Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

UK Wants To Ban Computer-Generated Child Porn

kdawson posted more than 7 years ago | from the think-of-the-children dept.

Censorship 544

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."

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

What's the big deal? (3, Funny)

Giant Ape Skeleton (638834) | more than 7 years ago | (#17237126)

What's wrong with cartoons depicting child abuse?

It's not like we're talking about images of Mohammed or something!

Re:What's the big deal? (1)

soulshinejam (985430) | more than 7 years ago | (#17237538)

Oh, now I'll need a fake ID to buy ultra-porn.

Re:What's the big deal? (5, Insightful)

Rob T Firefly (844560) | more than 7 years ago | (#17237616)

That makes me wonder where the "virtual child abuse" line is drawn. There are lots of non-porn instances in pop culture. Can South Park still kill Kenny? Can Charlie Brown still get whacked with a baseball and go flying off his pitcher's mound? Can Popeye still chase Swee'pea around a construction site? Can God still tell Abraham to kill his son Isaac in the Christian Bible? And don't get me started on the mythological dysfunctional families in the Greek, Roman, Egyptian, Norse, and other ancient polytheistic pantheons that most kids learn about in school.

Re:What's the big deal? (4, Insightful)

neoform (551705) | more than 7 years ago | (#17237748)

We should also ban images depicting murder.. and books.. and movies.. and talking about crime.. and thinking about crime.. and thinking.

Re:What's the big deal? (1, Interesting)

theStorminMormon (883615) | more than 7 years ago | (#17237988)

I don't mean this as a blanked defense of the proposed law by any means. I do, however, think it's a fallacy to compare reading/viewing sexual child abuse to reading/viewing a murder, theft, or other crime. In the case of other crimes, the depiction is entirely separate from the depicted. Reading about a bank robber does not make you a thief.

Pornography is a little different, however, in that it exists as the interaction between the subject and the material. The whole point of pornography is to not just be a depiction of some sexually-arousing act, but to actually arouse.

To make you analogy work, we should put separate depictions of porno in the same category as depictions of murder, rape, theft, vandalism, whatever and put actual porno in a different category. Not neccessarily a criminal category, but certainly a category in which the consumption of the media is the act in question.

-stormin

Re:What's the big deal? (4, Insightful)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 7 years ago | (#17237764)

What's wrong with cartoons depicting murder?

The question is always, "By allowing this stuff to exist are we providing an outlet for an antisocial impulse, or are we feeding an antisocial desire?"

It is rarely so clearcut. When the cops bust a pedophile, and he has a huge collection of child porn, they blame the porn for the pedophilia, but it's a chicken and egg problem.

It's my feeling that people who are prone to committing these types of crimes will do it regardless of the existence of these videos, so the creation of these videos should be allowed in the hopes that they'll fill some of the kiddie porn niche that is currently filled by actual kiddie porn.

You can't fight supply and demand. The regular sick exploitive stuff is already illegal, and yet still being made. Until you can find some way to make people not want this stuff, the existence of an animated substitute that doesn't involve a financial incentive for live action child porn doesn't seem like a bad thing.

take that 4chan (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17237152)

lol

Oh noes! (1, Redundant)

PsyQo (1020321) | more than 7 years ago | (#17237174)

What's next? Banning computer generated or drawn beastiality?
That would mean the tentacles have to go too!

Re:Oh noes! (4, Interesting)

omeg (907329) | more than 7 years ago | (#17237372)

That /is/ next. See, they will never be able to accurately define which drawn cartoons can be seen as child porn and which can't. That, in turn, will allow them to effectively ban a much wider range of them; in the end, all cartoon pornography is vulnerable.

I don't particularly care for cartoon pornography, especially when it depicts children, but I really wonder if it is the right way to ban it. Does anyone know of studies that prove this kind of stuff to be benevolent or malevolent? I don't ever recall hearing facts being stated when someone argues for this kind of stuff to be banned.

Re:Oh noes! (4, Insightful)

voice_of_all_reason (926702) | more than 7 years ago | (#17237674)

Reminds me of a post once where someone asked why China's Ministry of Truth was so effective at censorship.

By not saying "You're prohibited from discussing topics X, Y, and Z" and instead just hauling people off to prison when they decide the line has been crossed, people censor themselves far more effectively.

Re:Oh noes! (1)

spyrochaete (707033) | more than 7 years ago | (#17237526)

Let's just ban the polygon and we won't have to worry about computer generated smut ever again.

Re:Oh noes! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17237942)

Diaper fetichists are crapping themselves already.

Oh and btw, John Reid's got a babyface so let's just wait for the inevitable ironic twist to the story.

Its getting quite difficult to tell the difference (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17237200)

Its getting harder and harder to tell the difference between real and computer generated images, so I think this is a good thing.

The difference is (5, Insightful)

oliverthered (187439) | more than 7 years ago | (#17237308)

In real child porn a child is being abused.
In 'virtual' child porn no children are being abused.

Re:The difference is (1)

omeg (907329) | more than 7 years ago | (#17237412)

They could be created after real images. Or anyway, I personally don't think that no cartoon child porn maker has ever used real images as example for their drawings. Furthermore, it could be argued that this kind of stuff existing could alter the behavior of pedophiles.

Re:The difference is (3, Interesting)

oliverthered (187439) | more than 7 years ago | (#17237544)

Guns din't kill people, people kill people.

