> why is it only documentation of sex crimes against minors that are being banned in this way? The lawmen are perfectly fine with a video documenting how a teenager is being stabbed with a screwdriver in both eyes, then murdered. ... why is the ban just related to anything sexual, and not to the bodily harm itself...?
There's a very important reason only documentation of sex crimes against minors is banned -- there isn't a big market for watching videos of murders. Virtually no one is going to go out and film themselves murdering people in order to satisfy a market for those videos.
But the reasoning goes that if child porn is legal, then this will actively encourage more child rape, etc., so that it can be filmed and distributed. Plus, even if we're really good against preventing the actual acts in the US, we're still creating markets for it in other countries, especially third-world ones. So children suffer.
But then there's another argument, that having child porn around is actually better than the alternative -- because potential molesters/rapists are able to satisfy their desire with existing videos. If they don't have the videos, then they go out and commit horrible acts. So, better to stick to the videos.
There are no easy answers.
You might reply that it might be difficult to prove that money changed hands, particularly in this brave new Bitcoin world. Fine. Let's say that possession of images that are known to have been sold to anyone at any time constitutes prima facie circumstantial evidence that the person possessing the images paid for them.
Another objection might be that this law might not suffice for catching cabals of child pornographers who create and share images, but without money changing hands. Fine -- let's generalize the criterion to include any exchange of value, including in-kind exchanges. So trading images without monetary payment would still be illegal. (Of course, creating the images would remain highly illegal.)
The outcome would be that the provenance of the image would matter. Possessing an image taken by oneself, or by a friend, possibly by the subject -- all these would be legal, so long as no other crime was committed in the creation of the image or in obtaining it. But downloading material that was being circulated on the Net would still be very dangerous -- the probability of picking up an image that someone had paid for (or bartered for) sometime would soon approach 100%.
Let's call such images "tainted images". The provision that possession of a tainted image constitutes prima facie (i.e., rebuttable) evidence is important. It means that if you visit a Web site that pops up images of child porn, you haven't thereby committed a crime, so long as forensic examination of your computer supports your contention that this was accidental and not part of a pattern of behavior (e.g. there are only a couple of such images and they're only in your browser cache). Well, IANAL and I probably don't know exactly how the law should be phrased, but I think it should be along these lines.
> Possessing an image taken by oneself, or by a friend, possibly by the subject -- all these would be legal
If you're a prosecutor and you can't find anything in an average teenage text-exchange that constitues a quid-pro-quo ("I'll show you mine if you show me yours"), you simply aren't fit to do your job. And then we're back to square zero.
How about this: it's an indisputable fact that exchanging bits online (with the copyright holder's permission, of course) has no victims, don't make it illegal. Producing child pornography very much has victims, and should be illegal with the full force of the law. Managing money originating from illegal activities is also illegal, so paying for the production, or acting as any kind of middleman, would be too.
Hmm, yeah, good point. Looks like there needs to be a specific exception for sending an image of oneself, or receiving an image directly from the subject of the image, or, in the case of an image with multiple subjects, sharing the image with the other subject(s).
I like this, actually. It would clarify that there is a huge difference between sending a photo of oneself to one's lover, and sending a photo of a victim to a fellow child pornographer. Also, I like that a photo with more than one person in it could not be shared with anyone who was not in the photo.
I recall a case where a girl sexted her boyfriend, and the boyfriend's kid brother found the images and circulated them on the Net. In this case the kid brother is the one who would wind up in trouble, and I think that's the right outcome. (I'm not saying he should be on the sex offender registry, but he did commit a serious crime and needs to be made aware of that.)
As for your proposal -- I think that was the status quo before any of these possession laws were passed. I think it was felt that that structure did not give law enforcement sufficient leverage. Criminalizing possession allows prosecutors to pressure consumers of child porn into naming their suppliers, so that investigations can find the people actually making the stuff. It also attempts to stem the flow of money to these people. I have considerable sympathy with these purposes; but I also agree with Falkvinge that criminalizing mere possession is intolerable on free speech grounds.
So I'm trying to find a solution that gives law enforcement at least some of the help they want (and that many people agree they should have) while not criminalizing mere possession.
Really? Why focus on purchase, when sharing is just as bad as far as incentivizing people producing new material to satisfy demand?
People will scan and distribute books, or crack software and distribute it, purely for whuffie or reputation. They'll do the same with child porn.
Secondly, that argument poses a false dilemma; the other option would be to change both laws.
Re the false dilemma claim, I didn't present it as an only option; changing both laws is, like you say, consistent and was in mind when I made the argument I did.
Whilst it would be consistent to change both laws that doesn't make it any the less inconsistent to specifically alter your laws to allow for relay of erotic images for those considered to be under the age of sexual maturity. Or do you disagree?
Only five countries in the world have the age of majority at 16. The vast majority set it at 18 or older. From a cursory look at the lists, most countries set their age of consent lower than their age of majority.
I think your framing of the question is misleading. Laws don't actually allow or disallow anything; they create incentives do perform certain behaviors. Since law or no law, kids will send pictures of themselves, I don't see exactly who are we helping by branding them as criminals.
Furthermore, I find the very idea of criminalizing such behavior to be obscene, and an insult to free speech.
That's just being linguistically obtuse. One can still do something that is not "allowed" by the law.
In your terms though the law is "disincentivizing" the relay of erotic images between minors. Why? Well I'd posit that maturer members of the community see that having naked sexually posed images of oneself available online is not especially helpful to the individual and may lead to negative attention, bullying, abuse and such. Making such actions illegal is saying that they are outside of the behaviour expected as morally normative.
>Since law or no law, kids will send pictures of themselves //
This is completely specious reasoning. Presumably then you're for anarchy as 'people break the law therefore it's wrong to have a law'. Great. But that doesn't speak to how to modify the law sensibly which is the locus of discussion.
>I find the very idea of criminalizing such behavior to be obscene //
This just seems like overly emotional speech; as if it's supposed to take the place of reasoned argument. Like "oh you find it obscene, now we must renormalise the societies laws to your personal preference".
>The vast majority set [the age of majority] at 18 or older. //
I was quite surprised to find this. It's seem really strange to me not to treat a person over 16 as an adult. In my country they can leave home, vote, get married, have consensual sex, go to war, drink alcohol (with conditions), get tried in court as an adult, make medical consent decisions ... just not be called an adult, weird.
So, behaving in an abnormal fashion that others label immoral... resulting in people targeting that person with abusive bullying...
Would this also reply to things like coming out of the closet as a homosexual, being a vegetarian, a pacifist, a male cheerleader, etc?
After all, we can't have children being bullied for being different, so we should criminalize it, or barring that, criminalize expressing that difference.
Doesn't this line of logic extend to any law that gets broken on a regular basis, which includes rape, murder.. basically all laws?
I've no idea if the law is effective at putting kids off taking pictures of themselves, but the fact that it isn't 100% effective doesn't mean it is 0%.
You need to specify the jurisdiction you're referring to.
In Scotland, 16 year olds can legally get married (without their parents' consent), and thus have a state-approved sexual relationship. They can perfectly legally take photos of themselves having sex, but the moment they show these photos to anyone else, they are evil child pornographers who must be punished.
