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Germans Pursuing Kiddie Porn In Second Life

kdawson posted more than 7 years ago | from the can't-do-that-here-either dept.

Role Playing (Games) 408

Several readers sent in links to the BBC, which has picked up news of a German investigation into child pornography in Second Life. A German TV station captured images of two avatars, an apparent adult and an apparent child, involved in sexual activity. The station also said they had infiltrated a ring trading real-world child porn in SL. SL creator Linden Labs is cooperating fully with the investigation, they write on their official blog: "Our investigations revealed the users behind these avatars to be a 54-year-old man and a 27-year-old woman. Both were immediately banned from Second Life." The German prosecutor's office hasn't responded to Linden's offer of help in identifying the real-world traders.

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Anyone surprised it began in Germany? (0, Flamebait)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 7 years ago | (#19070111)

Welcome to the era of thought crime

Re:Anyone surprised it began in Germany? (4, Insightful)

JoelMartinez (916445) | more than 7 years ago | (#19070157)

what part of "trading real-world child porn in SL" is a thought crime?

Re:Anyone surprised it began in Germany? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19070195)

maybe Parent was referring to the other part, numbnuts?

Re:Anyone surprised it began in Germany? (5, Insightful)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | more than 7 years ago | (#19070475)

The part that referred to "trading in virtual child pornography is punishable by up to three years"?

I'm as horrified as anyone by real child abuse and pornography, but virtual one? Age-play? That's just dumb. If anything, it might be possible to identify whether the people acting out their fantasies have either engaged in real child abuse or have been victims of it. But to criminalize virtual role-playing is indeed a complete thought crime.

Re:Anyone surprised it began in Germany? (2, Interesting)

JoelMartinez (916445) | more than 7 years ago | (#19070765)

fair enough ... I'll admit I didn't read the article. Just wanted to make sure the distinction was made that the trading of real-life kiddie porn shouldn't be defended. The virtual stuff ... well, I'm not sure how I feel about that. On the one hand, it's "thoughtcrimey" ... on the other, I'll go ahead and draw a line in the sand to assert that it's sick. I'll stop just short of passing judgment and suggesting a resolution to the issue.

Re:Anyone surprised it began in Germany? (-1, Flamebait)

Knara (9377) | more than 7 years ago | (#19071109)

Why is it important that you, joe-nobody, make the distinction known?

Re:Anyone surprised it began in Germany? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19070901)

Trading digital images of real naked children is a real crime. You have to exploit children to make such pictures, so trading (and making) them *should* be illegal, investigated, and prosecuted.

Making a polygonal mesh resemble a naked young child is not a real crime. No children were exploited, and hence no harm was done. That *should not* be illegal, though Linden is perfectly within its rights to set a terms of use policy against that (or against wearing blue shirts or speaking spanish, for that matter) since they own the servers.

Re:Anyone surprised it began in Germany? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19070165)

So, if I dress my 28 year old five up as a school girl, can we get sent to jail for that now, too? I mean, maybe we were pretending too hard, ya know?

RTFA (3, Informative)

SpeedyDX (1014595) | more than 7 years ago | (#19070283)

fTFA:

Mr Schader was asked to pay to attend meetings where virtual and real child pornography was being shown.

Members of this group also offered to put him in touch with traders of real child pornography.

Re:Anyone surprised it began in Germany? (3, Insightful)

BrookHarty (9119) | more than 7 years ago | (#19070339)

Thoughtcrime indeed, 2 adults rollplaying is legal, rollplaying online isn't, its still 2 consenting adults.

The police need to get out of our sex lives. Linden labs isn't fooling anyone, Secondlife is for virtual sex...

Re:Anyone surprised it began in Germany? (5, Insightful)

Tuoqui (1091447) | more than 7 years ago | (#19070579)

I have no problem with anything two consenting adults (or their SL avatars) do with each other. That is covered by the whole 'government should stay out of our bedrooms' thing.

The entirety of the problem lies in the fact that RL child pornography was being displayed and/or sold to other people via Second Life. When this occurs it is a crime. The fact it is happening in SL doesnt mean it is any different from someone selling them on a web page.

Honestly? I'm not suprised it is happening in SL. Considering it is a place where you go to fulfill your fantasies in a virtual life (IE. house, car, good looking outfits, seems some sickos added kiddie porn to that list).

Re:Anyone surprised it began in Germany? (3, Informative)

Coan_teen (941463) | more than 7 years ago | (#19070879)

The way I understand it, the two users were not banned from SL for their avatar hanky panky but for being involved in the exchanges that others have pointed out - things that have a real correlation to real child exploitation. As for the question of whether or not expressing these urges helps control them: I don't believe there's much statistical data, but it seems logical that having a virtual outlet might be an option for some (probably not all) pedophiles. Others might find this stimulating in such a way that it encourages them to act out the fantasy. Who knows? There haven't been many studies done. Still, this incident occurred in a public enough online space that the investigators were able to capture it. If they were able to find and see it, others would be as well. It may be a virtual act between consenting adults, but SL is full of underage people. If people want to engage in graphic virtual sex, they need to do so in a forum that is adults-only, for the same reason that real consenting adult sex is not legal in public.

Re:Anyone surprised it began in Germany? (1)

computational super (740265) | more than 7 years ago | (#19070979)

There haven't been many studies done.

And if there were, each one would contradict the last one (based on the prejudice of the researcher) and everybody would ignore the results of the studies and base their opinions on their own hysterical over-emotional prejudices (as always).