Just look at the levels of gun ownership in Canada

Re:The difference is (4, Insightful)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 7 years ago | (#17237564)

Furthermore, it could be argued that this kind of stuff existing could alter the behavior of pedophiles.

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.

Re:The difference is (3, Informative)

theStorminMormon (883615) | more than 7 years ago | (#17238166)

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

Arguing both ways (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17238288)

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.

Ok... here's my two cents:
I don't agree with the latter part of that argument. From my point of view and doubtless that of every victim of a pedophile, their parents friends and family there is something seriously wrong with pedophiles on a very basic level. Determining what what caused this defect in their psyche is something i'll leave to the scientists, details don't really interest me, there is so patently obviously something wrong with these people I don't need to know the specifics. Advocating that we should tolerate pedophilia and try to direct pedophiles towards using virtual child porn is not an attempt to solve this problem it is simply treating or rather alleviating a symptom. Pedophilia just like any other form of rape is about control more than just sex and I don't think any hardcore pedophile will be satisfied with virtual playthings for very long so in the end virtual child porn will not achieve anything more than just postpone the inevitable a little while longer.

Re:The difference is (3, Interesting)

spiritraveller (641174) | more than 7 years ago | (#17237650)

They could be created after real images.

Real images are already illegal. You going to ban something because people **might** have been inspired by something that is illegal?

I guess we'll have to get rid of all the Beatles albums from Sgt. Pepper's and onward, since they **might have been** inspired by illegal drugs.

Or anyway, I personally don't think that no cartoon child porn maker has ever used real images as example for their drawings. Furthermore, it could be argued that this kind of stuff existing could alter the behavior of pedophiles.

Anything can be argued, but studies on pornography have shown that its legalization accompanies a **reduction** in sex crimes.

The reality does not jive with your theory.

Re:The difference is (1)

Psx29 (538840) | more than 7 years ago | (#17238106)

They could be created after real images. Or anyway, I personally don't think that no cartoon child porn maker has ever used real images as example for their drawings. Furthermore, it could be argued that this kind of stuff existing could alter the behavior of pedophiles.

I personally believe that no FPS has been made without real animals(people) hurt in the process. And playing GTA makes me wanna go out and shoot a cop...

Correct... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17237500)

Provided that this isn't somehow feeding a problem that would lead toward behavior.

I'm not saying it is, and perhaps it would prevent the need by some to act. I don't know.
It seems to me that there isn't much available in terms of successful treatment of pedophilia.

It's utilitarianism vs. rights (1)

hey! (33014) | more than 7 years ago | (#17237732)

You point out an important distinction, between the public interest in protecting children, and the public interest in promoting virtue.

To play the role of devil's advocate for a moment, there are reasons other than paternalism to promote public virtue in this case; these interests may not be unrelated.

Virtual child porn has two effects:

(1) It provides a more acceptable alternative to child porn with real children, removing the economic incentive to produce it.

(2) It encourages its users to view children in general as objects of sex gratification.

Personally, I doubt anybody produces live child porn purely for profit. I'd expect there must be elements of sexual sadism, voyeurism and/or exhibitionism involved for somebody to do something so reviled. Therefore I think the loss of economic incentive will have less effect on production than expected.

On the consumer side, the encouragement of sex gratification through a more acceptable means may actually increase demand for live child pornography, especially among those whose fixation has a strong element of sadism or voyeuerism not satisfied by virtual models. Put it this way: if you have a drinking problem and a smoking problem, chances are any time you have drink in your hand you're craving a smoke. Drink enough and you'll end up smoking too.

Argued from a utilitarian viewpoint, there may be little difference in the need to ban virutal and real child porn. From a basic rights (deontological) perspective the distinction between virtual and real is sharper. Virtual porn is not a violation of a specific child's rights.

Re:It's utilitarianism vs. rights (2, Insightful)

oliverthered (187439) | more than 7 years ago | (#17238216)

(2) It encourages its users to view children in general as objects of sex gratification.

Just like topless men are going to turn me into a Gay.

More to the point, I've looked at porn, I've looked at some fairly gratuitous porn but I'm not going to go out and rape someone.

Re:The difference is (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17237780)

which raises the real crux of the issue, whats wrong with child porn?

Until we answer that question is seems a little strange to try and legislate on the issue. I personally feel that a child being abused is what makes child porn wrong as well as the particularly disturbing thought that the child who is subject to the abuse will never be able to make sure that all the images are gone. Some people though see the problem with child porn is the thoughts it creates and could be part of a pattern leading to child abuse. I'm not sure if this is the case - I can easily see how it might prevent real abuse on children - so I think that this issue is one we really need to decide on before we legislate, as well as maybe trying to do research into what the causal relationship with child porn and peadophiles is.

Re:The difference is (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17238036)

In 'virtual' child porn no children are being abused.
Yet.

No one is an island. It's not like people are sitting here existing in a vacuum. Watching child porn affects you and you affect other people you interact with. A child may not be a victim at the creation of the porn, but it's virtually guarenteed that the person watching it is going to be affected. And what kind of affect do you think masterbating to children has on your brain? What is your brain associating with an orgasm? It's not a "safe outlet", it's conditioning the brain to associate sexual pleasure with children. If you can't see how that is a bad thing then I guess we have nothing left to say to each other.

Re:The difference is (1)

JuicyBrain (977451) | more than 7 years ago | (#17238294)

Exactly !

