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Ryokan
24th May 2005, 08:39 PM
http://www.dagbladet.no/dinside/2005/05/20/432263.html

I'm sorry the article is in Norwegian, but I'll give you the highlights.

May 20th the Norwegian authorities passed new laws, strengthening the laws regarding child pornograpgy.

What's new about this law is that it's no longer just illegal to own pictures and movies with child pornography, but it's also illegal to download it. In other words, deleting it from your harddrive, or emptying your temporary internet files directory, won't stop you being prosecuted.

Another thing that's new is that the law doesn't just cover pictures and movies, but also sound and text files.

You can now actually write things down and commit a crime. It's also ironic that child pornography is defined as pornography with someone under the age of 18, while the age of consent in Norway is 16. In other words, you can do anything you want sexually with someone 16-17, but if you write about it, you can be prosecuted and sent to jail for several years.

I can understand the need for laws protecting children from people who want to take advantage of them, but aren't these laws quite draconic?

KelvinG
24th May 2005, 08:52 PM
So, what would happen if you inadvertently downloaded child porn. And before you laugh, it could happen if you were on a P2P program, and a file had a deceiving name.

Ryokan
24th May 2005, 08:59 PM
Truth be told, I have no idea what would happen. And I know it can happen, I'm an avid P2P'er.

So far, I don't think they've targeted P2P systems at all, as they're quite difficult to trace. There was a huge international crackdown last year, in which quite a few Norwegians were charged with downloading kiddie porn from a pay site. However, very few of them were prosecuted, because even though it could be proved that they had paid to download porn from the site, few of them actually had kiddie porn on their harddrives, and it couldn't be proved that they hadn't just downladed 'regular' porn.

One of the reasons for the new laws was the failure to prosecute in that bust.

Edit : Spelling

Iconoclast
24th May 2005, 10:18 PM
Originally posted by KelvinG
So, what would happen if you inadvertently downloaded child porn. And before you laugh, it could happen if you were on a P2P program, and a file had a deceiving name. It wouldn't even need to be via P2P, the same thing could happen downloading any video file from a web page. Then there's USENET, you don't know what the picture looks like until you download it. Surely there's some provisions in the law for these types of occurrances.

TragicMonkey
24th May 2005, 11:14 PM
Originally posted by Ryokan
It's also ironic that child pornography is defined as pornography with someone under the age of 18, while the age of consent in Norway is 16. In other words, you can do anything you want sexually with someone 16-17, but if you write about it, you can be prosecuted and sent to jail for several years.

That seems illogical. Presumably the age of consent is when Norwegians are considered capable of handling sex. Having laws that allow individuals of age to have sex, but at the same time punish those who treat them sexually, is inconsistent. It sounds equivalent to granting someone freedom of speech but forbidding anyone to listen.

Bjorn
24th May 2005, 11:30 PM
Originally posted by TragicMonkey
That seems illogical. Presumably the age of consent is when Norwegians are considered capable of handling sex. Having laws that allow individuals of age to have sex, but at the same time punish those who treat them sexually, is inconsistent. It sounds equivalent to granting someone freedom of speech but forbidding anyone to listen. The law in fact makes an exception for persons between the age of 16 and 18 if the person has consented and the two of them (e.g. the photographer and the model) are about equal in age and maturity.

"Straffen kan falle bort for den som tar og besitter et bilde av en person mellom 16 og 18 år, dersom denne har gitt sitt samtykke og de to er omtrent jevnbyrdige i alder og utvikling."

TragicMonkey
24th May 2005, 11:35 PM
Originally posted by Bjorn
The law in fact makes an exception for persons between the age of 16 and 18 if the person has consented and the two of them (e.g. the photographer and the model) are about equal in age and maturity.

That seems like plain age discrimination. A 19 year old photographer could then take pornographic pictures of a 17 year old while a 32 year old photographer would be prosecuted for taking the same pictures?

Hawk one
25th May 2005, 12:44 AM
That seems illogical. Presumably the age of consent is when Norwegians are considered capable of handling sex. Having laws that allow individuals of age to have sex, but at the same time punish those who treat them sexually, is inconsistent. It sounds equivalent to granting someone freedom of speech but forbidding anyone to listen.

It may be one illogical consequence, but I do understand its intentions. And I myself do at least partially agree with the laws we're discussing.

I can see that it seems initially contradicting how a person in Norway can have consentual sex at the age of 16, but cannot do nude modeling (or the likes) before 18. But the way I see it, these are actually two different things we're talking about.
The first one is a rather private issue that only involves you and a partner. The second one is an issue that includes a lot more people (including your relatives, as they will find out about this one way or another, especially if you're modeling for for example a well-known porn magazine), and it includes money. I believe the maturity level required for wanting to become a "Playboy bunny" (or any equvalent thereof) is higher than the maturity level required for having sex. You need to be more able taking care of yourself so as to not be taken advantage of, financially or otherwise. But of course, I could be wrong on this.

So far, so good (at least in my eyes). But now we come to the next post by TM:

That seems like plain age discrimination. A 19 year old photographer could then take pornographic pictures of a 17 year old while a 32 year old photographer would be prosecuted for taking the same pictures?

Yes, that is a bit unfortunate. I can (at least sort of) understand the apparent reasoning behind it, though I'm not sure I agree with this reasoning:
The older the photographer are, the more likely is it that he'll be using his general bigger experience in life to take advantage of what is, in comparison, a rather naive 17-year old. While if an 18-year old took pornographic pictures of a 17-year old girl, then it would be more likely to believe that there was for example a boyfriend/girlfriend thing going on, and that they were simply into that kind of thing.

Of course, whether this is actually true or just an assumption the lawmakers were working from is not known to me. It could be one of those things that just seems self-evident, but may turn out not to be. So I need to find out more relevant statistics on this before I can make up my mind.

Of course, it could perhaps be solved if the exception from when to prosecute was worded differently (just a raw suggestion here): "The one being photographed were giving his/her consent, and the pics would not have been made public in any way." As I see it, having it like this would deal with when a couple is simply into taking pics or videos of each other for personal kicks. Maybe it's better, maybe not. Any thoughts on this, people?

Bjorn
25th May 2005, 01:54 AM
Originally posted by TragicMonkey
That seems like plain age discrimination. A 19 year old photographer could then take pornographic pictures of a 17 year old while a 32 year old photographer would be prosecuted for taking the same pictures? Isn't it pretty much the same as some of the laws protecting minors in the US and in many other countries? (If both people having consensual sex are the same age, it's not statutory rape. If one of them is older, it is.)

bjornart
25th May 2005, 03:41 AM
Originally posted by KelvinG
So, what would happen if you inadvertently downloaded child porn. And before you laugh, it could happen if you were on a P2P program, and a file had a deceiving name.

I believe this is covered by the wording of the law:

In Norwegian, my translation below:
Den nye straffelovens paragraf 204 s rammer nå personer som 'produserer, anskaffer, innfører, besitter, overlater til en annen eller mot vederlag eller planmessig gjør seg kjent med fremstilling av seksuelle overgrep mot barn eller fremstilling som seksualiserer barn,'

The new paragraph 204 of the penal code now affects persons who 'produce, aquire, introduce, possess, transfers to another person, or for compensation or by plan "familiarizes him/herself"* with, portrayals of sexual abuse of children or portrayals that sexualise children,'

Not perfect English, but I've tried to be as accurate as possible with a legalese text. "Accidentally" downloading child porn is covered by "by plan", although you could get in trouble if, for instance, you buy ordinary porn from a site that also sells child porn.

*odd legal language "make yourself familiar with" for 'reads, views, listens to, etc.'

CBL4
25th May 2005, 03:13 PM
In Oregon, it is legal for women or girls of any age to go topless. However, it is illegal for anyone to take a picture of a topless girl under the age of 18 because that would be child pornography.

(Clearly exceptions are made for babies but the case in point was about a 16 year old who was topless in a parklike setting.)

CBL

Ryokan
25th May 2005, 03:29 PM
Originally posted by TragicMonkey
That seems like plain age discrimination. A 19 year old photographer could then take pornographic pictures of a 17 year old while a 32 year old photographer would be prosecuted for taking the same pictures?

I think the irony is worse that I can do whatever I want sexually with a 17-year-old, but if I look at a picture of her nude, I can go to prison for it.

But I can understand that part of the law, that's not what I think is bad.

It's the text file thing. I can actually read myself into prison. Or open up notepad and write myself to prison. It can easily be argued that pornographic pictures and movies can hurt the young person who participates in it, but fiction can't hurt anyone, can it? Sounds like a witch hunt with the Thought Police in charge, if you ask me.

TragicMonkey
25th May 2005, 03:31 PM
Originally posted by Ryokan
I think the irony is worse that I can do whatever I want sexually with a 17-year-old, but if I look at a picture of her nude, I can go to prison for it.

But I can understand that part of the law, that's not what I think is bad.

It's the text file thing. I can actually read myself into prison. Or open up notepad and write myself to prison. It can easily be argued that pornographic pictures and movies can hurt the young person who participates in it, but fiction can't hurt anyone, can it? Sounds like a witch hunt with the Thought Police in charge, if you ask me.

Is Romeo and Juliet going to get anyone in trouble? She was 14.

geni
25th May 2005, 03:35 PM
Originally posted by Ryokan
It's the text file thing. I can actually read myself into prison. Or open up notepad and write myself to prison. It can easily be argued that pornographic pictures and movies can hurt the young person who participates in it, but fiction can't hurt anyone, can it? Sounds like a witch hunt with the Thought Police in charge, if you ask me.

The law has been like that in the UK for time.

Ryokan
25th May 2005, 03:39 PM
Originally posted by TragicMonkey
Is Romeo and Juliet going to get anyone in trouble? She was 14.

How about the bible? Mary was 12 when the holy spirit knocked her up ;)

But what is next? Banning the description of all illegal activities in the written form?

TragicMonkey
25th May 2005, 03:43 PM
Originally posted by Ryokan
How about the bible? Mary was 12 when the holy spirit knocked her up ;)

But what is next? Banning the description of all illegal activities in the written form?

Which reminds me! Yesterday the other monkeys and I went to the beach and ******* ***** and ***** down to the ****, then we ******* in the ***** and the *****. Holy ****, that was a lot of *****! And the cops haven't a clue!

(Anecdote edited to prevent Norwegian readers from being prosecuted. Trust me, though, it was a thrilling story of debauchery and crime.)

Ed
25th May 2005, 03:59 PM
Could it be that the powers that be in Norway are looking to be consistant with the laws of other countries? I recall persons/person being convicted of child rape or somesuch after he/them came back from Thailand.

Ryokan
25th May 2005, 04:00 PM
Originally posted by Ed
Could it be that the powers that be in Norway are looking to be consistant with the laws of other countries? I recall persons/person being convicted of child rape or somesuch after he/them came back from Thailand.

Or the Phillipines...

But there's a difference between raping a child and reading about it. Or is it just me?

TragicMonkey
25th May 2005, 04:26 PM
Originally posted by Ryokan
But there's a difference between raping a child and reading about it. Or is it just me?

That raises the whole issue of fiction. If the work, visual or literary, is fictional, not real, then can it be prosecutable as pornography? No real people would have been hurt in its creation, so it would mean the illegality lies in the representation of an act regardless of its reality.

And what about misleading appearances? What if someone had what looked like child porn, but the apparent 15 year old was actually a young-looking 21? Would it be illegal if people thought it was an underaged model, but wasn't? What if they knew it was a 21 year old, but liked it because he/she looked younger?

The difficulty in drawing clear legal lines around such matters are that a great deal seems to depend on what the creator, purveyor, and purchaser believe, know, or think. This seems extremely hazy.

There was a minor scandal, short-lived, in one of my classes a couple of years ago at technical school. One of the students (no, it wasn't me) was a kinda creepy guy. He had as his computer's desktop "wallpaper" an image from some obscure anime he liked, of what looked like a rather curiously-dressed but very young-looking cartoon girl. The furor errupted over "little girl porn", but at once questions arose: it was an unrealistic cartoon image for starters. Could that count as real life human child pornography? And to complicate matters, the creepy guy explained that in the story, the character resembles a little girl but is a thousand years old, which would seem to put her well over the age of consent. But it still looked like a little girl. Was it art? Was it porn? Was it excused by being a cartoon? Or was it excused because it was fictional? Or because the fictional character had an unreasonable age? Or was it inexcusable? Was there the danger that the guy who likes cartoon images of underage-looking girls was in fact a pedophile, or warming up to be one, and this was just a step on the path or a slightly-more-innocuous facet?

Damned if I know the answer to any of those questions. He changed his desktop to avoid further controversy, and everyone let it drop. I found the whole thing disturbing, but can't really formulate a firm and decisive rule to determine what is and isn't pornography. Neither can most courts, though.

Ryokan
25th May 2005, 05:16 PM
Yeah, the whole deal about anime porn and underage girls is a whole other discussion.

But it's funny that Japanese porn games these days have a disclaimer that all girls depicted in the games are 18 and above :D

(Please, don't ask me how I know)

Phillybee
25th May 2005, 05:22 PM
As disgusting as child pornographers are, this seems to go too far, in that it seems that it might inadvertently squelch what might otherwise be noble acts against, or education about, child pornography. Does this new law mean that those who attempt to investigate child pornography will have violated a law? It might make artists who attempt to address this issue criminals (for example interpretive or expository discourse or performances). People who might do this would necessarily "by plan" introduce (for education or awareness) topics about the issue.

