National Center on Sexual Exploitation
This page's infobox may require expansion, verification, or otherwise need cleanup. (December 2018)
|Type||Political, media watchdog, anti-pornography|
The National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE) is an American non-profit organization with the goal of "exposing the links between all forms of sexual exploitation". It was established in New York City as Morality In Media, Inc. in 1962 and changed its name in 2015. The organization advocates legislation to reduce the exposure of children and teenagers to sexually violent content. Its CEO and president is Patrick A. Trueman, who served as Chief of the Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Criminal Division at the U. S. Department of Justice from 1988 to 1993. He is an attorney and registered as a lobbyist.
Morality in Media was launched by an interfaith group of clergy in the Upper East Side of Manhattan in 1962 after grade school children were caught with hardcore pornography. MIM was formed by Father Morton A. Hill, SJ, Rabbi Julius Neumann, and Rev. Robert Wiltenburg (a Lutheran pastor) as a neighborhood organization under the name Operation Yorkville. They were soon joined by Rev. Constantine Volaitis of the Greek Orthodox Church.
In 1968, Hill (president of MIM until his death in 1985) was appointed to serve on the President's Commission on Obscenity and Pornography by President Lyndon B. Johnson. A report was submitted in 1970 that said all "adult" obscenity laws should be repealed. Hill co-authored a minority report describing the Commission's report as a "Magna Carta for the pornographers"  with another Commission member, Dr. Winfrey Link. The U.S. Supreme Court recognized the Hill-Link minority report in upholding obscenity laws in 1973.
On February 23, 2012 the MIM website went offline due to an attack by the Anonymous group. Shortly after that, MIM president and CEO Patrick Trueman released a statement stating that MIM was in contact with the FBI and claiming that the site had been under "a heavy sustained attack by pornography advocates".
The group changed its name to the National Center on Sexual Exploitation in 2015, though its official name is still Morality in Media, Inc.
NCOSE's current campaigns include:
- The Coalition for the War on Illegal Pornography—a bipartisan coalition of more than 115 national, state and local groups.
- Pornography Harms
- The Safe Library Project
- Be Aware: PORN HARMS National Awareness Campaign
- White Ribbon Against Pornography week.
In 2017, NCOSE placed EBSCO on its Dirty Dozen List because its databases, widely used in schools in the United States, "could be used to search for information about sexual terms." The group said that some articles from Men's Health and other publications indexed by EBSCO included articles with sexual (but not pornographic) content, and that other articles in the database linked to websites that included pornography. EBSCO responded by saying that it took the complaint seriously, but was unaware of any case "of students using its databases to access pornography or other explicit materials" and that "the searches NCOSE was concerned about had been conducted by adults actively searching for graphic materials, often on home computers that don't have the kinds of controls and filters common on school computers."
James LaRue, the director of the American Library Association's Office for Intellectual Freedom, said that students have a right to receive information, even about topics that some groups deem inappropriate. He said that NCOSE's goal seems to be to get rid of any content "that will offend any parent in America."
NCOSE has the right to advocate for greater restrictions on access to sexual content, said LaRue, but they often do this by suppressing content. When they try to impose their standards on other families, the American Library Association would call that censorship.
NCOSE also put the American Library Association on their Dirty Dozen List, along with Amazon.com.
U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) grants of $150,000 in the 2005 and 2006 federal budgets funded MIM's review of citizen-generated obscenity complaints submitted to MIM's ObscenityCrimes.org website. Sixty-seven thousand of the complaints deemed legitimate under the program had resulted in no obscenity prosecutions as of August 2007. The grants were created by Congressional earmarks by U.S. Representative Frank Wolf of Virginia, and awarded through the DOJ's Bureau of Justice Assistance, Office of Justice Programs.
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