Looks like, with time, we forgot why child pornography is bad... Because it hurts children !
If no children is hurt, what's the point of censoring it ?
Should we ban monopoly money because it might make people rob banks ?

Bullshit (3, Insightful)

Orrin Bloquy (898571) | more than 7 years ago | (#17238266)

This was Ashcroft's pathetic argument. I've worked with the application that's used to generate 99.9% of all CGI porn out there (Poser), and its models are instantly recognizable. The lighting and rendering options are prosumer level at best, but more importantly the artists who create Poser porn have NO INTEREST in making their work indistinguishable from photography.

This is not a trivial point. CGI porn is created by artists who don't have the skills or talent to draw it themselves, not Hollywood-level techs looking to circumvent the law. And their paysite customers are comfortable in the knowledge that possession of images of recognizably non-real events means no exploitation of real-world models. No victim, no crime.

The unspoken presumption here is that what pervs want more than anything is photorealistic images which defy distinction. The number of people who subscribe to sites with hand-drawn furry porn says otherwise.

Maya is the gold standard for images indistinguishable from photos. People take college-level courses to learn it, never mind master it, and the investment of time and money is inconsistent with the ROI they could get using it to make loli porn.

When the police's argument devolves to "this means the burden of proof is still on us," I honestly don't give a fuck.

I imagine it won't be too long before.... (1)

Whatsisname (891214) | more than 7 years ago | (#17237216)

I imagine it won't be too long before the petitions are flooded with "DESU DESU DESU"

Re:I imagine it won't be too long before.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17237358)

Nobody ruins petitions like Gaston.

Re:I imagine it won't be too long before.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17237848)

Petition's closed.

Re:I imagine it won't be too long before.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17238152)

You are forgetting rules 1 & 2: #1 You do not talk about the /b/ #2 You do not talk about the /b/

Mixed Blessing (2, Insightful)

Orclover (228413) | more than 7 years ago | (#17237236)

Sounds like a long overdue idea at the forefront but where does the line get drawn? Do they stop at the internet "fantasy" sites that have started popping up or will they suddenly include Anime? What about some Mod for The Sims that some kid cooks up that makes all the characters naked? Would hate to think some poor bastard out there gets 10 years in prison for mixing together the perfect nudist colony on his sims block. Any chance they will just limit this to the internet pr0n sites that have cropped up?

Re:Mixed Blessing (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17237426)

Would plain nudity qualify then? If so, does this qualify:

(_|_) - butt of a minor

Either way, I sympathize with the intent but I doubt it will do any good in practical terms.

Re:Mixed Blessing (1)

Qzukk (229616) | more than 7 years ago | (#17237730)

or will they suddenly include Anime?

At least Pretty Sammy/Magical Project S is safe, after all, in the original story, Sasami is 700 years old!

Now if only there was such an excuse for Nanoha...

Re:Mixed Blessing (1)

DrSkwid (118965) | more than 7 years ago | (#17237976)

> Sounds like a long overdue idea at the forefront

sounds like one, but it isn't

Keep the fuck out of my drawing book, mother fuckers.

There's a world of difference between fucking a baby and some pixels.

Reid is a fucking Nazi. I hope he dies soon.

Did I make the depth of my feeling plain enough ?

Re:Mixed Blessing (1)

mikerich (120257) | more than 7 years ago | (#17238242)

Reid is a fucking Nazi. I hope he dies soon.

Actually he isn't.

He did use to be a Marxist and he did accept hospitality from Serbian war criminal Radovan Karadic whilst Sarajevan civilians were being shelled in the streets - but he's not a Nazi.

Just one question - is he worse than Blunkett?

and who definies child? (1)

Shivetya (243324) | more than 7 years ago | (#17238176)

because of the internet who gets to decide what the age of a child is?

and what are the physical characteristics are we going to measure it by?

and whats constitutes porn? Provocative poses? Skimpy clothing? No Clothing? touching or not touching?

too many ways to bite everyone in the ass

I'll be the flamebait (1)

balsy2001 (941953) | more than 7 years ago | (#17237250)

I hate to tell people what they can and can't create on their computer, but if there were a situation that warranted it this might be it. I guess the real question is whether this starts down the slippery slope.

Re:I'll be the flamebait (4, Insightful)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 7 years ago | (#17237404)

I hate to tell people what they can and can't create on their computer, but if there were a situation that warranted it this might be it. I guess the real question is whether this starts down the slippery slope.

As soon as start restricting anything people do *without hurting other people* on a moral basis, you're already slipping on the slope. I understand banning real child porn because children are hurt making it, and I can understand banning photoshopping greenbacks because the fiduciary system, and society in general is hurt, but whatever people do that hurts no-one should be nobody's business to regulate or ban, including peddling or collecting Nazi-ware, which is banned in Europe for some stupid reason I might add.

Any state trying to prevent you from making or watching Hentai smells of police state. Plain and simple. And given the UK's recent track record in this domain, I can't say I'm surprised.

Re:I'll be the flamebait (1)

balsy2001 (941953) | more than 7 years ago | (#17237494)

Very good comment, I agree but for some reason it just doesn't feel quite right. But alas, feeling is not a good reason to make a law.

Re:I'll be the flamebait (3, Insightful)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 7 years ago | (#17238114)

It's hard to say, "Yea, people should be able to create animated child porn and collect Nazi memorabilia" because most people feel that that crosses an ethical line. No "decent" person should want that stuff, so who are we hurting when we ban it? Bunch of sickos? Who cares?