In my opinion, we need more resources to fight child pornography, not a bigger legal net. Those involved in the racket would likely violate existing laws (maybe not, I don't know about the laws in your country), but it might be difficult to catch them.

A wider law may only result in the prosecution of innocents or those accidentally guilty, as mentioned by many above. This won't put the makers and users in jail. Although this may pad the stats against the child pornographers, prosecutions of this nature may consume resources that could be used to investigate the more criminal elements of the rackets. In addition, padded figures about crime resolution can foster public indifference and complacency.

Edit to add: was Pete Townshend ever cleared in his involvement in this issue?

One more edit: this stuff is spammed all over USENET. The posters seem to hop usenet providers, and use a new one until their accounts get cancelled. The usenet server admins need to get active on this crap, but, like viruses, the posters probably use zombie machines. What can be done? I'd give up usenet in a second to halt the abuse going on.

Ed
25th May 2005, 07:33 PM
Originally posted by Ryokan
Or the Phillipines...

But there's a difference between raping a child and reading about it. Or is it just me?

Depends who your are, I guess. I suspect that a convicted pedophile would have some 'splainin' to do. Wasn't there such a case recently?

My point is simply that there may be an international movement afoot to regularize definitions.

Ryokan
25th May 2005, 07:37 PM
Originally posted by Ed
Depends who your are, I guess. I suspect that a convicted pedophile would have some 'splainin' to do. Wasn't there such a case recently?

My point is simply that there may be an international movement afoot to regularize definitions.

Indeed, there was a case recently, involving a 16 years old girl on the Phillipines and a Norwegian tourist.

But I'm not getting the 'depends on who you are' part. There's no difference between raping a child and reading about it if you're a convicted pedophile? Aren't you advocating thought crimes with that?

Ed
25th May 2005, 07:43 PM
Originally posted by Ryokan
Indeed, there was a case recently, involving a 16 years old girl on the Phillipines and a Norwegian tourist.

But I'm not getting the 'depends on who you are' part. There's no difference between raping a child and reading about it if you're a convicted pedophile? Aren't you advocating thought crimes with that?

We already have thought crimes, they are commonly referred to as "hate crimes" but I digress. My point is that there was a case where they found some stuff that would have been legal in a pedophiles home and locked him up. That is what I mean by "it depends on who you are".

Ryokan
25th May 2005, 07:49 PM
Originally posted by Ed
We already have thought crimes, they are commonly referred to as "hate crimes" but I digress. My point is that there was a case where they found some stuff that would have been legal in a pedophiles home and locked him up. That is what I mean by "it depends on who you are".

For it to be a 'hate crime', you have to commit a crime with 'hate' in mind. I doubt reading about it would suffice.

jay gw
26th May 2005, 12:28 AM
Why is looking at child porn wrong?

Darat
26th May 2005, 12:31 AM
Originally posted by jay gw
Why is looking at child porn wrong?

Because the child in the pornography can not have given (full and informed) consent to be in the pronographic material.

Darat
26th May 2005, 12:32 AM
Originally posted by KelvinG
So, what would happen if you inadvertently downloaded child porn. And before you laugh, it could happen if you were on a P2P program, and a file had a deceiving name.

Or even a browser hijack to such a site.

Darat
26th May 2005, 12:38 AM
I applaud the intent behind the law but from what I'e just read about it is seems a bit ill-conceived. At least part of the problem is that legislators are trying to legislate for something new (e.g. PCs and internet) and something that is changing all the time.

I would suggest that what is needed is to look and understand more closely what behaviours society is trying to stop (or modify) and then construct legislations based on those principles, with that understanding in place it should then be possible to apply them to any situation, whether that is old or new technology.

jay gw
26th May 2005, 12:44 AM
Because the child in the pornography can not have given (full and informed) consent to be in the pronographic material.

How do you know what happens behind the pictures you look at?

Bjorn
26th May 2005, 12:48 AM
Originally posted by jay gw
How do you know what happens behind the pictures you look at? Isn't it sufficient to know what happens in the pictures you look at?

skepticality
26th May 2005, 12:49 AM
quote:
Originally posted by jay gw
Why is looking at child porn wrong?

Because the child in the pornography can not have given (full and informed) consent to be in the pronographic material.

Yes, but you should always go after the originator of the pictures, not the consumers. There are FAR too many different ways a person could 'accidentally' have a picture on their computer. To make a law which assumes guilt, in some way, for 'looking' at something, is a terrible, terrible, thing.

In a just society you would go find the people that took the picture, PROVE that the participants were under age, then prosecute those that produced said photos. Not the people looking at their twisted creations. As 'disturbing' as you might find folks that look at something like child pornography, I don't believe in thought crimes. And arresting someone for looking at a picture is, at heart, a thought crime.

Darat
26th May 2005, 12:56 AM
Originally posted by jay gw
How do you know what happens behind the pictures you look at?

Well for a start I don’t look at those types of pictures.

However the point is that we (i.e. society) have decided that children cannot give consent for sex therefore if a child is involved in something that is of a sexual nature then that child is taking part without full and informed consent, it is an assault on the child.

Darat
26th May 2005, 12:58 AM
Originally posted by skepticality
Yes, but you should always go after the originator of the pictures, not the consumers. There are FAR too many different ways a person could 'accidentally' have a picture on their computer. To make a law which assumes guilt, in some way, for 'looking' at something, is a terrible, terrible, thing.

In a just society you would go find the people that took the picture, PROVE that the participants were under age, then prosecute those that produced said photos. Not the people looking at their twisted creations. As 'disturbing' as you might find folks that look at something like child pornography, I don't believe in thought crimes. And arresting someone for looking at a picture is, at heart, a thought crime.

I believe that you can be in a position where you see and look at pornographic pictures involving children without any intent to do so.

However to knowingly seek out those types of pictures should be wrong since you are saying you want a child to be assaulted for your sexually pleasure.

skepticality
26th May 2005, 12:59 AM
However the point is that we (i.e. society) have decided that children cannot give consent for sex therefore if a child is involved in something that is of a sexual nature then that child is taking part without full and informed consent, it is an assault on the child.

Agreed, now go find the person that committed the crime, not the person looking at the result of the crime.

It's the equivalent of arresting the person that found the dead body at a murder scene. Just because you are looking at the result of a depraved individual, doesn't make you a murderer.

skepticality
26th May 2005, 01:02 AM
However to knowingly seek out those types of pictures should be wrong since you are saying you want a child to be assaulted for your sexually pleasure.

Exactly my point, you can't prove what someone is thinking, and there are over 1,000 reasons that someone could claim as a reason for the pictures being in their possession. And, at the end of the day, you are still attempting to prove what someone is THINKING. Hence, that's a thought crime.

Spend the time, effort, and resources of law enforcement on the people creating the problem. Cut it off at the source. It's been proven time and time again, that arresting the users of a 'bad' product does nothing but fill jails and waste money. Never solves any problem in society.

Darat
26th May 2005, 01:47 AM
Originally posted by skepticality
Agreed, now go find the person that committed the crime, not the person looking at the result of the crime.

It's the equivalent of arresting the person that found the dead body at a murder scene. Just because you are looking at the result of a depraved individual, doesn't make you a murderer.

A nearer equivalence would be arresting someone for having sex with the dead body they discovered, a different but still illegal activity.

Darat
26th May 2005, 01:54 AM
Originally posted by skepticality
Exactly my point, you can't prove what someone is thinking, and there are over 1,000 reasons that someone could claim as a reason for the pictures being in their possession. And, at the end of the day, you are still attempting to prove what someone is THINKING. Hence, that's a thought crime.


The legal system is based on the premise of not knowing but proving that a crime has been committed beyond a certain level of doubt.


Originally posted by skepticality


Spend the time, effort, and resources of law enforcement on the people creating the problem. Cut it off at the source. It's been proven time and time again, that arresting the users of a 'bad' product does nothing but fill jails and waste money. Never solves any problem in society.

If there was not a market for the pornography would they still be made? I would not be surprised to hear that at least some of the providers of this type of pornography are not strictly speaking paedophiles, just "business people".

If we consider paedophilia to be behaviour our society doesn’t wish to tolerate then it is the people who express that behaviour that we have to target, whether that is the producer or the consumer.

curi0us
26th May 2005, 02:07 AM
Originally posted by Ed
We already have thought crimes, they are commonly referred to as "hate crimes" but I digress.
All the hate crime laws I know of add an additional penalty to a crime that was already committed and it’s been a longstanding part of our justice system that a persons thoughts relating to a crime can be pertinent to the penalty they receive. First degree murder, second degree murder and manslaughter can all be determined by the “thoughts” of the killer and those are hardly unique crimes in that regard.

richardm
26th May 2005, 02:15 AM
Originally posted by Phillybee
Edit to add: was Pete Townshend ever cleared in his involvement in this issue?


Kind of not really, ish. He was cautioned by the police, which effectively means they thought he was guilty but they didn't have any evidence to prosecute him with (they found no photos in his house or on any of his computers). Even so he was placed on the sex offender's register, which means he must register with the police every year, or if he moves house, with the threat of a five-year prison stretch if he doesn't. Witch hunt indeed.

Edited to add: link (http://www.thesmokinggun.com/archive/petetownshend1.html) about it.

Ed
26th May 2005, 04:42 AM
Originally posted by skepticality
Yes, but you should always go after the originator of the pictures, not the consumers. There are FAR too many different ways a person could 'accidentally' have a picture on their computer. To make a law which assumes guilt, in some way, for 'looking' at something, is a terrible, terrible, thing.

In a just society you would go find the people that took the picture, PROVE that the participants were under age, then prosecute those that produced said photos. Not the people looking at their twisted creations. As 'disturbing' as you might find folks that look at something like child pornography, I don't believe in thought crimes. And arresting someone for looking at a picture is, at heart, a thought crime.

You then seem to be against hate crime legislation.

If I recall correctly various folks that have been arrested for child porn offences have had thousands of pictures, not the number that one could claim were obtained accidentially. How many pictures, in your opinion, would not be an "accidential" number?

bjornart
26th May 2005, 05:04 AM
A couple of points relating to various people's posts.

The reason for the change in law is that in several of the recent anti-CP raids the number of actual convictions have been very low. Knowing that someone had paid for access to sites advertising illegal CP content, regularly visited such sites, just wasn't enough. The old law was only against possession, and as long as you wiped your hard-drive squeaky clean before the cops got to it, you were home free.

The reason one should arrest the consumers as well as the producers of CP is that without consumers there would be much fewer producers.

I think pornographic fiction, including text and computer generated graphics with children/childlike figures, should be legal, but I'll give the lawmakers the benefit of the doubt that this was their intent and that the wording of the law is merely to avoid leaving pornographers a grey zone to exploit. On the other hand it's illegal to sell hard core porn in Norway, so who knows.

skepticality
26th May 2005, 07:19 AM
You then seem to be against hate crime legislation.

More than you can possibly imagine. Hate Crime Legislation, to me, has no real foundation in logic.

If I recall correctly various folks that have been arrested for child porn offences have had thousands of pictures, not the number that one could claim were obtained accidentally.

Well, even that would be way to easy to explain away. With todays technologies, an unwitting person that downloads a bit-torrent client, or someone that uses Limewire/Kazaa carelessly can open themselves up to folks depositing thousands of pictures like this overnight. It's actually pretty easy for a seasoned hacker, and precisely the way someone would have to distribute material such as this.

Since the size of pictures is extremely small, compared to the abundance of bandwidth that most folks have in their homes today. I figure you could, without a doubt, get about 3,000 - 10,000 pictures on a novice computer users machine in about 3-4 hours, in most cases, without them knowing.

I could just see it in court too. "You had these photo's hidden, didn't you? That's further evidence that you were covering up your twisted desires."

Sorry, I just can't bring myself to toss people into jail on such a potentially flimsy concept. And, before you ask. No, you couldn't tell the difference between what that person WANTED to download, and the stuff put there subtly.

How many pictures, in your opinion, would not be an "accidential" number?

The problem with allowing the 'possession' of something on your computer as an outright illegal act in itself opens up WAY too many doors that block individual liberty. Which includes things such 'legal searches' based on monitored internet activity. The internet is Way, Way, to easy to manipulate to use as a foundation for charging someone with such terrible accusations.

A previous poster was heading in a direction I *COULD* agree with. If you can show that the person you want to chuck in jail for being a pervert was PAYING for access to, or a registered visitor of specific locations on the internet that give away this type of material. I could get on board. You would have to be pretty darn good to prove that, maybe catch them in the act, with todays computer monitoring equipment, that's possible.

crimresearch
26th May 2005, 07:31 AM
"With todays technologies, an unwitting person that downloads a bit-torrent client, or someone that uses Limewire pr Kazaa carelessly can open themselves up to folks depositing thousands of pictures like this overnight. It's actually pretty easy for a seasoned hacker, and precisely the way someone would have to distribute material such as this. "


I wonder about this too... what is the legal standard regarding possession?

Would one be convicted in Norway if a box of illegal material was found in the back of their open truck, where anyone could have placed it?

CFLarsen
26th May 2005, 08:03 AM
Originally posted by skepticality
More than you can possibly imagine. Hate Crime Legislation, to me, has no real foundation in logic.

So, you only support legislation that is founded in logic?

skepticality
26th May 2005, 08:19 AM
quote:
Originally posted by skepticality
Agreed, now go find the person that committed the crime, not the person looking at the result of the crime.