Huh? Sharing increases supply and thus reduces demand. The more people are sharing existing child porn, the less profit there is to be made in producing new material.
a) the producers aren't necessarily driven by a profit motive
b) it's not like they spend a lot on sets and crew and equipment, so 'break-even' isn't even an issue. They'd be taking that trip to Thailand anyway.
c) Porn customers value novelty, so there's pretty much always demand for new material, whether or not there's a viable business model.
Sure, but I wasn't thinking just material profit; any kind of reputation or warm fuzzies or whatever they get from distributing would be diminished if there was a lot of it already out there.
>b) it's not like they spend a lot on sets and crew and equipment, so 'break-even' isn't even an issue. They'd be taking that trip to Thailand anyway.
Interesting thought. I have to admit I have basically no idea what motivates child porn producers/distributors, I just assume they must be gaining something from it. Otherwise, even assuming you did take the pictures/videos, why distribute them?
>c) Porn customers value novelty, so there's pretty much always demand for new material, whether or not there's a viable business model.
Not the impression I've got; I remember an interview with a "normal" porn producer where he said that 1) there is nothing new or original in (mainstream) porn; every single shot you can take has been done thousands of time before and 2) the widespread availability of free porn on the internet was driving a lot of porn producers out of business or at least into more specialized niches.
Rarely. Usually, increasing supply reduces prices which increases demand. The economic term is elasticity.
I'm pretty sure peer pressure alone can regulate against people looking at child porn, no need to involve the police in it.
Here's a paper: http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2057299...
Further, videos of people getting murdered raise enough of an outcry that they get investigated/prosecuted much harder. Instances of child molestation are hidden, so there can only be public outcry in the abstract, leading to crazy laws that resemble witch hunts more than legal proceedings.
If I were inclined to think that banning those videos would actually do anything to prevent people who wanted to see them from seeing them (I do not), I would assert that banning those videos would disincentivize the acts.
To contrast, the main article gives a direct link to such a snuff film as snopes says doesn't exist. Shock sites also had things like the Taliban beheading videos. Snopes is clearly wrong on this one.
I'm not sure how much 'big business' shock sites would have though - I can't see them selling much in the way of subscriptions, only monetising through web ads.
When it is children being raped, there is no equvalent, as that would be distributing child pornography.
However, I think that the same thing would apply to child porn. If murder was a misdemeanor, and if it were easier to get away with, I'm sure there would be a lot more 'snuff' videos, or videos filmed with the sole purpose of filming someone being killed. Child rape and abuse would still be a highly offensive crime, and especially if a video became popular, it would attract legal attention. And child porn distributors don't want that. Instead, they would most likely do exactly what the snuff distributors do -> compile existing videos of child rape and nudity and porn and whatever twisted fetish.
But there's an even stronger upside. Now, the content is public! Currently, the best place for a pedophile to get child porn is Tor, where several guides and communities exist regarding the legal-consequence-free production of child porn. Why? Because child porn is so tightly regulated that the only way for some pedophiles to get what they want is to produce it themselves.
There was one study (http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2010-11/s-lcp113010.p...) that suggested that legalizing child porn in an area actually reduced rates of child sex abuse. Isn't that the end goal?
Child porn is like the video of the person getting stabbed in the eyes by a screw driver. It happened, and there are probably people in the world who derive pleasure from watching the video. Be we shouldn't censor it. That act is something that happened, and banning the video doesn't change the fact that some people do terrible things.
The ban on child pornography is primarily our society trying to make a problem disappear by trying to hide it from consciousness. Child pornography is particularly special because it combines three things that are particularly touchy in our society (at the very least, midwest US society). 1. Sexuality. As a culture, we don't like being open about sexuality. We are very much "sexuality is beautiful - in marriage. Otherwise keep it away from me. Also keep it away from yourself, because it's not good for you." 2. Children. Watching an 80 year old man get murdered is pretty bad. Watching a 25 year old young adult getting murdered is harder to watch, especially if he had a bright future. Watching a 10 year old boy get murdered is terrible. What could a 10 year old boy have done that was so unforgivable? Rape is no different. 3. A strong historical stigma. I mention child pornography and you don't even have to picture child pornography. You already have a reaction, something that either you've programmed into yourself or that has been programmed into you (probably more the latter though).
That makes child pornography particularly hard to confront and justify. "Free speech is good, and I'm all for free speech, but child pornography is soooo awful, and it already exists as an exception. Do we really need to legalize something as awful child pornography for the sake of free speech? Are there even examples of legitimate child pornography? And what will people think if I start supporting the legalization of child pornography?"
There's a lot of momentum against the legalization of child pornography. But there's a lot of difficult-to-face logic that supports the legalization of child pornography. And again, legalizing child pornography does NOT mean legalizing production, does NOT mean legalizing abuse, does NOT mean supporting the act. It just means supporting the documentation of the act.
If none of the most horrible crimes against humanity were legal to be documented, journalism would die. We would lose historical records of the Holocaust. (Mountains of bodies? Is there a legitimate reason to have pictures lying around of mountains of dead naked bodies? Of course there's a good reason to legalize the possession of the horrible images that came out of the Holocaust. And the same reason applies to child pornography.)
This allows potential rapists to satisfy their desires without harming any actual children.
Perhaps you'd have people believe that Christopher Handley's circumstances are rare, but perhaps they're but a minority of what we manage to see publicized for what it is.
Obscenity laws are seriously problem, a cudgel that can be wielded ruthlessly, and people cow in fear to it as Handley did. It must be confronted.
Maybe that is what all those zombie movies are about: crime prevention.
Possibly the viewers, IF (research needed) giving them the ability to watch detailed scenarios of abuse -- possibly with willing "children" -- raises the possibility that they'll abuse a real child and ruin both the child's life and their own.
That's an important "if"; I don't know the answer, but I will at least say it's a bit sad we don't have more people calling for research on "what things actually prevent child molestation from happening" -- we just have people calling for harsher sentences, or broader laws, or more sex offender registries.
You mean like what the police who investigate real tapes have?
This 'raises the possibility' thing is a bad slippery slope. Let's argue that playing GTA raises the possibility people will steal cars.
This ruins the lives of the car thieves and the people whose cars are stolen! We must avoid that possibility!
Personally, I do not buy this argument at all. I think it is very likely that virtual child porn (comic, animation, CG) prevents molestation overall. Because honestly, what do men do when they watch porn? Mainly, jerk off. And then once that's done, the urge is substantially dissipated... and so the subject would be less likely to put themselves at risk committing a sex crime against an actual child (something I understand a lot of molesters also feel guilty about).
So my hunch is that virtual child porn is probably a net positive. But I doubt we will ever get good data about this, and anyway it is one of those issues where logic isn't so likely to prevail.
If you're talking about a trained psychologist prescribing the material to a pedophile, that would be fine, but the vibe I'm getting from this discussion is a bunch of people think if you just open the loli flood-gates, all the pedophiles will stop raping children, and that just won't happen.
Not everyone is affected the same by the same stimuli, but some are affected deeply.
People have always hurt each other. Video games do not appear to have changed this.
Heck, look what School Days did for harem-style anime.
Or are you saying that anyone who dares to click the screwdriver link is a sadist who gets off on people being blinded by metal implements?
People can simply look at things out of curiosity, to see what it is, see how they react to it, to fathom why whoever made it made it. Then to wonder how others react to it, and why they might seek it.
Having trounced your latter argument, let's get to the first: the problem with 'omg a real child might've been inspired this!' is that could apply to ANYTHING. As in, I can't read a novel where someone gets murdered, because maybe it's based on a real murder.
