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Censorship Your Rights Online

UK Wants To Ban Computer-Generated Child Porn 544

Posted by kdawson
from the think-of-the-children dept.
An anonymous reader writes "UK Home Secretary John Reid has urged a ban on computer-generated images of child abuse, including cartoons. The Register asks if this would criminalize role-playing gamers, and what about Hentai? Currently, such images may be illegal to publish under the Obscene Publications Act, but they do not come under child pornography laws. The attempt to criminalize possession of virtual images mirrors the attempt to criminalize possession of 'extreme porn' which would also include fake images, as well as photos of simulated acts involving consenting adults (as discussed on Slashdot). A petition on the Government's new website urges an end to such plans."
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UK Wants To Ban Computer-Generated Child Porn

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  • Canada... (Score:3, Informative)

    by cbirkett (904502) on Thursday December 14, 2006 @11:53AM (#17237578) Homepage
    It's already illegal in Canada. Our criminal code practically outlaws dirty thoughts. Writing in your diary about sex with someone under 18 is enough to get you brought up on child pornography charges. Apparently it is much better if you go out and actually do the deed with a 14 year old (age of consent here).


    http://lois.justice.gc.ca/en/C-46/280586.html#Sect ion-163.1 [justice.gc.ca]

  • Re:The difference is (Score:4, Informative)

    by theStorminMormon (883615) <theStorminMormonNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Thursday December 14, 2006 @12:22PM (#17238166) Homepage Journal
    Indeed -- argued both ways, no less! It could alter the behavior by making them want to act on their urges with real children more, or it could alter the behavior by satisfying their urges so they no longer feel the need to go after real kids.

    This sounds like the kind of wishful-thinking with which most Slashdot readers react to anti-porn news of any kind.

    Our experience in the investigation of these crimes also signals a strong correlation between child pornography offenders and molesters of children. In Operation Candyman, for example, of the 90 people arrested thus far for their participation in the child pornography e-group, 13 of them who chose to make inculpatory statements admitted to molesting a combined total of 48 children

    http://www.fbi.gov/congress/congress02/heimbach050 102.htm [fbi.gov]

    Child porn does not sate a desire to molest children, it inculcates this desire. If banning artificial child porn makes child porn hard to come by and thereby dampens the demand for the real thing (or molestation), then it's a great idea. Even if it doesn't, I'm a little tired of this idea that free speech extends to pornography. Somehow I doubt that was original intent of the Founding Fathers.

    Very well. Commence flaming.

    -stormin
  • Re:US Title 18 (Score:2, Informative)

    by nekokoneko (904809) on Thursday December 14, 2006 @12:59PM (#17238984)

    IANAL but I thought CG depictions of child sexuality are already illegal in the United States.

    You would be wrong. The Supreme Court has ruled that banning CG depictions of child sexuality is a violation of First Amendment rights. See for example http://supct.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/00-795.ZO. html [cornell.edu]

  • by AndersOSU (873247) on Thursday December 14, 2006 @01:11PM (#17239206)
    Just for slashdot's education, based on my non-lawyer reading this has been illegal in the US for some time:
    (a) In General.-- Any person who, in a circumstance described in subsection (d), knowingly produces, distributes, receives, or possesses with intent to distribute, a visual depiction of any kind, including a drawing, cartoon, sculpture, or painting, that--
    (1)
    (A) depicts a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct; and
    (B) is obscene; or
    (2)
    (A) depicts an image that is, or appears to be, of a minor engaging in graphic bestiality, sadistic or masochistic abuse, or sexual intercourse, including genital-genital, oral-genital, anal-genital, or oral-anal, whether between persons of the same or opposite sex; and
    (B) lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value;

    ...

    (c) Nonrequired Element of Offense.-- It is not a required element of any offense under this section that the minor depicted actually exist.

    source [cornell.edu]
    (emphasis mine)
  • by commodoresloat (172735) * on Thursday December 14, 2006 @01:46PM (#17239846)
    But the U.S. Supreme Court has struck down such provisions as unconstitutional; see Ashcroft v. Free Speech Coalition (here's an article [cnn.com] about the decision). I'm fairly sure the provisions you highlighted would fall under this decision and thus could not be enforced.
  • by DrLang21 (900992) on Thursday December 14, 2006 @01:52PM (#17239948)
    Actually a Supreme Court ruling in 2004 against the COPA act of 1998 declared unconstitutional it's banning of virtual child porn due to the excessive coverage of items under it. The PROTECT Act of 2003 reinstated the illegality of virtual child porn. In April of 2006, the clause banning virtual child porn was also rulled unconstitutionaly broad.
  • by AndersOSU (873247) on Thursday December 14, 2006 @02:02PM (#17240126)
    My reading of the CNN article is that it was struck down because it failed to account for the SLAPS test (standard since Miller v. California.) It seems that the law in the Cornell source I linked has that base covered. I don't know if there are some finer details that escaped me and so maybe you're right and it is unenforceable, but it seems to me that this section has been re-written since the 2002 decision.

    I'd be interested if anyone has any more details or a better understanding than I do.
  • Why? (Score:3, Informative)

    by rhombic (140326) on Thursday December 14, 2006 @04:23PM (#17243228)
    Lets face it, having any type of image, either real or computer generated, de-synthesizes[sic] its viewer to the actual criminal act of molesting a child.

    Unless you care to provide a source for this "fact" other than your ass, I'm curious why I should "face it". I could argue the opposite, allowing someone who feels such tendencies to view totally computer generated images could reduce the likelihood that they will engage in such behavior in a manner that actually harms a kid. But the honest truth is, I can't pull up any solid, peer-reviewed data to support my point, so I'm not going to insist that you acquiesce to it. And I'd appreciate the same.

    Whether it is real or computer generated material, it is wrong, it is disgusting...

    Well, "wrong" is a particularly nebulous term, and disgusting is a matter of personal preference. I'd be willing to bet, if I sorted through your material possessions, I'd find something that I would consider "wrong and disgusting". Hell, half of my friend's refrigerators in college contained things I would deem "wrong and disgusting". Ought those things be illegal solely because of my feelings towards them? Of course not. Now, if in the process of creating this supposed wrong and disgusting thing, a person victimizes another, that's a whole 'nuther kettle of fish.

    I would even be curious to see if since the internet becoming main stream if cases of child molestation have increased due to it making this type of material more readily available.

    Historically speaking? Almost certainly not. I refer you to the works of Socrates & friends. Or South America, where the age of consent runs from 15 in Uruguay down to 13 in Argentina. What we, today, would term child molestation was mainstream at times in history & in other parts of the world.

    I'd be very careful about advocating laws against thought crimes-- I'd bet good money there's something in your head that somebody else out there thinks is "wrong and disgusting". And hopefully for your sake, they don't manage to get you incarcerated & turned into a pariah for life for thinking it.
  • by mdwh2 (535323) on Thursday December 14, 2006 @06:32PM (#17245658) Journal
    What if the character's purportedly sixteen but looks like she's fifteen? What if she's thirteen but looks like she's seventeen?

    Not that it affects your point, which I agree with, but note that although the age of consent in the UK is 16, in 2003 the age for the purposes of child porn was raised to 18.

    So you can have sex with a 16 year old, but soon, draw a cartoon of a sexy naked 17 year old, and it's prison for you...

The trouble with the rat-race is that even if you win, you're still a rat. -- Lily Tomlin

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