It's the equivalent of arresting the person that found the dead body at a murder scene. Just because you are looking at the result of a depraved individual, doesn't make you a murderer.

A nearer equivalence would be arresting someone for having sex with the dead body they discovered, a different but still illegal activity.

I wouldn't say that... your example would be if I came across the VICTIM of the crime in person, after these monsters took pictures of them. And then, proceeded to do it myself, again.

No, just looking at a picture doesn't victimize anyone, sadly it's a thin concept. The issue is that people are passionate about this type of thing. And, rightly so. The victimization of children is an awful thing. Probably one of the worst crimes.

BUT, in the attempt to solve the issue, and capture those responsible we shouldn't freak out and use the 'wide net' approach a'la the Patriot Act, to just catch everyone, and then sort it out in the end.

skepticality
26th May 2005, 08:21 AM
So, you only support legislation that is founded in logic?

Considering what forum we are on... I hope that is sarcasm I smell! ;)

Ryokan
26th May 2005, 08:49 AM
Originally posted by Darat
Because the child in the pornography can not have given (full and informed) consent to be in the pronographic material.

But the law also forbids the reading of fiction. Surely the children in stories of fiction don't need to consent, and no harm has been done to them? I mean, it's fiction.

Mycroft
26th May 2005, 09:08 AM
Originally posted by skepticality
No, just looking at a picture doesn't victimize anyone, sadly it's a thin concept. The issue is that people are passionate about this type of thing. And, rightly so. The victimization of children is an awful thing. Probably one of the worst crimes.

I disagree.

Imagine a picture of you being taken of you that's somehow humiliating. Maybe it's a sexual act, maybe it's you drunk, maybe it's a picture of you doing something stupid, or maybe it's just you picking your nose.

Now imagine that same picture getting national attention on someones website.

Ryokan
26th May 2005, 09:12 AM
Originally posted by Mycroft
I disagree.

Imagine a picture of you being taken of you that's somehow humiliating. Maybe it's a sexual act, maybe it's you drunk, maybe it's a picture of you doing something stupid, or maybe it's just you picking your nose.

Now imagine that same picture getting national attention on someones website.

But should people be prosecuted for looking at the picture? There are a LOT of nasty pictures and movies out there, many of them showing illegal activities. How about the terrorist beheading movies? Surely the ones being beheaded didn't give their consent, yet it's not illegal to watch the movies.

Mycroft
26th May 2005, 09:20 AM
If watching beheading movies ecouraged more beheadings, then a strong case could be made for making it illegal. Snuff films are, you know.

crimresearch
26th May 2005, 09:21 AM
So would that also apply to watching executions?
:D

Skeptic
26th May 2005, 09:27 AM
In other words, you can do anything you want sexually with someone 16-17, but if you write about it, you can be prosecuted and sent to jail for several years.

Not that illogical: in many places it's perfectly legal to have sex, but not to send or write pornography, which is writing or pictures about sex.

skepticality
26th May 2005, 09:48 AM
If watching beheading movies ecouraged more beheadings, then a strong case could be made for making it illegal. Snuff films are, you know.

Again, no one is disputing the fact that MAKING a snuff film should be illegal. What you are saying is that watching one should be?

If that's the case, how would you write a law, that has no 'opinion' in it that could encompass that, or looking at child pornography fairly?

Here I am sitting on my computer. I'm an average guy, I have MSN Messenger running so I can chat with my mom and friends. Some hacker, that wants to distribute his snuff films and porn, uses a vulnerability in the IM utility to secretly shove some stuff, a good amount on my computer.

I don't even know it is there. I leave my computer running, like most people do all the time, since everything is DSL 'always-on' these days.

The people that distribute and gather stuff like this work EXACTLY this way. Now, imagine law enforcement comes in, takes your computer. Finds 1,000's of kiddie porn files and snuff films on your machine, in some hidden directory.

You can't explain it. The News, Jury, etc, etc... all feeding on the passion and hatred of the exploitation of children nails you to a cross, you are found guilty, because you obviously had a lot of the stuff!

What is in debate here, isn't the fact that Snuff Films, (which are really urban legend, look up the movie 'Snuff' made in 1973), and Child Pornography are horrible crimes. I fully believe that the folks MAKING this stuff need to be nailed to a wall.

There will ALWAYS be a market for anything illegal, that's a given. I just don't want all my tax dollars, judicial system, and law enforcement to be focused on trials against ONE person, that only had bad thoughts, with, for the most part really sketchy evidence.

Let's look at Michael Jackson, for example, the guy is guilty already in about 80% of peoples eyes. And almost 100% of those people, will never read the court transcripts and will only use CNN and Fox News as their source of the truth. People are wild-eyed and passionate about this topic, and giving the government the ability to use that passion against people, is not my idea of good policy, and will only lead to an abuse of power.

skepticality
26th May 2005, 09:51 AM
But the law also forbids the reading of fiction.

Yea, which is a whole other argument. There should be NO fiction that is illegal to read, no matter the topic.

TragicMonkey
26th May 2005, 09:58 AM
Originally posted by Darat
Because the child in the pornography can not have given (full and informed) consent to be in the pronographic material.

Therein lies another problem. If that's the basis for the illegality of child porn, then what about purely fictional work? A drawing or computer-generated image NOT done from life? No real children were harmed in the creation of such...

I think it would still be wrong, but it would be difficult to construct a solid case against it. The crime would have to be the sexual depiction of minors, regardless of their reality, which seems to touch upon thought crime.

Skeptic
26th May 2005, 11:48 AM
Did it occur to anyone that it is the ACT ITSELF--watching or reading child porn--is the wrong which the law is trying to remove?

The fact that the porn might be purely fictional or done on a computer, while certainly a mitigating circumstance, does not mean watching child porn is, or should be, either moral or legal.

It merely means that the pervert in question has not added the additional crime of child exploitation (or its encouragement) to the crime of viewing child porn.

crimresearch
26th May 2005, 11:51 AM
So the fact that there was no mens rea, and no actual criminal act involved in the production of fictional depictions doesn't matter...just the act of viewing?

And if someoneI puts a slider program so that when you click on a link to Disney, and wind up looking at a porn site, you'll agree to plead guilty?

Riiiiiiight
:rolleyes:

TragicMonkey
26th May 2005, 11:55 AM
Originally posted by Skeptic
Did it occur to anyone that it is the ACT ITSELF--watching or reading child porn--is the wrong which the law is trying to remove?

The fact that the porn might be purely fictional or done on a computer, while certainly a mitigating circumstance, does not mean watching child porn is, or should be, either moral or legal.

It merely means that the pervert in question has not added the additional crime of child exploitation (or its encouragement) to the crime of viewing child porn.

Which makes sense, although it seems to leave gray areas. What about the looks-like-a-minor-but-isn't situation? If the viewer thinks he's looking at a 15-year-old, is he committing the crime of viewing child pornography if, unbeknownst to him, the "child" is actually a young-looking 20?

In Christian theology, if it were a question of sin and not crime, then thinking one is committing a sin makes it sinful, whether it's really a sin or not. Can this, sort of "ignorance but intending", apply to the case in question? Why or why not?

Not to mention the additional, very large, problem of determining what is and isn't pornography. Anne Geddes pictures of bare-bottomed babies? A Botticelli cherub? Sailor Moon? It might be "common sense"....but that differs, person to person, and is damned difficult to codify!

Don't get me wrong, I agree with your post. But I see difficulties in implementing law in such a fashion.

Mycroft
26th May 2005, 12:01 PM
Originally posted by Skeptic
Did it occur to anyone that it is the ACT ITSELF--watching or reading child porn--is the wrong which the law is trying to remove?

Yeah, but then you face the question of why it's wrong to read child porn where no child was involved in the making, but it's not wrong to read Nabokov's Lolita and who gets to decide which is porn and which isn't.

Personally I can think of two examples that stretch the limits, the Japanese Anime mentioned earlier about the provocative thousand year old woman with the body of a child, and the movie "Big" where, IIRC, the character played by Tom Hanks who was actually a child though he had the body of an adult did have sex with an adult woman. Where should freedom of speech versus child porn fall? I don’t know, it seems disturbing either way.

CBL4
26th May 2005, 04:21 PM
There was also a case several years ago when a woman porn star started "acting" when she was 16 (she had a fake ID.) Eventually all her movies were banned as child pornography even though the movies depicted apparent adult behavior. If it matters, she looked like an adult not a child and there was no indication in the movies that she was not an adult.

From a moral POV, I find this much less objectionable than a 18 portraying a 16 year old in a porno movie.

CBL

CBL4
26th May 2005, 04:23 PM
Tom Hanks who was actually a child though he had the body of an adult did have sex with an adult womanI never thought of Big in that way but I suppose it makes sense. I doubt the same thing would fly if it were a 10 year girl in a woman's body.

CBL

Mycroft
26th May 2005, 04:39 PM
Originally posted by CBL4
There was also a case several years ago when a woman porn star started "acting" when she was 16 (she had a fake ID.) Eventually all her movies were banned as child pornography even though the movies depicted apparent adult behavior....

Traci Lords. The myth goes she made this revelation on her birthday, someone asked her how old she was and she confessed to just turning 18 thinking that would retroactively make her pre-18 movies legal. Supposedly they're collectors items now, not that I know anyone who would collect such a thing.

Originally posted by CBL4
I never thought of Big in that way but I suppose it makes sense. I doubt the same thing would fly if it were a 10 year girl in a woman's body.

CBL

There is a more recent movie called 13 going on 30 (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0337563/) with a similar theme my daughter really liked, I don't remember if she had sex as an adult or not. I doubt it.

Ed
26th May 2005, 06:17 PM
Originally posted by skepticality
More than you can possibly imagine. Hate Crime Legislation, to me, has no real foundation in logic.



Well, even that would be way to easy to explain away. With todays technologies, an unwitting person that downloads a bit-torrent client, or someone that uses Limewire/Kazaa carelessly can open themselves up to folks depositing thousands of pictures like this overnight. It's actually pretty easy for a seasoned hacker, and precisely the way someone would have to distribute material such as this.




Suppose there are seperate events? Say 30 times. What then?

skepticality
26th May 2005, 11:53 PM
Suppose there are seperate events? Say 30 times. What then?

So, would that be your law? 'We caught you doing this 30 times, NOW it's illegal.' I'm actually serious here, would be a be a numbers game? And if so, how would you prove that each time was legit? Remember, this is law, it can't be assumptions of guilt, or else power is abused.

I'd say the only 'law' you could create might be that he's not telling the FBI that it's out there and they need to find someone.

Although that opens a can of worms, creating a forced deputization of all private citizens for witnessing a crime, or the evidence of a crime.

I am still VERY uncomfortable with making any law about it being illegal to watch, read, or think anything. In fact, I think it's downright evil to the core.

Until an 'action' is made that is illegal I'm just not ready to toss people in jail for consumption of media.

How about law enforcement doing its job? They find out about someone like this and they lean on them for information about their 'real' source, or monitor them. Then follow that trail back to the producer of the material, and put that guy in jail. *IF* he's doing something wrong.

Why do I say *IF*? Because, until the person that PRODUCED the material was found guilty of creating child pornography, you would never even be sure that what the consumer was watching WAS child pornography.

So, here's how logic breaks this down. Let's say WATCHING Child Pornography is illegal in itself for this story;

-------

One day, Ted's neighbor, Dan, sees Ted getting off to, what looks to be, kiddie porn on his computer. (Dan has some peeping tom issues). So Dan calls the cops, they do what they do, and eventually, search Tom's computer when he's not home to verify that this material is there.

The cops see some pretty convincing kiddie porn action on Tom's PC, so they confiscate the computer, and go arrest Tom at work.

Now, in court the big question comes up... "How do you *KNOW* this is pornography filmed with underage actresses?"

No one does for sure...

Why?

Because, until you catch, prosecute and PROVE that the producer of the material has produced material with underage actors/actresses in it, and that this EXACT movie or picture Tom has is one of those that was referenced in that court case. You have no clue. No matter how 'convinced' you might be watching it, you still have to somehow prove that it is what the police believe it is.

So, now... logically...

To prove that what Tom is watching is illegal, you have to track down and catch the producer anyway, and wait for him to go to trial, and have the material Tom watched be proven to be kiddie porn.

Once this has been done, you already put the guy in jail that needed to be there, the PRODUCER.

At the end of the day, I'm not convinced that making a law about the consumption of media is ever a good thing, it's a VERY slippery slope that can't be controlled in any fashion when put into the hands of government.

Kerberos
27th May 2005, 02:20 AM
Originally posted by skepticality

Now, in court the big question comes up... "How do you *KNOW* this is pornography filmed with underage actresses?"
There are several ways. You could fx simply look at the pictures. You probably can't tell the difference between somebody who's 17 and somebody who's 18, but you can tell the difference between somebody who's 7 and somebody who's 18. Also if you can prove the suspect downloaded it from that and that site using his credit card, and the site clearly announced that it was child pornography that proves the suspect was acting in bad faith. Also you might find e-mails, chat transcripts or similar proving he knew what he was downloading.

Darat
27th May 2005, 02:46 AM
What I think is happening here is that the discussion is moving to the boundaries or the fuzzy edges e.g. .what is the difference between someone at the age of 17 and 364 days, 23 hours and 59 minutes and someone who is 18 and 1 second years old.

What we should remember is that paedophiles are not attracted to children who may appear to be adult, they are attracted to children who look like children, e.g. physically immature, no developed secondary sexual characteristics and so on. By the simple fact of them being a paedophile means they don't want material in which features a model that although is 12 may pass for 16 or 18. What they want is a 12 year old that looks 12, or a 2 year old that looks 2, or a 3 year old or a 5 year old.