Confused. (0, Redundant)

endianx (1006895) | more than 7 years ago | (#19070129)

This is in the games category. Is Second Life a game? I must admit I don't know much about it, but I didn't think it was.

Re:Confused. (1)

jandrese (485) | more than 7 years ago | (#19070171)

Eh, it gets lumped in with other MMOs/the sims, although it's closer to a graphical chat room IMHO. It's close enough to a game that it gets this category on Slashdot.

Re:Confused. (2)

theJerk242 (778433) | more than 7 years ago | (#19070185)

If you're doing something on a computer that can (most of the time) be done in real life (such as going to a party), it's either a game or a simulation.

Re:Confused. (1)

Cheezymadman (1083175) | more than 7 years ago | (#19070191)

It's more of a game than something like Habbo, but not by much.

Doesn't TFA say that the people behind the avatars were 50-something and 20-something? So, if there's no actual child involved, how is it kiddie porn?

Note to lawmakers: If it doesn't have a pulse, it doesn't have rights.

Re:Confused. (1)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 7 years ago | (#19070325)

Even fictional kiddie porn has been declared illegal in many places. Yes, we have entered the era of thought crime. And you know they will soon read your thoughts. They will study the cat scans when they show pictures of children. A whole new technology that we have to learn how to spoof and render useless. I guess one way is to always have sex on your mind.

Re:Confused. (1)

compro01 (777531) | more than 7 years ago | (#19070507)

So, if there's no actual child involved, how is it kiddie porn?

according to TFA, both of them were also swapping actual CP images, along with others.

Re:Confused. (1)

Belegothmog (712435) | more than 7 years ago | (#19070227)

It's not a game. It's touted as a three-D internet, or, maybe, Web 3.0 - a metaverse a la Neil Stephenson. It has games in it and people who rp.

Just goes to show (1)

P3NIS_CLEAVER (860022) | more than 7 years ago | (#19070131)

If you can think of it, someone has already done it!

Counterstrike? (2, Insightful)

reality-bytes (119275) | more than 7 years ago | (#19070161)

Whenever I see this sort of thing (both this story and the Belgian rape-investigation one) I can't help thinking that, by their lights, they should also be investigating tens of thousands of Counterstrike players for 'Virtual Homicide'.

Re:Counterstrike? (5, Informative)

the_wishbone (1018542) | more than 7 years ago | (#19070255)

RTFA. It's not just that some people were PRETENDING to be children, there were, allegedly, groups in there trading actual illegal material within SL.

Re:Counterstrike? (0, Flamebait)

theStorminMormon (883615) | more than 7 years ago | (#19070401)

The fact that you can pretty reliably guess that people who simulate child porn are probably also interested in the real thing, but that tens of thousands of people who go on shooting sprees in Counter-Strike don't even own guns should highlight some of the difference between the two.

If you want to look at something that is related to digital child porn, don't look at Counter Strike look at that Columbine FPS. How well did that go over?

If you can tell the difference between Halo, GRAW and Counter Strike vs. a game based on the Columbine shootings, than I think you ought to be to realize which category we should put simulated child porn in.

Although I think the distinction goes even further. The connection between playing violent video games and becoming violent (or other negative impacts) is tenuous, but the connection between pornography and misogyny is not. One study (complete with control group) found that men and women exposed to porn recommended a sentence for a rapist of about 1/2 what was recommended by the control group. Connection directly to rape? No. Connection directly to attitudes about rape? Definitely.

I can get a reference for this study (I read about it earlier this week) in a few hours after work.

Re:Counterstrike? (2, Insightful)

johnlcallaway (165670) | more than 7 years ago | (#19070661)

Although I think the distinction goes even further. The connection between playing violent video games and becoming violent (or other negative impacts) is tenuous, but the connection between pornography and misogyny is not. One study (complete with control group) found that men and women exposed to porn recommended a sentence for a rapist of about 1/2 what was recommended by the control group. Connection directly to rape? No. Connection directly to attitudes about rape? Definitely.
All this statistics shows is that people who are exposed to porn have different ideas about rape, not that their idea is 'good' or 'bad'. It could just as well be interpreted that people not exposed to porn have harsher views of any sex act outside of marriage.

Re:Counterstrike? (1, Interesting)

theStorminMormon (883615) | more than 7 years ago | (#19070943)

All this statistics shows is that people who are exposed to porn have different ideas about rape, not that their idea is 'good' or 'bad'. It could just as well be interpreted that people not exposed to porn have harsher views of any sex act outside of marriage.

W. T. F. You want to attribute laxer attitudes about rape as merely a product of having a more open mind to extra-marital sex?

Look, let's put this in perspective. The study group was given a newspaper story about a real-life rape and asked "what sentence does the rapist deserve?" In the control group (not shown any porn above and beyond what they may have watched anyway) the average was 94 months from men, 143 months from women. In the group shown porn regularly for a 6-week period the response was 50 months from men, and 78 months from women. (I may be off in the ones digits, but the 10s and 100s I'm confident on).

Are you seriously telling me that you think this is possibly a result of just being less uptight about extra-marital sex? We're talking about forcible rape here. Furthermore, the porn groups expressed less support of expanding women's rights (study was in the 70s or 80s) and exhibited other anti-women viewpoints with statistically significant margins.

The attempt to chalk this off as some kind of openness is exactly the kind of Slashdot mentality that led to my current sig.

The study (3, Insightful)

Per Abrahamsen (1397) | more than 7 years ago | (#19070967)

The study is pretty commonly quoted as an argument against pornography, not sure why.