People can just as easily chibi-style 2D art of a rape as they can make a 3D simultation of it. I believe there are actually certain doujin manga whose plot revolve around that concept. Heck you could make a lego depiction of rape, better outlaw looking at controversial lego sculptures too.
I don't know if you are just playing devil's advocate here or if you are really that ignorant to how what is fed into our minds shape who we are, our convictions, our desires, our conscience. How is shapes our perception of our reality(or lack thereof). How self diluted humans can easily be.
If you really are serious than let me just tell you that I am deeply sickened by you and anyone like you.
Because the evidence continues to stack up in staggering amounts that sexual preference is innate and out of our control. That attempting to suppress it without any outlet is a recipe for a miserable life, possibly leading to dangerous and violent outbursts for perceived injustice and oppression.
Whether you like it or not, people are into kinky stuff. When those people fantasize, write stories, draw pictures or dress up and role play, it should be allowed if it harms no-one in the process.
It does no good to pretend this is not the case. A friend of mine wrote some kinky erotic fiction, and got a positive response, including from women. Meanwhile, it was other women who sent him angry hate mail, saying no-one in their right mind would ever enjoy this. This is not new, the same has happened with literature such as Lolita.
We have to deal with humanity as it is, not how we would like it to be.
There's a big jump from "sexual preference is innate" -- e.g., we can't use therapy to make gay boys straight (no, I'm not asking for references for that part!) to saying that preventing a child molester from viewing fake kiddie porn will make him violent (that's the part I strongly question...).
Yes, people are into kinky stuff, and I agree that someone sexually drawn to children can't just decide to flip an internal switch and be no longer drawn to them. But I'm keenly interested into what's the best way to work with a kink that's harmful to non-consensual others (like children).
There's little if any research available that sheds insight onto how best to handle it, AFAIK.
I do think I've read research that it's a bad idea to let people watch & roleplay detailed scenarios of whatever crime they risk committing, though -- it concretizes vague longings (however painful) into actual plans (that's a bad thing).
My personal best guess would be that we first need to recognize that pedophilic urges are like a condition that needs to be actively managed so that no one is ever harmed -- not hidden away until the sufferer loses control of themselves.
If pedophilic urges were more actively recognized & calmly discussed in society -- like urges to commit violence, which are more common but far more acceptable as well -- and people could seek help (cognitive behavioral therapy?) if they worried about losing control and doing harm, we might see actual harm to children vastly reduced.
Currently they absolutely can't seek help; they'll be turned into the police and all of their neighbors/family/coworkers will be questioned. So they're on their own.
I have an unpublished blog post on this that was spinning out of control, prompted by my childhood scoutmaster being charged with child molestation (many years later and unrelated to scouting activities, actually) and committing suicide -- one day I'll find a way to get it completed.
May I just be a dick and point out that you transparently assumed the hypothetical child molester is male here? And also, that I said "[suppression of] desire will lead to a miserable life" but that it "[may] possibly lead to violence".
I don't think the former point is in question, and the latter was clearly marked as speculative.
That said, it's clear from e.g. the 'elastic band around penis' study that homophobia and homosexual desire are correlated. Homophobia seems to be a response to a perceived threat seen to be made by the openly homosexual against the closeted person, either directly (by flirting with them), or indirectly (threatening the traditional institutions of society).
I don't think it's a stretch to say that this pattern of suppressed desire leading to extreme abuse—particularly when the temptation is perceived to be 'flaunted'—is predictable, and that expecting it to be limited to just homophobia is naive.
However, I indeed don't have a study handy, and I do applaud you for asking for the citation.
We want pedophiles to have miserable lives, if that's the cost of preventing children from being molested. It sucks, but that's the shitty hand they've drawn in life (particularly sad because they probably were molested themselves as children...).
Whether porn makes their lives less or more miserable, I'm not sure, but the main question is how it affects the likelihood that they'll personally molest a child. This is not a question that's been answered yet, AFAIK.
And now I have to be the one to ask you for a citation.
Either sexual preference is innate and that's the hand they've drawn in life, or it is the result of abuse and not their fault. But it can't be both.
I disagree with your claim, regardless. It is always both. Sexuality is influenced by lots of factors; the word "sexuality" itself refers to quite a lot of aspects of behavior and preferences, some of which are strongly influenced by things that happen before we are born, and many aspects of which are affected by things throughout our lives.
A woman who is strongly heterosexual, and at some point as an adult starts sexually abusing little boys, might find those relationships far more appealing than with adult men for reasons that include her own abuse as a child, the power balance, etc. etc.. Another woman with the same childhood abuse might have normal adult relationships. Nothing's JUST nature OR nurture; everything is affected by both.
But a clarifying link, if you're interested in correlations for child sex offenders who were abused themselves:
From that: "A study by Simons et al. (cited in Simons 2007) found that 30 percent of child sex offenders responded in the affirmative to the question ‘have you been sexually abused?’ Descriptions of the act of sexual abuse, however, produced prevalence rates of 58 percent (Simons 2007)."
(but read on if you're curious; it get muddier; I doubt I should just say most of them were abused as if that were a known fact)
Women are empowered creatures who are just as capable as men, but also horribly oppressed and in need of special consideration.
Socialist ideology is dangerous and a threat to the stability of society, but also horribly naive and completely ineffective at achieving change.
These sort of things always belie a more fundamental truth underneath, which tends to be emotional and usually just as simple as "you make me feel uncomfortable".
That was a parenthetical tangent that was intended to humanize abusers, not stir up a new debate (i.e., "what are the causes of pedophilia"), which is far less important than "what's the best way to prevent child abuse".
As far as I care, the causes can remain obscure without affecting research into how people can manage pedophilic urges effectively so that children aren't hurt, ideally while still treating the people with the urges as human beings.
Great point, but I don't see the dissonance here - partially because I don't understand the phrase "empowered creatures." To say that women are just as capable as men, yet are horribly oppressed and in need for special consideration to offset that seems to lack any contradiction at all.
If the only thing stopping me from doing horrible things was that I haven't yet imagined doing them, then I and everyone around me should be terrified of me. Fortunately, my self-control seems to be a little stronger than that. Though it is not helpful for everyone to be told by implication that they have permanently terrible self-control (or any similar implication).  Fortunately I seem pretty good at dealing with such implications, although I am less confident about other people.
(Some articles have repeatedly appeared on HN, to the effect that when gifted kids are taught that "gifted" is an unchangeable property of a person and has nothing to do with gaining skill by repeatedly playing with something, they tend to stop putting a serious effort into doing anything new and challenging--for fear they'll screw up and have to accept they're not "gifted"--and so they tend to stop or severely restrict their mental growth, becoming rather less "gifted". Now imagine how this applies to self-control.)
I just did picture murdering my family over dinner with a fork. I decided the idea holds no attraction to me, and is pretty stupid. I am not worried about deciding to do it in the foreseeable future. Feel free to explain how this situation is not ok.
(Nor do I think the idea will repeatedly come back to me in the future and I'll panic and try to think about anything but it, and only end up thinking more about it, until I lose sight of anything else and just do it because I don't know what else to try. --I have the impression, from some books I've read, that that's one way some initially sane people end up doing crazy things. In this scenario, the panic is obviously an exacerbating factor, and it stems from the belief that "I'm thinking about something horrible [or have been thinking about it for what seems a long time]" => "There's something wrong with me and I won't be able to stop".