But that's a bad precident to set, where the majority arbitrarily decides what is and is not acceptable for society. As long as no one is hurt/exploited/etc, society should be able to tolerate oddball fringes.

The Nazi stuff is a good example. Europe is working hard to remove any hint that Nazism ever existed, but is that good for society? I've got a copy of the Krampf on my bookshelf at home...It's an excellent reminder of how some pointed hate rhetoric tailored for the masses can screw up the whole goddamn world. It's especially nice because there is a lot of that rhetoric still in play in the world, and it's good to be able to put it in it's proper category.

Re:I'll be the flamebait (1)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 7 years ago | (#17237676)

I can understand banning photoshopping greenbacks because the fiduciary system, and society in general is hurt

I can't. In fact, that sounds remarkably like the other side of this issue! It's not the photoshopping that's harmful; what's harmful is the act of trying to pass the result off as real money. Therefore, it's that act that should be (and is) illegal, not the photoshopping.

In the same way, it's the real child porn that's harmful, not the animated kind, so only the former should be illegal.

Re:I'll be the flamebait (4, Insightful)

Mr2cents (323101) | more than 7 years ago | (#17237448)

I disagree. I thought that the reason those photo's are forbidden was becauce you'd need to abuse children to make such photo's. If you just draw something on your computer, you're not harming anyone. Sure it's sick, but is that a crime?

Re:I'll be the flamebait (1)

aadvancedGIR (959466) | more than 7 years ago | (#17237716)

Absolutelly, it would be like banning the sexylosers comics because one of the caracters is necrophiliac. RTFR 'extreme porn', eck, that's also in the plan.

Re:I'll be the flamebait (1)

voice_of_all_reason (926702) | more than 7 years ago | (#17237722)

To some people (religious fundies of all colors), being sick is a crime.

Re:I'll be the flamebait (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17237590)

I hate to tell people what they can and can't create on their computer


Obviously you don't if you go on to agree with it, so don't go around making false claims to make yourself look better.

As with any other tool, I'd have no problem with society criminalizing certain acts that people commit with computers (or with swords and chainsaws). But I see no need to legislate morality on people over what is essentially drawings - whether it be on paper or on a screen. This is a breach of the first amendment if politicians on these shores were ever to embrace it. As for the real stuff, laws are in place.

Ban bad thoughts too (4, Insightful)

Hoi Polloi (522990) | more than 7 years ago | (#17237266)

What would constitute a child in a drawing? Would one of the figures have to be small? What if the creator said it was a midget? Would it have to say it was a child in a caption? Would it have to have pigtails or some streotypical childish feature? Would they ban people from play acting as kids during sex?

How about realizing that you can't legislate away all the bad things in the world.

Re:Ban bad thoughts too (1)

BenjyD (316700) | more than 7 years ago | (#17237428)

Exactly, I doubt this will ever get beyond committee stage in Parliament, it's just too hard to define. That, and the lack of any clear victim.

Re:Ban bad thoughts too (3, Insightful)

PingSpike (947548) | more than 7 years ago | (#17237566)

You hit on all the points I was going to make. Its easy to get caught in the shock factor of "they're disgusting perverts!" but if you think about the implications of this law its a pretty dangerous precident. Child pornography laws already tread into some pretty iffy areas here in the US. (There are examples of parents being arrested for innocent naked pictures of their babies, although no convictions that I know of)

You already touched on this...but I still feel like expanding. Sure, this might stop a few people from creating some hardcore fake porn featuring kids...but a fake child is hard to quantify isn't it? No one is going to write "kiddie porn" on their works so that leaves it up to the discretion of some fat busy-body somewhere to decide. Its a little easier to make the laws featuring real humans, since its easy enough to seperate them into 18 and not 18.

It is a slipperly slope, because once you stop using their actual age as a factor and instead the appearance of their age all bets are off.

Re:Ban bad thoughts too (1)

dragonsomnolent (978815) | more than 7 years ago | (#17237930)

Thank you, that slippery slope is not one I care to slide down. If my wife wants to dress up like a high school cheerleader when we have sex, does that make me a pedophile? NO. But if we filmed it, would that make it kiddie porn? Logically, no, but if that law passed, it could. Thus the law runs contrary to logic, thus the law is flawed. Please, people of Great Britian, stop this before it's too late, and your country gets as fscked as mine (The U.S.) There are other questions one could pose, but they are more dealing with pedophila itself and not the topic at hand.

Re:Ban bad thoughts too (4, Insightful)

testadicazzo (567430) | more than 7 years ago | (#17237670)

Do you know the robert crumb cartoon "big baby"? It's a character that looks like a huge curvy woman with a baby head sucking on a pacifier who just says "goo" and thinks cocks are big pacifiers, and cum is just like mothers milk. When she appeared on the cover of the "complete crumb" reprints he put a little blurb saying "relax folks, she's 18", for what I guess are obvious reasons. In the stories there's no reason to think she's 18.

outlawing child porn to protect children is reasonable. But outlawing thinking about child porn, whether it be in a drawing or CGI is just though policing, and I'm thoroughly against thought police. In the example of R. Crumb, he was originally thought of as a big pornographer, and had a lot of troubles becuase of the things he decided to draw about. But the things he drew, although they were absolutely certainly without a doubte graphically depicting sexual child abuse in a cartoon form, are gradually being thought of as art rather than horrible seedy pornography. His stuff routinely gets shown in art galleries in the US and across Europe now, and consider pretty sides of the human psyche.