It is not really surprising that there is a correlation between people who think it is fun to attempt to chock the interviewer by admitting their use of pornography, and people that who think it is fun to attempt to chock the interviewer by condoning rape. Nor that there is a correlation between people who find they need to lie about their use of pornography to appear more moral than they are, and people who find they need to get tough on rape for similar reasons. Even if all the answers were truthful (unlikely given the subject), it would be surprising if people who had little trouble with rape would see pornography as wrong.

The study mostly seems like a pseudo-rational crutch for people who oppose pornography for other reasons.

Re:Counterstrike? (3, Insightful)

SilentChris (452960) | more than 7 years ago | (#19070681)

Except if you read the article you'd see they were also trading pictures of real child pornography. It'd be more akin to someone playing Counterstrike, then going outside and shooting people. Pretty much and open-and-shut case.

There's kiddie porn in SL? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19070177)

Go back to your Freenet you pervs.

Wait, German porn viewers play SL? (3, Funny)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 7 years ago | (#19070189)

Are scheisse videos even possible in Second Life?

Re:Wait, German porn viewers play SL? (3, Informative)

jandrese (485) | more than 7 years ago | (#19070291)

Depressingly, yes. Not only could you model it with your avatars (I'm sure someone out there has a poop script), but you can also pipe movies into the client from anywhere you want.

Thought crimes? (4, Interesting)

krbvroc1 (725200) | more than 7 years ago | (#19070205)

This may sound odd in this 'thinkofthechildren' world we claim to live in:

Has anyone considered that allowing someone to 'role play' or 'express' their desires, no matter how taboo, in a virtual world, might lessen real-world activity? Any studies on this?

I mean how many people satisfy themselves with porn rather than engage in risky real life behavior?
Maybe these 'sickos' can get their satisfaction on a virtual world?

It seems like a lot of the 'oddballs' are the ones who come from a background of extreme sexual repression. A virtual outlet could eliminate that repression.

Re:Thought crimes? (5, Interesting)

Applekid (993327) | more than 7 years ago | (#19070393)

There's one example of real world evidence I know of: Japan.

Pornography in Japan really doesn't have many limits except simply the censoring of genetalia. While fringe, there is easily available and obtained media of simulated rape, public exposure & sexual activity, sexualized streaking. In the fiction world there are lots of animated and printed works that very obviously depict additional rape, child sex (consentual and non), incest, disfiguring and nonconsentual S&M and human bondage. Hell, just look through Somethingawful's articles on hentai games and you'll see japanese interactive games that let you live out fantasies of banging your younger underage sister. And another one where you literally stalk and rape victims from a train.

And yet, Japan enjoys the lowest rates of sex crimes of all 1st world countries. I'd say the ability for an individual to safely vicariously explore deeper and more sinister fictional sexual practices (as defined by society-at-large) definitely prevents a significant number of real crimes with real victims.

I don't know anyone sexually abused as a child, but I'd be willing to wager that if the abuse could have been prevented by the perp getting his jollies off with a few drawn pictures of his fantasy instead, they'd definitely go for it.

Re:Thought crimes? (1)

spud603 (832173) | more than 7 years ago | (#19070521)

Sorry, but the Japan example doesn't really provide support for or against the theory. I'm not saying it ain't true, just that better evidence is needed.

Re:Thought crimes? (4, Insightful)

theStorminMormon (883615) | more than 7 years ago | (#19070601)

And yet, Japan enjoys the lowest rates of sex crimes of all 1st world countries. I'd say the ability for an individual to safely vicariously explore deeper and more sinister fictional sexual practices (as defined by society-at-large) definitely prevents a significant number of real crimes with real victims.

While certainly a valid point, I think this is hardly definitive. Like the gun-control debate, comparing crime statistics across nations is notoriously prone to confirmation bias. There are too many legal, cultural, economic, and social differences to really compare results in one nation with results in another. I do know, for example, that many people feel sexism is rife in Japan and that women are objectified to a much greater degree than in the US. Compared with other studies about porn, this would strengthen the old idea that porn leads to desensitization and objectification of women. The actual incidence of violent sexual crime, however, could very well not show an easily observable statistical change.

This is precisely how the connection between smoking and cancer was combated for so many years. The incidence of cancer is so low that it's easy to construct studies which reflect no statistical increase. It's similar to the lag in acceptance of global warming.

What we do know, however, is that pornography's impact on those who view it is considered so detrimental that you can't get randomized, control-group studies approved and that those studies which were randomized and controlled (and led to the conclusion that it was too detrimental to ethically get people to watch porn) found statistically significant connections between exposure to porn and a lower support of women's rights, a declining importance of marriage, and laxer attitude towards rape punishment.

Re:Thought crimes? (1)

Applekid (993327) | more than 7 years ago | (#19070757)

Interesting point. IANAP (I Am Not A Psychologist), so, who (or which organization) dictates that it's unethical to expose people to pornography ala. actual scientific research?

I figure the best way to keep things from getting settled is to tie the hands of researchers.

Re:Thought crimes? (1)

theStorminMormon (883615) | more than 7 years ago | (#19071091)

Interesting point. IANAP (I Am Not A Psychologist), so, who (or which organization) dictates that it's unethical to expose people to pornography ala. actual scientific research?

I do know that all human trials have to be approved by college ethics boards, but I don't know if they have a united governing board or how the decisions compare at different colleges. However I'm fairly certain that since the study in question (and I'm really sorry I don't have the citation off the top of my head) no randomized porn study has been conducted in the use.

I figure the best way to keep things from getting settled is to tie the hands of researchers.

