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Three Reasons Possession Of Child Porn Must Be Re-Legalized In The Coming Decade

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Child pornography is a toxic subject, but a very important one that cannot and should not be ignored. This is an attempt to bring the topic to a serious discussion, and explain why possession of child pornography need to be re-legalized in the next ten years, and why you need to fight for it to happen.

ABSTRACT
This article argues that our current laws on the topic are counterproductive, because they protect child molesters instead of bringing them to justice, they criminalize a generation of normally-behaving teenagers which diverts valuable police resources from the criminals we should be going after, and they lead to censorship and electronic book burning as well as unacceptable collateral damage to innocent families. Child abuse as such is not condoned by anybody, and this article argues that current laws are counterproductive in preventing and prosecuting it.

When possession of this type of information was criminalized, those who opposed that criminalization (which I didn’t, at the time – this was before my activism) pointed at four major objections:

  • It would not be effective, and possibly counterproductive, in catching child molesters.
  • It would lead to censorship without accountability.
  • Reporters complained it would undermine journalistic freedom that has stood intact for centuries.
  • Constitutional and political science scholars pointed out that it undermined centuries of free speech/expression traditions in a way that would be used by special interests to silence opponents of business interests unrelated to child porn.

In retrospect, all of this has come true. This is bad enough in itself; it is downright catastrophic. There are three overarching reasons why possession of child pornography must be re-legalized: the ban prevents catching child molesters, especially in light of new technology; it creates a generation of branded sex offenders that did nothing wrong; and it is the battleground for free speech itself. Let’s take these one at a time.

1. The ban prevents catching/jailing child molesters.

This is bad enough as it is today, but it is going to get significantly worse with new technology that is just around the corner. Are you aware of Google Glass? It is a prototype new mobile phone in the shape of eyeglasses.

Essentially, we’re looking at how our mobile phones are turning into devices that look like ordinary glasses, and which let us share what we see in real time, in the present tense. It’s a quantum leap over Facebook’s photo sharing, seeing how photos are always in retrospect, changing into real-time vision sharing and storage. It’s a change as large as when CNN’s reporting of the First Gulf War was being reported in the present tense, for the first time ever: “The night skies over Baghdad are lit up by tracer fire…”.

Sergey Brin wearing Google Glass, a prototype next-generation mobile phone that records and broadcasts what you see. Photo by Thomas Hawk.

This change is going to be significantly larger than when we went from semi-smartphones with buttons to iPhones and Android devices with touchscreens, as our communications devices become wearable and blend seamlessly with our senses.

So imagine a scenario ten years down the road, as you’re taking a stroll in the park. Your glasses (“mobile phone”) are on, as are mostly everybody else’s. You’re broadcasting and recording what you see in public, as is mostly everybody else, in case a friend drops in on your feed and starts chatting about it, or in case you observe something where you need to back up your story later, if you’re so inclined – kind of why people use dashcams in cars and constantly record everything that happens.

So, on your lovely stroll in the park, you turn a corner, and to your shock, see a 12-year-old being brutally raped right in front of you.

WHAM. You are now a criminal, guilty of recording, distributing, and possessing child pornography. You are now guilty of a crime that carries higher penalties than the rape and molestation of a child right taking place right in front of you.

The rapist notices you and laughs, knowing that you can’t do anything. If you were to call the police and offer to be a witness to the rape taking place before you, you would lose your job, children, and house over the worse crime you have just committed. As you struggle in panic to delete any and all imagery that could be used to convict the child rapist, hoping that nobody was able to make a copy, you see another person coming into view of the rapist and reacting just like you did.

And on the ground, a 12-year old who is being raped watches helplessly as witnesses turn away and delete all evidence of the crime being committed against her.

This is not some far-fetched science fiction scenario. This is exactly what will happen as our mobile phones take the next step, which has already started, and we will be there in less than ten years. (The very first iPhone was released to sales about five years ago, for perspective – imagine what will happen in twice more the time since then.)

[UPDATE: Some people have complained that no court would ever convict in this scenario, since you also recorded your unintentional approach. But possession of child pornography is a strict liability offense, like possession of cocaine, at least in the entire United States, as well as several other countries. Intent, mens rea, is irrelevant: if you have it and know you have it, no matter why, you're guilty.]

This brings us to the crucial question why we have the ban on child pornography in the first place.

Is possession of child pornography harshly banned because we want to catch child rapists and molesters, or because we’re so uncomfortable with its existence that we want to legislate it out of our own field of view, raped children be damned as long as we’re feeling comfortable ourselves?

I would argue that the ban on possessing child pornography is already preventing the capture of child molesters, and it will get many, many times worse so in the coming decade. I also have a very strong feeling that the ban is in place because we’d like to pretend that things like this don’t happen, and legislate it out of our field of view, throwing actual victims of crime to the wolves in the process. That’s not worthy.

[UPDATE 2: Since the publication of this article, several people have pointed out that this is a far-fetched example today. But do note that this section of the article isn't primarily discussing today's technology, but the tech around the corner and the changes it will bring. Furthermore, a lot of people have contacted me with examples of how this is already true anyway - where people reporting child pornography and child abuse to the police have been accused of possessing and distributing it, and even lost their children over just trying to report child abuse. People in general learn very quickly to turn a blind eye to these crimes when news of events like this spread, just as described, because of the current laws. One example is here, another in the followup article here. As I argued, the overreach of the current laws protects the criminals who abuse children and are therefore counterproductive.]

The question also begs asking – why is it only documentation of sex crimes against minors that are being banned in this way? The lawmen are perfectly fine with a video documenting how a teenager is being stabbed with a screwdriver in both eyes, then murdered (warning: the link is very real, but contains a transcript before you get to the actual video, which you probably don’t want to watch). It’s not the documentation of victimization that we prohibit, nor is it molestation as such – why is the ban just related to anything sexual, and not to the bodily harm itself, which is what it sounds like from the proponents of the ban?

Moving on to a solution, this scenario and problem doesn’t necessarily mean that every part of our child porn laws must or should be torn up. The necessary legislative change would primarily mean that you would always, as in always, be allowed to record and distribute what you see with your own eyes. A journalistic protection law that supersedes all other laws, if you like. The slightest risk of a gray area here, and people will delete all evidence of witnessed crimes against children rather than risking their own jobs and families – there must be no doubt or uncertainty whatsoever, not a shadow of it. As a side-effect consequence, deliberate recording and distribution of child porn from a first-person perspective would also be legalized with this change – but that brings us back to the question why the ban is there in the first place: is it to catch child molesters, or is it there for our own sake, to make us feel good regardless of whether it helps molested children?