My solution is contempt for that belief, and for other people who believe it. Like, possibly, you. (This should be combined with some sort of escape valve--if you conclude that everyone else sucks, you need some way to deal with that, and if you don't have such a way, then you may start panicking if you come close to thinking that everyone else sucks. I just assume that, no matter how high a percentage of other people appear to suck, there are people like me, and eventually we'll get together and make a good society). Meanwhile I have contempt for the horrible idea, because it is not special amongst the many other horrible ideas--let's imagine them!--and if I were vulnerable to doing them, then I'd probably have done one of them already, which I haven't. And in the unlikely event that I do keep thinking of it a lot, my working hypothesis will be that it's just self-caused by anxiety foisted on me by taking seriously, on some level, the words of people like you. ...I have read of a case where someone said that he did keep having murderous thoughts, and that this coincided with the development of a tumor in his brain; I guess it might be possible that the latter could cause the former somehow, though now that I know of this, I would still not panic, or if I did it'd be about cancer, not about the murderous thoughts. A brain tumor with such specialized effects seems very unlikely in any case.)
Anyway. This little exercise, picturing your scenario, reinforced my confidence in my sanity and my ability to decide not to do other horrible things. I'd say the experience was positive for me. So, why? There you have one answer: an exercise to prove one's sanity. (Again, I do not respect someone who would do horrible things and just doesn't because he hasn't thought of them yet. I would hope such a person would learn and grow stronger than that.)
And there are use cases for putting detailed, horrible, evil things into media productions--not breaking reader's immersion, teaching people about their vulnerabilities so they can protect themselves, and sheer enjoyment for other reasons I'm not sure of. I wrote up a couple of examples, but they made the comment too long, so here's just one, which I write about because it's fun:
In this clip from the anime series Death Note, the main character Light Yagami, who (unbeknownst to anyone else) is the evil killer Kira, confronts Naomi Misora, a former CIA agent and the fiancee of an FBI agent whom Kira recently killed. She has some very compromising information about Kira that she intends to bring to the police; Light wants to kill her to prevent this, and he needs to learn her real name to kill her.
Light lies to her, learns some personal details about her, compliments her, learns more details, learns that she trusts him (for the wrong reasons); exploits her trust and what she's told him to make her a (completely fake) offer he knows she'll really want; pretends to back off from it to avoid suspicion (while continuing to compliment her and extend the offer); and adds a comment ("But you're young and beautiful... don't risk your life for this") that sounds like more backpedaling, but which he knows will actually bring out her fierce loyalty to her fiance's memory and induce her to say yes. She accepts, and tells him her real name; he writes it in his Death Note (pretending it's a normal notebook) and kills her, making her jump in a river so it looks like suicide.
I consider this pure evil--in particular, noticing her admirable qualities of trust and loyalty and determination, and making them work against her; and conducting the whole conversation with a straight face until he kills her. I also find it kind of beautiful. Meanwhile, I would be repulsed at the thought of me or someone else actually doing this sort of thing (I'll classify it as "observing and manipulating someone through conversation to get them to give you what you need, then seriously harming them") to someone I knew.
What is the value of my seeing things like this? Well, I don't expect to understand fundamental reasons why I like things, but I can make up guesses, and an obvious one here is: Knowing an archetype of pure evil, I can be better prepared to deal in real life with examples of impure evil that approach the archetype to varying degrees. (Also the pattern-matching part of my brain will be more likely to notice if I start doing things that approach evil. Also, it might help me understand other people's reactions if I unintentionally do things that look like evil. Though, for the record, looking like evil is not evil, and using force to stop or punish someone who merely looks like evil is unjustified.)
I'm glad Falkvinge is addressing this issue. It had to be done, sooner or later. And he makes a powerful case--especially section 2, I dunno about section 1. (I'm impressed... I know of the "humanitarian with the guillotine" pattern, where a naive, doesn't-examine-the-secondary-consequences-before-acting, but generally goodhearted politician makes a well-intentioned law that ends up hurting people more than it helps. I'm familiar with the mental tool of imagining that a law was made maliciously, to figure out what the bad consequences might be. But I keep being faced with the conclusion that it's more than a mental exercise: that all pieces of legislation were in fact originally put forth by people with anti-social intentions.)
 John Holt explains, with several examples, how some groups of people (but not others!) have come to think that children are reckless and uncoordinated and dangerous to themselves and others, and how their resulting treatment of children causes children to exhibit exactly those traits, in ways they do not when they are not so treated. http://pastebin.com/LkBd4VhN
So are you saying that no one is ever harmed physically or emotionally when kidde porn is made? The opposite is actually true.
I'm glad Falkvinge is addressing this issue. It had to be done, sooner or later. And he makes a powerful case--especially section 2
2. The laws brand a whole generation as sex offenders. His argument is that teenagers who have consensual sex sometimes record it and they will be arrested as sex offenders and prosecuted. If this is the case they why has there not ever been a single case of this happening? He is again trying to invent an imaginary problem as an argument for legalizing kidde porn.
Not necessarily. Exactly what is kiddie porn? For starters, if someone uses a hidden camera to photograph or videotape a kid taking a bath, then that can't possibly cause any physical or emotional harm to the kid, because the camera does not physically act on the kid in any observable way, and the kid is not aware of it. Next, even if the kid is aware of the camera, she may not care and may forget about it. Going further, if the grown-up tells the kid to wear some "sexy" outfit and to pose in a certain way, the kid may be persuaded that it's just a silly little game. (Note that kids are already put through unpleasant or painful experiences against their will when, for example, told to sit still while the doctor swabs their arm and gives them a shot, or told to eat "healthy" foods they dislike. If you think any of the above causes serious emotional harm, then you should be gasping with rage when you see most doctors and parents.) This wide range of pictures would probably all be classified as child pornography.
Perhaps you'll say, "What I meant was brutally raping a child and videotaping that!" Well, unfortunately, that's not what the laws cover, and, unfortunately, the laws are what we're talking about. Whether a child was injured in the creation of the media is not mentioned in the laws governing child pornography.
Furthermore, even in the brutal-rape case, the child is not harmed when a third party makes copies of the video. Or even when the rapist makes copies of the video. ...I mean, jesus freaking christ, I agree with punishing the rapist, but the crime is not "possessing videotapes of a child", or even "videotaping a child", the crime is "brutally raping a child"! Grr, the mind-boggling wrongness of it all is making me mad.
Anyway. The poster I was responding to was objecting to virtual child porn--that which is created by an artist and involves no actual children. (So, actually, your objection is completely irrelevant, although it is relevant to the more general argument, so I responded to it anyway.) He seemed to be arguing that the act of watching (or looking at or otherwise consuming) child porn--unrelated to its production--to aid in the construction of a pedophile's fantasy scenario was a bad thing, because it's bad to fantasize about horrible insane things--and would probably say that, therefore, the possession of child pornography (virtual or otherwise) should be illegal, because people who consume it are dangers to society.
I emphatically objected to the "it's bad to fantasize about horrible insane things, and to create media that aid in such fantasy" on its own terms. I would also object to the "dangerous, therefore possession should be illegal" thing: I might observe that people who read the Communist Manifesto are more likely to commit acts of terrorism as a result, or that husbands who drink alcohol are more likely to beat their wives as a result, but I would oppose anyone who tried to ban any of the above.
If this is the case they why has there not ever been a single case of this happening?