While true, the alternative would be to do things like determine the addictive power of cigarettes on children by getting a randomized group of 12-year olds to light up. We'd doubtless have been able to settle a lot of questions about how addictive nicotine is faster (randomized studies are far more powerful for this kind of research than observational analysis) but at the cost of getting a bunch of kids to smoke.

It's ironic that the apparently detrimental impact of porn is what has - more than anything else - shielded the industry from serious statistical criticism, but I don't really say any ethical way around it.

Re:Thought crimes? (1)

krbvroc1 (725200) | more than 7 years ago | (#19070987)

What we do know, however, is that pornography's impact on those who view it is considered so detrimental that you can't get randomized, control-group studies approved and that those studies which were randomized and controlled (and led to the conclusion that it was too detrimental to ethically get people to watch porn) found statistically significant connections between exposure to porn and a lower support of women's rights, a declining importance of marriage, and laxer attitude towards rape punishment.
You lost me when you got to your last paragraph. This seems very prudish and perhaps the 'ethicist' who objected to any/all studies was a 'theologian'. Any links to these studies?

Re:Thought crimes? (3, Interesting)

spyrochaete (707033) | more than 7 years ago | (#19070605)

Japan may "enjoy" a low rate of sex crime convictions, but public gropings are a huge issue there. Commuter trains often have whole cars exclusively for women who wish to be segregated from men while travelling.

It can't be said whether this has any correlation to relief, or lack of, afforded by video games. It may be that grabby types don't play those games, or it may be that it encourages them. Germany, however, has traditionally employed censorship before (if ever) conducting research to substantiate it.

Japan and Denmark (4, Informative)

Per Abrahamsen (1397) | more than 7 years ago | (#19070723)

Japan has a generally low crime rate, so it is not really that surprising that sexual crime is also low.

The traditional example is Denmark, where there was a statistically significant decrease in rapes after the legalization of pornography. That statistic actually helped getting pornography legalized in other countries, not always with the same effect (so it might have been a fluke).

Re:Thought crimes? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19070449)

Maybe these 'sickos' can get their satisfaction on a virtual world?

Won't somebody please think of the pixels?

Re:Thought crimes? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19070539)

What if we import the pixels from Switzerland?

Re:Thought crimes? (1)

slughead (592713) | more than 7 years ago | (#19070811)

Has anyone considered that allowing someone to 'role play' or 'express' their desires, no matter how taboo, in a virtual world, might lessen real-world activity? Any studies on this?

There's an interesting and amusing documentary called "I am a sex addict."

Not to spoil the ending, but the guy eventually goes to a sex addict support group for men, and they all agree that indulging in their fetishes only made the problem worse--made it easier to go one step further.

Regardless, I don't think child porn should be illegal. Molesting children and creating these images is already a crime (as it should be), these images are merely evidence that should be followed to its source.

The FBI already spends *MOST* of its resources tracking down child molesters (predominantly online). I'd say we've got the problem pretty well under control.

FBI comment (1)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 7 years ago | (#19070971)

Any sources to back that claim of "...FBI already spends *MOST* of its resources tracking down child molesters"?

The FBI has many roles, from counter-terror, to counter espionage, to kidnapping and a zillion other things.

Re:Thought crimes? (1)

bcattwoo (737354) | more than 7 years ago | (#19071075)

On the other hand, after getting a virtual taste of what they desire, they may find the virtual nature of it lacking but have even more interest in trying the real thing. I'm not saying you're wrong and I am right, just that one can just as easily construct an argument to support the opposite. The actual truth is probably somewhere in between, where some people find it sufficiently satisfying and others not.

This may be controversial, but... (4, Insightful)

popo (107611) | more than 7 years ago | (#19070239)

As personally distasteful as I find this -- I'm not sure this constitutes a breach of any laws. "Kiddie porn" involves the sexual photography (and horrible exploitation) of children. It is difficult to see who is being "hurt" by this Second Life activity. Yes, one can make the argument that if one engages in virtual fantasy, one is more likely to engage in the 'real thing'. But this is a straw man argument that has been applied to video games for years with zero proof of any virtual/real-world crossover.

The question ultimately becomes: Can fantasy involving only digital, or make-believe characters, be illegal?

If the answer is yes, I find that to be extremely disturbing in an Orwellian sense. While I find the concept of finding children sexually appealing to be personally abhorrent, I'm not sure the law extends (or should extend) into virtual roleplaying between consenting adults.

My two cents.

Re:This may be controversial, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19070439)

The article talks about investigating a 'real' child porn ring on Second Life as well as the whole pretend cyber sex thing.

What bugs me is that the main focus of the article is the people who are playing pretend and not the actual crime that may/may not be going on. It leads a lot of people to get confused to why the authorities are making a big deal about this.

Re:This may be controversial, but... (2, Informative)

Hoi Polloi (522990) | more than 7 years ago | (#19070499)

TFA didn't make it 100% clear but the reason for the investigation is that someone (or more) had set up a place in Second Life where you could pay to enter and see REAL kiddie porn in addition to simulated.

Re:This may be controversial, but... (1)

SilentChris (452960) | more than 7 years ago | (#19070635)

In addition to roleplaying they were trading real-life child pornography. You'd see this if you read the article. That's pretty much an open-and-shut case.

As for "roleplaying fantasy", I never understood why people do this kind of thing on a company's public servers. People don't generally engage in this kind of activity in public -- why do it in a game with many players?

Re:This may be controversial, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19070655)

While your points are fine, how is that a straw man?

