Traffic Control: The People's War on Internet Porn

This was the official website for the 2007 documentary Traffic Control. Directed by Bryan Hall of the independent film company Living Biography, Traffic Control: The People's War on Internet Porn takes a candid look at how kids and teenagers have access to adult content on the Internet.
Content is from the site's 2007 archived pages and other sources.

 

About Traffic Control: The People’s War on Internet Porn

Traffic Control is a feature-length, made-for-DVD documentary film that takes viewers on a journey of opinions, experiences, and perspectives from people across America on the topic of Internet pornography and how easy minors and business employees have access to it. The film captures a controversial and important debate around First Amendment rights, society’s obligation to protect children from unwanted and graphic Internet content, and an alternative solution called the Internet Community Port Act that could change the Internet as we know it.

From January to November 2006, Living Biography crews traveled around the nation and shot more than 200 hours of footage interviewing adult entertainment peddlers, ex-porn stars, psychological experts, business owners, technologists, Internet porn addicts, educators, members of the Free Speech Coalition, and hundreds of teenagers.

The film also follows the efforts of technologist Ralph Yarro to create the Internet Community Port Act, also known as CP80 (Community Port 80), a controversial piece of legislation that, for the first time, makes online pornography regulation possible without infringing on First Amendment rights. Ironically, one voice is missing in the film: Our political leaders.

Intertwined within the debate are the heartbreaking and heartwarming stories of two unlikely heroes: ex-porn stars. Theirs is not a tale of “rags to riches” but rather of rock bottom to redemption. The road they have traveled is an ominous parallel to the condition of our own country in its current state: a quagmire of self-destruction and addiction. Miraculously, they were both given a once in a lifetime chance to change their course and become something they never believed possible. Will America do the same?

Produced by Living Biography, in conjunction with Lake of Fire Productions, Traffic Control is the first of three full-length films slated to follow the affect of Internet pornography on our society, and America’s demand to regulate it.

 

 

What is Traffic Control?
Traffic Control is a feature length documentary film (96 minutes) which highlights 1) Internet pornography’s impact on minors and business, 2) the debate between free speech and the government’s obligation to protect children and 3) a solution that would provide both freedom of speech and freedom of choice.

Does Traffic Control contain pornography?
No. We made a point of keeping the production free of pornographic images and titillating content. We do recommend viewer discretion due to the mature content in some interviews. Parents should preview the film before sharing it with their children.

What is Traffic Control rated?
This film is not yet rated. Our small independent film company is anticipating a time when it can afford the MPAA’s fees. Meanwhile, considerations for viewers are the mature topic and the occurrence of words such as “masturbation” used in a clinical context.

What does Traffic Control aim to do/change?
To inspire citizens to call on their legislators, demanding that they address the problems of unfettered Internet pornography.

In the beginning, our intention was to simply bring the debate of Free Speech vs. Internet Governance to the public forum and suggest one possible solution. But as we traveled the country interviewing people, we were surprised by the degree that our youth are involved with pornography, and the fact that most adults have no idea about the widespread addiction problem our kids are facing. We also became aware of the economic burden of Internet pornography on American businesses. It so alarmed us that we committed to a grassroots campaign for Internet reform.

Who supports Traffic Control?
We have been receiving support from people that have seen the movie itself and those that have learned about us online. Support has been in the form of encouragement, word of mouth and other promotional services.

Is Traffic Control “Anti-porn”?
The film states that pornographers have a right to produce and distribute their content to consenting adults. The purpose of Traffic Control is not to sensationalize or demonize pornographers. It invites everyone, including those that produce pornography, to implement laws that can effectively protect our children from adult content.

Who is behind Traffic Control?
Traffic Control is produced and owned by Living Biography, an independent film company.

Is Traffic Control for profit?
Living Biography is a for profit company. The cp80 Foundation, whose solution is presented in the movie, is a 501(C)3 non-profit organization. Living Biography gives 50% of all profits on Traffic Control to cp80 to further the cause. The remaining 50% will be used to pay for the production of Traffic Control and to create future installments of the series.

What is Traffic Control’s association with the cp80 foundation?
The cp80 Foundation is one of several non-profit organizations to which Living Biography (the films producer) contributes. Living Biography feels that Internet pornography needs some regulation and that cp80 currently has the best solution.

After Living Biography decided to make a film about cp80’s efforts, their team offered considerable assistance in networking, research, interviews, counsel, etc

Will Traffic Control be in theaters?
We may sell theatrical distribution rights in the future. Currently, we are encouraging people to host screenings in their hometown with our assistance. This technology solution requires community involvement and for this reason we are starting with "grassroots" distribution.

Will there be future installments of the Traffic Control series?
Yes. The subject of Internet pornography and legislation is a very complicated issue. The intent of Traffic Control I is to inform the public of the crisis, the debate and the possibility of a solution. Future installments will expand on certain aspects presented in the first.

 

PRESS

Documentary Examines Kids’ Access to Porn
Traffic Control  assesses effects of CP80, responsibility
May 02, 2007 By Ken Knox

SALT LAKE CITY - A new documentary about online pornography and its availability to minors is making its way around the U.S. with hopes of bringing about a solution.

Directed by Bryan Hall of the independent film company Living Biography, Traffic Control: The People's War on Internet Porn takes a candid look at how kids and teenagers have access to adult content on the Internet. Hall first became interested in the topic after he heard about the Internet Community Portal Act, aka CP80, a controversial but First Amendment-conscious piece of legislation that aims to protect minors from having access to adult content online.

"The main intention was to highlight the solution," Hall told AVNOnline.com. "Whether it gets passed or not, we thought it was at least something credible enough that eventually the American people would hear about it. We wanted to get in on the groundswell of what we think is a legitimate argument and capture it on film."