Paedophiliac pornography is not mistakable for something else. (That is not to say the paedophile don’t find innocuous photographs of young children sexually arousing – I am talking about pornography e.g. portrayal of sexual acts.)

Lets be quite clear what we are talking about: pornographic material that shows children being penetrated by adults or being forced to sexually stimulate or gratify adults (and even worse). We are not talking about a picture of child in a swimming costume or someone downloading material that shows a girl in a schoolgirl’s uniform who may be 17 or 18.

In a society that I am part of I want to ensure that if there are other members of society that do find that material sexually gratifying and seek to obtain it are prosecuted for that behaviour because their satisfaction comes about as a result of a child being assaulted in the most despicable manner.

billydkid
27th May 2005, 06:31 AM
Originally posted by skepticality
Yes, but you should always go after the originator of the pictures, not the consumers. There are FAR too many different ways a person could 'accidentally' have a picture on their computer. To make a law which assumes guilt, in some way, for 'looking' at something, is a terrible, terrible, thing.

In a just society you would go find the people that took the picture, PROVE that the participants were under age, then prosecute those that produced said photos. Not the people looking at their twisted creations. As 'disturbing' as you might find folks that look at something like child pornography, I don't believe in thought crimes. And arresting someone for looking at a picture is, at heart, a thought crime.

I would add that there is a tendency in this society to dilute culpability by spreading it around. I believe the people responsible for exploiting the children (the people taking the pictures) should bear the entire responsibility for this exploitation. The same principle applies when trying to hold gun makers responsible for gun crimes and liquor manufacturers responsible for drunken driving - the full responsibility should lie with those people who commit the crime. As incredibly distasteful as child porn is and as incomprensible as it may be that someone would want to view it - there is no way that merely viewing it should be considered remotely comparable to creating it. I would however consider purchasing it to be a crime because you are facilitating its production.

crimresearch
27th May 2005, 06:39 AM
BillyD is right. The 'squick' factor of child porn leads to suspending rational thought, and demonizing anyone who comes into contact with it, even those who are not viewing it for criminal purposes, as in some of the examples given here.

US postal inspectors played on that in the case of printed porn, sending out unwanted magazines and arresting the recipients who were automatically presumed guilty, just for being in possession of it.
And I wonder, eveytime I hear about a computer 'hard drive with images' being seized, if that is still going on.

skepticality
27th May 2005, 09:26 AM
There are several ways. You could fx simply look at the pictures. You probably can't tell the difference between somebody who's 17 and somebody who's 18, but you can tell the difference between somebody who's 7 and somebody who's 18. Also if you can prove the suspect downloaded it from that and that site using his credit card, and the site clearly announced that it was child pornography that proves the suspect was acting in bad faith. Also you might find e-mails, chat transcripts or similar proving he knew what he was downloading.

Sorry, but even then, you have to prove it. I don't trust assumption of what is seen on video, especially when you are trying to put someone away for something as vile as kiddie porn.

ESPECIALLY when this would be a situation where the law is a consumption of media law.

It doesn't cut it for me when people just say:

"Well, she's OBVIOUSLY seven years old."

"Ok, prove it."

"Look at the video."

"Yea, but you can't prove it, you don't really know her age."

"It doesn't matter, she's obviously young."

"Yes, but I've seen videos that are 'obviously' UFO's. Please prove the age of the person shown in this video."

I'm very serious here, it might sound terrible to let something so 'obvious' slide, but that is how a REAL judicial system must work.

Darat
27th May 2005, 09:34 AM
Originally posted by skepticality
Sorry, but even then, you have to prove it. I don't trust assumption of what is seen on video, especially when you are trying to put someone away for something as vile as kiddie porn.

ESPECIALLY when this would be a situation where the law is a consumption of media law.

It doesn't cut it for me when people just say:

"Well, she's OBVIOUSLY seven years old."

"Ok, prove it."

"Look at the video."

"Yea, but you can't prove it, you don't really know her age."

"It doesn't matter, she's obviously young."

"Yes, but I've seen videos that are 'obviously' UFO's. Please prove the age of the person shown in this video."

I'm very serious here, it might sound terrible to let something so 'obvious' slide, but that is how a REAL judicial system must work.

Does it matter if the person in the video is 7 or 8 or 9?

What about if the video showed a child that looked to be around say 3 years of age? Would you still want that to be proved? If so your insistence on this level of “proof” would seem to want to set a higher burden of proof on the prosecution then for any other type of crime, including crimes such as murder or rape.

skepticality
27th May 2005, 09:46 AM
In a society that I am part of I want to ensure that if there are other members of society that do find that material sexually gratifying and seek to obtain it are prosecuted for that behaviour because their satisfaction comes about as a result of a child being assaulted in the most despicable manner.

Hmm, I am disturbed by this thought pattern. I understand how something so incredibly terrible as child porn can make passion rise, but it should take over when applying logic to the justice system.

People every day watch movies about Serial Killers, Hannibal Lechter was the guy most people LOVED in movies where they showed explicit killings where he was going to consume his victim. That wasn't only legal to watch and enjoy, it was #1 at the box office a couple times. People go out of their way to purchase and buy and consume DVD's, Movies, and the like all about killing and violence, and that is legal. Are you saying that, because people love those movies they are all going to turn murderer? No, but it could be said that this is a bad example, because it's all fake.

Now, lets then go on to another example. War footage. That is real, legal to consume, showing people getting killed by all sorts of violence. People such as Sean Hannity have linked to video clips of the Iraq war showing people getting mowed down from a helicopter. Last time I checked, I couldn't do that, and it's real. Some of that footage gets millions of hits. Well, I guess since mowing people down in large numbers isn't as bad as kiddie porn, and maybe the war is 'legal' ;) I'll come up with a different one.

The footage of terrorists executing captured Americans. Now here's an example where what was being done was illegal, the person in custody was scared beyond comprehension, and the people doing it were possibly about to do something WORSE that kiddie porn, since at least most producers of kiddie porn leave their victims alive at the end. Well, now, those videos had links to them from MAJOR news outlets, millions of people viewed them. Should that be illegal? It could create millions of new kidnappers and killers. Tons of people went to download it, and the only real reason why would be to watch it with curiosity, entertainment, twisted enjoyment, etc...

This is why I can't fathom creating a law to punish consumers of media. Yes, it could be possible to make a law about KNOWINGLY purchasing illegally produced media. But, that could be difficult to deal with as well.

Just because someone is a complete sicko in their head, doesn't mean they will act on it. And trust me, you will NEVER convince me that you can stick enough people in jail to stop the demand for the material, you have to go after the source, putting 1,000's of people in jail for consuming it, won't get you anywhere. Other than full jails.

Hey wait, we already see how well that's working, a'la the War on Drugs.

skepticality
27th May 2005, 09:50 AM
What about if the video showed a child that looked to be around say 3 years of age? Would you still want that to be proved? If so your insistence on this level of “proof” would seem to want to set a higher burden of proof on the prosecution then for any other type of crime, including crimes such as murder or rape.

Really? Not even close.

In a murder trial you need a body, a weapon, SOME physical evidence. In the past Videos have always been chucked out as the only evidence. It can be supporting evidence but not enough to put anyone in jail.

In a rape case, the victim is usually on the stand, and DNA evidence and such has to be presented, and STILL 1/3rd of the time a rapist gets off because you couldn't prove the intent, or what was actually said between the two people in the privacy of the moment.

Actually, I think I'm requiring less... and with todays technology it is a totally solid 'reasonable' doubt to question anything I see in video. I see convincing fake babies on TV all the time. It's a 400 dollar effect, and on a handycam, would look really good, especially in compressed internet video format.

Does this go back to, even fake child pornography being illegal as well? I just want to know where you stand there.

Beerina
27th May 2005, 02:36 PM
Originally posted by Darat
By the simple fact of them being a paedophile means they don't want material in which features a model that although is 12 may pass for 16 or 18.

Fashion magazines are loaded with sub-18 women, some as young as 12, who are 6 feet tall, not counting the 5" F***-me high heels strapped to their feet. The magazines want you to feel sexual desire for every one of their 77 inches of height.

As pointed out, though, they look physically adult, which is clearly a different side of the subconscious dividing line between that and a physically childlike body, which a pedophile would suffer under.

nightwind
27th May 2005, 09:12 PM
Who is pushing all of these laws anyway and what is the point?This issue to me does not seem like it is a problem anywhere, but is more of an imaginary one that is cooked up in the minds of the histrionic types.

Is there someplace where masses of children are being kidnapped, tortured, and forced into making porn against their wills, or are being turned into sex slaves, etc.

I really do not believe that this is a great problem, but that there is a weird bunch out there, who just wants to penalize folks for what they think.

Kerberos
27th May 2005, 10:07 PM
Originally posted by skepticality
Sorry, but even then, you have to prove it. I don't trust assumption of what is seen on video, especially when you are trying to put someone away for something as vile as kiddie porn.

ESPECIALLY when this would be a situation where the law is a consumption of media law.

It doesn't cut it for me when people just say:

"Well, she's OBVIOUSLY seven years old."

"Ok, prove it."

"Look at the video."

"Yea, but you can't prove it, you don't really know her age."

"It doesn't matter, she's obviously young."

"Yes, but I've seen videos that are 'obviously' UFO's. Please prove the age of the person shown in this video."

I'm very serious here, it might sound terrible to let something so 'obvious' slide, but that is how a REAL judicial system must work.
Sorry but that is not how real judicial systems either must or do work. Real judicial systems require evidence beyond reasonable doubt, not proof. It is perfectly possible to prove beyond reasonable doubt that a girl is under 18, simply from looking at a picture of her.

skepticality
27th May 2005, 10:27 PM
Sorry but that is not how real judicial systems either must or do work. Real judicial systems require evidence beyond reasonable doubt, not proof. It is perfectly possible to prove beyond reasonable doubt that a girl is under 18, simply from looking at a picture of her.

Are you serious? You think that with any accuracy, 'beyond a reasonable doubt', people can tell age by pictures.

I beg to differ, in almost every way.

You 'might' be able to say that about children under 12... but then there is a million ways to say that is wrong. And, I'm very skeptical that the producers of some of the material wouldn't be going out of their way to try REALLY hard to fake as much as they can, to avoid punishment when caught. That's a pretty reasonable assumption.

This sounds like the whole 'snuff' film argument. That it's easy to tell 'beyond a reasonable doubt' from a picture or video that something is real or true. No, I beg to differ on so many levels it would take a library to fill.

Kerberos
27th May 2005, 11:35 PM
Originally posted by skepticality
Are you serious? You think that with any accuracy, 'beyond a reasonable doubt', people can tell age by pictures.

Of course I do, when was the last time you saw a picture of a child, asked how it was doing in Colledge only to discover it had just entered Kindergarden?
I beg to differ, in almost every way.

You 'might' be able to say that about children under 12... but then there is a million ways to say that is wrong. And, I'm very skeptical that the producers of some of the material wouldn't be going out of their way to try REALLY hard to fake as much as they can, to avoid punishment when caught. That's a pretty reasonable assumption.
Fake it how? if they make the child look older their audience isn't going to be interested.

This sounds like the whole 'snuff' film argument. That it's easy to tell 'beyond a reasonable doubt' from a picture or video that something is real or true. No, I beg to differ on so many levels it would take a library to fill.
That's you priviledge but I haven't seen any convincing reasons why this would be so. Besides no one says they'd have to really exclusively on the videos, they could as I said use chat transcripts, E-mails, credit-card evidence etc.

skepticality
28th May 2005, 09:01 AM
Of course I do, when was the last time you saw a picture of a child, asked how it was doing in Colledge only to discover it had just entered Kindergarden?

Not even close to what we are talking about. What we are talking about is people PURPOSELY manipulating the apparent age of someone through trickery and F/X. It's not like someone is showing you a family photo, this is purposely manipulated material.

Additionally, they might not even be a person at all in some cases. With correct lighting, you can do a lot with 'fake' stand-ins. I've seen it done, in a recently released movie they had a digital stand in for an 7 year old boy that had to do a 'scene' with an older actress. It was pretty darn convincing, and that was only a 'proof' that took ONE digital artist, good lighting and camera angles to produce something like that in under a couple days. At the end of the day, they just had them do some little kiss in a bathtub with the actual actor, since it was considered too 'disturbing' otherwise. I think, in the end, they took it out altogether.

That's you priviledge but I haven't seen any convincing reasons why this would be so. Besides no one says they'd have to really exclusively on the videos, they could as I said use chat transcripts, E-mails, credit-card evidence etc.

Now you are adding to the argument. That's not what this whole thing has been about. It is about if it should be illegal to have and possess the pictures and videos that potentially have under-age pornography on them.

Once you get into the whole game of... Chat transcripts and communications with the producer/distributor of the material, paying by credit-card, (if they were that insane), and evidence that they encouraged the creation of the material at all. Now, that's different.

The issue we were talking about is... someone suspects you have the material, you have a ton of it on your computer, and that is the only evidence they have.

My position is that no matter the content, possession of media, pictures, books, movies, of any kind should never be illegal, no matter the subject. It's a house of cards to restrict information and media.