Re:This may be controversial, but... (2, Insightful)

monkey_dongle (1002300) | more than 7 years ago | (#19070795)

Well, if you had read the story, you would have discovered that virtual kiddie pr0n is punnishable in Germany by up to 3 years in prison.

I disagree w/ that law, and in the US virtual kiddie pr0n is lawful (I believe it was upheld under a first amendment argument).

Re:This may be controversial, but... (1)

theStorminMormon (883615) | more than 7 years ago | (#19070831)

The question ultimately becomes: Can fantasy involving only digital, or make-believe characters, be illegal?

If the answer is yes, I find that to be extremely disturbing in an Orwellian sense.


I consider this perspective sympathetic, but superficial and alarmist. Among the "though crimes" that currently seem rather uncontroversial I propose as an example: conspiracy to commit murder. Really if you are planning to kill someone, have you harmed anyone? Even if your intentions are genuine, they exist purely in your mind, right? This is, by strict construal of the term, a "thought crime".

And yet we not only consider conspiracy to commit murder an indication of an impending crime, but the actual intention itself is a crime. So either you have to decriminalize such thought crimes, or you have to come up with a better definition of "thought crime" - or at least some exceptions.

I'd say the simplest exception would be to willfully engage in activity that is directly linked to crime could, under some circumstances, be considered a crime. So while playing Counter Strike can not reasonably be considered training to murder people (I'd like to see your average CS junkie load and fire a handgun any better than your average Joe) it is possible that a simulated child porn may have a much closer connection to the real thing and fall into a gray area between Doom deathmatches and conspiracy to rape.

Note: I'm not saying "case closed: simulated child porn should be illegal", but I am saying the old "thought crime" siren is too infrequently criticized, an that there may in fact be a legitimate reason to ban even simulated child porn.

Re:This may be controversial, but... (1)

DM9290 (797337) | more than 7 years ago | (#19071079)

"If the answer is yes, I find that to be extremely disturbing in an Orwellian sense. While I find the concept of finding children sexually appealing to be personally abhorrent, I'm not sure the law extends (or should extend) into virtual roleplaying between consenting adults."

just curious.. do you find the concept of finding cars or guns sexually appealing abhorrent as well?

how about shoes?

how about members of the same sex?

how about seeing pretty girls murdered or kidnapped by gorillas?

in any event.. the orwellian laws you are not sure about are in full force in Canada. written stories, drawings, visual reproductions (which would include virtual reality), audio recordings, even purely textual descriptions.. are all defined as child pornography, even if it involved no actual children at any time in any way. It would be a crime to talk about it on the phone even. its not merely a crime to posses child porn. Even seeing it or hearing it is a criminal offense.

Pursuing Kiddie Porn (3, Funny)

mobby_6kl (668092) | more than 7 years ago | (#19070241)

And who isn't pursuing kidde porn in Second Life or, for that matter, in the first one?

Did anyone else read this as... (1)

mypalmike (454265) | more than 7 years ago | (#19070245)

"Germans Pursuing Kiddie Porn In Second Life"?

Those Germans are sick bastards.

Re:Did anyone else read this as... (1)

flatass (866368) | more than 7 years ago | (#19070573)

Not me. Apparantly because I cannot read.

You mean those sheep in Second Life are real??!!? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19070259)

Oh crap.. No wonder they ask so many questions. I gotta go cancel my account.

Who goes to jail? (1)

1_brown_mouse (160511) | more than 7 years ago | (#19070267)

The avatar in a Second Life jail? Will they have to program one?

Or the person in real life?

Re:Who goes to jail? (1)

gurps_npc (621217) | more than 7 years ago | (#19070327)

I assure you that their are already quite a lot of Second Life Dungeons. So it has already been programed.

Re:Who goes to jail? (1)

orclevegam (940336) | more than 7 years ago | (#19070403)

Interestingly enough, SL already has a "jail" that they send people to to punish them. It's a giant corn-field with a tractor and a house. Not sure of all the details as I don't even play SL, but I ready a article about it a while back when one of the SL griefers got tossed in there.

Aren't they both consenting adults? (2, Interesting)

VWJedi (972839) | more than 7 years ago | (#19070271)

I'm certainly not condoning the activity, but I have to ask...

If an adult who appears to be a child chooses to be photographed naked, that is perfectly legal. So why is an adult who looks like a kid online different?

Re:Aren't they both consenting adults? (5, Informative)

the_germ (146623) | more than 7 years ago | (#19070481)

It's legal in the US, but not in Germany.

In Germany photographs/videos of adults who look like children performing sexual activities are considered child porn.

Don't know about other countries.

Re:Aren't they both consenting adults? (3, Funny)

VWJedi (972839) | more than 7 years ago | (#19070961)

In Germany photographs/videos of adults who look like children performing sexual activities are considered child porn.

How does that work? A person's age is a documented fact. How do you determine in an objective way if someone looks like a child?

I've got a weird mental image of naked 18 year-olds parading through a courtroom of stern-looking German judges requesting permision to be in pornography. (Nein, das ist nicht gut! You're only a B-cup. Come back when you've gotten some implants.)

Re:Aren't they both consenting adults? (1)

cornjones (33009) | more than 7 years ago | (#19070887)

I don't think it is legal in the US either. I recall some law against any nudity by characters who were supposed to be under 18, even if the actor is over the age of majority.

Re:Aren't they both consenting adults? (1)

VWJedi (972839) | more than 7 years ago | (#19071097)

I don't think it is legal in the US either. I recall some law against any nudity by characters who were supposed to be under 18, even if the actor is over the age of majority.

Does that make American Pie kiddie porn? Or are we expected to believe all the characters are 18?

