As Brian noted a few weeks ago, Pete Townshend's "research" claims could be either exculpatory evidence or a sign that he was trying to set up an alibi in advance of an investigation. But the latest twist in the story shows one thing pretty clearly: The people who run "watchdog" groups of all forms are a bunch of rat bastards.
The Internet Watch Foundation—a U.K. organization that "works to minimize the availability of illegal content on the Internet"—received emails from Townshend several times last year, which would presumably (and with the above caveat) indicate the aging rocker's "research" story is legit. Townshend told the police about these emails at the time of his arrest, but the
IWF denied his claim.
The IWF claims it is legally barred from revealing the identities of correspondents unless given specific permission from the sender—though not revealing a person's identity or personal details would not seem to extend to denying that person ever wrote to them. Isn't that supposed to be covered by a No Comment?
"My lawyers have written to the Founder of the IWF, Mark Stephens, who was adamant that they had never heard from me, asking for an explanation," Townshend writes.
Another interesting detail: Although many of us assumed the U.K. has a blanket law against seeing kiddie porn under any circumstances, British press reports say it is "legal to view child pornography for 'legitimate' reasons in the U.K."