I actually tried to bring this debate up at a party, shortly after the netherlands initiated a debate about outlawing virtual child porn (what happened with that anyway?). Everyone at the party (it was an office party, not really friends. I just wanted to bring up something more interesting than the banal shit they were bandying around) was grossly offended at the idea of virtual child porn, and one particularly stupid individual told me that once I had children I would understand that virtual child porn was wrong.

Well, I'm not young, and I've been around the block a few times, and it's my considered opinion that pretending that certain things don't exist, and censoring their depiction or discussion don't eliminate those things. I don't think they even reduce them. I'm not sure of it, but I think open discussions and the ability to confront such things, and other peoples thoughts, ideas, and fantasies, even when grossly disturbing, actually helps reduce these things. It's the same reason I think it's reprehensible that some school libraries choose to censor mark twain, since his work depicts racism. It's anti racism, but they don't care. They don't like the fact that he shows an ugly side of American history.

Put another way, and I guess I'm ripping this off of Noam Chomsky, freedom of speech is measured by how much freedom one has to say things we don't like to hear (or in this case see). Stalin and Hitler were perfectly content to let people communicate ideas and concepts they approved of, but we don't say they supported free speech.

So yeah, kiddie porn is creepy and disturbing. But if no one was hurt in the production of such kiddie porn, it must not be made illegal. Same goes for depicting violent and nasty or disgusting sex acts. Deal with it, reality contains many creepy and difficult to face concepts. If you don't like them, stick you head as deep in the sand as you must. If you want to shelter your kids from these facts, then stick their heads in the sand too. But don't be surprised if they suffocate, and especially don't be surprised when they find themselves unable to deal with real dangers, threats and disturbing concepts that they might one day have to face.

Hentai becomes illegal in UK? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17237288)

But won't outlawing the tentacle innovation destroy future work places?

Being a pedophiliac certainly isn't much worse than being a politican and no children are harmed in Hentai.

If it offends ME ban it (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17237318)

I'm just an Ordinary Average Guy (apologies to Joe Walsh)
I am an example of an average person, and I take the responsibilities of representing the average person.
Anything that offends me, therefore, must offend average people.
non-average people tend to have these weird fetishes and ways of speaking and bizarre cultural beliefs and, well, I'm just going to say it...the offend me.
Therefore all non-average people offend average people and we must ban them all so that the only beliefs & cultures left are the average ones.
Thus, everybody wins!
You cannot argue with logic.

Where's the balance point? (2, Insightful)

erroneus (253617) | more than 7 years ago | (#17237324)

At what point is it a good idea to attempt to regulate thoughts, feeling and their expression? At what point does it become bad? I find myself asking that question at every turn when I see laws regulating "morality."

Some easy cases for regulation is in the constant sexually oriented marketing and the results it has on children. We like to turn a blind eye to the fact that "adult targetted advertisment" affects the way young developing minds perceive the world. (Yet at the same time, we recognize the fact when we are talking about tobacco and alcohol advertising?)

I don't feel up to making cases against regulation -- I think they don't need to be stated -- I think they are pretty obvious. It's just bad to attempt to control thought.

But perhaps what needs more control is the attempts at controlling thought themselves!!! Better controls on advertising. Better controls on laws on morality. Those kinds of controls might actually have a better chance at addressing the causes of the problems and not just the symptoms. The way I see things, frustrated and confused children growing up to be frustrated and confused adults are the problems and these crimes against children are the symptoms.

Re:Where's the balance point? (1)

voice_of_all_reason (926702) | more than 7 years ago | (#17237782)

At what point is it a good idea to attempt to regulate thoughts, feeling and their expression?

As soon as the government can get away with it

Seriously, almost every single one denegrates towards this batshit-crazy stuff in the end before it's overthrown.

Re:Where's the balance point? (2, Insightful)

Kopl (1027670) | more than 7 years ago | (#17237830)

There is NO regulating thought. I find such an idea disturbing. Freedom of thought should be a more fundamental right than even freedom of speech. There is a better alternative. Law. Let them know that when they do do something illegal they will be arrested(and not enjoy the results). Morality doesn't just disappear when it isn't enforced. Most people eventually gain it.

Roald Dahl? (4, Interesting)

BenjyD (316700) | more than 7 years ago | (#17237382)

I expect they'll be arresting Quentin Blake for his illustrations of child abuse in Roald Dahl'sMatilda then.

Thinking this through (1)

Bragador (1036480) | more than 7 years ago | (#17237396)

Ok so they want to forbid drawings made on a computer in which kids are doing it with adults. Since the real thing is already illegal and since it doesn't stop the more dangerous pedophiles to trick kids into posing for them or to simply kidnap them, how is this law supposed to bring fear to these persons ? Also I prefer that these persons get off from virtual pictures that look real than from real pictures where child were molested. In other words, this is a stupid and useless law that is only on the table to trick the public into liking the government. Instead of thinking about votes, could you think of the children ?

How do you outlaw the Web? (1)

jdavidl (1039788) | more than 7 years ago | (#17237398)

While I am all for preventing child abuse, the problem with this is... how do you outlaw images that come from a different country? You can go to servers all over the world from the UK. Or is it just applicable for websites that are hosted in the UK? Why not just require all sexually-related material to be placed on a .XXX domain to make for easy filtering? This would be a pretty easy, almost binary yes/no question as to whether it should be on a .XXX domain. Part of the answer, IMHO: there is way too much money out there in commercial pornography and all of the related stuff in the industry, and no one wants to lose that money, or cause that money to be lost.

