NY Court Rules It Is Legal to View Child Porn on Internet

This makes me soooo sick (understatement). The NY judges decided that just viewing porn wasn't illegal because it wasn't "possession." They said that the legislature would have to change the law to make viewing internet child porn illegal. I hope the NY legislature changes this quickly (and any other states where this is a problem).

Here's a link to the MSNBC report.

http://usnews.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/05/08/11602955-viewing-child-porn-on -the-web-legal-in-new-york-state-appeals-court-finds#.T6qApmWs3a8.email

And here's a link to a website that gives an easy way to send a letter expressing concern.

http://pornharms.com/mim/ny-court-rules-it-is-legal-to-view-child-pornograp hy-on-internet/

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What? There are no words right now to express what this makes me feel. This is stupidity at its finest.

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I understand why people would view this as an awful and stupid judgement, I really do. But the courts are there to only interpret the laws that are written and the law they are bound to use was written long enough ago that the internet and all of its entanglements were not around to concider. They do state that the law would need to change, giving the legislature the push it needs to revamp the law to take into account all of the new legal trappings the internet now provides. We are still in the infancy of the 'internet age' and there will need to be a lot of changes made to catch-up with what is happening in the world. The judges are only following the seperation of powers that are set up in the government. I have to believe that none of these individuals believe that viewing child porn is a good thing but in order to do the job they were appointed to they must be able to seperate thier personal feelings from the job they must do. I believe they did this and I am sure it was not easy.

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It's sick that anyone wants to look at that stuff and sickening that the laws haven't evolved enough yet to handle things like this. I agree with Snowak, at least one person who was involved with this decision had to have been greatly disturbed by what the law/their job required of them.

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But, as I understand it, there is a certain amount of latitude given to judges to interpret law. They do it all the time. It's partly why when a judge is making a decision, he or she looks back to the past history of judgments regarding the law in question. It's also why judges' opinions are published.

I'm guessing that if these judges were motivated enough they could have ruled differently. I wish they would have stuck their necks out for these exploited children.

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Also, I disagree that the internet is so new that this couldn't have been dealt with. Current pirating technology and marketing technique for movies is relatively new, but Hollywood has wasted no time in getting strong (as possible) laws in place. I guess money is a pretty strong motivator.

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I think if you read the decision instead of just the news article, it is apparent that this was a narrow issue addressed by the Court of Appeals. The question presented to the Court related to cache files on the defendant's computer. He was convicted on 134 other counts of possession of child pornography. Two of the counts, relating to his computer cache files, were at issue on appeal. I have no doubt that every justice on the NY Court of Appeals was appalled at the defendants conduct, and the decision and concurring opinions reflect this.

Anne
www.LifeWithElizaGrace.com

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Thanks for your insight, Anne. I remember reading about the cached files but got a bit lost trying to follow all the details.

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To play devils advocate-many guys, especially teens, like to look at porn online. It would be great if all child prnography sites were clearly labelled, but I have friends who said they were would be looking at adult porn and see child pornography on the same sites. They immediately left the sites-but you can't unsee something. For those people-this law makes sense-not everyone who sees child pornography was looking for it.

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They actually did address that issue in the ruling by using a phrase like "purposefully viewing." I can't remember the exact word, but it's in the article.

There are so many internet sites that are actually traps for porn. I had a friend googling embroidery sites and clicked on one that led to a porn site. Also there are sites that pose as kids' gaming sites but really lead to porn.

It's true that you can't "unsee" something. The best defense I've heard of is to immediately turn off the monitor, since that's faster than trying to close a website. Fortunately I've never run into the problem myself.

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RE: Also there are sites that pose as kids' gaming sites but really lead to porn.

It amazes me how many parents let their kids loose on the Web without monitoring their activities. What you say is absolutely correct. There has been a problem with "kids' sites" (meaning websites designed for kids) selling advertising space that leads to products that are not kids' products but are pornographic in nature. I doubt that the initial kids' websites know that but they don't vet to where the advertising leads.

I attended a presentation last winter on kids' sites and was surprised at how many ask for personally identifying information (PII) w/o any safeguards or consents required. This is off-topic from your initial post, but since you mentioned kids' gaming sites, I thought that I'd mention theses concerns so that parents could perhaps be a bit more proactive when letting their children use the Internet.

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