2. The laws brand a whole generation as sex offenders.

Our current laws treat the video of a seven-year-old being brutally raped, on one hand, and two seventeen-year-olds who have eyes for nothing in the world but each other making consensual passionate love, on the other hand, as the exact same thing. This is mind-bogglingly odd.

The former is one of the most horrifying things you can think of – trying to picture it makes you cringe in your chair. The latter is one of the most beautiful things you can possibly picture – trying to see it makes your eyes well up with tears from joy. Why are one of the most horrible things and one of the most beautiful things in the world considered one and the same by the law? They’re obviously nowhere similar and have nothing whatsoever to do with each other. I’ll return to the answer to that.

But first, let me say that I started watching porn at age ten, as did most of my friends, and I enjoyed it. I actively sought it out and kept seeking it out (as I still do). Since I didn’t have access to the net at my age ten, I imagine people would start seeking it out earlier today, basically as soon as they get past the “boys/girls are icky” phase.

This is natural.

Let’s see what else is natural for the generation growing up today:

  • Exploring and understanding their bodies as they go through puberty and afterwards, just like every single generation of Homo Sapiens has done before them.
  • Communicating like crazy. Communicating everything. All the time. In text, voice, images, and video.
  • Documenting everything. Including themselves naked. Including sex. It’s a memory like any other, and they’re not limited to 24 photos per roll like I was in my teens.

Technically, most people growing up today lose their virginity through rape. I say “technically”: they lose their virginity through rape because legislators have redefined “rape” to include consensual, voluntary, loving sex between people of typical age of sexual debut. Such a legislative redefinition makes as much sense as redefining the act of murder to include friendly hugs, then complaining that murder rates are up. It also creates a lot of technical rapists and sex offenders who never harmed a single person, but did go against the morals of legislators. (This is not strictly information policy, but is relevant to the context up ahead.)

We observe here that today’s laws have as a horrible and completely unacceptable side effect of branding the entire growing-up generation as sex offenders, ruining their lives if caught with it, under the pretext of protecting small pre-pubescent children. This side effect includes the completely normal communication that teenagers have with each other, which would brand them as child pornographers (of themselves).

This type of dissonance between the pretext and the actual effect of the law can be seen in many lobbying efforts. I call it murder-and-jaywalking argumentation. Here’s an example:

“98% of all children have witnessed a murder or jaywalking firsthand by age seven. Witnessing a murder or jaywalking firsthand can be devastating to a child’s psyche, according to experts. Therefore, we need tougher laws against murder and jaywalking.”

Note how the “or” transforms into “and” at the end, implying that the two should be covered by the same piece of legislation. This conflation is deliberate, and is an attempt to piggyback a petty crime or harmless activity onto something vehemently detested.

In order to understand murder-and-jaywalking legislation, we turn to an ancient Latin phrase: Cui bono? (“Who benefits?”) More often than not, this gives the answer for the underlying reason for legislation.

Let’s take an example. If somebody starts talking about “rape and shoplifting”, and you discover that a chain of grocery stores is behind the wording, two things become obvious: a) they are trying to raise the penalties for shoplifting, possibly to include being branded as a sex offender for shoplifting, and b) they don’t care in the slightest that using rape as a pretext for this special interest dilutes the concept of rape and disrespects rape victims immensely.

The copyright industry has long done a similar stunt, talking about “counterfeiting and piracy”, trying to assert that teenagers who share music between them should be covered by the same legislation as people who manufacture fake and fatal medicine for profit. Pretty much all enforcement treaties of the copyright monopoly are created under the pretext of preventing counterfeiting. Take ACTA, for example (“Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement”). That’s another tangible example.

This is where we start tracing where the idea of banning child porn comes from. Cui bono?

It turns out that the pressure for banning possession of child pornography comes from a whole fruit salad of Christian fundamentalists, under the pretext of protecting children. In the United States, this is pretty much every nutjob in the entire Midwest. In Sweden, this role is primarily dominated by the front organization ECPAT, which pretends to care about abused children, but which has its roots in the fundamentalist Christian organization ECTWT (where the E stands for Ecumenical), and where these Christians keep being in majority at every general ECPAT assembly. Every time these fundamentalists have mentioned child abuse as a pretext to demand new laws, we end up with new criminalization of teenagers instead.

This is where we connect the dots of cui bono with the murder-and-jaywalking deception method, and hairs rise on our arms and chills go down our spine as we connect the dots mentally:

Making insecure teenagers feel guilt, fear, and shame over their own bodies and natural desires, causing them to suppress their instincts in fear, even criminalizing natural behavior and destroying their lives, was never a side effect. It was the whole idea.

In Sweden, ECPAT has pushed through laws that make you a jailable criminal for possessing images of yourself from before your 18th birthday. Can we have a show of hands to see how many think this makes any kind of sense? That this would catch any child molesters?

So does the fact that this law exists – criminalizing people who have photos of themselves, pushed through by Christian fundamentalist organization ECPAT – rhyme better with a concern to catch molesters, or better with the hair-rising conclusion above: an effort to scare teenagers into submission with fear of their own bodies?

Using child molestation as a pretext for shoving your fundamentalist religious morals down the throats of insecure teenagers is about as low as you can sink in my eyes. These people stand lower than earthworms in terms of human value to me.

The fix for this particular problem is to tell the fundamentalist Christians in ECPAT and similar organizations to fuck right off with their perverted high-horse dogmatic morals, throwing them out of the legislative process headfirst, and limit the child pornography laws to cover pre-pubescent children only. Murder and jaywalking should not be covered by the same legislation, because they are not the same thing. Rape of a seven-year old and two seventeen-year-olds making love should not be covered by the same legislation, because they are not the same thing. In case a hard age limit is needed, I would suggest separating children from teenagers at that exact age – children are children until they become teenagers. Many enough have their sexual debut at 13 today. (This suggestion doesn’t mean porn of 13-year-olds could, or indeed should, be sold. Commercial exploitation can always be separately regulated. What it does mean is that teenagers cannot and should not be branded as sex offenders for something they do voluntarily, happily, and consensually.)