Re:How do you outlaw the Web? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17237582)

Simple, when you take your computer to PC world for a new drive to be installed they will report you to the police. :-)

Re:How do you outlaw the Web? (1)

jdavidl (1039788) | more than 7 years ago | (#17237620)

So that's why all those secure file shredding programs are making so much money...

It's actually current practice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17237736)

Many UK ISP's already block access to illegal pornographic content (involving children) on web sites hosted abroad - if the content is hosted in the UK it's simply removed by the provider on request/instruction.

Pictures of Washu would be okay, though (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17237422)

Even though she looks like a little kid, she's actually several thousand years old. Plus, she's the universe's greatest scientist, so she's the perfect sex symbol for geeks.

fr1st psot (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17237464)

ebut it's not a

pr0n st4rs with Turner syndrome, too? (1)

denis-The-menace (471988) | more than 7 years ago | (#17237478)

With Turner's syndrome, a person can look 13 and be much older.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Law_%26_Order:_Specia l_Victims_Unit_(season_8)#Clock_.289.2F26.2F06.29 [wikipedia.org]

Re:pr0n st4rs with Turner syndrome, too? (1)

JeremyBanks (1036532) | more than 7 years ago | (#17237918)

A Law and Order SVU episode summary is a source? :P

More short-sighted legislation from the UK (1)

jrq (119773) | more than 7 years ago | (#17237480)

Here you go with another well-intentioned, but poorly thought out piece of legislation. The kind of thing that they're trying to prevent is obviously repugnant, but, as with all government-driven restrictions on expression and speech, you end up casting the net far wider than anticipated. These things are much better left for the market place and society, in general, to sort out.

The nanny state grows larger every day!

As far as I can tell, any episode where Homer throttles Bart would fall foul of this, and who wants to miss out on the "Why you little..." sound bite?

Wow. (1)

s31523 (926314) | more than 7 years ago | (#17237534)

People must have some serious problems if they are taking the time to generate this kind of stuff.

Hentai? Yeah, baby!!! (1)

sigmoid_balance (777560) | more than 7 years ago | (#17237542)

I for one welcome our new Hentai-tycoons-on-UK-market overlords.

But now seriously speaking, you know all those 14 yo looking girls in hentai are probably supposed to be 18-19 for them. We see the japonese women as younger than they really are, and they see the white women as older also.

Re:Hentai? Yeah, baby!!! (1)

Code Master (164951) | more than 7 years ago | (#17237856)

I just realized this the other day when I found out all the Asian people I work with a many years older than I thought.

Oh noes... (1)

Yetihehe (971185) | more than 7 years ago | (#17237556)

This means my firefoxy wallpaper [vegard2.no] will be illegal, it's too cruel.

Canada... (3, Informative)

cbirkett (904502) | more than 7 years ago | (#17237578)

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:Canada... (1)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 7 years ago | (#17237864)

That's funny... It means Canadians can't produce movies illustrating "lolita" behavior as the film with the same name did. Not that I care for such movies really, unless they'd have a really good script, in which case they'd be our loss. I also have to wonder if Brooke Shields actually suffered any psychological trauma from the recording of that movie? If not, and if it's not common, who are we protecting in this case, really?

Re:Canada... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17238318)

Is Canada a Mormon country?

Moo (4, Interesting)

Chacham (981) | more than 7 years ago | (#17237596)

We must ask for the facts sometimes, because perhaps it has lost its original meaning in the emotional charge the masses have given to it.

I remember watching the debates on the flag burning amendment. One Representative burnt a napkin with a flag on it at the podium saying that if we ban flag burning, that action would be illegal.

Regardless of the issue of flag burning, he had a point. Even those who are for the amendment don't intend it to go that so far as destroying any image resembling a flag, so perhaps they need to take a step back before blindly banning things under the name of patriotism.

I find the same point to be applicable here. Whether stopping child porn will help protect the children or not is irrelevant, those who promote child porn bans by saying it will help, probably don't intend for it to ban all images resembling it, and they need to take a step back before blindly banning things under the name of thinkofthechildren [slashdot.org] .

There is another, at first helpful but then noticeably nefarious, movement here. Some find pedophilia in-and-of-itself to be so loathesome they want to strip all pedophiles of everything, regardless of whether it helps the children or not. This then would become an issue of freedom. If there is no victim, and they keep to themselves, why should anyone else care. If it is because it may in the future hurt a child, again, perhaps they need to take a step back before blindly banning things under the name of thinkofthechildren [slashdot.org] .

Explicit girlfriend in schoolgirl outfit illegal?? (4, Insightful)

SpecialAgentXXX (623692) | more than 7 years ago | (#17237668)

There are plenty of websites out there that feature "barely legal" young women who are 18 and over. They usually have them dressed in schoolgirl outfits or acting like a "girly high school girl." Would that be considered illegal because it "simulates" an underage girl?

As for cartoons, how the hell does a court determine whether or not the drawn picture is of an underage girl, or a "barely legal" 18 year old? And why is this such a big deal? I thought the whole point in stopping child porn is because it exploits and abuses the children. Who is abused when an artist draws pictures? For there to be a crime, there has to be a victim. Where's the victim?

