Internet ‘filtering’ was always the thin edge of the wedge (part 3)

Wed. 22 Apr. 2015

The situation is getting serious: the owner and operator of a major UK online dominatrix directory was arrested at home last Sunday 19th April and spent two hours answering questions at a police station before he was, as he says, “de-arrested” (yes, it’s one of the few directories I list with, and the banner is on my Links page). He can’t be sure he knows the real reason why he was arrested, but he was told it was because of tweets on his directory’s Twitter account that were “unsuitable for children”.

Whilst in police custody he was shown some examples of his tweets, which he says “were just links to promoting mistresses” on his directory and a retweet of another mistress’ tweet. He says he “made it very clear that there was nothing illegal” about his directory web site or tweets, yet the police refused to give him a reason why they felt his activities might be in breach of the law and warranted his arrest.

He also says “a brief mention of trafficking was brought up” – presumably the illegal trafficking of women for criminally run prostitution rackets – which he was able to deal with effectively on the spot by pointing out that he in no way acts as a “pimp” for the dominatrixes listed on his directory.

Reflecting on his experience, he thinks the police were “being nosey for another reason, with a so-called complaint being the excuse”, and he’s wondering whether this represents “the start of a police crackdown on certain sites”. He believes the police went “over the top” by arresting him when “they could have easily just asked me to pop to the station”. Indeed; I could not agree more. Naturally, he wants answers to his questions as to why he was arrested, and “clarity on the exact complaint”, so he has put his solicitors on the job.

Now, those of you who follow my News page will know I’m concerned with the UK’s increasing authoritarian censorship and vilification of an increasing range of entirely legal adult activities. I think this is related to the arrest of the directory owner mentioned above: with certain lobby groups stoking moral panics and wielding undue power and influence, and with too many politicians finding in this an excuse to institute greater population control, more and more innocent, law-abiding citizens will be exposed to vindictiveness, lobbyists’ below-the-radar “anti-” campaigns, and misuse of the law.

I did have a “part 3” of my “Internet filtering” news items in the pipeline, but it wasn’t the above. The arrest of the owner–operator of one of the UK’s biggest and best online dominatrix directories occurred out of the blue and trumped what I’d planned to write. So there will be a “part 4”... I wish I could end that with a “Prost!”

Mistress Geo

NOTE: This News item is the result of direct personal communication with the directory owner concerned; he told me he wished to remain unidentified. Further information is in the public domain but I am not at liberty to identify it. The nature of the arrest, and the difference between what should happen according to law, and what did actually happen, is one of the reasons this incident has attracted specialist legal interest. The link to the next item in this series is: Internet ‘filtering’ was always the thin edge of the wedge (part 4). And those who are finding all this of interest may also care to read my other items on such matters; in that case, please go to the very first one, dated 11 August 2013, where all subsequent links are provided: ‘Extreme porn’ and internet censorship.