I googled [teenagers sexting sex offender]. http://www.google.com/search?client=safari&rls=en&q=...
I don't think any of the following explicitly say "recordings of consensual sex", naked or semi-naked pictures of one person by herself being much more common, but surely the former is at least as obscene as the latter, so I think these count. The top several results (excluding a pdf):
http://articles.cnn.com/2009-04-07/justice/sexting.busts_1_p... -> "Phillip Alpert found out the hard way. He had just turned 18 when he sent a naked photo of his 16-year-old girlfriend, a photo she had taken and sent him, to dozens of her friends and family after an argument. [...] Alpert was arrested and charged with sending child pornography, a felony to which he pleaded no contest but was later convicted. He was sentenced to five years probation and required by Florida law to register as a sex offender."
http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2012/03/05/in-effort-to-curb... -> "Some states have classified teens as sex offenders and even charged them with child pornography, all in a well-intentioned effort to save kids from their own bad behavior."
http://www.thedailyaztec.com/2011/03/‘sexting’-gets-teens-on... -> I can't tell if its "17-year-old girl" is hypothetical or merely anonymous, but it says "you would never think for a second this naïve teenager and this heinous pedophile would ever have anything in common. However, as soon as the girl engaged in a process commonly known today as “sexting,” she risked facing catastrophic legal consequences similar to those of pedophiles and rapists. Two words: child pornography." And the headline is "'Sexting' gets teens on sex offender registry".
http://www.usnews.com/education/blogs/high-school-notes/2012... -> does not give a specific example, but "Should those teens oblige, both the sender and the receiver could face serious consequences. Those private photos could resurface online or even land the teens on a sex offender list."
http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-504083_162-20001082-504083.html -> headline ""Sexting" Teens Are Being Labeled Sex Offenders, Lawmakers Look to Change That", says "Nebraska, Utah and Vermont have already reduced penalties for teenagers who engage in sexting, and 14 other states are considering measures that would treat sexting minors differently from adult pornographers, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures."
What about the privacy rights of the victim? The argument could easily be made that a child can be traumatized all over again when finding out years later a recording of their abuse is spread far and wide on the internet and they have no chance of ever curtailing it.
Whether it's feasible to prevent that (as with any other information) is another question, but copying images of child abuse doesn't seem that victimless a crime to me.
That leaves Kylie feeling ice cold every time she thinks about the "sick" people who take pleasure out of watching her "body being ravaged and raped."
"Those images are out there forever," Kylie, now 19, said at her father's sentencing. "We can never erase what Ken has done."
I am opposed to that. I could supply libertarian moral arguments, which would probably not convince you; or I could supply arguments as to how that would cause the (black market) price of ivory to be really high, and would give poachers who are "feeling lucky" (willing to disobey the law and risk getting caught) even more incentive to poach the remaining elephants, which might convince you; I could draw analogies with the black markets for illegal drugs, and the story of alcohol prohibition in the United States, which might convince you; I could look for and might find academic studies of, like, ivory poaching rates before and after it was illegalized, concluding that the laws did cause an increase in poaching, which might convince you; and I could make a general comment that any moral system that concludes that possession of a thing deserves absolutely draconian punishments, but then, after observing some empirical arguments like the above, concludes that the thing should be legal, is a hopelessly broken moral system (which is why I arrived at my position), which probably wouldn't convince you but would make me feel better.
I could also point out that, in this particular case (I remember reading this argument somewhere), if unrestricted copying puts musicians and writers and movie makers and other producers out of business, then it should have the same effect on child pornographers, and so you should be advocating for the FBI to put child pornography on the Pirate Bay and to devote taxpayer dollars to seeding the torrents.
By the way, notice the structure of this debate. The parent post and the great-grandparent post did not attack my counter-arguments; each brought in a completely new line of attack. ("Consuming it is bad, possession should be illegal for the safety of society"; then "Producing it harms children, so the producers should be punished"; then "Encouraging the producers is bad, and possession tends to mean buying or otherwise encouraging, so possession should be made illegal so the producers make less money".) If I was arguing with one person, I'd have to conclude he was schizophrenic. I suppose it's possible for there to be three independent approaches to... not exactly the same conclusions... but this certainly isn't evidence that there is a definitely correct, defendable argument for why child pornography should be illegal.
 This is another case where I believe the "the original driving force behind all laws is anti-social intent" hypothesis holds up. I don't have specific sources in mind, but I believe moonshiners supported anti-alcohol laws to restrict their competition (they were prepared to break the law, their competition wasn't).
The harm is indirect, but caused by the market for said video.
Also, the owning of the object e.g. ivory is not illegal; the selling is illegal, right? So a little off the mark there.
So... how about cases where someone just downloads a copy off the internet for free (and I mean absolutely free, not a quid-pro-quo exchange--a complete stranger downloads the video and has no further interactions with the provider)? Or when someone posts a copy for free download by complete strangers on the internet? That seems to bring no benefit whatsoever to the initial producer. (It's possible that the video or picture could come with "Made by <name>, send donations here" or something, but I'm sure that's not the case most of the time.) Would you be in favor of legalizing free online distribution of unattributed child pornography, then? If so, please recognize that this is at odds with existing laws (although your position would at least be self-consistent). If not, please explain yourself.
I see, you're right. But the effects--ruling out legal producers as competition, and raising the price on the black market--are still the same kind, just probably less pronounced and less likely to catch civilians in the crossfire. And, again, it seems to mean that your argument doesn't support the criminalization of possessing or freely distributing child porn. (Also, no objections to child porn whose production demonstrably caused no harm to the child? Perhaps you'd even assent to "the burden of proof is on the prosecutor to establish that a child was harmed", rather than "the burden of proof is on the producer to establish there was no harm".)
As for harmlessly filming a child remotely, I can think of no greater invasion of privacy. Children cannot conceivably be capable of being said to consent to such activity. The damage may actually be done years later when they inevitably discover the betrayal and indecency they were subjected to.
In Japan, "lolicon" and "shotacon" (referring to (sometimes animated) pornography of underage (often pre-pubescent) females and males respectively) seem to be widely available, so that would be interesting to look into. I don't know if rates of child molestation are higher or lower, there.
That might explain why Japan has, apparently, something like 30% of the world's child porn website (vaguely remembered probably wrong statistic)
Fox News, CNN, al-Jazeera, BBC, ...
The market for videos of murders (wartime or criminal) is IMMENSE.
THere is a very real market, possibly bigger than the child porn market. That there are websites dedicated to gore videos is proof of this.
The market is mostly based around crmies that would have been happened anyway. There are some exceptions like possibly Luka Magnotta who while he did not do it for the money might have done it for the attention. But people like him a rare.
However distributing videos of acts of war (or terrorism, or freedom fighting, or whatever you want to call it) for popularity (propaganda) seems to be immensely popular. Youtube and especially LiveLeaks are full of these videos. Everything from IR videos from helicopter gunships blowing up people at night to telephoto video footage of snipers shooting people driving along roads.
It is a tricky subject, there probably is not a single correct answer.
Fundamentalists of any kind trying to impose thought crime is the real problem here. Fix that, and the rest will follow.
A moral right. Legally, I don't know.
But it is morally wrong to override that right.
Even if it means saving more kids (and I don't believe it does).
Just... Find another solution.
One thing that then legal ban does is it adds to the taboo factor that makes this stuff more desirable.
