Is This For Real?
‘Virtual’ Child Porn Ban Abolished in U.S.
KOINOS MAGAZINE #35 (2002/3)
Table of Cases
Abrams v. United States, 250 U.S. 616 (1919)
Ashcroft v. The Free Speech Coalition – U.S. Supreme Court – Opinion – 16 April 2002
Ashcroft v. The Free Speech Coalition – U.S. Supreme Court – Oral Argument – 30 October 2001
The Free Speech Coalition v. Reno – U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals – 17 December 1999
Miller v. California, 413 U.S. 15 (1973)
New York v. Ferber, 458 U.S. 747 (1982)
Stanley v. Georgia, 394 U. S. 557 (1969)
United States v. Dost, 636 F. Supp. 828 (S.D. Cal. 1986)
United States v. Knox, 32 F.3d 733 (3d Cir. 1994)
The First Amendment
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
The Child Pornography Prevention Act of 1996 defines "child pornography" as "any visual depiction" which "is, or appears to be, of a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct". A "minor" is someone less than 18. "Sexually explicit conduct" is "actual or simulated sexual intercourse, including genital-genital, oral-genital, anal-genital, or oral-anal, whether between persons of the same or opposite sex; bestiality; masturbation; sadistic or masochistic abuse; or lascivious exhibition of the genitals or pubic area of any person". 18 USC 2256 (1), (2) A-E, (8) B. The Act is separate from other federal laws controlling children, such as their access to the Internet.
The Council of Europe defines child porn as "pornographic material that visually depicts ... a person appearing to be a minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct" (Convention on Cybercrime, Title 3, Article 9). The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation helped draft this; see ZDNet News, "Coalition slams cybercrime treaty", 18 October 2000. The Convention on Cybercrime was adopted 23 November 2001; an accompanying Explanatory Report, adopted 8 November.
The United Nations says child porn is "any representation, by whatever means, of a child engaged in real or simulated explicit sexual activities or any representation of the sexual parts of a child, the dominant characteristic of which is depiction for a sexual purpose." National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, "Child Pornography: The Criminal-Justice-System Response", March 2001, pp. 7 and 42 (U.N.), 41 (Japan, European Parliament).
Canada: Canada's child porn law is under the Criminal Code, Part V - Sexual Offences, Public Morals And Disorderly Conduct - Offences Tending to Corrupt Morals. See also the landmark decision of the Supreme Court of Canada, R. v. Sharpe and Censorship in British Columbia: A History, which lists books, magazines, newspapers and music that have been subject to censorship in the province of British Columbia and throughout Canada.