through the nation, especially among youth. For example, one scene shows an interview with a pornographer who surmised that only a small percentage of youth were interested in pornography, then cut to interviews with high school kids who say almost everyone they know is involved. YouTube and MySpace make it easy for youth to view and even produce porn, and many are doing it.

The movie also has interesting interviews with former porn stars, psychiatrists, business leaders, and Ralph Yarro himself. Porn is sickening even to those who produce it, produces physiological addiction in those who consume it, and drains money and time from businesses.

There will be another free screening of Traffic Control tomorrow, Jan 30, at 7:00 at the Carmike Wynnsong theater in Provo (the Riverwoods.) Get there early to get a seat.

On a side note, I just finished reading John Harmer’s book The War We Must Win. Mr. Harmer has battled a legal war against pornography for many years and now chairs the Lighted Candle Society. For an excellent read, see Elder Jeffrey R. Holland’s speech at their annual banquet last year.

From A War We Must Win:

By “drawing the line” I do not mean to exclude ourselves from that society. I do suggest that we must confirm and coalesce our opposition to the surge of degeneracy that now permeates our entertainments, our literature, and our so-called arts. We can no longer casually endure (if not ultimately embrace) the continued downward spiral of our culture’s art, literature, and entertainment into the abyss of vile perversion. As Joshua challenged Israel, so we must accept the challenge to “choose you this day whom ye will serve.” As Christ taught so directly, “Ye cannot serve God and mammon.” Latter-day Saints can no longer accept the false notion that it is possible to honor the covenants we have made, to be loyal to the Godhead who have revealed themselves to us, and at the same time participate, even in the role of a passive observer, in the practices all about us that are leading to greater and greater degeneracy.

UPDATE: Traffic Control is now available for sale on DVD at

Main Pornography

CP80 – Internet Channel Initiative

At the Utah Valley Business Expo last week I ran into a company that is fighting pornography — CP80. I had subscribed to their newsletter a while ago but didn’t know they were a Utah company. I met their president and some of the employees and was impressed by how strongly they feel about the issue.

As a bit of background, Internet traffic is divided into separate “channels” which are called “ports”. For example, port 80 is for web pages, port 443 for secure web pages, port 25 for email between ISP’s, and port 5190 for AOL Instant Messenger. There are over 65,000 ports in all, and many of them go unused.

CP80 is advocating that pornographic web sites be transmitted, by law, over a separate port. (The company was originally named Clean Port 80, implying that only “clean”, non-pornographic material should be transmitted over port 80.) This is similar to separate cable channels for TV shows.

If all pornographic material were transmitted over a separate port, it would be easy for filtering software to work — simply disallow content from the “porn channel”. This would make it easy for parents and schools to protect children from pornography. As it is now, internet filtering programs generally don’t work well because they have to maintain a database of “bad sites” or look for “bad words” in the text.

Like the idea of a separate TLD for porn sites, CP80 will only work if all porn publishers are required by law to transmit over a separate channel and the law well enforced.

If CP80 can get the right legislation passed, this is an intuitive solution to the problem. They’ve already met with all the Utah Congressmen. Senator Orrin Hatch said pornography is a “clear and present danger to children and families,” an interesting choice of words since those words represent the legal basis for limiting free speech.

More: Utahn tries new tack in battle over Net porn

Main Pornography

Legal fight against pornography

This week I met someone who I believe will be a hero and role model to me for the rest of my life.

One of my life ambitions — though not the strongest — has been to go to law school and become an attorney. (I worked one summer at a great law firm in Las Vegas and really enjoyed the work, the people, and the “banker’s hours”.) I envisioned practicing law for ~20 years to support my family, then retire early and use my legal degree and experience to mount a legal front against pornography.

This week I attended a luncheon with John Harmer, Chairman of the Lighted Candle Society, who has been doing this for decades. Mr. Harmer practiced law in California, became a state senator, and then in 1974 was appointed to be Lt. Governor under Governor Ronald Reagan. He has been litigating against pornographers since 1964. At the luncheon he explained the history behind the battle:

  • In 1960s porn was produced by organized crime. Now there are four publicly-traded hard-core porn companies on Wall Street.
  • In the 60s, it was easy to get a conviction in court against lewd material. Now mainstream magazines like Cosmopolitan and Vogue contain material more lewd that the material with which Mr. Harmer obtained convictions in the 60’s.
  • Litigating against pornography became harder in 1973 after the Miller vs. California Supreme Court decision, which sets three criteria for defining what is considered lewd, one of which is that lewd material violates “contemporary community standards”.
  • Up until 2004, AT&T made $220M/year from an adult TV channel it owned, one of many mainstream companies that profit from pornography.
  • In 2004 Forbes said pornography was a $56 billion industry.
  • The porn industry has used fake witnesses in court, who have received phony sexology degrees from mail-away colleges, to argue that pornography doesn’t violate “contemporary community standards”.
  • Pornography is a huge productivity drain on businesses — 70% of pornography usage happens at work.
  • Cherilyn Bacon, who hosted the luncheon, asked Kevin Rollins of Dell about pornography when he spoke at the BYU Management Society meeting last week and was impressed with his answer. Mr. Rollins said Dell has a zero tolerance policy for pornography — employees found using it are immediately terminated.

The point of the luncheon was to raise funds for the Lighted Candle Society. They have five goals or “smooth stones” (a reference to the David and Goliath story) — Prevention, Action Programs, Research, Guarding the Light, and Healing. Money donated to the society might fund, for instance, medical research to show the negative physiological effects of pornography or resources to help local attorneys properly prosecute pornography cases.

Come with me to the Lighted Candle Society’s fundraising dinner in May. A table of 10 costs $1500 so I’m hoping to get at least 9 other people to pitch in $150 each to go in on a table with me. Elder Jeffrey R. Holland will be the speaker that night, and the money will go to what I consider a great cause. It’s on May 3 at 7:00 PM at the Little America Hotel in SLC. If you’re interested, leave a comment below or email me at richardkmiller AT gmail.

I believe time will prove that pornography is damaging enough to families and societies that it’s worth fighting like an illegal drug. I also believe there are people ensnared in it that want our help to escape it. We can be the ones to do it.

Main Pornography

My open letter to Google

Dear Larry Page, Sergey Brin & Co.,

I am a huge Google/Gmail/GoogleMaps/GoogleSMS fan and a web developer. If rumors are true about your developing a merchant system to compete with PayPal Pro services, I will be excited to use it.

However, after seeing an open letter from pornographer Sam Sugar to Google. I must express my concerns with a Google payment system supporting the adult industry. Contrary to Mr. Sugar’s rhetoric, support the adult/porn industry is the wrong thing to do. It goes against Google’s mantra of doing no evil. Pornography is a filthy tar in our society; common maybe, but definitely the stuff of back alleys and less-reputable companies. Don’t let pornography tarnish the Google name. I personally would avoid and discredit a Google payment system if it were to support the porn industry. PayPal, who has chosen to avoid the financially and morally risky adult industry, is the baseline. If Google does at least this much, I have no doubts that the Google payment system will be the best in the world.

Richard K Miller