WTF is "virtual" porn? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19070313)

I'm sorry, I'm confused. I can understand going against the people actually trading real kiddie porn, but what the hell is "virtual" porn? And please don't tell me that a 53-year-old man and a 27-year-old woman were subjected to anything worse than being banned for "age play", if they were arrested or anything, that would be ridiculous.

what, no pics? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19070317)

i'm going to hell.

Morality Plays (4, Insightful)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 7 years ago | (#19070335)

So the German government says the problem with kiddie porn is that some adults are perverts, even if no children are involved.

Do they arrest people in Germany for the love scenes in Shakespeare's _Romeo and Juliet_ between two underage kids, but played by adults?

Re:Morality Plays (1)

BeeRockxs (782462) | more than 7 years ago | (#19070465)

Under-age sex above the age of 16 is not illegal in Germany.

Re:Morality Plays (1)

spyrochaete (707033) | more than 7 years ago | (#19070641)

Under-age sex is permitted if you are over-age?

Re:Morality Plays (2, Informative)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 7 years ago | (#19070659)

Juliet is 13 years old [wikipedia.org] .

FWIW, sex above the legal age is not "underage" anywhere, by definition.

Beyond logic (3, Insightful)

suv4x4 (956391) | more than 7 years ago | (#19070379)

This is why kiddie porn and terrorism is often called a hack for the consitition. Things have evolved in such a way that people forgot why those things are not desires, and instead opt to ban and censor anything that could mention or seem like, or possibly suggest, terrorism or child porn.

We have 27 year old and 54 year old adults faking sex with avatars, one of which looked like a child. There's no child porn here. Even if they shot movies of their "act" and distributed it around, this is not child porn. There's no abused child. People apparently have forgotten why child porn is bad in the first place.

You can come up with all made-up reasons "but it can motivate people watching it to abuse children".. Right, if anything you see motivates you to replicate it, we have to bad 90% of the potentially violent or sexual content out there.

Just like talking about target shootout at work isn't terrorism, animation of avatars by adult people isn't child abuse.

Re:Beyond logic (0, Flamebait)

mwissel (869864) | more than 7 years ago | (#19070713)

Hello,

you seem to forget that pedophiles are mentally disordered people. They get affected by what they see in different ways than you and me. You might compare that to an alcoholic seeing someone drinking at a bar vs. a non-alcoholic watching it.

Additionally, they are not sued for abusing children. They shared material showing child abusing. This also includes animated child abuse. US law isn't quite different at this point, or why would you think that nude games are rated only for adults? No real sex here too.

Re:Beyond logic (1)

Tack (4642) | more than 7 years ago | (#19070909)

you seem to forget that pedophiles are mentally disordered people.
You mean like the way homosexuality was up until 1992.

Re:Beyond logic (1)

mwissel (869864) | more than 7 years ago | (#19071145)

Excuse me for being that harsh, but how the fuck would that in any way compare?

I mean, pedophiles who actually abuse children are exploiting defenseless victims who mostly don't even understand what's going on. Homosexuals both agree in their actions.

Well, I'd definately call pedophiles mentally disordered, yes. But compare that with homosexuality by any time? No.

Re:Beyond logic (3, Insightful)

suv4x4 (956391) | more than 7 years ago | (#19071073)

Hello,

you seem to forget that pedophiles are mentally disordered people. They get affected by what they see in different ways than you and me. You might compare that to an alcoholic seeing someone drinking at a bar vs. a non-alcoholic watching it.

Additionally, they are not sued for abusing children. They shared material showing child abusing. This also includes animated child abuse. US law isn't quite different at this point, or why would you think that nude games are rated only for adults? No real sex here too.


You're a nice example of what I'm talking about. Guess what: serial killers are also mentally disordered people.
What's with all the criminal murder investigation serials? We should be up to the neck full of serial killers by now.

You're trying to justify this non-sense by inventing reasons that don't exist.

They shared material showing child abusing.

The "child" was a 27 year old woman that clicked "OK" to participate in 3D figure animation in a virtual world. Where's the abused child? What if the "apparent child" was just an adult that looked like a child.. Oh wait, it WAS!

Let's ban midgets from having sex then. Especially if they look like "apparent children".

This also includes animated child abuse.

Think about it: if I doodle myself cutting a doodle representing you, in pieces, did I just commit an illegal depiction of a murder in cold blood? Do I have to be sent to jail or banned from somewhere because of it?

Which are depictions of "virtual" child porn are a sudden exception to all this? Do you even realize why?

We're just used to violence, we could watch hours and hours of movies with incredibly detailed and cruel murders, but most people are grossed out by child porn. So the natural reaction is to ban every possible depiction, because people are grossed out. Well, let me tell you: gross things aren't illegal, when noone is harmed, and there's no victim. They're just gross, that's all.

Maybe they should have disclaimers so kids don't see them, and should bear warnings, but they simply not illegal.

Another thing is, currently we're replicating Macartism in a way that demonstrates people don't learn from history at all. Are you afraid that if you support someone's freedom to *draw* child porn, someone could consider you're a pedophile?

Isn't this a big part of why people react so violently against all this. If we don't, we're "one of them" right?

Let me tell you: no, you're not. The gap between thinking or drawing a crime, and committing the crime is huge, don't let the current situation fool you that they're the same.

