Wednesday, January 15, 2003

Pete in full

The Smoking Gun has offered up the full text of Pete Townshend's article about discovering porn on the web. It's dated January 2002. Interestingly, it deviates again from some of Townshend's own reported remarks (here, he was looking for information about Russian Orphanage Boys when he stumbled on a child being raped - wasn't the story at the weekend that he was surfing with one of his kids?) and claims that it's possible to get from Google to kiddie porn without actually typing any words. Possibly so (we reckon you might just about be able to do it clicking through the directory options - potentially) but you'd have to be hugely single minded and definitely searching; no way you could do it by accident. He claims that he was on the point of calling the police, but instead decided to talk to a lawyer "off the record" instead; the lawyer advised him that it was better to say nothing.

Okay, so far this could be plausible - we're not sure about the search engine that returns porn on 'russian + orphanage +boys', the return being so worded as to not be clear what lay at the end of it, but let's buy that for a moment. And let's say that Pete did think to call a lawyer rather than a police station when he saw the hideous video.

We're supposed to then believe that, having been warned of the possible consequences of reporting this incident, when Townshend later pumped his credit card details in for another site, he didn't know he was breaking the law, as he told The Sun? How would that be possible?

And why is there no mention of this further "research" in his treaty? And if he'd been advised by this lawyer that going public with his concerns may reflect badly on him, why did then apparently write about on his website in January 2002? And if he chose to do that because of the death of his friend mentioned in the article, why did he not go to the police at that point but instead wait - by his own account - almost a year to go and see them? If Pete Townshend is indeed a victim of circumstance - and it's not impossible - circumstances have really ganged up on him big style, haven't they?

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