No discussion. No dissent.
It took a while at first, but once police and governments woke up to the myriad possibilities for control and legislation offered by the mythical presence of online child pr0n, well the sky's the limit. NuLabour here in the UK have embraced the 'think of the children!' mantra especially enthusiastically, enacting increasingly hysterical legislation designed to 'safeguard' children, whilst - by happy coincidence - also further restricting public privacy and increasing government and LEA control of the net.
At the turn of the century all the talk from police here and in the US was of a 'huge global commercial child pr0n industry' worth $billions. Somehow, that reality never quite managed to materialise and is still somewhat conspicuous by it's absence, despite some particularly ill-advised repetitions, from time to time, of such claims by over-zealous coppers, but it served it's purpose when it still carried currency: hence the creation of organisations like CEOP and many others like it around the world.
First you create a public fear (terrorism, child abuse, whatever takes your fancy) - whilst never having to substantiate any of it and making it clearly impossible (and dangerous and illegal) for others to attempt to do so - and then you build your infrastructure. Problem is, as CEOP are now discovering, that once you've secured that annual £multimillion budget from the taxpayer and from private sponsors keen to hop aboard the populist 'think of the children!' bandwagon, you then have to produce meaningful results on a fairly regular basis.
So we're still waiting for CEOP and their colleagues around the world to expose the titanic, highly organised, heavily networked child pr0n 'industry' it has been banging on about for almost a decade, but we are also - by law - powerless to demand explanations off them. This doesn't stop CEOP from having been behind almost all of the new laws John mentions in his article.
I've read most of the consultative reports and one can almost always find CEOP at the table. The new laws against 'indecent' cartoons and drawings, for instance, was a cause very close to their collective heart, CEOP having been noted in the consultation report as one of the respondees most keen to push for sentencing to reflect those currently applied to possession of actual photographic CP. And remember, we are talking about cartoons, anime, drawings and CG renders here - no actual, real children - but CEOP would still like to arrest you, shame you, lock you up and ruin your life for merely looking at them. You never touched or saw a real kid, you never paid for or encouraged others to supply, but CEOP says you are a dangerous criminal who must now be treated with more contempt and lack of justice than a violent criminal, or a serial rapist.
It might be worth pointing out that in the very same report it was also noted there is little to no evidence or research suggesting that anyone who looks at 'indecent cartoons' goes on to offend against actual children in the real world. One can only imagine this was a minor detail to CEOP. They pushed for the new law, anyway, and, sure enough, they got it. Why they felt the need to add yet another 'catch-all' piece of legislation to their already substantial armoury is anyone's guess, but as with all government structures, CEOP's 'remit' continues to widen - year by year.
The problem is that the public either don't care or have been cowed into submissive silence - and I include the LGBT community here: unless the issues directly affect their particular agenda they don't seem to care whatever else the government and it's police agencies get up to. One mention of 'kids' and every special interest group instantly shuts up, changes tack and falls meekly into line. It's a perfect system and police and government know it. A magic button that, if the argument isn't going too well, need only be pushed. No discussion. No dissent.