Quantcast

Supreme Court Okays Child Porn Law

Dismisses freedom of speech concerns

Get the WebProNews Newsletter:
[ Life]

If you know someone with a sick sense of humor, tell them not to joke about child porn. A benign "rickroll" could get them arrested and prosecuted for pandering to pedophiles, whether or not the link actually leads to child pornography.

Dismisses freedom of speech concerns

The Supreme Court upheld legislation aimed at punishing people promoting or seeking child porn by a 7 to 2 vote. The two dissenters and free speech advocates argued the language was overly broad, allowing for the prosecution of a person who just claims child porn exists in a certain location.

The case was based on a man who prompted an undercover detective in an online chat room. The law as written, though, would allow for a person who didn’t actually have child pornography to be prosecuted. In effect, even if the person lied, they could face charges.

Theoretically, then, if a person were rickrolled—a recently popular prank where people are enticed into clicking a link they think is to one thing but are redirected to a video of 80s pop one hit wonder Rick Astley—the person who prompted the prank could be liable.

In addition to dismissing First Amendment concerns on the basis that "offers to provide or requests to obtain child pornography are categorically excluded," Justice Antonin Scalia echoed six other justices in the opinion that innocent parties need not worry. Scalia relies in his opinion on "reasonable" jurors understanding of a person’s intent.

It won’t stop them from being arrested and charged, of course, whether they be, as the appellate court stated, "a braggart, exaggerator, or outright liar — who claims to have illegal pornography."

While Scalia’s opinion puts a lot of faith in the system and in jurors, the two dissenters, Ruth Bader Ginsberg and David Souter, argued the government is not given "a free pass" to abridge freedom speech, even for a worthy cause.

It’s easy to have mixed feelings about this*, but at this point it does little good to dwell on it; now that SCOTUS has had its say, it’s officially the law of the land.


*Personally, though I generally can’t justify the death penalty, I’m okay with it for molesters and child pornographers via a kind of (hypocritical) righteous anger—hang’em high after extensive, invasive torture. But I find it unnerving that the government can arrest, charge, prosecute, a person based on something they said. Something about that seems off. 

 

Supreme Court Okays Child Porn Law
Top Rated White Papers and Resources
  • Guest

    You really advocate punishing child molestors and pornographers with torture and death? Geeze, Louise, you are one sick, twisted individual… every bit as sick as those you vilify. I’ll stay away from you at every opportunity.

  • http://www.m4s73r.com/ Internet Marketing Indonesia

    thanks for your article. Very help me. I will more like visit to webpronews site. :) Fantastic

  • Join for Access to Our Exclusive Web Tools
  • Sidebar Top
  • Sidebar Middle
  • Sign Up For The Free Newsletter
  • Sidebar Bottom