If these despicable Christian fundamentalists – including ECPAT – really cared about children, they would welcome such a change, for all the reasons described above. But if you proposed it to them, you would see them fighting it tooth and nail. Cui bono?

(I predict some people will have problems with a 13-year age limit. The countries that already have this limit, e.g. Spain, display no problems at all. In contrast, those with an 18-year age limit have piles and piles of stories of destroyed teenage lives – victims of law, not victims of crime. I like evidence-based policymaking and much prefer it to moral-based policymaking, and a 13-year limit is evidenced to work well.)

3. The free speech war is won/lost at the battle of child porn.

When possession of this type of information was banned, only the net generation saw this as bringing back the book burning times. To the rest of the population, it was about “things on a computer”; the net generation doesn’t see a difference whether a book is on a computer or sitting in a bookshelf.

If regular people had had these laws re-worded into police being able to come into their homes, ransack their bookshelves, and if they found a banned book, they would burn it and arrest the owner – if regular people had understood that this is what the law says, they would be horrified. But those who don’t live online don’t make the connection.

As long as the ban on child porn remains, special interests will use this open wound in our enlightenment traditions of information freedom to infest it with their own ideas of what other information, speech, and communication should be banned and prohibited. We’ve seen everything from gambling companies to the copyright industry use child porn as a pretext for censoring business competition, consequences to society at large be damned, just like in the “rape-and-shoplifting” example above.

(There is a reason the copyright industry loves child pornography. This reason. It opens the door to censorship.)

European Commissioner Cecilia “Censilia” Malmström successfully pushed for an EU-wide censorship regime on the pretext of child pornography. Others have not been late in its wake to attempt exploiting and expanding the censorship regime to suit their own purposes.

Politicians have even gone as far as saying that child pornography is “not a legitimate expression”, and therefore not covered by constitutional freedom-of-expression, even if there isn’t an explicit exception in law. This is a legislative hair’s breadth from saying that your political opinion “isn’t a legitimate opinion”, and therefore not constitutionally protected speech.

Child pornography is horrible and awful from every angle and in every aspect. But it is not dangerous to the fabric of society. Censorship and electronic book burning, however, is.

The overall freedom of speech is won or lost with restoring freedom of information and, as a result, re-legalizing possession of child pornography. Yes, it’s awful – but so is the video of a teenager being stabbed in the eyes with a screwdriver; that’s no reason to create a censorship regime. Today, we have an open wound in our constitutionally protected right to speak freely that is being infested again and again.

We must heal that wound, exactly like the constitutional scholars warned when the child porn ban was first enacted. And that requires you, and every other information freedom activist, to let go of the stigma associated with this toxic subject and stand up for the enlightenment traditions.

Just daring to talk back will take many people completely by surprise. They won’t understand what’s going on and won’t have a script to follow. You won’t have to defend against “defending pedophiles” – you can refer to many others that take the same stance, like the Swedish Association of Journalists, who demand the ban on child porn to be repealed (the linked article is a statement from their chairperson). The entire journalistic profession doesn’t demand this from a desire to harm children – there is obviously something else that causes the entire reporters’ association to be sternly against, and demand a repeal of, the ban on possession on child pornography. That “something else” is a care for the open and transparent society.

“The Swedish Association of Journalists has taken a clear stand against the child pornography legislation, which prohibits possession of works classified as child pornography.” — quote from the linked article

This is where the battle stands, and this is where the war is lost or won.

If we lose the battle over freedom of information, we will lose it over the ban on possession of child pornography and infestations spreading from there until the open society has been killed. If we win it, we will win it over repealing the ban of possession of child pornography [as well as any other kind of information] and healing this wound. This is where the battle stands, this is where the war for freedom of speech and the open society is won or lost. This is the wound we must heal.

Also see the follow-up article: Child Porn Laws Aren’t As Bad As You Think. They’re Much, Much Worse.


UPDATE: Lars Hallberg wrote a comment on G+ to this article that makes for a very good summary, so I take the liberty of copying it in as a conclusion and a TL;DR:

It’s not illegal to film a murder.
It’s not illegal to possess a film of a murder.
But it’s still illegal to murder people.
And it’s illegal to initiate a murder for the purpose of filming it.
If you have taken part in a murder and have film of it, the film may be usable as proof against you.

I can’t see that Rick suggests anything different here – i.e., I see no suggestions that it should be OK to molest children for the purpose of filming it. That’s good.

In the end it’s as simple as this: it should never be illegal to merely possess information, any information.

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About The Author: Rick Falkvinge

Rick is the founder of the first Pirate Party and is a political evangelist, traveling around Europe and the world to talk and write about ideas of a sensible information policy. He has a tech entrepreneur background and loves whisky.

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  1. 1

    Very well written. No lets see how many hysterical comments you will get, half of which probably didn’t even read your post :).

    Indeed this is a can of worms, but I think we owe it to the victims of pedophiles to change this law.

    • 1.1
      Fredrik

      Aye. Rick is very brave to write this.

      Also interesting will be how other bloggers will react.

      • 1.1.1

        There are very real problems with child pornography laws and with laws concerning sex in general. In the US I doubt that they will change for the better for quite some time.
        This now has become so absurd that convicted sex offenders now sleep where they drop. They can not have a legal address in many areas so they claim no address at all and simply sleep where they collapse. Under some bridges tends to put them out of forbidden zones. It also makes it next to impossible to keep tabs on them.

        • Manfred

          You pedophile motherfucker, you sick bastard, I hope someone cuts your fucking penis and balls off…and very slowly and painful!
          I hope some hooligans or whoever will “take care” of you. I only hate that the community will have to pay your certainly expensive hospital bills! PIG! Pigs are slaughtered, didnt you know?

        • Peter

          Manfred: You probably haven’t read the text. It doesn’t advocate any kind of violence, sexual or other, against persons of any age.

          Take a deep breath, sit down and read it. It’s about some of our fundamental rights.

          E.g. I can legally own a copy of ‘Mein Kampf’ (it used to be forbidden, but it’s not any more – in fact, it has recently been translated to Hebrew).

          Not that I care about having ‘Mein Kampf’ on my machine – in fact, I once read into it on a web page and it’s boring as hell and a disturbed piece of shite, as well as chilling if you know what happened later in history.

          Does that make me a Nazi? I don’t think so. Access to information doesn’t mean approval of its contents.