Second, I still disagree with your assessment on the ability of the producers of this type of material to fake much younger looking actors. There was a case here in the U.S. back 8-10 years ago where someone was in court for having child pornography. The child in question was a young girl. What they found out, through some other pictures of the same 'girl' they found elsewhere, that it was actually a male. Further investigation, it was a 19 year old asian male, that in the pictures everyone 'agreed' was a 9-10 year old GIRL.

Watch some movies, learn to work a camera, take some classes in lighting and makeup, go learn how cheap special effects are these days, do some research, you will find that faking anything on video and pictures these days is a walk in the park when you want to.

What I find funny is that, on a forum about critical thought, where people quickly dismiss all photographic evidence about all sorts of things most people are convinced about, (ufos, ghosts, etc...). Someone would even venture to make the argument that ANYTHING in a picture could be 'beyond a reasonable doubt'.

Kerberos
28th May 2005, 09:49 AM
Originally posted by skepticality
Not even close to what we are talking about. What we are talking about is people PURPOSELY manipulating the apparent age of someone through trickery and F/X. It's not like someone is showing you a family photo, this is purposely manipulated material.

Additionally, they might not even be a person at all in some cases. With correct lighting, you can do a lot with 'fake' stand-ins. I've seen it done, in a recently released movie they had a digital stand in for an 7 year old boy that had to do a 'scene' with an older actress. It was pretty darn convincing, and that was only a 'proof' that took ONE digital artist, good lighting and camera angles to produce something like that in under a couple days. At the end of the day, they just had them do some little kiss in a bathtub with the actual actor, since it was considered too 'disturbing' otherwise. I think, in the end, they took it out altogether.
I'm sure they could fool me with a digital baby in some cases, but I'd think that computer experts would be able to tell the difference and I even think I could in some cases.



Originally posted by skepticality
Now you are adding to the argument. That's not what this whole thing has been about. It is about if it should be illegal to have and possess the pictures and videos that potentially have under-age pornography on them.
No I', not, I mentioned those things in the first post you responded to, you even quoted it.

Originally posted by skepticality
Once you get into the whole game of... Chat transcripts and communications with the producer/distributor of the material, paying by credit-card, (if they were that insane), and evidence that they encouraged the creation of the material at all. Now, that's different.
They are that insane, people have been caught because they paid using their credit cards.

Originally posted by skepticality
The issue we were talking about is... someone suspects you have the material, you have a ton of it on your computer, and that is the only evidence they have.
That's a rather artificial situation, if they have enough evidence to get a search warrant for your house and computer, then they must have more than simply the pictures on your computer.


Originally posted by skepticality
My position is that no matter the content, possession of media, pictures, books, movies, of any kind should never be illegal, no matter the subject. It's a house of cards to restrict information and media.
I understand that but I disagree, buying child pornography makes you complicit in whatever abuses have happened.

Originally posted by skepticality
Second, I still disagree with your assessment on the ability of the producers of this type of material to fake much younger looking actors. There was a case here in the U.S. back 8-10 years ago where someone was in court for having child pornography. The child in question was a young girl. What they found out, through some other pictures of the same 'girl' they found elsewhere, that it was actually a male. Further investigation, it was a 19 year old asian male, that in the pictures everyone 'agreed' was a 9-10 year old GIRL.

Watch some movies, learn to work a camera, take some classes in lighting and makeup, go learn how cheap special effects are these days, do some research, you will find that faking anything on video and pictures these days is a walk in the park when you want to.

What I find funny is that, on a forum about critical thought, where people quickly dismiss all photographic evidence about all sorts of things most people are convinced about, (ufos, ghosts, etc...). Someone would even venture to make the argument that ANYTHING in a picture could be 'beyond a reasonable doubt'.
I'm aware that you can do a lot with computer technology, but I've seen the best Hollywood can produce and there are limits. There is a reason that videos of ghosts and extraterrestrials are usually not of very high quality, and it isn’t because the high tech equipment in the UFOs interferes with the cameras.

Mycroft
28th May 2005, 10:03 AM
Originally posted by skepticality
Not even close to what we are talking about. What we are talking about is people PURPOSELY manipulating the apparent age of someone through trickery and F/X. It's not like someone is showing you a family photo, this is purposely manipulated material.


I think this speculation is moot until you find a pornographer using FX to produce fake kiddie porn.

Seriously, you can speculate all you want about what could be faked, but if nobody is faking it, we can assume that whatever we find is real.

skepticality
28th May 2005, 10:08 AM
quote:
Originally posted by skepticality
My position is that no matter the content, possession of media, pictures, books, movies, of any kind should never be illegal, no matter the subject. It's a house of cards to restrict information and media.

I understand that but I disagree, buying child pornography makes you complicit in whatever abuses have happened.

That's a hard position to base laws on. Where would that logic end? And what happens when people that want to squelch certain types of media and material that aren't specifically this type of material. Even if you have a law that specifically states that 'this one' particular type of media, it will be used as a basis and reference for the legitimacy of more laws being created.

I'm sure they could fool me with a digital baby in some cases, but I'd think that computer experts would be able to tell the difference and I even think I could in some cases.

They hold funny little competitions like this at conferences like Siggraph, a 3-D artists conference, where people have to judge the reality of images. These are computer artists, and the results are spotty. Like I said, with the correct angles and lighting, really hard to tell. Which, by the way, when you get some guy in there with that level of analysis, we are way beyond the 'beyond a reasonable doubt' phase. Which was my initial point.

They are that insane, people have been caught because they paid using their credit cards.

Yea, some are, but my position is to ignore the consumer, and use that credit card trail to track down the producer. Every day, hour, minute spent worrying about Dan the pervert that's only looking at his computer, is another day the guy actually abusing children is out there.

I'm aware that you can do a lot with computer technology, but I've seen the best Hollywood can produce and there are limits. There is a reason that videos of ghosts and extraterrestrials are usually not of very high quality, and it isn’t because the high tech equipment in the UFOs interferes with the cameras.

My point is that, a picture alone is meaningless when mounting a case of evidence. We all know that here. You might be trying to pick apart the small details of this situation, but it's getting a little Chicken Salad.

My big question is this, what is the GOAL of the law? To protect the kids getting abused, or to make people feel better for tossing someone in jail that has sick THOUGHTS.

I'd put my effort into protecting the kids from the abusers, and none of my energy into thought crime legislation, and prosecution. There will always be some form of material for the perverts to look at, let them go to Anime, or oil painted images of kiddie porn once all the producers are in jail.

skepticality
28th May 2005, 10:10 AM
I think this speculation is moot until you find a pornographer using FX to produce fake kiddie porn.

Seriously, you can speculate all you want about what could be faked, but if nobody is faking it, we can assume that whatever we find is real.

I pointed out one case already where they DID fake it. There have been others, the big 'girl scouts/brownies' picture craze at the start of the internet porn frenzy is a good one to reference for another.

But, what you are saying is that... in court, you assume all video and picture evidence is real, until another case proves that it isn't?

And, that isn't even the point, it's about the possession of materials alone. Even if the stuff is real, I'm not ready to start the slippery slope of deciding which material is OKAY to possess and which isn't.

I referenced some great stuff in this regard earlier... so, do we make it illegal to download and watch the terrorists killing the hostages in Iraq? Cause, doesn't that 'endorse' them doing it more, hell its the REASON they did it, to get people to watch it.

geni
28th May 2005, 11:19 AM
Originally posted by skepticality
And, that isn't even the point, it's about the possession of materials alone. Even if the stuff is real, I'm not ready to start the slippery slope of deciding which material is OKAY to possess and which isn't.

My country has been doing for years. It doesn't cause too many problems.


I referenced some great stuff in this regard earlier... so, do we make it illegal to download and watch the terrorists killing the hostages in Iraq? Cause, doesn't that 'endorse' them doing it more, hell its the REASON they did it, to get people to watch it.

No they did it to make people make a fuss about about it. I don't think they care about how many see it.

Kerberos
28th May 2005, 11:55 AM
Originally posted by skepticality
That's a hard position to base laws on. Where would that logic end? And what happens when people that want to squelch certain types of media and material that aren't specifically this type of material. Even if you have a law that specifically states that 'this one' particular type of media, it will be used as a basis and reference for the legitimacy of more laws being created.
Sorry, but this is like defending the right to yell fire in a crowded theatre, because you think that people might use similar legislation to prevent people from criticizing the president. The logic is really quite simple. If you paid somebody money to kill a guy you'd be imprisoned, if you paid a guy to abuse a child you would also be imprisoned. If you pay for child pornography you're paying people to abuse children. If you don't pay I suppose it's somewhat different, but the child could find it very unpleasant to have been exposed all over the internet.

Originally posted by skepticality
They hold funny little competitions like this at conferences like Siggraph, a 3-D artists conference, where people have to judge the reality of images. These are computer artists, and the results are spotty.
OK, pictures could probably be faked quite convincingly, videos are, I'd think, somewhat harder.

Originally posted by skepticality
Like I said, with the correct angles and lighting, really hard to tell. Which, by the way, when you get some guy in there with that level of analysis, we are way beyond the 'beyond a reasonable doubt' phase. Which was my initial point.
I can see that. Personally though I wouldn't see any problem with requiring consumers of such products, to take reasonable precaution that the products they bye didn't involve any child abuse.

Originally posted by skepticality
Yea, some are, but my position is to ignore the consumer, and use that credit card trail to track down the producer. Every day, hour, minute spent worrying about Dan the pervert that's only looking at his computer, is another day the guy actually abusing children is out there.
Dan the pervert is paying the guy who'd actually abusing children.

Originally posted by skepticality
My big question is this, what is the GOAL of the law? To protect the kids getting abused, or to make people feel better for tossing someone in jail that has sick THOUGHTS.
Probably both, but removing the customers does help protect the children. Its simple economics, if you can limit demand then you reduce supply.


Originally posted by skepticality
I'd put my effort into protecting the kids from the abusers, and none of my energy into thought crime legislation, and prosecution. There will always be some form of material for the perverts to look at, let them go to Anime, or oil painted images of kiddie porn once all the producers are in jail.
I'm all for going after the producers too, but going after the consumers is no more "thought crime" legislation than going after people who buy stolen goods. Besides in some cases going after the consumer might even help you get the producer. If buying the stuff wasn't a crime, then the police couldn't secure evidence from them by accessing their internet records and similar.

skepticality
28th May 2005, 01:45 PM
Sorry, but this is like defending the right to yell fire in a crowded theatre, because you think that people might use similar legislation to prevent people from criticizing the president. The logic is really quite simple. If you paid somebody money to kill a guy you'd be imprisoned, if you paid a guy to abuse a child you would also be imprisoned. If you pay for child pornography you're paying people to abuse children. If you don't pay I suppose it's somewhat different, but the child could find it very unpleasant to have been exposed all over the internet.

Well, here's how I see this could start creeping into other areas quickly.

- Laws against purchasing clothing that was made in a country where you have a moral issue with how the workers were treated, or if that country allows extremely young children to work to the bone. (It's very common, moreso than kiddie porn)

- Laws against the sale/distribution of diamonds. (Since there is verified slave/servatude work being performed in the name of big diamond companies.)

- Laws against purchasing most Gasoline, since it originates from a lot of countries that sponsor terrorism.

- Laws against the purchasing of books, written by authors that have conflicting legal interests with your country.

And actually, I wouldn't mind some of those being passed, from a moral standpoint, but the whole Free Market thing gets in the way. And it goes back to that slippery slope of legal backslide.

Dan the pervert is paying the guy who'd actually abusing children.

IF he was paying directly for the services, yes I agree. As in your example with paying someone to kill someone else. Yes, I agree. IF you are hiring someone to directly get the child, and perform the acts on film, yes, you are guilty, but not in the same way as just possessing or obtaining already created material from a mass market. For example, if you buy shoes, or clothing from Wal Mart, you could say you indirectly just paid for someone to abuse a child in a sweat shop for your cheap shirt. Well, yes, you did... but WalMart and those shirts will be there, with or without your single purchase.

I *do*, however, believe that Wal Mart, who asks for the shirts to be produced, should be the one to go down for that practice. (too bad people don't care much about that problem)

So, yes, I agree there, *if* someone called/met with the person, and arranged his own porn of illegality to be made, toss him in jail with the guy that did it.

Probably both, but removing the customers does help protect the children. Its simple economics, if you can limit demand then you reduce supply.

It's never worked, ever, ever, ever, when it comes to illegal goods. Look at the war on drugs. We toss everyone in jail on minimum sentences for just being caught with drugs on them. Doctors, Lawyers, Teachers, Parents, EVERYONE of all types. We now have the highest per-capita prisoner to free-citizen ratio in the world, and in all manners of statistical manipulation it is directly due to the ridiculous nature of the war on drugs.

There is no decline in the production, or availability of most drugs... It doesn't work.

Roadtoad
28th May 2005, 05:32 PM
Skepticality, I'm sorry, but I have to disagree with you on this. The whole point is that in order to produce child pornography, a child must be, in essence, raped. A child does not possess the maturity, intellect, and perspective to give informed consent to participate in a sexual act. (The same thing can be said of an adult who's mentally retarded or unstable.) The production of the material requires that harm be done.

This, as far as I can tell, is the intent of the Norwegian law, to prevent harm to a child. Erotica involving children, while it does no harm to a child, does imply acceptance of the act. Sorry, but that doesn't fly. And at some point, society has got to draw a line and say that we won't accept this behavior. (From my own perspective: I can't even look at the "barely legal" photos. Having been molested as a kid, I literally become sick from seeing someone young being abused.)