Re:Explicit girlfriend in schoolgirl outfit illega (1)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 7 years ago | (#17237914)

As for cartoons, how the hell does a court determine whether or not the drawn picture is of an underage girl, or a "barely legal" 18 year old?

You zoom in really much on the pixels, and if they have fewer than 18 age rings on them, the pixels are too young. :-p

Seriously, yeah, that judgment would be entirely left up for the law to make, and with as exaggerated erotica the computer generated art I've seen can be, that should be an interesting judgment to watch to say the least.

Re:Explicit girlfriend in schoolgirl outfit illega (1)

danpsmith (922127) | more than 7 years ago | (#17238048)

For there to be a crime, there has to be a victim. Where's the victim?

You must be new here. And by here I mean to organized government.

Legislating Morality vs Preventing Crime (2, Insightful)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 7 years ago | (#17238100)

And why is this such a big deal? I thought the whole point in stopping child porn is because it exploits and abuses the children.

So there are at least two issues here. One is legislating morality. Lots of people in power like to do that. It's not justified.

Second is preventing crime. The theory is if you take a mentally unstable person and bathe him in child porn, virtual or not, he's more likely to actually commit a crime acting out what he's been exposed to. So, by removing the stimulus, you prevent the crime.

I don't know how much data there is on that, but the hypothesis at least has merit for study.

Further, there's the issue of whether preventing said crime is worth the infringement of the rights of those without the tendency to act out their crimes. There's no acceptable regime that can limit the ban to those actually likely to be affected.

Our society is all over the place on this issue. On one hand, someone can't smoke next to me in a restaurant because their smoke probably causes me harm. On the other hand, we haven't banned motor vehicles from roads, where people do walk on foot and a very real number of people are killed by the fact that there are cars on those roads.

In the end it's all a careful balancing of trade-offs.

Re:Legislating Morality vs Preventing Crime (1)

GigsVT (208848) | more than 7 years ago | (#17238234)

but the hypothesis at least has merit for study.

Not in the US. The supreme court was very clear on this point. The child porn laws only exist to protect the immediate victims. If there are no immediate victims, there is no crime. They flat out rejected the idea that the laws exist to remove "temptations" or anything of that sort, they said such a law would be unconstitutional and violate the first amendment.

So it really doesn't matter if there is a link, not in the US. The supreme court has rejected the idea of thoughtcrime, thankfully.

will the law be applied retrospectively (1)

infolation (840436) | more than 7 years ago | (#17237700)

If such a law came into effect, what would constitute possession?

Would a computer owner who had previously stored such images on their computer be required to delete them? Or securely delete them (multiple overwrites)? Or scrub their entire hard-drive with Darius Boot and Nuke? Thermite? etc.

I'm always interested to hear the UK goverment tell its citizens that possession of data on computers will be made 'illegal' from a fixed date onwards. The same woolly legal thinking applied to the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act [opsi.gov.uk] , which criminalizes the possession of data that the owner encrypted but is unable to decrypt when demanded to do so by the police.

Re:will the law be applied retrospectively (1)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 7 years ago | (#17238182)

Would a computer owner who had previously stored such images on their computer be required to delete them? Or securely delete them (multiple overwrites)? Or scrub their entire hard-drive with Darius Boot and Nuke? Thermite? etc.

One thing's for sure about child porn possession... I've had stories of drives not entirely wiped when resold in case of returns by customers and still with all data not wiped. In case you'd be a second owner of such a, usually a bit more cheaply sold and thus more attractive to some to buy, you'd better be sure that stuff was never on it in case you'd have hardware troubles in the future. Because there have likewise been stories of those turning in customers because they "found" (don't ask me what gives them the right to scan your drive -- they can and do it) illegal material on the drive. I think you'd have quite a hard time proving it wasn't you that stored them, but a former owner.

This is just one problem I have with overzealous laws like this that become sort of "blunt" in how they work, lacking a better term. I have nothing against legislation stopping this stuff to be spread, but why not be satisfied with making it illegal to spread and get child porn, just not possess it? It would close a heck of a lot of problematic scenarios IMHO and work pretty much as well as usual.

Logical move (1)

aadvancedGIR (959466) | more than 7 years ago | (#17237792)

What else should we expect since so many english politicians were recently caught in dirty affairs.

Did you know... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17237846)

...that [in the US] baby boys have to play baby girls in diaper commercials because of laws against ANY broadcast of a topless female? (See also, Super Bowl Janet)

Now, let us consider how unlikley it is that anyone has been upset or put-off by this harmless simulation of something illegal.

You've been tricked into thinking you're looking at a topless girl, but it's actually a topless boy in drag... that makes it ok? Isn't it most likely that a topless girl would have been used instead with a minor re-write of the law? Should this be considered an offense at all? Does context make all the difference?

This is just some fuel for the fire. Draw your own conclusions.

Diverting from real issues (4, Insightful)

NorbrookC (674063) | more than 7 years ago | (#17237860)

Is it just me, or does it seem like every time there are real issues that need addressing, but require a lot of effort and a change in government policy, said government comes up with some diversionary issue?

"We need to reevaluate our Iraq policy." "Right, here's a measure we need to fight child pornography!" "We've got an immigration issue." "BTW, did we mention this epidemic of child porn?" "We have to look at healthcare costs" "Look! Kid porn! Child molesters!" It's a quick hot-button issue that allows them to spend immense amounts of time pontificating, while diverting public attention from any lack of work on real issues.