          Besides, I never watched kiddy porn – I think it’s quite sick . On the other hand, adults in the US have been prosecuted for taking pictures of their naked kids by the swimming pool – how sick is that?

          When I was a kid, my family and I often spent our summer vacation on nudist beaches / camping grounds and it was phantastic – nobody even gave a thought about sexual abuse.

          Besides, sex is always a matter of mutual conscent. The author puts it right: As soon a sexuality is concerned, ‘ the public’ (who’s that?) and ‘the media’ (who’s that?) seem to go berserk. It’s really violence – sexual or other – that we should be concerned about.

    • 1.2

      “Indeed this is a can of worms, but I think we owe it to the victims of pedophiles to change this law.”

      Yeah, that’s the whole point, isn’t it? You know, I found myself debating whether to discuss this article at all. And that’s the entire fcking problem, isn’t it? It’s more comfortable for us to BACK AWAY from the topic of real, terrible crimes of pedophiles, than to have a useful discussion on it. It’s more comfortable for us to hurl accusations like “Pervert! ” than to have a useful discussion on what that means. We’re so fcking uncomfortable that we abandon the discussion that real victims NEED us to have.

      Rick, you are 100% right – oh yeah, there goes my career in politics. But fuck it, because we owe it to the victims of real crimes to call out the bullshit. And the bullshit is that we prefer to destroy evidence of crimes rather than investigate them. The bullshit is that we prefer to obfuscate criminal acts with acts of love. The bullshit is that we EXPLOIT victims of horrible crimes to get our way (“Think of the children!”) in other arenas (censorship etc.)

      This is disgusting.

      • 1.2.1

        I love frank non-bullshit non-tapdance like this. I owe you a beer.

        • Christopher

          I saw some comments on a side thread and though I should let you know to not just look at convictions, but all search warrants and such.

          I’ve read hundreds of stories about people clicking spam links or something else, and reported them. The FBI seizes the computers and NEVER returns them, even if they never charge a person with a crime.

          Over a year ago now, the FBI raided my home on mocked up hacking charges because I was part of a boycott of Koch industries, they took my 1500 dollar engineering computer and my 400 dollar laptop, external hard drives, all my cds and dozens of flash drives. I didn’t get any of it back, even though I was never charged.

          Further, even if a case doesn’t go to court and there is no conviction, all Child Protective Services need to remove children from a home is a suspicion of guilt in such a crime, even if they are exonerated they can lose everything, cherished memories and important documents, emails among other things. Be sure to look at all cases, not just convictions, for seeing how much people’s lives can be destroyed.

        • BEAR

          É DIFÍCIL ENTENDER A ESPÉCIE HUMANA. SE PORNOGRAFIA ENVOLVENDO MENORES É PROIBIDO, POR QUE ENTÃO NÃO SÃO PROIBIDOS SITES CONTENDO VÍDEOS DE TORTURA HUMANA OU ANIMAL ENVOLVENDO ATÉ CRIANÇAS. ORA, UMA CRIANÇA PODE SER VISTA SENDO TORTURADA (SEM SEXO) POR UM MONTE DE GENTE ATRAVÉS DA INTERNET E PODEM ATÉ FAZER DOWNLOAD PARA GUARDAR O VÍDEO NO PC. ENTRETAN TO QUANDO HÁ SEXO É CRIME? ENTÃO NÃO SERIA MAIS COERENTE PROIBIR TUDO?

      • 1.2.2
        Mark Mansell

        Beautifully said.

      • 1.2.3
        Anon

        Every time a pretty young white girl is raped and murdered there’s always some lawyer ready to attach themselves to the girls family like a leech and milk all the publicity for what it’s worth. It’s despicable.

        • john boy

          AND EVERY TIME A BLACK KIDS IS SHOT WE HAVE MILLION POUND bounties put on white folk on tv with no charges brought , fuck you to anon , you fucking cunt

    • 1.3
      john boy

      let me guess your A PEDO

    • 1.4
      Anonymous

      Very well Written???? THis man must have forgotten to take his pills. He has just ruined any hope of being taken seriously on politics. There is no way I am going to vote for this guy ever again. His arguments are sick.

      • 1.4.1
        Relax

        Mister Anonymous hasn’t even read the whole article and is not able to sensibly discuss things. YOU are the idiots trying to put your witch-hunting morals on others. You shouldnt be allowed to vote at all.

    • 1.5

      What? What victims? I am a pedophile and find your comment incredibly bigoted and stigmatizing. Pedophiles are not criminals. Your post is as nonsensical as saying “the victims of heterosexuals”. Heterosexuals are not criminals. Pedophiles are not criminals. Most pedophiles and heterosexuals are normal people like everyone else.

      There is nothing wrong to be a pedophile just like there is nothing wrong to be gay or heterosexual. It is wrong to abuse other people, of course, but just having a different sexual orientation cannot be wrong.

      Many teenagers and kids are pedophiles and they suffer the stigmatization of society because of their sexual orientation.

      So you might want to recheck what you said because pedophiles are not criminals and there is nothing wrong to be a pedophile.

      This kid seems more intelligent than you: What? What victims? I am a pedophile and find your comment incredibly bigoted and stigmatizing. Pedophiles are not criminals. Your post is as nonsensical as saying “the victims of heterosexuals”. Heterosexuals are not criminals. Pedophiles are not criminals. Most pedophiles and heterosexuals are normal people like everyone else.

      There is nothing wrong to be a pedophile just like there is nothing wrong to be gay or heterosexual. It is wrong to abuse other people, of course, but just having a different sexual orientation cannot be wrong.

      Many teenagers and kids are pedophiles and they suffer the stigmatization of society because of their sexual orientation.

      So you might want to recheck what you said because pedophiles are not criminals and there is nothing wrong to be a pedophile.

      • 1.5.1
        Orly?

        lol, 10/10 best troll i’ve ever seen.

        • KLM

          No, he’s correct. It’s not illegal to be a pedophile. A pedophile is someone who is attracted to young children. You’re allowed to be attracted to young children. To say otherwise indicates that you believe in thoughtcrime.

          You’re not permitted to have sex with children. That’s the actual law. That behaviour is unacceptable and must be punished.

          Assuming that a pedophile is going to have sex with children is much like assuming a heterosexual male will force sex on an unwilling woman or a homosexual man on an unwilling man just because they’re physically attracted to them.