Hall immediately took to the streets to interview hundreds of teenagers about their access to adult content. What he discovered came as a great shock. "We all kind of knew that there was going to be a certain percentage of kids and teenagers that would be viewing porn because it was unregulated, and we anticipated that we would capture some of that on film. But, the very first time we hit the streets and starting asking teenagers how much porn kids look at these days, it came up that they'd made their own," Hall said. "We started asking other kids, and sure enough, everywhere, all the kids knew about this under-culture, and the parents clearly have no idea. In hindsight, I don't know why it was such a surprise to us. If we don't have anything to stop them from seeing it, they're just going to mimic what they see and do what they're taught."

In addition to talking with teenagers, Hall also interviewed adult entertainment peddlers, ex-porn stars, psychological experts, business owners, technologists, online porn addicts, educators, and members of the Free Speech Coalition.

Although the trailer for the film is, Hall admitted, a bit "sensationalistic," the filmmaker stressed that he is not necessarily pointing fingers at the adult industry for perpetuating such problems. "People might say to themselves that I'm going to attack anything that is from the adult industry, but I'm not," he stated. "I don't have a problem with adults watching porn, consuming it, making it—whatever. The film is addressing the simple fact that we have laws on the books about kids having access to adult content, but we don't have it on the Internet. The only thing the film is asking is, 'Why is there not any kind of regulation on behalf of the kids on the Internet when there is in every other aspect?'"

Hall said after he was three-quarters of the way through making Traffic Control, he realized he would never be able to address the issue accurately. Therefore, he's planning two additional installments. Hall added that, whereas Traffic Control mainly casts a spotlight on CP80, the second and third movies will give a greater voice to the adult industry.

"I'm actually very interested in highlighting any of the legitimates [on behalf of the adult industry to combat children's access to porn] that I see, because I do believe that the problem has to have a joint effort from people in the industry and people in the community," he said. "I think there are two things that need to happen: I think that the adult content providers need to be more responsible, and I think that the right wing needs to pull their heads out of the sand. If both of those groups would come together [and] admit that there is an issue—and they came together to address it—I think we'd be fine. But the debate continues on and everybody plays the 'ignorance' game or the 'selfish' game."

In the end, Hall added, it's not about what's right or wrong for consenting adults, but rather, what's appropriate for children. "I don't care if you consume all the porn you want, but it's just not right for 12-year-olds to be doing it."

 

 

REVIEW

Traffic Control: The People’s War on Internet Porn
June 17, 2008 | Written by Luke Gilkerson
I just picked up a copy of the documentary Traffic Control: The People’s War on Internet Porn. In a word: it was excellent. I highly recommend picking up a copy.

From January to November 2006, Bryan Hall and his team traveled the US, capturing hundreds of hours of footage. They interviewed some of the top adult entertainment promoters, members of the Free Speech Coalition, porn addicts, business owners, ex-porn stars, technology experts, doctors, psychological experts, children, and hundreds of teenagers.

The film seeks to capture the debate around First Amendment rights and our society’s obligation to protect children from unwanted and graphic Internet content. The film followed the efforts of Ralph Yarro and his controversial piece of legislation called the Internet Community Port Act (CP80 Initiative).

The film makes a great effort to take a stand against Internet pornography, but not as a religious or moral issue. Instead they emphasize the widespread exposure children have to pornography in our culture as a mental health crisis.

John Carosella, Vice President of Content Control Blue Coat System, says in the documentary it is high time for our best legal minds and best mental health minds to get together to craft a law that is consistent with the type of laws that our government has made about tobacco and alcohol restrictions. He says that before we can have community action, we need to see it as a community issue.

Carosella points out a question that people often ask about this problem: Shouldn’t the pornography producers be stakeholders in solving this? He agrees that they should, but thinks that we can’t wait for them to lead the way in solving this problem.  “They have an inherent conflict of interest,” Carosella says. “They want to get you to use pornography. And if they can get you to use ‘accidentally’ when you’re young and get you hooked ‘accidentally’ when you’re young . . .” Carosella pauses with a smirk, “Let’s not hold our breath waiting for the adult content providers to build a bulletproof system.”

I had a chance to show the film to an ethics class at the local college and hear some the students’ reactions.

Many students were struck by the interviews with the teens. They were shocked by the prevalence of pornography and sexual activity among the teens. Students were especially shocked when they heard about the large number of teens that have started making their own porn, mimicking what they see on the Internet.

A number of students commented about how informative the interviews with Dr. Dean Belnap were. Belnap is a Fellow in the American Psychiatric Association and has done extensive research in the area of how viewing pornography affects the brain, and in particular how it affects the stages of psycho-sexual development in minors. I personally found the information presented to be very compelling.

Nearly every student commented about the interviews with two ex-porn stars, Shelley Lubben and John Johnson. These two former adult-industry workers give a behind-the-scenes look at the pornography industry. They retell a number of their own disturbing experiences in the adult industry. Some of the students were deeply moved by their stories, their sexually abusive pasts, the emotional trauma they encountered in the industry, and how they eventually got out.

I spent most of the class asking students to respond to some of the statements made in the film by the peddlers of porn. The documentary provokes a very interesting discussion. Some of the students were shocked by those in the pro-porn camp who continually denied the existence of porn addiction and denied any real problem of children viewing pornography.

Traffic Control was produced by Living Biography and is the first of three full-length films slated to follow the effect of Internet pornography on our society, and America’s demand to regulate it. Traffic Control won the viewers’ choice award at the 2007 Zion Film Festival.

 

 

 

TrafficControlTheMovie.com