I think the bigger issue is that people still don't have frank discussions about sexual matters even in the west.
There IS a huge market for videos of violence. It's called the evening news, and they are all over that shit.
People who download music for free on pirating sites aren't supporting the music industry. So I don't see how people who simply receive the data (or even send it free) are supporting it.
Flooding the 'market' with free information saturates it to the point where people would not want to pay money for it. Or if they did, the amount they'd want to pay would be so low that it would decrease incentive for people to offend for purely monetary reasons.
People who would offend for non-monetary reasons would do so anyway, and legalizing the material would aid in tracking down the distribution network to patient 0.
> there isn't a big market for watching videos of murders.
I remember seeing one guy who was in the sex offender database because when he was 19, he had sex with a 17 year old. It made me feel a little uncomfortable. It struck me because I was in my mid 20s and I think we were around the same age at the time.
Something is amiss in a system that punishes him for life and places him alongside men in their 40s convicted for touching toddlers.
They went on dating and several years later got engaged. The relationship fell through, and they never did get married. But if they had, he would have been a registered sex offender for having sex with his wife. Granted, there's a timing issue, but it does show how tragically absurd some of these cases are.
I don't know whether to laugh or cry at those urolagnic law writers.
It seems like it depends on the state, there are 13 states that have the "public urination leads to sex offense" regulation. Of those only 2 states have the "near a minor" clause. So 11 states can put you there for peeing in public, no strings attached. On those, you would be at the mercy of the police officers that catch you.
Also, I found out that the reason for the "public urination is a sex offense" is not urolagnia (at least it's not overt urolagnia), but a means to deter the flashers' defense "I was peeing, officer." Not sure it makes a lot of sense.
Disclaimer: As I said, this was light research on the topic, so there might be errors. Sources were mostly Straightdope forums and the Wikipedia, IIRC.
We've ended up in the odd place that a teen in possession of pictures of his or her own body is breaking an incredibly grim law.
Prostitution is illegal, therefor paying someone to have sex with you while filming it would also be illegal.
In porn, two people have sex consensual sex with each other for free. A third party pays the couple for the rights to record the event and commercially exploit the recording (that in theory might have happened anyway).
I'm not sure the general public could ever follow a nuanced argument like this to understand it though. We usually legislate like fundamentalist mothers with an IQ of 80.
The age of consent in Texas is 17 with a 3 year Romeo and Juliet exception.
Rich makes a lot of assertions about fundamental Christians, but provides little evidence to back them up.
I'd also call bullshit on this anecdote and most of the ones in this thread: the most common age of consent in the US is 16, not 18 and specifically, in Texas, it's 17, meaning that there are two different ways that this particular story doesn't add up.
So even if it's legal to have sex with a 16-year-old in Texas (under State law), it's illegal to produce, possess or distribute pictures of that child (under Federal law).
Also, the GP to this thread never stated that the guy would be a convicted statutory rapist for sleeping with his wife, but that he would have been a statutory rapist who's victim is the person who is now his wife.
There's plenty of ways this could have worked to the guy's disadvantage. There's really only one way it can be false.
And I'm guessing this guy was convicted before Romeo & Juliet laws. Looks like Rick Perry also vetoed that law in 2011? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Age_of_consent_reform
Wikipedia is a little unclear on the issue.
If someone is a dangerous sex offender, he shouldn't even be in the streets. If not, then he committed the crime, did the time, why does he need to be punished for life?
In fact, he didn't "do the time", because part of the punishiment is a life-long listing in the sex offender registries.
If you'd rather, you can think of it this way: sexual offenses in the US carry a mandatory life-sentence, with some of that sentence being time spent in jail.
Why are you checking that database in the first place? In my world your access to this information is the reason for its right to exist in your social context. I doubt that it's possible to check these lists and criticize them at the same time. What lead you to check it out?
I retract the implied contradiction between checking the list and complaining about the content. That said, it probably is impossible to understand the reasons for its existence or the need to check out a neighborhood like this without growing up in a culture like that.
I have, in the past, used maps of homicides/burglaries/assault to help determine where in town I'm going to live.
That hardly seems strange in any way to me, and sexual predators is just another type of this kind of map.
For example, imagine Google Maps with overlays for different types of crime. Say I check the "Sexual Assault, Children" box and notice that the park two blocks west of the plasma bank has a much higher density of such crime than the park two blocks east. That's useful information, and you can inform your kids to be careful at the park or avoid it altogether.
What's not really useful is knowing that the dude five houses down from my potential new home purchase was convicted in 1995 for diddling his niece and for possession of kiddie porn in 2002, and was released in 2009 after 7 years in prison. It's pandering to the scare-news watching masses and causes undue harassment/problems of the man who has supposedly paid his price to society.
This society does not need a Scarlet Letter mentality.
It's quite reasonable to find value in the lists of dangerous sex offenders, while criticizing the inclusion of people for trivial offenses.
People convicted under the old law can petition a court to be removed from the offender list.
No, listing is permanent. The background check companies never remove anything from their databases. In fact having a court purge an old conviction may make your life worse, since there is no longer an official record of the insignificance of the crime, just a private database that says CRIMINAL, CRIMINAL!
Similarly, there are many, many employers who will dismiss any chance for job based on mere presence on the list. No questions, no mitigating circumstance. This is a punishment that is life-long, goes far beyond the crime, and honestly, leaves little recourse for the offender to become a drain on society, or turn to further crimes just to get by. (blast me for being a stupid hippy liberal if you want, but explain how we expect someone to get a job if we deny them the ability to get a job without saying "just get a job").
The other is sex between to consenting, able-minded people.
Conflating the two is dangerous, offensive, and just plain stupid.
If you disagree that having sex with a 16 year old as an 18 year old should be a sexual crime then perhaps you should fight the law itself.
The complainant said that the forum had a secret board where users swapped child porn. They sent several links that did indeed show that child pornography was on the site and domain. However, since we only provided the domain registration, our response to the complainant was to contact the web host.
The complainant replied back with more links. That is when my boss became involved. She had very little experience with dealing with abuse issues, however, she was very vocal about the fact that our company was 'allowing' child pornography. She had us put the domain on "Client hold", which effectively disables the domain, removing the name servers from the registry. Afterwards, she scolded me and my two other colleagues for not taking the correct action (even though we were following our SOP based on our terms of service). Even the owners of the company heard about the situation and were glad that the site was shut down.
A week after, the complainant emailed us to thank us for taking down his competitors forum.
"It’s not illegal to film a murder.
It’s not illegal to possess a film of a murder.
But it’s still illegal to murder people.
And it’s illegal to initiate a murder for the purpose of filming it.
If you have taken part in a murder and have film of it, the film may be usable as proof against you.
I can’t see that Rick suggests anything different here – i.e., I see no suggestions that it should be OK to molest children for the purpose of filming it. That’s good."
Part of my role was to assist in the warehousing system to intercept (during transfer to verify that the shipment is in fact illegal) anomalous mailings (much in the way credit card companies try to identify anomalous purchases as fraud). The illegal materials will be shipped in all sorts of interesting ways. For example, we had a package that appeared to come from Kellogg, but the merchandise was actually at the bottom of each of the (packed and closed) cereal boxes.
Unfortunately, DHS has quite a backlog, so there are currently entire warehouses in the US whose sole job is to secure drugs, guns, and other materials until officials can come inspect the packages. Of course, sometimes they are not intentional violations of the law (for instance, certain food and animal products can't be shipped to the US). But if you ever in such a warehouse, it is truly a sight to behold.