          He’s not trolling, he’s stating a fact.

        • KLM

          Do you believe in thoughtcrime?

          Assuming a pedophile is going to have sex with children is exactly the same as assuming that a non-pedophile heterosexual/homosexual is going to rape any adult individual they find attractive. Pedophilia is an attraction, not an action.

          He’s not trolling, he’s being factual.

      • 1.5.2
        Decent Person

        “Normal people” are not sexually attracted to children.

        • Rheus

          True.

          But that is not a relevant point.

          Normal people don’t become rocket scientists either.

        • YodHehVavHe

          “Normal people” tend to be attracted to anything from animals to their own gender to car exhausts.
          There are no normal people, just people with degrees of cognitive ability, clarity of vision and moral range.
          You can be as attracted to the opposite sex between the age of 18 and your own + 10 as long as you want,, but it’s not any of your own business who someone else is attracted to.
          Normal people also seem to have no inclination to rational thought or appreciation of historic tradition or behavior.

    • 1.6

      What? What victims? I am a pedophile and find your comment incredibly bigoted and stigmatizing. Pedophiles are not criminals. Your post is as nonsensical as saying “the victims of heterosexuals”. Heterosexuals are not criminals. Pedophiles are not criminals. Most pedophiles and heterosexuals are normal people like everyone else.

      There is nothing wrong to be a pedophile just like there is nothing wrong to be gay or heterosexual. It is wrong to abuse other people, of course, but just having a different sexual orientation cannot be wrong.

      Many teenagers and kids are pedophiles and they suffer the stigmatization of society because of their sexual orientation.

      So you might want to recheck what you said because pedophiles are not criminals and there is nothing wrong to be a pedophile.

      This kid seems more intelligent than you: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OMlQ6HUNhOo&feature=relmfu

    • 1.7

      What? What victims? I am a pedophile and find your comment incredibly bigoted and stigmatizing. Pedophiles are not criminals. Your post is as nonsensical as saying “the victims of heterosexuals”. Heterosexuals are not criminals. Pedophiles are not criminals. Most pedophiles and heterosexuals are normal people like everyone else.

      There is nothing wrong to be a pedophile just like there is nothing wrong to be gay or heterosexual. It is wrong to abuse other people, of course, but just having a different sexual orientation cannot be wrong.

      Many teenagers and kids are pedophiles and they suffer the stigmatization of society because of their sexual orientation.

      So you might want to recheck what you said because pedophiles are not criminals and there is nothing wrong to be a pedophile.

      This kid seems more intelligent than you: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OMlQ6HUNhOo&feature=relmfu

    • 1.8

      I know your specialty is information policy, but it seems like you are attempting to shelve social science, psychology, and economics in the process. Let’s zoom out.

      There is a multi-billion dollar industry in porn, and money talks. That industry has all the freedom of speech. Economically, you have greater freedom of speech than I do, because you can fund speaking tours and publish to a wide readership. We can both say what we want, but the well-funded will actually be heard, and in this case, the porn industry will continue to profit off of sickness, sex trafficking, and child rape, and will spread that sickness to make more profit.

      People watch porn and it teaches them what they are turned on by. This is not an essential part of society. “Every generation of Homo Sapiens” did not have their sexuality dictated to them. “Every generation of Homo Sapiens” did not go on the internet, only to find themselves overstimulated, and then understimulated, and driven further to seek the next thrill, eventually watching things they never thought would arouse them, but now do. That is social conditioning, because the porn industry has all the freedom of speech, a disproportionate amount.

      You are writing as if no one in the world gets off on child pornography. You are writing as though there are only the producers of child porn, and altrustic passersby who want only to help. That is crazy. Child porn affects huge numbers of people who were never pedophiles until they were turned on by child porn. There are people who click the wrong link and find themselves turned on by something they never thought they would be.

      Your conclusion: LEGALIZE IT? That is really twisted. In your fantasy world, we legalize child porn and suddenly everybody’s a hero, turning in pedophiles. You want to unleash a full throttle, no holds barred effort, fully funded by the multi-billion dollar sex trafficking & pornography industry — the best interest of which would be to create a generation of pedophiles — to completely redefine for this generation what is attractive. Young kids are already being sexualized in the mainstream, and grown women infantilized… do you think that has no affect on the way people look at each other in their everyday lives? Fantasy then gets played out as reality.

      In conclusion, reality exists, not just your clever little ideas and exaggerated scenarios, and worse yet, your blatant lying by omission. I think maybe you’ve watched too much porn? Come to think that it was your idea to begin with, and regulating it is an attack on your rights? The increasing acceptance and normalization of this shit is a huge part of what allows it to go on. Yes, it’s illegal, and people still jack off to it. When it comes to this issue, maybe step outside of your narrow lens on information legislation and start thinking about how to actually address the problems of child rape, and of porn’s undeniable influence on the viewer to normalize rape and desensitize people to child abuse. It won’t be through information legislation, freeing all those heroes to exact justice on the pedophiles like they’ve been waiting their whole lives to do.

      I call bullshit.

      • 1.8.2
        Anon

        Do you have a source on what you claim about porn causing sexual escalation? I watch weird porn, but I’ve never thought “Spanking videos are getting boring, I’ll go watch child porn”.

