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Polish Blogosphere Update

Upon news of the arrest of 17 pedophiles in Poland, part of a worldwide Internet child porn sting started in Spain, Peter Gentle of the beatroot ponders whether looking at such images is also a crime.

Polish bloggers, while in agreement that looking at such images is perverse, are mixed on the question of whether it actually constitutes a crime. In the comments section of the beatroot, Roman says that on the one hand, simply looking at child porn is not enough to be criminal, but on the other hand:

…the problem of the “slippery slope” [rears] its ugly head. Where do we draw the line?

Peter G. suggests that we should draw the line when thought leads to behavior. He compares watching – or veiwing – porn to thinking, implying that viewing child porn is not actually a behavior we should criminalize. He continues the slippery slope argument:

…then once they have reached the bottom and the dirty little fantasies turn into behaviour, then that is when pedophilia becomes a crime. But watching something is very similar to thinking something. It all happens in their heads.

But DBN, also in a comment, adds that simply viewing might be criminal because it creates a demand for these materials in which children are exploited:

…I think the reason why looking at child pornography is illegal is the assumpsion that some children were hurt in the production of these materials.

Peter G. also challenges the stereotype or unfair association made between pedophiles and gays, indicating that most pedophiles are in fact heterosexual. The debate continues on the beatroot.

Along the legal front, the Polish government reached a compromise over data retention for telecoms. The law, introduced by the Law and Justice party, was a rather draconian response to cries from the law enforcement community that they cannot fight corruption effectively without data retention of at least 4 years. Dariusz Czuchaj at Poland – IP law news and resources reports on the data retention compromise drafted in part to fight terrorism and corruption.

Is Poland getting a lobotomy? Gustav of Warsaw Station reports on the latest brain drain phenomenon to hit the service and professional sectors of Poland. He takes a more personal view of the issue, despite the fact that Poland “loses about 30,000 workers, many of them young and well-educated, to Britain, Ireland and Sweden”:

…the skills of the highly-trained programmers and computer technicians heading out of Poland are next to useless here – at least this gives them the chance to earn a bit more money, maybe sending some back to Poland. Who knows, maybe they'll return to Poland and start up a business in 10 or 20 years.

But his exuberance for personal choice ebbs a bit when it comes to Polish doctors leaving, since “Poland needs all the good ones [doctors] it can get.” In the end, the best case scenario for Poland, as a nation, might very well be the restrictions on worker mobility still in place throughout the EU. While individual Poles may complain that they need 2 or 3 jobs to make ends meet, Poland itself may be benefitting, albeit temporarily, from labor mobility restrictions.

On the lighter, but no less passionate side, the ongoing debate over the best city in Poland continues on p3. Aaron Fowles’ recent visit to Krakow renewed his interest in Poland. A resident of the western city of Poznan, Aaron was refreshed by Krakow's cultural vibe:

This place is amazing!! They advertized a chess tournament on the radio! There are jazz clubs! Hurrah!

In a comment, the beatroot begged to differ, favoring Gdansk: “[it] is better, cheaper and the people don't all look like middle aged ladies from Austria…”

Gustav gave a nod to Krakow but is turned off by the snobbery, preferring to live in the Polish capital, Warsaw.

That's the Poland blogopshere update! Until next time – Do widzenia!

P.S. Stay tuned for a roundup of Polish-language blogs (which number over 10 million) in future updates. We will translate the main ideas into English.

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