Under this premise, cases of people who do not ever receive drugs in the mail is not relevant.
Statistically, one relevant question to ask is, of those who have cocaine bricks delivered to their front porch, what percentage were actually involved in receiving cocaine compared to those who were a drop point for a pickup involving two other unknown parties.
As Barik (a contractor with direct investigative knowledge) pointed out above, using strangers' homes as drop points for cocaine brick delivery is common in the US in the context of illegal drug deliveries by mail. It is entirely possible it accounts for the vast majority of cocaine brick by mail deliveries.
If this accounts for more than an inconsequential portion of cocaine brick mail deliveries, then it is utterly unjust and unreasonable to advocate or defend laws that criminalize mere possession and not knowledge of what you have, and/or intent.
So yes, it's possible that drugs have been mailed to you without you knowing it. In rare circumstances (especially if you just moved into that address, for example), you might be arrested to figure out what's going on. But it becomes hyperbole to suggest that you will automatically be charged and put in jail because of a random drop shipment (though I'm sure some HN person will find a counterexample just for the sake of doing so).
This is supposed to be reassuring?
I guess I'll worry about it when and if it happens to me. But no, it's certainly not something I think about on a day to day basis, just as I also don't worry that someone might steal my car in the middle of the night and commit a crime with it -- another scenario in which, yes, you may also be arrested or at the very least questioned.
I'm inclined to believe that such arrests are quite rare, but that's just speculation, and I'm open to evidence to the contrary.
How do you reasonably protect yourself from an expected package that turns out to be contraband?
Anway, that was some horrific police work (and don't get me started on cops busting into a home and shooting pets). Your article speaks way more to the need for police accountability and the need to end our ridiculous war on plants than anything else.
You know what's great about legal cases, particularly this sort, they are so well documented and mentioned in newspapers, etc..
Now there being cases where a crim' claimed that they didn't know the package was drugs, that I can imagine in a heart beat.
Cocaine seems (to me) to be somewhat less severe drug than, say, alcohol.
Same applies to child porn. A lot of stuff qualifies as child porn recently, including stuff originally not meant to be any kind of porn neither produced with any harm to kids. Unless child porn prosecution proponents can limit themself with some strict definition of child porn (which they would not do), I say we lose by criminalizing possession of random pics that were considered OK thirty years before.
Yes, there are cases of things which are not child porn in spirit, however its important to remember that there are things that are actual child porn. There are pictures of young children and toddlers and babies being raped. We don't see them in the mass media, because they are disgusting, but they exist. Don't forget that creating this pictures is probably one of the most horrific and harmful crimes in modern society.
However real child porn should be illegal.
America's CP laws are quite similar to this. If you even have a 32x32 thumbnail cached in your browser history, whether or not you were even looking for it, you'll get arrested and imprisoned in most places. I think New York is the only state to have ruled this out and require you to knowingly save it.
And yes, people quite frequently have drugs planted on them or have a friend leave something behind without their knowledge and get charged with it.
This is a difference in degree, only, though, because, even if everything else he said was wrong, this part was not:
Child pornography is horrible and awful from every angle and in every aspect. But it is not dangerous to the fabric of society. Censorship and electronic book burning, however, is.
The Child Pornography Prevention Act also prohibits speech having serious redeeming value, proscribing the visual depiction of an idea -- that of teenagers engaging in sexual activity -- that is a fact of modern society and has been a theme in art and literature for centuries.
I definitely agree with the author to some extent. We do seem to be inordinately concerned with child pornography. The term pedophile has moved from a psychological disorder to a synonym for child molester. I am fully against real child pornography but there is no good reason to treat the virtual version the same way. I think a good part of it stems from the false assumption that watching X pornography will cause the viewer to wish to engage in X. As usual, fear and ignorance are the favorite legal foundations.
But possession of child pornography is a strict liability offense, like possession of cocaine, at least in the entire United States, as well as several other countries. Intent, mens rea, is irrelevant: if you have it, no matter why, you're guilty.
For example, 18 USC § 2252A(a)(2)(A) criminalizes "knowingly receiv[ing] or distribut[ing] any child pornography." § 2252A(a)(5) requires "knowingly possess[ing], or knowingly access[ing] with intent to view, any book, magazine, periodical, film, videotape, computer disk, or any other material that contains an image of child pornography."
To be sure, "knowingly" is a lower mens rea standard than something like "willfully" or "intentionally" which require bad intent, but it is not strict liability.
Examples of strict liability crimes which have no mens rea requirement are statutory rape and drunk driving.
I'd go so far as to call your hypothetical example completely laughable. The idea that if I stumble across someone raping a child they would "point and laugh" is completely ridiculous. It's somewhat ironic that given one of the arguments for strict liability laws was "won't someone think of the children" you're basically making the same point.
I agree with many of your points - a 17 year old being sentenced for having sex with a 15 year old, for example, and it's possible to cite many, many cases where this sort of thing has occurred.
I doubt, however, you can cite a single case where somebody has been prosecuted for unknowingly recording child pornography. I think this very much weakens your argument, because you make it sound as if strict liability is a be-all end-all, when in fact there is precedent to override it (speaking in general terms - the exact precedent would vary from country to country).
Laws are typically not designed to cover future eventualities. It seems to me highly likely that the situation you describe is already easily avoided legally. After all, if a CCTV camera recorded a child rape in progress that would not be a criminal offence, since most countries provide exceptions for recording images for the purposes of preventing crime. It would be relatively straight forward to branch these laws out to devices like Google Goggles.
But you don't really consider these arguments, I suspect primarily because the image of a child rapist "getting away with it" is quite powerful, and you're designing your post to evoke heavily emotional responses. But it's very much a "won't you think of the children" argument, and that sours it for me.
CCTV cameras have the implied usage of security, that's why an alleyway camera's recording could be admitted as evidence against the suspect, but not the owner of the camera itself. Google Glass is a recreational device. Hardly anyone has one right now, but the idea sits with the idea that people will wear one for fun to capture fun events they participate in, which turns the argument around in the case of someone inadvertently recording an event that the mere possession of the recording is illegal. In a black and white situation, if someone had a recording of child pornography on their Google Glass device, the idea that the device is designed to record the events the wearer participates in for recreation or enjoyment already gives the notion that the wearer enjoyed recording the event. This argument is fragile in logic, but within the current state of the laws, it is sound. Lawyers will descend upon the owner of the Glass device and paint him or her as a pedophile who purposefully recorded the event for later enjoyment. It will be up to the person who recorded the event to defend themselves against false accusation and against a law that claims that, since he/she is in possession of the recording, they are guilty of possession already.
> Laws are typically not designed to cover future eventualities.
Have you read much about the PATRIOT act and how it's being applied to gather an analyse communication channels in order to thwart crimes and attacks before they happen? Because, it seems that many of the laws enacted over the past decade under the guise of National Security are designed to prevent crimes before they happen. Just as much as "think of the children", "national security" is just as much a hot-button topic designed to allow leeway into the legal process of finding and convicting "bad people" before they do bad. I'm far from an Alex Jones kind of guy, but there is plenty of evidence that the US government is actively surveilling it's populace for exactly the reason of preventing future eventualities.
Earlier this year a man in the UK was denied unsupervised visits with his own daughter after he admitted to downloading music, but receiving unwanted child pornography instead. No charges were filed, but it sure messed up his situation.