      • 1.8.3
        A pedophile

        I’m one of those pedophiles (actually a parthenophile, but we get mixed up anyway) you are talking about and I claim that I did never harm a girl because of my condition. We’re not rapists, that’s why there are diferent words for those.
        I’m 22 and a virgin and probably will remain one for the rest of my life because I recognize, that I and the girls I am atracted to have a less developed form of sexuality and while they might consent into sex with me there can’t be a knowing consent so a relationship at eye level is not possible. Furthermore I know that the pressure on the girl would be unimaginable if anyone found out and even if I didn’t hurt her she would be hurt afterwards. And I as the vast majority of pedophiles, as the vast majority of humans wouldn’t want to be the cause of suffering for someone I love, because you know we are human beings, we don’t just lust, we fall in love just like you. When I hear about a child being molested, I don’t get aroused, I get sad and angry just as you, maybe even more because it makes me think of the possibility that it could happen to a girl I love.
        So I gave up any form of physical sexuality for all my life because of ethical concerns.
        I don’t want a fucking medal for it but a little recognition and respect would be nice, because that’s a huge concession on the part of me and the vast majority of pedophiles that no one asks of you “normal” people.
        But I do watch “child porn” and I’m not even ashamed of it and i’d openly admit it if it couldn’t bring me to jail.
        I regularly go on stickam and watch young girls masturbate in front of their webcam. No one made them do it (in fact they even have to trick the system so moderaters won’t find and ban them), no one earns money from me watching them, they have all the power to ban every viewer they don’t want to watch, They have a hell of a good time, I have a hell of a good. It-s a win-win-situation. Those girl’s want to be watched, they are on stickam every day, many regularly, for the sole purpose of having strangers watch them masturbate, cause they get a kick out of it.
        But still I and depending on her location even the girl are facing jail time for our pleasure.
        Why? Where’s the victim? How is it more harmful for me to see her naked than to sleep with her (because when she’s at least 14 that would be legal in my country)?
        Who is saved from what harm when I’m caught and prevented of ever doing that again?
        So enough from me, on to your arguments:
        Porn is a multi-billion dollar industry. That’s a fact. Wikipedia sais so: “Studies in 2001 put the total (including video, pay-per-view, Internet and magazines) between $2.6 billion and $3.9 billion.” But not child porn. The vast majority of child porn is distributed without any kind of payment. And altohough there is a market for online child porn sources like http://wikileaks.org/wiki/An_insight_into_child_porn indicate it was a MILLION dollar industry.
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Child_pornography doesn’t even mention a dimension, so it seems to me there is no evidence for a huge financial child porn market.
        Also like Rick Falkvinge I don’t support legalization of financial gain from child porn but of it’s posession.
        I found no source indication your claim was right, that porn desensibilized you and made you want “more extreme” stuff. If this were the case you would be desensibilized by actual sex to and driven ino fetishes, but that’s not the case either. Just as you are born homo- or heterosexual or respectively primed at a very young age you don’t become a pedophile by watching child porn just as you dont become homosexual by watching gay or lesbian porn. Adults don’t devellop a sexual orientation, they have it, wheather they want it or not.
        I’d be arroused by young girl’s even if I had no access to porn whatsoever. There is no conditioning.
        >Fantasy then gets played out as reality.
        Not inevitably. I fantasize about young girls but I don’t act on them because I’m not a wild animal, but a feeling and caring human being who considers the consequences of his actions.
        >I think maybe you’ve watched too much porn?
        This topic is much too serious for ad hominem, don’t you think?
        >porn’s undeniable influence on the viewer to normalize rape and desensitize people to child abuse.
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Relationship_between_child_pornography_and_child_sexual_abuse sais otherwise: “A range of research has been conducted examining the link between viewing child pornography and perpetration of child sexual abuse, and much disagreement persists regarding whether a causal connection has been established.” This matter is far from settled and “undeniable” is certainly not a suited word to describe the situation.

        Pedophilia is not a crime and in my eyes so is posession of child porn.

        • Ghost

          I agree with you 100%. This is turning out to be an interesting night as I read this article and the various comments, many of them sensible. I would never have wrapped my head around any of this before, but Destroyer magazine’s site brought me here and I’ve come to a new realization.

          But until society takes a turn for the rational, I prefer to stay mostly anonymous in my homosexual attractions for teen boys young and old. I happen to be 26 and live in the US (proudly considering a move to Sweden in the next 10 years or so). I don’t watch CP, though I did once or twice come across a few videos and images (my personal definition of CP is anyone who appears 12 or under).

          What I watch now that would probably be considered CP (but that’s clearly teens) is all self-shot on webcams and can be found on tons of gay sites set up similarly to YouTube that specialize in people showing themselves off. Either teens are cheating the system claiming they are of legal age (which most of those sites don’t bother enforcing anyway) or people are recording them masturbating alone or with friends engaged in sexual acts. Either way, what’s the crime if no one’s getting hurt or exploited (which I would NEVER condone)?

          I believe teens would be smart enough to make their own choices if restrictions on things were lifted. There’s always an aura of thrill to be breaking the law. Lift the restrictions and people will be able to decide for themselves instead of being told “this is bad, you cannot do this” and they end up doing it out of defiance or desperation. As long as kids and teens are informed and know what they’re doing, they can be responsible for their own actions.

          If it is legalized and there wasn’t stigma to kids recording themselves, they would no longer have to grow up feeling unnecessary guilt or shame. Neither would many pedophiles or those who are minor-attracted, many of whom would also lead more productive lives instead of living in constant fear of their only sexual outlets being taken away.

          It’s funny to me how all of this is so disproportionate. I read about more arrests for possession of child pornography these days than I do about actual crimes committed against children. The appalling thing of course is that those who possess CP get much stricter sentences. Why is this? How is CP itself ruining society? And in every instance where CP did lead to the imprisonment of one who actually harmed children, the person or organization in question was MAKING A PROFIT off the material (look up the case on AzovFilms, which interestingly enough was filming what it deemed to be legal naturist videos).

          I don’t condone child molestation at all. I love people and care about the well-being of youth in society and want everyone to be able to live in harmony with each other. But like I said, I don’t watch CHILD pornography since it’s not my thing. Society however would claim that I do and that it’s illegal, even though it’s posted in public places without payment or harm to any of the teens who are obviously enjoying themselves as they grow and explore their own bodies.

          Sexuality is human nature. These laws are a case of modern man attempting to go against that nature, and he is losing very fast. Legalization of child pornography would possibly even in later years diminish man’s desire for it. Crime rates would drop exponentially, first beginning with possessors and then going to those who molest out of desperation because they know they can’t have CP either. Finally if it were legalized, it’d be all over the net. Nobody would have to pay or create secret groups for it, which would eliminate a decent proportion of the desire for paid CP. It would effectively put a lot of those who thrive on such exploitation out of business.

          Of course this scenario would be far from perfect and may not reduce ALL the sex crime or molestation, but it would certainly put quite a dent in it. Furthermore if it’s out there and the police need a certain video as evidence to solve a crime, they don’t have to go too far out of their way.

          Makes life easier for a lot of reasons, all of which I’ve come to see as logical.

          But until this happens, I suppose I’ll just have to keep penning my novels that often include subtle hints as to my “abnormal” sexuality, writing my poetry, and producing electronic music. That’s not to say I’m not okay with the way things have been, but when certain outlets–even harmless naturist photos–are suddenly taken off some site, my heart bleeds for how irrational humanity has become.