Re:Beyond logic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19070959)

Just like talking about target shootout at work isn't terrorism,
I think if I worked where you do I'd be a little bit terrified...

virtual vs actual experience? (1)

rodmunday (1100235) | more than 7 years ago | (#19070395)

This is interesting because it infers that there is not such thing as a virtual experience, or at least that virtual experiences cannot be dismissed as inherently less important than an actual one. For if it were otherwise, and if Second Life were just a game, then there would be no problem with this. The fact that there is a problem means the distinction between the virtual and the actual is problematic Of course it could be argued that murder is forbidden in the real world and yet is a common occurrence in the game world. Why the discrepancy? I think it has a lot to do with context and also cultural conventions. But this is only the most glancing analysis of the problem which is very complex and goes to the heart of belief and habit formation underscoring human behaviour.

Re:virtual vs actual experience? (1)

spyrochaete (707033) | more than 7 years ago | (#19070749)

Your point is perfectly valid, but not in Germany. They've got some of the strictest video game "morality" laws in the world. German iterations of games are well known to feature robots in place of humans, green blood instead of red, and nice words instead of naughty.

What's really interesting is that gaming is such a huge market there that many developers bend over backwards (or is it bending over forwards?) to modify their games exclusively for Germany. This is a huge undertaking as it requires creation of new assets like art and sound, and even redesigning of gameplay mechanics and rewriting of dialogue and objectives.

I can see your point (1)

mwissel (869864) | more than 7 years ago | (#19070399)

Hello. I can see your (you = you people living in other parts of the world) point, and why you are disappointed with that. I share most of your opinions about this being ridiculous. But I can tell that most users of one of the largest german news sites (heise.de) shared your opinion in their forums. And I think it's rather sad to instantly see something like "no wonder it starts in germany"-statements. We're past the nazi-era. I'd like to note that those players aren't actually sued for kiddie-abusing. They are sued for sharing rl-kiddieporn pictures. Additionally, german law says that any pornographic material, may it be written, as pictures or sounds are prohibited including material closely resembling actual childabusing which translates into these avatar-sex involving one clearly looking like a minor being illegal, same is for hentai showing kiddie porn etc. This news show is also famous for being sensationally bad in research and populist. They claimed the female player who controlled the child avatar was actually 13 years old. Wonder if they are going to prohibit sexual practices where the woman dresses as schoolgirl next...

so if i ask my 25 y.o. girlfriend... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19070437)

so if i ask my 25 y.o. girlfriend to put her hair up in pigtails and put on the schoolgirl outfit, am i now quilty as well? if i ask her to call me 'daddy' am i now committing incest? ....i;ll just post this as an anonymous coward.......

Virtual Child Porn (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19070445)

I know this involves 'The Germans', but hasn't a US Supreme Court decision kept virtual child porn legal (computer graphics and text)?

Leave It To Those Wacky Germans (1)

Skeetskeetskeet (906997) | more than 7 years ago | (#19070493)

Only they can find sexual stimulation from two avatars dry humping each other without genitalia....someone must have gotten their rocks off with Barbie and Neuter Ken back in Kindergarten. "Vee haf vays of making you hump..."

Coming up next (4, Funny)

suv4x4 (956391) | more than 7 years ago | (#19070505)

In the same line of reasoning, I expect these coming soon:

Banning midget sex (as they look like kids). You'll have to be this high to have sex.
Banning sex with stupid individuals (they act like kids). You'll have to be this smart to have sex.
Banning sex with people dressed like kids. strict outlines of what "dressed like adult" will be written in a law.
Banning sex with people who said something that could suggest they pretend to be a child or pretend their mate is a child, or think about something child-related during sex.
Banning videos pictures of adults looking at a kid, smiling or something else that could suggest the drawn indivial could have had eventually potentially thoughts about sex.
Banning adults from touching kids, or people that look like kids, and talking about kids if they saw or did something sexual in the last 24 hours.

Re:Coming up next (1)

HomelessInLaJolla (1026842) | more than 7 years ago | (#19070615)

Banning with people who said something that could suggest they pretend to be a child or pretend their mate is a child
You can't do that. That's how federal, state, and local special enforcement squads troll the internet. They strike up a suggestive or alluring chat and then, once they've accumulated enough bad words or phrases portraying s3xual activity, they'll drop the "I'm 17" bomb.

Imagine a chatroom where authors for , Penthouse Letters, and Cosmopolitan hang out together. Then imagine being an FBI agent finding such a chat room... GOLDMINE!

It's no different from an FBI prostitution sting busting their "John"... after swallowing.

Re:Coming up next (1)

sim82 (836928) | more than 7 years ago | (#19070731)

Banning sex with stupid individuals (they act like kids). You'll have to be this smart to have sex.
Loop up "dumm fickt gut" and you will know the common german's oppinion on this one.

this doesn't really make sence (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19070671)

While in the real world a grown woman can dress up like a child and have sex with a grown man, but while in a virtual world, it's illegal, in the real world?

Cartman (1)

johansalk (818687) | more than 7 years ago | (#19070693)

Where's Eric Cartman when you need him.

My Sig (1)

Slashdot Parent (995749) | more than 7 years ago | (#19070715)

Probably the only time it's relevant.

Catholic school girl outfit.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19070729)

If my wife does up the pony tail and the classic Catholic school girl outfit, what am I guilty of?
Child porn?
Exploiting a minor?
Hate crime (depends on the mood I guess).
Contributing to the deliquency?

Re:Catholic school girl outfit.. (1)

cunina (986893) | more than 7 years ago | (#19070975)

When my girlfriend pretends to be Wonder Woman in bed, can I be sued by DC?