Having said that, I also have to agree that the law as written (and presented here) is dangerously open. It can be misused, and misinterpreted. It can ultimately backfire and have the reverse effect, making CP marginally legal, either through judicial or legislative action to try and tinker with the negative effects of the law.

Ryokan
28th May 2005, 06:42 PM
Originally posted by Roadtoad
Erotica involving children, while it does no harm to a child, does imply acceptance of the act.

Just like action movies or murder mystery books imply acceptance of murder?

Sushi
29th May 2005, 12:25 AM
Originally posted by Roadtoad
Skepticality, I'm sorry, but I have to disagree with you on this. The whole point is that in order to produce child pornography, a child must be, in essence, raped. A child does not possess the maturity, intellect, and perspective to give informed consent to participate in a sexual act. (The same thing can be said of an adult who's mentally retarded or unstable.) The production of the material requires that harm be done.


Not advocating child pornography, of course, I find it personally disgusting and I also hate children anyway...:

What if a child *IS* "mature" (meaningless blanket statement designed to confuse people in debate. Don't use this unless you define it, please), intelligent enough, and DOES have a large perspective of the world? I am not making a statement of probability here, only of the possibility. I do not like blanket age ranges for social permission for various reasons, one of which is because it is completely unjust to the rare exception).

Also, what if the child does not come from a culture that has any negative stigmas towards sex? Don't tell me that our stigma of sex is ingrained--it's quite obvious it isn't, you can just look at the whole homosexuality debacle and see who is offended by homosexuality and who isn't. Our attitude towards sex is learned.

Again, don't miscontrue my statements as something they aren't. I'm sure it'll be done, of course, it always happens when one takes a heretical position (which is that there should be no blanket ages for the government to give you permission). This is a complex issue, but I'm not comfortable with making a blanket range of ages that doesn't work.


This, as far as I can tell, is the intent of the Norwegian law, to prevent harm to a child. Erotica involving children, while it does no harm to a child, does imply acceptance of the act. Sorry, but that doesn't fly. And at some point, society has got to draw a line and say that we won't accept this behavior. (From my own perspective: I can't even look at the "barely legal" photos. Having been molested as a kid, I literally become sick from seeing someone young being abused.)


Oh, so you're for censorship of things just because you don't like them? Congratulations, typical American ('course this applies elsewhere too)!

If there is one thing that sets me off, it is this very argument: "SOCIETY HAS TO DRAW THE LINE SOMEWHERE!". I can hear your inner social fascist trying to claw its way out....

No, if people are not hurting anyone, then "society" has no business in it at all. Of course, you'll twist and contort "harm" to mean something it doesn't in response to this statement...

Darat
29th May 2005, 04:11 AM
Originally posted by Sushi
Not advocating child pornography, of course, I find it personally disgusting and I also hate children anyway...:

What if a child *IS* "mature" (meaningless blanket statement designed to confuse people in debate. Don't use this unless you define it, please), intelligent enough, and DOES have a large perspective of the world? I am not making a statement of probability here, only of the possibility. I do not like blanket age ranges for social permission for various reasons, one of which is because it is completely unjust to the rare exception).



Sorry for keep saying this again but I think it does need to be emphasised when talking about peadaphilia. We are not talking about near adults or those blurred boundaries e.g. a child's status changing at the stroke of midnight.
What we are talking about with paedophilia and pornography is material depicting assaults on babies and upwards. Paedophilias want material that shows what are to them sexual acts being committed on or by babies, toddlers and pre-pubescent children. Not a 14 year old with obvious secondary sexual characteristics.

I do not believe anyone could hold the view that a baby or a toddler no matter how advanced could ever be considered capable of having such a “large perspective of the world” that they can give full and informed consent to being penetrated or understand masturbation or otherwise be involved in the sexual stimulation of an adult.

Originally posted by Sushi

Also, what if the child does not come from a culture that has any negative stigmas towards sex? Don't tell me that our stigma of sex is ingrained--it's quite obvious it isn't, you can just look at the whole homosexuality debacle and see who is offended by homosexuality and who isn't. Our attitude towards sex is learned.


But we are talking about our society not another. (Plus I have never heard of any society or culture that hold that it is OK and good for babies, toddlers and very young children to be involved in the sexual stimulation of an adult.)

Originally posted by Sushi


Again, don't miscontrue my statements as something they aren't. I'm sure it'll be done, of course, it always happens when one takes a heretical position (which is that there should be no blanket ages for the government to give you permission). This is a complex issue, but I'm not comfortable with making a blanket range of ages that doesn't work.


I agree arbitrary lines can cause problems but unless we can find a better way of protecting babies, toddlers and young pre-pubescent children from being physically assaulted then I think we have to put up with some of the injustice that may be caused by the arbitrary cut-off points.

Originally posted by Sushi

...snip..

If there is one thing that sets me off, it is this very argument: "SOCIETY HAS TO DRAW THE LINE SOMEWHERE!". I can hear your inner social fascist trying to claw its way out....

No, if people are not hurting anyone, then "society" has no business in it at all. Of course, you'll twist and contort "harm" to mean something it doesn't in response to this statement...

I don’t know about twist but a child was hurt when the material was made and someone else has paid for that material to be made or traded for that material and therefore in my view they are culpable (to an extent) for the harm caused to the child in the pornography, after all they have choose to buy material that they knew a child was purposefully harmed to make. (But not to the extent the person who made it is.)

(And please note I am not trying to be emotive by using the words “baby” and “toddler” or “penetration”, what I am trying to do is make sure that if this is a discussion about paedophilia it is a discussion about paedophilia. Points questioning why is it wrong to have sex with a child at 15 years 364 days but not an adult who is 15 years and 366 days are not about paedophilia.)

Sushi
29th May 2005, 06:05 AM
Originally posted by Darat
Sorry for keep saying this again but I think it does need to be emphasised when talking about peadaphilia. We are not talking about near adults or those blurred boundaries e.g. a child's status changing at the stroke of midnight.
What we are talking about with paedophilia and pornography is material depicting assaults on babies and upwards. Paedophilias want material that shows what are to them sexual acts being committed on or by babies, toddlers and pre-pubescent children. Not a 14 year old with obvious secondary sexual characteristics.


Then it is not so hard to show that there was no informed consent.


I do not believe anyone could hold the view that a baby or a toddler no matter how advanced could ever be considered capable of having such a “large perspective of the world” that they can give full and informed consent to being penetrated or understand masturbation or otherwise be involved in the sexual stimulation of an adult.


And I agree, the probability is extremely unlikely. But I say the issue should be consent, not AGE.


But we are talking about our society not another. (Plus I have never heard of any society or culture that hold that it is OK and good for babies, toddlers and very young children to be involved in the sexual stimulation of an adult.)


I was referring to adolescents moreso.


I agree arbitrary lines can cause problems but unless we can find a better way of protecting babies, toddlers and young pre-pubescent children from being physically assaulted then I think we have to put up with some of the injustice that may be caused by the arbitrary cut-off points.


I don't see why simply showing consent can't do this equally well.

In any case, our current cut-off points aren't very rational.



I don’t know about twist but a child was hurt when the material was made and someone else has paid for that material to be made or traded for that material and therefore in my view they are culpable (to an extent) for the harm caused to the child in the pornography, after all they have choose to buy material that they knew a child was purposefully harmed to make. (But not to the extent the person who made it is.)


I'm focusing more on adolescents than very young children, although I think legitimate consent should be what the law is based on, not a number.

I have mixed feelings about this. On one hand, if someone is supporting someone hurting someone else, then they should be held accountable, just like knowingly receiving stolen property.

On the other hand, what about instances where someone pays for a copy of the video out of (for example) curiosity, and the money does not go to someone who is affiliated with the evildoers? Say I burnt a copy of the Nick Berg execution video and sold it to someone for three dollars...

skepticality
29th May 2005, 09:55 AM
On the other hand, what about instances where someone pays for a copy of the video out of (for example) curiosity, and the money does not go to someone who is affiliated with the evildoers? Say I burnt a copy of the Nick Berg execution video and sold it to someone for three dollars...

This is what I keep trying to bubble up, since the law does not oft' stay in the box it was intended once released into the world.

If you make it illegal to purchase/own/possess *this* type of material for the reason that: "If you pay, then you are just as much of a promoter as the producer, since you are paying for the service", then where does that logic end.

As I've said earlier, it backlashes into tons of currently acceptable purchases;

- Wal Mart selling items made by child sweat shop labor (very common)

- Oil/Gas, you can trace the money back to terrorist states

- Diamonds/Jewels/Gold/etc Often the result of awful work/slave practices

- Terrorist Be-heading videos, since it's exactly what the terrorists want, people to watch

I could make a long list that fits that definition/reason you give for the possession of the material being illegal. All are perfectly logical in the same manner.

If your position is that all that stuff SHOULD also be illegal, well then, we can have that whole debate, I don't mind. But, I guess my concern is that the passion that goes along with crimes as disgusting as child porn, since it's something you can *see*, causes a blindness to the creation of logical laws and the preservation of freedom. There are plenty of ways to un-root the scourge of child pornography, without having to feel good about tossing perverts that just diddle themselves in the privacy of their own homes in jail. Doing that accomplishes NOTHING.

Again, I beg to just realize the folly of that experiment in relation to the mindless, hopeless, and idiot laws created during our 'war on drugs'. Yea, that's working out so well.

Darat
29th May 2005, 01:47 PM
Originally posted by Sushi
Then it is not so hard to show that there was no informed consent.


Precisely, if someone is found to have a video in their possession showing a baby, toddler or young child being assaulted by an adult then we can know there is not consent. The video is the evidence of no consent.

(And the point brought up earlier of clever cutting and so on don't apply to this discussion, since pornography is normaly defined as the graphic dpection of actual sex acts.)

Originally posted by Sushi

And I agree, the probability is extremely unlikely. But I say the issue should be consent, not AGE.


Absolutely disagree, I believe that it would be quite possible to indoctrinate a child (remember we are talking about prepubescent children) into giving the appearance of consent. However I do not believe a child can give full and informed consent for anything, never mind something like allowing someone to physically assault them.

Originally posted by Sushi

I was referring to adolescents moreso.


Then you are not discussing paedophilia but what is normally called pederasty (although that is normally defined as an adolescent male in a sexual relationship with an adult male but I think it should be extended to cover any sexual relationship between an adolescent and an adult).

I agree that with adolescents the boundary condition starts to breakdown and could cause injustices, this is what I referred to as the "second past midnight" when legally a child’s status changes to an adult; no one can argue that some miraculous change happens at that moment that suddenly imbues the child with the ability to give informed consent.

Originally posted by Sushi

I don't see why simply showing consent can't do this equally well.


As I said above I would not accept the word of a 4 year old that they consented to penetration no more then I would accept that they should be given the right to vote.

Originally posted by Sushi

In any case, our current cut-off points aren't very rational.


I disagree, I believe they are very rational; they are certainly not perfect but they do produce a workable framework that can be understood by all socially responsible adults.

Originally posted by Sushi

I'm focusing more on adolescents than very young children, although I think legitimate consent should be what the law is based on, not a number.

...snip...



So let me ask you if a child of 4 said that they were OK with Aunty Penelope "playing with their penis" you would be OK with that? (I don’t for one moment think you would, but that is the implication - to me - of what you seem to be suggesting is a better arrangement then what we have now.)

nightwind
29th May 2005, 03:14 PM
Well, the age of consent is certainly too high in this country. People commonly have sex 15-17, etc. but try and cover it up because of the way the law is. Believe me, people are going to have sex, and there is nothing wrong with getting pleasure from sex. Shessh. This is talked about like it is some kind of evil disease that will make you start rotting away.

I think that if the age of consent were lowered to a more reasonable level, and we were more open talking about sex, then the disease rates, pregnancy, etc. would possibly actually go down. I am assuming that this is why an age of consent is set, so as to keep STDs and unwanted pregnancy under control.

In societies where it is culturally acceptable to be married at 12, and where the age of consent is lower, there are not traumatized teens flopping around everywhere.

As long as the consenting people know and are willing to accept the consequences that can result from sex, besides it feeling good, then they are probably old enough to enjoy it.

Probably the biggest problems are caused by the "sexually impaired" who are constantly preaching of the evils of sex and making those who engage in it feell that it is evil.

Think this country probably needs to take a long look at the way some of the laws are written, and look at who is really causing the harm.

aerosolben
29th May 2005, 03:21 PM
Originally posted by Kerberos
OK, pictures could probably be faked quite convincingly, videos are, I'd think, somewhat harder.
Did you see the Final Fantasy movie? Not perfect, but getting very close, and that was over 4 years ago.

Even if the technology is not there now, it is obvious that it could be in the near future, and to assume realistic simulacrums are impossible is a foolish position.

aerosolben
29th May 2005, 04:02 PM
Originally posted by Kerberos
Probably both, but removing the customers does help protect the children. Its simple economics, if you can limit demand then you reduce supply.
What if the possessor did not pay? Supply and demand interaction only comes into play when some sort of barter exists.

Frankly, I'm starting to come around to skepticality's argument: the burden of proof should be on the prosecution to show how possession leads to a child being abused. If this is the case, then there is no need for a law against possessing such materials - laws governing child abuse and statutory rape are sufficient. If it is not true, then where is the crime?

I'd welcome evidence to the contrary (I'm certainly no fan of child porn), but the posts in this thread have failed to highlight the fundamental difference that makes possessing a record of sexual child abuse illegal, and possessing a record of any other crime (including non-child sexual abuse, non-sexual child abuse, murder, etc) legal.