          None of this should even be as outrageous or stigmatizing as it is, but unfortunately people like to go with the crowd and succumb to their ridiculous notions of what they believe is just. Unfortunately, they don’t always consider how it can often harm the lives of others both young and old, great and small.

          I wish you the best of luck in all you do. I know it’s not always easy to be living with such attractions in this day and age. The world is an insane place sometimes.

      • 1.8.4
        Decent Person

        Bravo! Well said!

    • 1.9
      Anonymous

      errr leave the law as is it is bad and the law a pleasant reminder of such why change it and say it is not going to be noticed any way leave it as a safty for thoses that do follow well later

    • 1.10
      tomothy

      Since this article is hoping to enlighten, I feel the need to correct this basic error in terminology.

      “We owe it to the victims of pedophiles* to change this law” is incorrect.

      “We owe it to the victims of child molesters” is correct.

      A pedophile is a person who has a sexual preference for children. It is a label, it does not imply criminal action. Being a pedophile is not illegal.

      Not all child molesters are pedophiles. I don’t have the studies handy, I am not the one who did the research, but there are studies which show that many instances of child molestation are crimes of opportunity, and the perpetrators are not pedophiles.

      To change the law, we need to first change people’s minds about the aspects that have been demonized by legislators into a witch hunt under the guise of ‘protecting the children’. To do that, we must be very clear about the language.

      A Pedophile is not a child molester. A child molester is not always a pedophile.
      The CRIMINAL is the one that we owe the victims of.

    • 1.11
      TJ

      However let us not forget that a diagnosed pedophile may view child pornography and that not all individuals convicted of a sex offense involving a child can be called pedophiles.

      Does this ideology lend itself to continuing to further ostracize those convicted of a sex offense who have had an actual child victim?

      I agree that penalties are entirely too stiff for those who have been convicted of child porn crimes however, let us not forget that the type of offense committed does not necessarily dictate the level of risk or likelihood of someone reoffending.

  2. 2

    I think you should be clearer on what you mean with “ban”. You start with saying “When it was criminalized …”. It has been criminalized in several steps.

    In Sweden there was a period 1971-1980 when it was actually fully legal to produce and distribute “child porn” (but obviously not to commit the acts that sometimes occurred in certain pictures). In 1980 production and distribution became illegal. In 1995 the police were allowed to confiscate child porn although it was not a crime to possess. In 1999 possession became illegal. In 2011 it was criminalized to “watch” (without possessing) under certain circumstances. The definition of child pornography has also changed and widened enormously (and includes drawn images).

    I think one should be clear with what “re-legalization” means. Personally I believe that criminalization of possession of any information opens up for very real risks for the future of a digital network society. If citizens can always be raided on suspicion of simply having information in their homes or computers we can count on state abuse.

    • 2.1

      Good point. Like you suggest, I am referring to mere possession of information (and in the Google Glass case, the ability to legally observe and rebroadcast).

      • 2.1.1

        These lines on Google Glasses are forward-looking, powerful, and quite brilliant!
        “WHAM. You are now a criminal, guilty of recording, distributing, and possessing child pornography. You are now guilty of a crime that carries higher penalties than the rape and molestation of a child right taking place right in front of you.”

        • Me

          What Rick fails to reflect on are the three aspects of criminality:

          1) Motive
          2) Opportunity
          3) Intent

          The Google Glass argument is specious in the fact that only opportunity applies. There’s no motive in recording a *random* circumstance one stumbles upon, and no intent to purposefully distribute what would be considered child pornography. Thus, the person wearing the Google Glasses would merely be a witness, and not a perpetrator.

          If anything, this piece supports the argument *for* restrictions to free speech more than a defense from censorship.

        • @Me:

          There’s no motive in recording a *random* circumstance one stumbles upon, and no intent to purposefully distribute what would be considered child pornography.

          As I addressed in the update to the article, just under the scenario you reference, possession of CP is a strict liability offense. Like bringing cocaine across a country border. If you did it, you’re guilty, period, circumstances be damned.

          The intent is irrelevant, and you would be convicted in an open-and-shut case.

          Cheers,
          Rick

        • kos

          In Australia this would not be the case. There is an exemption as part of a legal process and a defence relating to knowledge and control. If you recorded the information and then took it to police you would not be committing any offence. If you kept it, squirreled it away and then distributed it to your online friends, then you would have a problem.
          Queensland has some of the strongest child exploitation material (CEM- we don’t call it pornography) laws and a video of person under 17 stabbed in the eyes would be viewed as seriously as a sexual assault. On the other hand our sentences are very light for CEM. the actual “contact offender” is our target.
          The reason 14 year olds who record themselves having sex are cautioned in relation to “create, distribute CEM” is that these videos and pictures often fall into the hands of adults. google the term fusking. If they keep doing it they could be charged. We want to discourage the sexualisaiton of children and adult access to children is a sexual manner. I think there are some other areas we could focus such as child “beauty pageants” and the sexualisaiton of children in advertising but this isn’t a flaw with the law relating to CEM.
          Some pedophiles seem to have a form of obsessive compulsive disorder in relation to children. It may be learned, we’re not sure. If it is learned, then CEM is dangerous to the fabric of our society.

      • 2.1.2
        Mitchel

        I have PERSONALLY transported child pornography from a former co-workers computer to the Seattle Police Department. I was NOT charged with anything and was thanked repeatedly for turning them in.

        Awkward.

        • I’m happy you didn’t face a prosecutor who saw a chance to get a two-for-one on his scorecard, then. You were knowingly in possession of the material, which is enough for a conviction.

          I’m very happy you’re here instead to tell the story.

          Cheers,
          Rick

        • Werner

          Afaik US law has an explicit exception for transportation to legal authorities.
          Sweden does not.

      • 2.1.3
        Willam Lee

        I’d suggest the Google Glass example is a bit heavy-handed, and even unlikely, although certainly possible- anything’s possible.

        A better example might be at a public beach that has prepubescents running around completely naked. Happens all the time – but if you take a photo that has one in the background – or more likely with Google Glass, live streaming, you’re not only in posession, you’re also guilty of distribution. Yet noone on the beach is bothered by naked children running around, and certainly the parents aren’t accused of anything immoral – let alone illegal.

        Either one makes the point, but I think the second example brings it home a bit more, because it’s much more common & likely.

