Viewing Child Porn now Legal in New York

BloatedGuppy

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http://gizmodo.com/5908870/kiddie-porn-is-now-legal-in-new-york

Wut?

This...seems...like...a bad idea.

EDIT: A less sensationalistic take on the subject: http://usnews.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/05/08/11602955-viewing-child-porn-on-the-web-legal-in-new-york-state-appeals-court-finds?lite
 

bobmus

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What a deliciously biased article.

...


And that's all I'm gonna say as a post near the top of a page on paedophilia. No matter my original opinion it'd be quoted back to me more times than I care to read, with countless arguments I don't need.
 

Andy Shandy

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While this may protect a few innocent people who stumble across the internet and find child porn when they were looking for something completely different (to borrow the example from the comments, if you are looking for Dicks Sporting Goods and you type Dicks in your search, you are not going to get sporting goods) I can see this being abused by the not so innocent.
 

Qitz

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"Merely viewing Web images of child pornography does not, absent other proof, constitute either possession or procurement within the meaning of our Penal Law," Senior Judge Carmen Beauchamp Ciparick wrote for a majority of four of the six judges.

"Rather, some affirmative act is required (printing, saving, downloading, etc.) to show that defendant in fact exercised dominion and control over the images that were on his screen," Ciparick wrote. "To hold otherwise, would extend the reach of (state law) to conduct - viewing - that our Legislature has not deemed criminal."

A person can view hundreds of these images, or watch hours of real-time videos of children subjected to sexual encounters, and as long as those images are not downloaded, printed or further distributed, such conduct is not proscribed.
It isn't made legal, as Gizmodo suggests, it's just not illegal to look at pics and such. It's only illegal if you're found to be in direct possession of it.

Kind of makes sense, watching it isn't as big of a problem as finding the people who actually make the stuff and cause direct damage to the children doing it. Can see it being used as a way to help persuade people to tell where they say said content.

Should be interesting to see how it all plays out.
 

JoJo

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TheBobmus said:
What a deliciously biased article.
That is correct, nowhere on the article does it mention what I found in their source:

Kent's convictions on the other counts rested on other evidence, including a folder on his machine that stored about 13,000 saved images of girls whom investigators estimated to be 8 or 9 years old and four messages to an unidentified third party discussing a research project into the regulation of child pornography.
In other words, the guy got convicted on CP charges anyway, just not on the strength of the pics saved in his cache alone.

It sounds like a technicality he got off on certain charges but to be honest that sort of thing isn't atypical in computer-related crime. For example in most jurisdictions an IP address alone isn't enough for a conviction (as they can be hacked or spoofed), so anyone who looks at CP and then wipes the evidence off their computer is in practical terms conviction-proof as long as someone doesn't catch them in the act, or they didn't leave other evidence such as credit card details.

It's not a perfect situation but it's the price we pay for having a justice system that requires evidence beyond reasonable doubt. In the case mentioned in the OP however, I think he should have been convicted of those charges too as there was evidence of his computer having been the one to access the illegal images.
 

BloatedGuppy

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Qitz said:
It isn't made legal, it's just not illegal to look at pics and such. It's only illegal if you're found to be in direct possession of it.
I tried to capture that with "viewing it is legal" in the OP. If I've misrepresented it in some way let me know. Not trying to be sensationalist.
 

Qitz

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BloatedGuppy said:
Qitz said:
It isn't made legal, it's just not illegal to look at pics and such. It's only illegal if you're found to be in direct possession of it.
I tried to capture that with "viewing it is legal" in the OP. If I've misrepresented it in some way let me know. Not trying to be sensationalist.
Oh wait, nope, that was me mixing up your Op with the title of the Gizmodo link, my bad.
 

Jonluw

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It's illegal to possess, download, or spread child porn.
The action of looking at the images is in itself not illegal.
I don't really care either way.

Pretty much every aspect involved in consuming child porn is illegal, but the act of looking itself is not.
I'm assuming this is just some sort of technicality that needs to be in place so that investigators, judges and similar don't have to be persecuted when dealing with cp.
 

Fappy

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Ah beat me to it Guppy!

Yeah, this is kind of strange. I suppose they are trying to protect those who accidently stumble onto CP. I kind of figured a safeguard for this already existed... guess I was wrong.
 

Esotera

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This ruling is relatively sensible, as otherwise people who accidentally click http://website-hosting-cp.com could be prosecuted for their actions, despite not actively wanting to download it.

There needs to be legislation about viewing CP hundreds of times with relative frequency, but I think this is the right decision as it doesn't create bad legal precedents.
 

BloatedGuppy

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Esotera said:
This ruling is relatively sensible, as otherwise people who accidentally click http://website-hosting-cp.com could be prosecuted for their actions, despite not actively wanting to download it.

There needs to be legislation about viewing CP hundreds of times with relative frequency, but I think this is the right decision as it doesn't create bad legal precedents.
Yeah it's the "accidentally viewing it for several hours every day" element of this ruling that seems a little questionable. Obviously there needs to be protection for dullards who blithely click into mysterious links, but I kind of assumed something like that was already in place. This seems...more encompassing.

Not that I'm a lawyer, or fully understand the legal implications involved.
 

Esotera

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BloatedGuppy said:
Yeah it's the "accidentally viewing it for several hours every day" element of this ruling that seems a little questionable. Obviously there needs to be protection for dullards who blithely click into mysterious links, but I kind of assumed something like that was already in place. This seems...more encompassing.

Not that I'm a lawyer, or fully understand the legal implications involved.
I'm guessing that there's nothing in the relevant law about the quantity of material viewed, so the ruling decided to protect people who accidentally click on it once or twice over prosecuting people who view many pictures regularly.

I doubt it'll be fixed soon either, as US politicians seem to way more interested in killing the internet.
 

Kinokohatake

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poiumty said:
What about hearing child porn? What if I get sexually aroused by the pained screams of little children? Aren't I a disgusting criminal then?
Yes, yes you are.

This seems like a biiiiiiiiiiiiiig legal mess. They need to throw out the current law and put through a revamped, reworded law.
 

latenightapplepie

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Matthew94 said:
Exactly. It's not like a child gets raped for every picture you look at, I don't condone looking at it but a person shouldn't be punished if they look at it, especially if it's accidental.

*flameshield up*

*awaits police at door*

OT Talk about a biased article.
I agree. Not because it's okay to look at child porn, but just because there's no point prosecuting people who do, you're just wasting time, effort and money. Go after the people who possess it, share it and make it.