That's not even asking the question of "Why didn't the last 10 laws you passed on this subject work, or why didn't you enforce them?" Which is the question I'm asking of them. Until they have a good answer, I letting them know that I expect them to stop trying to divert me, and get to work on real issues.

Re:Diverting from real issues (1)

infolation (840436) | more than 7 years ago | (#17237946)

Correct. And this story arrives on the day that Tony Blair is interviewed by police [bbc.co.uk] for two hours about cash for honours.

Re:Diverting from real issues (1)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 7 years ago | (#17238188)

It's just you. Sort of. All governments constantly come up with stupid issues all the time. The correleation is merely preceptual bias, like people thinking there's more crime during the full moon.

US Title 18 (1)

lostboy2 (194153) | more than 7 years ago | (#17237904)

IANAL but I thought CG depictions of child sexuality are already illegal in the United States. The relevent code, I think, is Title 18, Chapter 110 [cornell.edu] -- in particular, see Section 2252A [cornell.edu] and Section 2256 [cornell.edu] .

From 18 USC 2256:
(8) "child pornography" means any visual depiction, including any photograph, film, video, picture, or computer or computer-generated image or picture, whether made or produced by electronic, mechanical, or other means, of sexually explicit conduct, where--
(A) the production of such visual depiction involves the use of a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct;
(B) such visual depiction is a digital image, computer image, or computer-generated image that is, or is indistinguishable from, that of a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct; or
(C) such visual depiction has been created, adapted, or modified to appear that an identifiable minor is engaging in sexually explicit conduct.
and
For purposes of subsection 8(B) [1] of this section, "sexually explicit conduct" means--
(i) graphic sexual intercourse, including genital-genital, oral-genital, anal-genital, or oral-anal, whether between persons of the same or opposite sex, or lascivious simulated sexual intercourse where the genitals, breast, or pubic area of any person is exhibited;
(ii) graphic or lascivious simulated;
    (I) bestiality;
    (II) masturbation; or
    (III) sadistic or masochistic abuse; or
(iii) graphic or simulated lascivious exhibition of the genitals or pubic area of any person;
I'm guessing that simple nudity would not be considered child pornography, then. But, I suppose that depends on what constitutes "lascivious exhibition".

Re:US Title 18 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17238008)

I think the key phrase is "indistinguishable from". Most of the stuff that will be banned by this UK legislation is not indistinguishable from a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct. For example, few would confuse porn involving actual children and lolicon.

Re:US Title 18 (1)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 7 years ago | (#17238016)

   o
  -+-
  / \

Tee-hee... This is John, 13 years old, stark naked in a full frontal pose.
Made you regret you clicked on this link, didn't I ??

Re:US Title 18 (1)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 7 years ago | (#17238062)

graphic sexual intercourse, including genital-genital, oral-genital, anal-genital, or oral-anal, whether between persons of the same or opposite sex, or lascivious simulated sexual intercourse where the genitals, breast, or pubic area of any person is exhibited;

"lascivious simulated sexual intercourse"

Seems they closed the legal loophole for creating sites with underage genital-nasal sex and not call it sexually explicit. ;)

Re:US Title 18 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17238286)

> 8A the production of such visual depiction involves the use of a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct;

I do believe that this means that the item in question needs to involve an actual minor in the creation of it to be illegal, this means that drawings that aren't of real children are not illegal in the US.

Sailor Moon's going to get IEd :P (1)

Ariastis (797888) | more than 7 years ago | (#17237938)

Guess now Sailor Moon & al. are going to have to show ID cards before being tentacle-fucked :P

Tacitus (1)

kahei (466208) | more than 7 years ago | (#17237948)


The more corrupt the state, the more numerous the la -- hang on, I posted that yesterday or something.

Are we reaching a situation where vague, ill-defined laws that basically criminalize whatever's unpopular or unprofitable or unlucky are actually being made faster than I can quote Tacitus? In the UK I'd say we are.

Things must be going pretty damn well... (1)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | more than 7 years ago | (#17238068)

... if progress can only be achieved by outlawing thought-crime.

What I'd really love to see is some way to put a cost on creating legislation. Just so that people can't just create legislation for the sake of looking good.

The old, what is child porn debate? (2, Insightful)

Wellington Grey (942717) | more than 7 years ago | (#17238094)

O
/|\
|_
/ \


So... is that ascii drawing child porn? What if I say it's a drawing of a child?

-Grey [wellingtongrey.net]

Re:The old, what is child porn debate? (1)

rumplet (1034332) | more than 7 years ago | (#17238330)

(_____) E( )3 ~~~V~~~ || V || Look, it's ascii goatse.

grooming (1)

Spaham (634471) | more than 7 years ago | (#17238132)

Hi !

like most people, I started by wondering why cartoons needed to be banned since no child was molested in doing it.
But then I remembered what other uses those cartoons (and real photographies/movies) get put to.
They're used for grooming. Paedophiles may use those to show the kids and explain that it's an OK thing to do,
"see, everyone's doing it", that kind of thing...

So I guess the line is where you start to over protect or when people start to lose any kind of freedom.

Negima! (1)

alexgieg (948359) | more than 7 years ago | (#17238290)

I'm sorry for UK fans of Negima!: Magister Negi Magi [wikipedia.org] . It's one of the funniest manga teen comedies I've ever read, but due to the protagonist being a 10-year old who is surrounded by partially naked teen girls, it might end up being targeted by such a dumb law. How absurd!
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?