And I'm Sitting Here on Death Row... (1)

loafula (1080631) | more than 7 years ago | (#19070763)

...for PKing in Ultima Online

Fr1st 4sot (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19070845)

New core is going Creek, abysmal Wa5 what got me those uber-asshole progrees. In 1992, knows that ever simple solution Purposes *BSD is came as a complete

Roleplay & Thought Crimes (1)

bogidu (300637) | more than 7 years ago | (#19070917)

Censorship strikes in Second Life. Were there any ACTUAL pictures of child pornography? Were there any ACTUAL children involved? No? THEN NO CRIME WAS COMMITTED!

These two people were banned because they did something that was not politically correct, something that was "shocking" and that someone was offended by. They did NOT endanger anyone nor did they force anyone else to stick around and watch. They were punished simply because a "moral" majority did not approve of their particular kink.

Two adults had both of their accounts terminated for roleplaying in a virtual world.

Linden Labs is on the forefront of immersive multiuser graphical virtual worlds and as such they are helping define the future of communications technology. To begin limiting forms of human communication (YES, SEX IS A FORM OF COMMUNICATION) is simply counterproductive for what they are trying to achieve.

LINDEN LABS - - Reverse this decision and reserve termination for REAL crimes.

Time out, Slashdot, and RTFA (3, Informative)

Petey_Alchemist (711672) | more than 7 years ago | (#19070941)

There are a couple importing things to note here:

A major component of this news story was not just that it was virtual child pornography, but that *there was real child pornography also in the mix*. If you haven't played Second Life, you must understand that it is possible to do anything with images in SL. Wallpaper a building. Send it via the equivalent of a Private Message--a "notecard." Wrap it around a 3D object so that it can walk and talk.

A few weeks ago, there was an alarmist article that alleged terrorists might use Second Life to conduct virtual training sessions. It was ludicrous, and still is, to think that terrorist cells, who obviously value anonymity, would use an open and unprotected medium such as Second Life to conduct covert activity.

On the other hand, quite a few of these "ageplayers" feel that they are doing nothing wrong. And while I certainly don't begrudge anyone their sexual fetishes, and acknowledge that in the U.S. (unlike much of the rest of the world) virtual child pornography is legal, I think it is important to note that we're not talking about what you or I would consider "ageplay" in the real world.

Some people have compared this to dressing up your girlfriend like a schoolgirl while you play principal. While it is analogous, it is not by any means comparable to the actual content at hand.

After the Second Life Herald conducted a widely circulated interview with the operator of Jailbait, a couple SL griefers and I went into the sim to try to figure out exactly how we could fuck with it. It was difficult to enter--a highly protected area. When we finally got in, it was somewhat shocking, even by SL standards. There were apparently prepubuscent avatars screaming and crying in baby talk as they were tortured by older figures. There were "adoption agencies", so that the ageplayers--and yes, I will go out on a limb here and say "pedophiles"--could add a pinch of incest to the mix.

The ageplaying in Second Life is *on another level*.

Sure, none of that stuff is unheard of on the Internet.

But on the Internet, it is generally limited to dark, unknown, secret corners: password protected forums, underground Usenet groups, anonymous image boards.

Contrast this to Second Life, which is experienced as an open, freely accessible world, where one can walk around and see anything as it exists. No effort is needed to find these things--they can be found through mere wandering. It is experientially different, even if qualitatively similar, to the most depraved shit the Internet has to offer.

What is worth noting, in my opinion, is not whether or not this is thought crime or harming anyone or worthy of legal action. There are different traditions of jurisprudence--or, to use a term coined by the jurist Jeffrey Rosen, "jurisprurience"--that govern different areas, and we are unlikely to reconcile international obscenity laws when our own are so obfuscated.

Rather, it is interesting to note the widespread media and political reaction to the seedier side of Second Life, which is nothing new, but whose presence was glossed over or ignored in the initial rush to adopt virtual worlds technology based on media hyperbole.

Really bad subject line (1)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 7 years ago | (#19071009)

Makes it sound like Germans in general are seeking this stuff out. That is so inaccurate. Everyone knows the Germans are into scheisser porn.

BAN FURRIES (0, Flamebait)

bogidu (300637) | more than 7 years ago | (#19071069)

Since beastiality is taboo, guess LL needs to ban all furries in SL too?

Since this is SL we're talking about... (2, Funny)

glindsey (73730) | more than 7 years ago | (#19071085)

...I would think they would be tracking down all the furries and arresting them for "virtual beastiality".

But then Linden Labs would lose 90 percent of their revenue...

Re:Since this is SL we're talking about... (1)

glindsey (73730) | more than 7 years ago | (#19071147)

...and that should've been "bestiality". Oops. Slashdot, get off your butts and add comment editing abilities, please.

Hakim Bey was right (1)

Tom (822) | more than 7 years ago | (#19071149)

It's not about justice, or protecting the innocent - Stories like this reveal what's really going on. Think about it: There are pedophiles, always have been, probably always will be (at least for the forseable future). Maybe it's a mental illness, maybe just perversion. Does it matter?

Given that pedophiles exist, and the urge is hard to suppress, shouldn't we welcome that they do their stuff in a virtual world, instead of the real one? Right now, aside from claims by the German authorities, there is no evidence that even a single child was actually involved. And living in Germany I can tell you the authorities have lost a lot of reputation recently. We've reached the point where even mainstream magazines doubt the sanity of our minister of the interior. He was assaulted some year back, has been sitting in a wheelchair since. PTSD is a very likely result of that tragedy.

And this is what it's about. Like the razzias in several cities yesterday, it's a show of force, a spectacle, in the words of Hakim Bey.
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