Roadtoad
29th May 2005, 04:40 PM
Originally posted by Ryokan
Just like action movies or murder mystery books imply acceptance of murder?

Come on, don't be an idiot, especially considering that you aren't one. In action movies and murder mysteries, the killers are usually brought to justice. Society has a strong sense of wrong when it comes to murder, and it's not condoned unless there's a very, very strong injustice which can only be corrected by such an act.

There's a sense in erotica that the act is accepted/acceptable under general circumstances. And we're not talking about teenagers expirementing with sex, we're talking about the sicko SOB who's out there groping/raping a kid under the age of reasoned rational consent. This would, in my book, refer to those under at least the age of 15. I can't see how any child could be worldly wise enough at the age of 12 to understand the ramifications of their actions when it comes to sex. Hell, at 12, could you? Be reasonable.

Originally posted by Sushi
Oh, so you're for censorship of things just because you don't like them? Congratulations, typical American ('course this applies elsewhere too)!

If there is one thing that sets me off, it is this very argument: "SOCIETY HAS TO DRAW THE LINE SOMEWHERE!". I can hear your inner social fascist trying to claw its way out....


Uncalled for. There's far more out there that I don't like, that I would consider immoral/indecent/vulgar, (such as anything uttered by Jerry Falwell, or Pat Robertson), but there's little point in censoring it. I have a brain and a working wrist. I can turn the radio/TV off. I can refuse to buy their books. I minimize the harm to myself and others by refusing to reward their barbarity.

Or, on another tack, I don't particularly enjoy watching porn movies. Ron Jeremy is not my idea of a hero. I'm sure he's a nice guy, (I've read and heard that he is), but how he makes his living doesn't really get me groovin', nor do the women he works with. But, all participants in that form of entertainment are of a legal age, they're of rational minds, for the most part, (as are most people in society at large), and they've demonstrated a capacity for independent thought. They're willing to deal with the consequences of their actions, and harm, as near as I can tell, is limited, so, hey, more power to 'em.

A nine-year-old has no say. Nor does a twelve-year-old. In fact, when you think about it, you can't even become emancipated as a teenager from your parents until you're of legal age to drive a car for the most part. You're not able to take care of yourself. No one in their right mind is going to hire you. You have no real grasp of responsibility. Hell, when I was twelve, I still had my parents reminding me to do my homework. I'm 45, now, and don't need anyone's help in remembering to get up to go to work, and to make sure my logbook, (my adult homework) is current. There's a difference.

I understand what you're talking about, Sushi, but while one's maturity level is not always the same compared to one's peers, there are some general guidelines. I have yet to see many teenagers understand that their actions have consequences, (which is one of the reasons we see teenaged girls winding up pregnant, why teenage drinkers wind up in such horrible car wrecks, and why you have teens who wind up getting busted for things like shoplifting), which is why we say in society, "You can wait until you're 18, and legally responsible for your actions."

I'm not disagreeing entirely with you on this, because the moths of reality have eaten some sizable holes in blanket statements, but you can, just on the basis of the demographics, get a sense of where you can draw some of the lines.

I'd add this: Consider that lots of these teenage girls who are getting pregnant have boyfriends who are in their 20's and 30's, and that once they become pregnant, they're pretty much on their own.

There's no excuse for any adult engaging in sexual contact with someone who cannot legally act for themselves and on their own behalf, and certainly not for someone who lacks even the potential for that. An adult who uses a child for self-gratification is rightly considered a deviant, evil, and abusive. And they damned well deserve the strongest punishment a society can mete out. (Take note, Genghis, and yeah, I know you're reading this, you sick little sh**.) And this is what makes the Norwegian law so painful, because there's likely to be a backlash, and the kids are going to be hurt.

geni
29th May 2005, 05:59 PM
Originally posted by Roadtoad
There's no excuse for any adult engaging in sexual contact with someone who cannot legally act for themselves and on their own behalf, and certainly not for someone who lacks even the potential for that. An adult who uses a child for self-gratification is rightly considered a deviant, evil, and abusive. And they damned well deserve the strongest punishment a society can mete out. (Take note, Genghis, and yeah, I know you're reading this, you sick little sh**.) And this is what makes the Norwegian law so painful, because there's likely to be a backlash, and the kids are going to be hurt.

No there wont be. Assuming that the politicians are vagely competant there is no legal way the courts could strike down the law. We know from expearence in the UK the this form of law does in fact work. Any local civil liberty groups will be sensible enough to focus the thier main activities elsewhereand the media will for the most part decide that they can sell more papers by claiming the new law doesn't go far enough.

Roadtoad
30th May 2005, 08:27 AM
Originally posted by geni
No there wont be. Assuming that the politicians are vagely competant there is no legal way the courts could strike down the law. We know from expearence in the UK the this form of law does in fact work. Any local civil liberty groups will be sensible enough to focus the thier main activities elsewhereand the media will for the most part decide that they can sell more papers by claiming the new law doesn't go far enough.

That might be the case in the UK, Geni, but in the U.S., with the whack-jobs we have on the courts at all levels, from all political stripes, you have to realize that I've seen it work the other way around. It's not right, it's not fair to the children who are the victims, and frankly, with all of it being claimed to be in the interest of the rights of the accused, it's a little sickening.

Few will argue that Richard Allen Davis, for example, is not where he belongs. He's the slimebag who raped and murdered Polly Klaas, but keep in mind, her grandfather wanted to rework the Three Strikes Law that was passed once she was found, and Davis captured. But people don't see the harm as being that great in child porn; after all, the kids aren't dead. (I'm willing to bet that unlike those who rape and murder kids, we can't name one child pornographer.)

geni
30th May 2005, 08:47 AM
Originally posted by Roadtoad
That might be the case in the UK, Geni, but in the U.S., with the whack-jobs we have on the courts at all levels, from all political stripes, you have to realize that I've seen it work the other way around. It's not right, it's not fair to the children who are the victims, and frankly, with all of it being claimed to be in the interest of the rights of the accused, it's a little sickening.


I was commenting on the law in Norway.

Roadtoad
30th May 2005, 09:49 AM
Originally posted by geni
I was commenting on the law in Norway.

I understood that, but we generally make comparisons based upon what we know. Human nature does not change just because of physical or geopolitical boundaries.

skepticality
30th May 2005, 10:01 AM
It's not right, it's not fair to the children who are the victims, and frankly, with all of it being claimed to be in the interest of the rights of the accused, it's a little sickening.

The rights in a fair judicial system always fall to the accused. Otherwise, we are back to the Salem witch-trial days.

And trust me, I don't want to start tearing that wall down, once you do, we could easily start seeing some radical effects in the laws of this/any country. Just because you feel passionately about a topic, and trust me I do as well on many things, does not mean you destroy the overwhelming rights that are given to the accused of a crime.

It is hard to watch it happen sometimes, especially when it's a person that did something wrong to you, or someone that performed an activity in which you were once a victim.

But, a wise founding father did mention that victims are the first group to ignore when deciding the fair way to determine innocence and punishment. I have to agree with that.

Roadtoad
30th May 2005, 10:19 AM
Originally posted by skepticality
The rights in a fair judicial system always fall to the accused. Otherwise, we are back to the Salem witch-trial days.

And trust me, I don't want to start tearing that wall down, once you do, we could easily start seeing some radical effects in the laws of this/any country. Just because you feel passionately about a topic, and trust me I do as well on many things, does not mean you destroy the overwhelming rights that are given to the accused of a crime.

It is hard to watch it happen sometimes, especially when it's a person that did something wrong to you, or someone that performed an activity in which you were once a victim.

But, a wise founding father did mention that victims are the first group to ignore when deciding the fair way to determine innocence and punishment. I have to agree with that.

I agree to an extent.

But, why do we need to completely ignore the effect the accused's actions have on the victims? I don't want another Salem Witch Trial, either, (and we saw that in Wenatchee, WA, not that long ago), but damn it, why must the rights of the accused become the only rights we respect?

skepticality
30th May 2005, 10:31 AM
But, why do we need to completely ignore the effect the accused's actions have on the victims? I don't want another Salem Witch Trial, either, (and we saw that in Wenatchee, WA, not that long ago), but damn it, why must the rights of the accused become the only rights we respect?

The simple answer that is very hard to accept, especially when heated about the crime, is because the victim, has ALL their rights, and none of them are going away when the trial is over. The person on trial, is under the threat of losing almost all their rights.

Now, we could have a discussion on how I feel about the way jails are run in this country. We give way too many rights in some ways.

I'd take away Weight sets, Television, Internet, etc. I'd base *almost* all sentences on educational requirements. Remove the ability for parole until you complete at least one Bachelors Degree equivalent in education. Setup jails to perform services for the poor. We lock away enough doctors and surgeons to give away a ton of medical care for a low/no cost to taxpayers that can't normally pay through a reform system in prison. We could do the same with Legal advice, and many other services. Take in small payments, and allow the currency given to prisoners to be time removed from the sentence.

There are a ton of reform based prison policies we could do, while making jail/prison something that removes all freedom. Instead, we make it Lord of the Flies for the socially bankrupt.

crimresearch
30th May 2005, 10:44 AM
Originally posted by Roadtoad
I agree to an extent.

But, why do we need to completely ignore the effect the accused's actions have on the victims? I don't want another Salem Witch Trial, either, (and we saw that in Wenatchee, WA, not that long ago), but damn it, why must the rights of the accused become the only rights we respect?

Because the rights of the victims are supposedly weighed when the laws were passed, and when the sentence is imposed.

In between, the rights of the falsely accused need to be upheld, until the process has a chance to weed out the guilty.

http://gsulaw.gsu.edu/lawand/papers/fa02/abbott/#Jacobson

Roadtoad
30th May 2005, 11:04 AM
Originally posted by crimresearch
Because the rights of the victims are supposedly weighed when the laws were passed, and when the sentence is imposed.

In between, the rights of the falsely accused need to be upheld, until the process has a chance to weed out the guilty.

http://gsulaw.gsu.edu/lawand/papers/fa02/abbott/#Jacobson

In reading through your link, one thing was clear: the Government was clearly over the line in how they chose to enforce the law. These cases were situations in which overly zealous enforcement nearly cost these men all their legal rights. Point made, yes, but I'm looking for where the line can and should be drawn.

I know it's not easy, but boundaries need to exist.

bjornart
31st May 2005, 02:08 AM
Originally posted by Roadtoad
I understood that, but we generally make comparisons based upon what we know. Human nature does not change just because of physical or geopolitical boundaries.
Sure, but what you know isn't how things work in Norway. If the courts use the law in a way not intended by the lawmakers the department of justice will say, "Hey! That's not what we meant! Here's how it should be interpreted:" gobbledgook follows. And if that's not good enough, parliament will change the law. The American system of making and passing laws just doesn't apply.

Roadtoad
31st May 2005, 05:30 AM
Originally posted by bjornart
Sure, but what you know isn't how things work in Norway. If the courts use the law in a way not intended by the lawmakers the department of justice will say, "Hey! That's not what we meant! Here's how it should be interpreted:" gobbledgook follows. And if that's not good enough, parliament will change the law. The American system of making and passing laws just doesn't apply.

Could you provide some more detail on this? I have to admit to more ignorance than I realized.

Sushi
31st May 2005, 06:48 AM
Originally posted by Darat
Absolutely disagree, I believe that it would be quite possible to indoctrinate a child (remember we are talking about prepubescent children) into giving the appearance of consent. However I do not believe a child can give full and informed consent for anything, never mind something like allowing someone to physically assault them.


Nobody can give "full and informed" consent. Well, first of all, "full consent" is a vague and meaningless term, used to illicit emotional responses and not rational debate. "Informed" consent simply rests on a relative standard that is fairly arbitrary.


I agree that with adolescents the boundary condition starts to breakdown and could cause injustices, this is what I referred to as the "second past midnight" when legally a child’s status changes to an adult; no one can argue that some miraculous change happens at that moment that suddenly imbues the child with the ability to give informed consent.


People have the ability to give consent at any time. The issue is whether they are knowledgeable enough to make that decision.

I think it's fine that your interest is to protect other people, however you are not protecting people when you punish consenting individuals who know what they are doing.


As I said above I would not accept the word of a 4 year old that they consented to penetration no more then I would accept that they should be given the right to vote.


Invalid analogy, voting is something that affects other people, consent is between two entities.

I find pedophilia disgusting but I do not see a magical "there is more to know" other than what the action actually is. If you are talking about the outcomes of an action, such as feelings of shame or whatever, that depends on whatever they have learned.

My ideal situation is not for adults to have sex with kids, of course. I do find that absolutely sickening, but my ideal situation is where sex is not something feared and to be treated as some sort of special, magical act, but simply as yet another biological function of organisms.


I disagree, I believe they are very rational; they are certainly not perfect but they do produce a workable framework that can be understood by all socially responsible adults.

"Socially responsible"? Downright sickening. No one should be forced to get anyone's permission regarding what they do to themself.

I am not some ant to be engineered by the rest of society. I will do what I want to meet my own ends and pleasures (don't misintrepret this to mean I will go around killing), not ask someone for permission just because of some conditioned moral stigma or some irrational idea on social stability or efficiency. We seem to be treading into a future where a person is not an individual: they are a segment of society that should be manipulated for society's sake. I hate to bring up the (awful) book, but it sounds kind of like Brave New World (ironically sexual hedonism in it).

The laws, as well, are completely irrational. Humans start feeling (increased) sexual desires at the onset of puberty, which can begin as young as 11.