Laughable? It's already happening. I should be able to gather child pornography from across the Internet, match it to photos (school pictures, Facebook, etc.), and report the hits to the police.
But it's illegal. Like all crimes of moral purity, it is not about rescuing the victims or punishing the wicked. It is a PR stunt by and for the witch hunters.
Some conservative pundits like mentioned "forcible rape" as a way to try to make many things that are rape legal (like raping ones wife ("she consented when we for married"), raping someone who has consumed alcohol ("she was obviously out for sex, so gave consent that way") etc.). Please don't suggest this is a moral way to talk.
Please explain to me how legalizing kidde porn would reduce the amount of kidde porn?
I can't believe there are very many courts who would convict under the circumstances of your example. OTOH, there might be a few, and if the law is not intended to be enforced exactly as written, that is certainly an excellent argument for changing it.
 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Affirmative_defense - admitting to the fact while introducing a factor which justifies it
 for example, http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/2252A section (d)
 I am not a lawyer. This is not legal advice.
It’s not illegal to film a murder.
It’s not illegal to possess a film of a murder.
Can we say categorically that that would be bad for our society?
The actual crime is very much an element to the illegality of a snuff film. Snuff films are illegal precisely because someone actually dies. Child porn is illegal because a kid actually gets raped.
There are a few rare situations involving "fake" child porn. Should these be illegal? The Supreme Court has said that virtual child pornography might not be illegal but that either way such content was justification for holding a person in a mental institution as a danger to others. There is an extremely high (as in, greater than 80%) correlation between willing viewership of child pornography and attempts to abuse/molest/rape a child or acquire actual chil porn. With pedophiles, child porn isn't just an abstract media form like a TV show; it's like going to a Ku Klux Klan rally with a snuff film showing a black man get lynched and exhorting the crowd to do the same.
Nice example of the murder-and-jaywalking argument that the article mentioned.
Yes, of course there is a high correlation between watching and buying CP.
But I'd like to know where you get your numbers between watching and attempting. I've heard otherwise.
Calling utterly ludicrous shenanigans on that one.
There's probably an excellent correlation between viewing porn involve heterosexual adults and people who engage in heterosexual sex.
I'm sure there is a correlation, but I'd want evidence that it is high.
just my 2 cents
Just like there is an extremely high (as in, greater than 80%) correlation between willing viewership of normal pornography and attempts to abuse/molest/rape women.
Then you'd probably get police forces overwhelmed with bogus complaints.
Wikipedia article about the website of the guy who started research into the child pron filter: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lapsiporno.info
His website was later blocked by the filter despite the filter only being intended to be used against foreign websites.
This would only put more people in jail, the killer (maybe), and the people watching it (maybe). I'd rather it just be the killer. And the molester in the case of the article.
This is exactly what will happen as our mobile phones take the next step, which has already started, and we will be there in less than ten years.
Oh. There isn't actually any evidence of anything like that ever happening or almost happening, it's just what he imagines might happen when technology gets a little more advanced. You know, I think that's actually the definition of a "far-fetched science fiction scenario".
If fifteen years ago you had told me that these laws would be used to prosecute teenagers who take pictures of themselves, or of teenagers who have consensual sex with each other, I would have thought it absurd. No prosecutor could be that insane, right? And yet here we are.
When I was 16 (23 years ago), I dated an 18 year old. It's shocking to think that she could have been thrown in jail. This state of things is unnaceptable.
So that video mentions the 15 year old girl who sent the photos, facing federal prosecution as an adult for child pornography charges, and then mentions that the people who've received the photos possibly facing charges as well. Sounds like the author of the article was spot on.
I'd like your opinion on the link I just sent please. The authors point was about the laws being outdated and people being more afraid of dealing with the issue than facing it appropriately for victims. He wrote a good article in relation to that.
The issue you're talking about is one I agree with, as I've noted elsewhere.
Big tech and media organisations (eg Google or any image or video hosting service provider), process and filter a huge amount of illegal child porn everyday. They even have employees doing this, watching and censoring child porn that is. Isnt watching it, even in order to censor it, according to such laws, illegal? Also while the material remains in the servers, isnt the company liable for possession ?
In Greece for example, the law is rather simple and doesnt cover such cases.
1) the law is too broad (innocent teenagers)
2) the law is not broad enough (should cover murder too)
3) the wrong judicial standard is applied (strict liability)
4) abridging free speech is fundamentally destructive
These are four totally distinct elements of our legal structure, each with vastly different potential solutions. They are bound only by the fact that they are critiques of the current legal system.
To try and take in all four at once leads to a combinatorial explosion of possible solutions.
If he believes no. 4 then nos. 1-3 are immaterial. And even if he sells you on 1-3, none of those are good arguments for abolishing the law. In the end, the essay loses its power because he is not presenting a coherent critique.
In other words, anyone from the USA who clicks that wikipedia page may be committing a federal offence of possessing child porn on their computers (because media is downloaded into the cache from the site.) - crazy right?
For all I am liberal, or at least centre left, and a free speech advocate, I cannot see any benefit to the existance of child porn.
I would however like to see a reclassification (reduced scope) of what is and is not child pornography, and also introduce a requirement to prove willingness on the possessors part.
I can happily skip the strict black and white view of the world promoted in some of the top comments in this case. I am completely at ease with the idea of promoting free speech whilst going against free speech in the event of something which is harmful (I am referring to real child pornography not what the law currently classifies) and with no merit, not even the wildest interpretations of educational or artistic merit can redeem the need for child pornography to exist.
Not according to at least two of the US Supreme Court Justices. The US Constitution is not a "living document" to them, not interpretable according to the norms of the time.
"Congress shall make no law ... abridging ... the free press ..."
Child pornography is explicitly permitted by Federal law. Most state constitutions are the same.
I find this highly implausible. Hypotheticals like this damage the argument. Crimes are caught on camera everyday. Seems to me the crime here (aside form the rape) is to knowingly destroy evidence of the crime, which the innocent strollers in this scenario are supposedly encouraged to do out fear for themselves. I have not thought about this enough to have a strong opinion other than simple gut reaction, but it seems more evidence to support this idea in particular is needed.
These laws have already been pushed to unreasonable extremes.
"a case of a 17 year old being prosecuted for child pornography for taking a picture of themselves."
Has this happened? Hypotheticals don't help any. We need facts in order to move forward with the conversation.
EDIT: it has, in fact, happened. The facts are indeed in Google.
One form of "affirmative defense" is "contact law enforcement and turn over the recording". This is what you are supposed to do (standard disclaimer: I am not a lawyer, this is not legal advice.)
(I'm not even sure if I'm being sarcastic or not.)
In my opinion, this whole argument is specious at best. One could argue that making the "Star Wars Kid" viral video (among so many others) illegal would have saved that poor dude some major suffering. Why are things of a sexual nature so special?
One argument for decriminalizing simple possession is the fact that crowd-analyzed investigation at the citizen level is severely hampered. I recall reading an amazing account of the investigation and rescue of the then-8-year-old girl in the "Tara series". A relatively small group of people analyzed the photos, identified paintings and drapes in a motel, which allowed law enforcement to home in on the victim and her captor.
Can you imagine the scope of such investigations if these pics were allowed to be viewed and discussed in a public forum? The power of anon and /b/ could be used for so much greater good than hunting down kids who torture cats.