So let me ask you if a child of 4 said that they were OK with Aunty Penelope "playing with their penis" you would be OK with that? (I don’t for one moment think you would, but that is the implication - to me - of what you seem to be suggesting is a better arrangement then what we have now.)

Would I be OK with that? In almost all likely and imaginable situations, no, of course not.

But should it be illegal simply on the virtue of their age? No. If you think four year olds can somehow not give informed consent, then simply make it illegal to exploit people sexually. Attack the problem directly, not a symptom of it.

But to answer your question on the LEGALITY of it, I actually can't say I have a good answer (if I only pay attention to the rational faculties of the 4 year old child and not the age itself). The problem is human understanding is inherently limited, adults often make horrible and irrational decisions on their own, and some teenagers are more rational towards sex and violence than adults are.

I WANT having sex with 4-year olds to be illegal. However, knowing that adults can be equally stupid, sometimes, in some aspects, I hesitate to make how informed you are the only factor because that will invariably lead open the floodgates to needing someone else's permission to do everything, based on their personal feelings of how informed you are. Which is somewhat the case today.

Emotionally, I feel no sympathy for the child pornographer caught and sent to jail, and I don't really feel any of his rights were violated, based on probabilities alone. However, intellectually, I can't justify age-of-consent laws or even "fully informed" laws.

Sushi
31st May 2005, 07:06 AM
Originally posted by Roadtoad
Uncalled for. There's far more out there that I don't like, that I would consider immoral/indecent/vulgar, (such as anything uttered by Jerry Falwell, or Pat Robertson), but there's little point in censoring it. I have a brain and a working wrist. I can turn the radio/TV off. I can refuse to buy their books. I minimize the harm to myself and others by refusing to reward their barbarity.



Given your language, I think it was entirely called for. Fascist rhetoric.

Good, so you can turn the television off, that's nice. That says nothing about making other things illegal that neither threaten anyone nor harm anyone, however.


A nine-year-old has no say. Nor does a twelve-year-old. In fact, when you think about it, you can't even become emancipated as a teenager from your parents until you're of legal age to drive a car for the most part. You're not able to take care of yourself. No one in their right mind is going to hire you. You have no real grasp of responsibility. Hell, when I was twelve, I still had my parents reminding me to do my homework. I'm 45, now, and don't need anyone's help in remembering to get up to go to work, and to make sure my logbook, (my adult homework) is current. There's a difference.

Nonsense. I still remember when I was 12, and I was quite rational then regarding sex. I did not have it, and did not want to have it. I also understood the implications (pregnancy, STDs...). However, one can understand the implications and can do the opposite action simply because of their personality type.

You bring up a complete non-sequitur. Independence does not necessarily have any connection to sex. Forgetting to do homework is irrelevant to how one can approach sexual intercourse. Remembering to do to work is the exact same way.


I understand what you're talking about, Sushi, but while one's maturity level is not always the same compared to one's peers, there are some general guidelines. I have yet to see many teenagers understand that their actions have consequences, (which is one of the reasons we see teenaged girls winding up pregnant, why teenage drinkers wind up in such horrible car wrecks, and why you have teens who wind up getting busted for things like shoplifting), which is why we say in society, "You can wait until you're 18, and legally responsible for your actions."


I don't care about "many teenagers", although I would NEVER lump everyone together just because of some cruel idea of what efficiency is supposed to be.

Many of the teenagers who get in car accidents, shoplift, and get pregnant are stupid. Actually, most teenagers are exceptionally stupid. And most college-aged young adults are also incredibly stupid. Just go to a leftist college protest or spend some time in a frat house or sorority and I'm sure you'll witness some of the world's finest stupidity.

Shoplifting and putting other people in danger is already a crime, regardless of age. The analogy is false.

A person does not and should not need permission so they can try to live their own life to their fullest just so some cranky old person and appeal to their previous generations idea of decency.


I'm not disagreeing entirely with you on this, because the moths of reality have eaten some sizable holes in blanket statements, but you can, just on the basis of the demographics, get a sense of where you can draw some of the lines.

The lines should be drawn at consent.


I'd add this: Consider that lots of these teenage girls who are getting pregnant have boyfriends who are in their 20's and 30's, and that once they become pregnant, they're pretty much on their own.

I don't care much about protecting people from their stupidity. Let them become ditch diggers or hookers for all I care, they made the decision themself. If they were not rational, so be it. Many, many colledge students are not 'protected' under these laws but they have much the same problems.


There's no excuse for any adult engaging in sexual contact with someone who cannot legally act for themselves and on their own behalf, and certainly not for someone who lacks even the potential for that. An adult who uses a child for self-gratification is rightly considered a deviant, evil, and abusive. And they damned well deserve the strongest punishment a society can mete out. (Take note, Genghis, and yeah, I know you're reading this, you sick little sh**.) And this is what makes the Norwegian law so painful, because there's likely to be a backlash, and the kids are going to be hurt.

Let's pass a law saying that, I dunno, a particular race or group, cannot act for themselves legally and on their own behalf. Then read your first sentence again. Changes the perspective, huh? If a law is unjust, there is no reason to follow it other than not getting arrested.

Darat
31st May 2005, 07:36 AM
Originally posted by Sushi
Nobody can give "full and informed" consent. Well, first of all, "full consent" is a vague and meaningless term, used to illicit emotional responses and not rational debate. "Informed" consent simply rests on a relative standard that is fairly arbitrary.


I use "full and informed consent" as a colloquialism that is normally understood by most people I am talking or discussing something like this issue. I’m always happy to explain what I mean by using particular words.

(A quick comment just saying something is “arbitrary” is not in itself a constructive criticism. It is possible when you wish to argue semantic points to stretch "arbitrary" to successfully argue that everything we do is "fairly arbitrary" and unless you wish to argue for anarchy I do not know how to avoid arbitrary decisions – and I can argue that even anarchy rests on arbitrary decisions…)

Originally posted by Sushi

People have the ability to give consent at any time. The issue is whether they are knowledgeable enough to make that decision.


I think we use consent slightly differently, in this discussion when I use “consent” I mean a decision made with the knowledge required to make such a decision and without coercion of any kind.

Originally posted by Sushi

I think it's fine that your interest is to protect other people, however you are not protecting people when you punish consenting individuals who know what they are doing.


Your point seems to make no distinction between say a toddler or a 14 year old to give consent. I do make a distinction.


Originally posted by Sushi

Invalid analogy, voting is something that affects other people, consent is between two entities.


It is not an invalid analogy I consider the ability to give full and informed consent to a sexual act to be a complex matter that requires someone to weigh up a whole range of factors to arrive at that point of giving consent. I view voting in the same manner.


Originally posted by Sushi

I find pedophilia disgusting but I do not see a magical "there is more to know" other than what the action actually is. If you are talking about the outcomes of an action, such as feelings of shame or whatever, that depends on whatever they have learned.


I hope I do not understand your point because it appears you are saying that a 4 year old should be viewed capable of giving consent to having sex with an adult because, since they feel pleasure when their genitalia are played with, they could ask for that to be done to them, just as they can say they want an ice-cream.

Originally posted by Sushi

My ideal situation is not for adults to have sex with kids, of course. I do find that absolutely sickening, but my ideal situation is where sex is not something feared and to be treated as some sort of special, magical act, but simply as yet another biological function of organisms.


I do not see how these two comments relate to one another.

Originally posted by Sushi

"Socially responsible"? Downright sickening. No one should be forced to get anyone's permission regarding what they do to themself.


You seem to have totally misunderstood my point, what someone does to themselves or to someone else (as long as there is full and informed consent) is not my point, my point is when full and informed consent is not given.

Originally posted by Sushi

I am not some ant to be engineered by the rest of society. I will do what I want to meet my own ends and pleasures (don't misintrepret this to mean I will go around killing), not ask someone for permission just because of some conditioned moral stigma or some irrational idea on social stability or efficiency. We seem to be treading into a future where a person is not an individual: they are a segment of society that should be manipulated for society's sake. I hate to bring up the (awful) book, but it sounds kind of like Brave New World (ironically sexual hedonism in it).


I never really saw the problem with Brave New World – after all everyone was happy and content…. ;)

All your points seem not to be addressing the fact of paedophilia but society’s views on sex between consenting adults. They may be interesting points but do not address paedophilic behaviour and pornography which is about adults having sexual physical interactions with babies, toddlers and pre-pubescent children.


Originally posted by Sushi

The laws, as well, are completely irrational. Humans start feeling (increased) sexual desires at the onset of puberty, which can begin as young as 11.


That does not mean the laws are irrational. The laws would be irrational if they had no purpose or in fact encouraged what they were meant to prevent and/or reduce. So far you have not put forward any rational reason why you claim the laws are irrational.


Originally posted by Sushi


Would I be OK with that? In almost all likely and imaginable situations, no, of course not.

But should it be illegal simply on the virtue of their age? No. If you think four year olds can somehow not give informed consent, then simply make it illegal to exploit people sexually. Attack the problem directly, not a symptom of it.


Your statements confuse me; it at first appears as if you agree that a 4 year old cannot give consent but then you say “If you think four year olds can somehow not give informed consent” are you saying that a 4 year old could in some circumstances consent to sex with an adult?


Originally posted by Sushi

But to answer your question on the LEGALITY of it, I actually can't say I have a good answer (if I only pay attention to the rational faculties of the 4 year old child and not the age itself). The problem is human understanding is inherently limited, adults often make horrible and irrational decisions on their own, and some teenagers are more rational towards sex and violence than adults are.


I don’t disagree with you here, however we live in a world that forces us (as a society) to make these types of decisions even when we know the result will not be perfect. We should not (to paraphrase badly) sacrifice the pragmatic in the fruitless pursuit of the perfect.


Originally posted by Sushi




I WANT having sex with 4-year olds to be illegal. However, knowing that adults can be equally stupid, sometimes, in some aspects, I hesitate to make how informed you are the only factor because that will invariably lead open the floodgates to needing someone else's permission to do everything, based on their personal feelings of how informed you are. Which is somewhat the case today.


I don’t see what is wrong with that approach – if someone wants to have sex with someone they must always ensure they have their consent (of course one of them can lie afterwards). Requiring consent seems to me the way forward in the legislation but no matter how we determine that consent was given it will always be an arbitrary line. There is no escaping that.

In the case of children however I believe society should err on the side of being over cautious of granting protection to the child.

Originally posted by Sushi


Emotionally, I feel no sympathy for the child pornographer caught and sent to jail, and I don't really feel any of his rights were violated, based on probabilities alone. However, intellectually, I can't justify age-of-consent laws or even "fully informed" laws.

It sounds as if you can’t accept the fact that nothing can be perfect, but again I do not believe we should let that fear paralysis us, it should just make us very cautious.

bjornart
31st May 2005, 07:49 AM
Originally posted by Roadtoad
Could you provide some more detail on this? I have to admit to more ignorance than I realized.
:D You're not the only one. Not only did I have to do quite a bit of research to back up my own statement regarding Norwegian conditions, I also had to admit to myself I don't really know how much it differs from how it's done in the US.

Let's start with a description of the steps in the Legislative procedure straight from the website for the Ministry of Justice

Study and evaluation
A study and evaluation is made of the need for new legislation. This work is carried out by a special committee, by the Ministry or in a working group with members from several ministries.

Comments
Affected bodies and organizations are invited to comment on the draft legislation.

Proposition to the Odelsting
The Ministry prepares a draft bill supported by detailed arguments, which the Government decides by Royal Decree to submit to the Storting.

Enactment
After deliberations first in the Odelsting and then in the Lagting, the Storting adopts the bill.

Royal assent
The bill is given the Royal Assent by the King in Council.

Entry into force
The bill enters into force as current law.

For some reason the Norwegian parliament, the Storting, is divided into Lagting and Odelsting when working with laws, probably so they get to vote lots of times.

My impression is that the US system is less ... ordered than this. But I could be wrong since the impression probably comes from TV and movies where they always sneak things in with other decisions...

The loop above is also used for amending and repealing laws, but the Ministry of Justice also has an advisory department that makes statements of interpretation. I didn't find any good examples, but I found an interesting one regarding sex change operations...
My summary. A sex change operation is, by the definitions in paragraph XYZ, grievous bodily harm, and although the patient consents it cannot immediately be considered non-punishable, ref. paragraph ZPQ. Still, for this and that and thus reason, it should be legal. We suppose though that it could be argued a new law is required to clarify this and clarify other stuff surrounding the issue, such as the persons new identity etc.

skepticality
31st May 2005, 11:46 AM
My impression is that the US system is less ... ordered than this. But I could be wrong since the impression probably comes from TV and movies where they always sneak things in with other decisions...

T.V. and Movies definitely muck things up here. I think especially since most Movies about 'court' are probably a take-off on the U.S. system. Most are dressed up to... entertain more than be factual.

In fact, there was a list I saw once, about the '20' most common mis-conceptions about our legal system depicted in Movies and T.V., and I think at least 3-4 of them listed claim that, even in the most 'realistic' stories, movies, etc, they were still done incorrectly for 'impact'.

The worst part is, this is exasperated by the 't.v' judges and courtroom shows, which aren't real court at all. It is a fabrication, on which both parties agree to the outcome of.

Real courtroom drama is, ordered, and boring. Even the 'exciting' stuff isn't that exciting. Worst is when movie stars or the like are on trial, it makes people have a false impression of what is really going on, since News outlets speak in broad terms, and most people can only relate it to what they see in movies/tv.