        I hadn’t previously considered the negative impacts of current child-porn legislation (other than the insane teenage gf/bf ‘sexting’ issue). Thanks for an interesting & enlightening article.

        • David

          When it comes to law. I won’t say I am an expert. But I can think of plenty of instances where motive, opportunity and intent don’t really matter.

          E.g. if I am driving down the road, minding my own business out in the middle of nowhere where the speed limit is 65 m.p.h. and don’t totally focus on my speed, there is a possiblity, simply through the fact that I am human and get distracted, sedate in my vigil on my spedometer, relax into the scenery or whatever, I could actually find myself driving 66 mph. That’s speeding and you can get a ticket for it. Now most likely a cop will not pull you over for 66, but they will at 70 and I don’t know how many times I have looked down at the speedometer and noticed I was going 6+ MPH over. It is a real life example of a strict liability offense to which most people can relate. Doesn’t matter that you intended to speed, or were even motivated to do so. The weight of your leg relaxing on the petal through complacency on your part is the only reason you were speeding. No motive or intent, but nevertheless guilty.

    • 2.2

      I have hundreds of nude pictures of my now 10-month old twins (and dozens of thousands more that aren’t nude, but I’m sure a pedophile would still find it interesting). I wonder, is this legal?

      I’ve asked the question before and never gotten a straight answer. And if it is legal, simply because it’s normal for a parent to have pictures of their kids in the bath tub for example (it is awfully cute,) would it be legal for my mother to have the same pictures of her grand-children? What about my grandmother, can she have those images of her great-great-grandchildren? Is it a staircase thing – the further down from the offspring you are, the more of a crime it is?

      Sidenote: Since no one (!) is further away from anyone else than 50 generations, where would this arbitrary, illogical line go?

      I keep wondering where the line is.

      And what if I show those cute pictures to a co-worker? Is he/she committing a crime by watching child porn?

      I’m sure I’m not the only one who see the ridiculousness of this (very real) situation?

      • 2.2.1
        Mark

        You should delete those images. Too risky to have them. In Australis its almost certainly a crime.

        • No they aren’t.

          For them to be considered child exploitation material under Australian law (and most other common law countries) they have to be of “prurient interest” or of a sexually-suggestive nature.

          ie: They would be intended to be arousing or appealing to sexual desire to any reasonable observer.

          Therefore if they are NOT of a sexual nature, nor were intended (mens rea) to be for same they are NOT unlawful or illegal possessions. All Australian courts have confirmed this

        • Rick Falkvinge

          Ok, I’ll respond with a post Monday about what has actually been convicted in courts. I was under this illusion too, that people who were convicted of this horrible deed actually had some kind of horrible material. Turns out it wasn’t the case.

          That post goes live at 13:37 Monday (Stockholm time).

          Cheers,
          Rick

      • 2.2.2
        rathernottell

        Patrik,
        I’m afraid you are a decade out of touch with the criminal justice system. You don’t say what country you come from, but in the UK, the timeline goes like this
        1978 – possession of child porn made illegal (pornography in involving children)
        1990s – prosecutions for pictures of naked children in a none-abusive environment
        2000s – prosecutions for possession of pictures of any child, even fully clothed – prosecutions are based on the child doing a sexy pose, or one case having a suggestive smile (I’m not making this up)

        From what statistics are available about prosecutions in the UK, the vast majority are class 1 and 2 indecent photos, which are defined as
        1) clothed and none-sexual images
        2) naked in a none-abusive environment, such as bathtime pictures
        The scale goes up to 10

        class 2 can also include a picture of fully clothed child, but with other indecency in the picture such as a naked or semi-naked adult.

        see en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Child_pornography

        So your bathtime pictures are not even the mildest on the scale, also bear in mind that jurys will convict pretty much 100% of the time in any child protection case.

        A high ranking met police officer said last year that encryption is hardly ever a problem with child porn cases, and you are a living example of why.

        The sex offenders register is full of men and women incredulous that they were prosecuted, and even more incredulous they were convicted.

        You need to download, and use a file shredder today.

        • That which is sexy is subjective. For example the Florida prison system does not allow visitors with shoes that allow the heel to be seen. Apparently some inmates get all stirred up if they can see the heel or much of the foot at all.
          Subjective interpretation gives too much power to the state.

      • 2.2.3
        Tommy Karlsson

        As it is today (in sweden) every picture of a child (real child or painted,tecknad,etc child picture) could potential be childporn.
        The only requirement for that is that someone (anyone at all) thinks that it is sexy,stimulating,etc or have anything to to do with sex and BAMM you have cihldporn.

        So if you want to be 100% safe delete every nude picture you have (and remember to write over the space on the hd several times so they are really gone) and probably delete most other pictures too since almost any picture could be sexy for someone.
        You can maybe keep any pictures where they have thick winter clothes on.

        Then you have too see to it that your kids don’t draw any pictures on them self when they can be nude or have light clothing (for example taking a bath sunbathing,etc) since that is the same thing as a real picture of childs according to swedish law.

      • 2.2.4
        eenope

        An innocuous picture may not be evidence on its own however it is often used as substantiating evidence.

        ie: You may have been emailed one underage porn pic. You also have 1000 pictures of naked relatives. Suddenly, a political figure wishes for a prosecution, suddenly you have 1001 pictures of children on a paedophiles computer. Society will condemn you before the jury can.

      • 2.2.5
        Scary Devil Monastery

        Actually, there is a case in Sweden pertaining to this issue.

        An elderly woman passed pictures of a younger relative on to a man who was a pedophile. Before being viewed with primarily sexual intent said pictures were ordinary wholesome family pictures of a child.

        Once the man viewed these images, however, the court determined that the images themselves were now classified as child pornography. the woman was convicted for possession and distribution of child pornography.

        For pictures which were not pornographic in the least The point being that the content can be anything – as long as it’s a depiction of a pre-18-year old person. Clothed or not does not matter, posing or not does not matter. In a sexual situation or not doesn’t matter.

        What matters is quite simply if the picture is ever viewed by someone whose motives are sexual. This turns the innocent picture into child pornography.

        And that is what makes current legislation even more toxic. A picture from a school yearbook can become child pornography according to law and possessors of said image become liable for possession and distribution all due to what a third party has done with it.

      • 2.2.6

        Patrik — you don’t mention which country you’re from.

        In Swedish courts, nudity in itself doesn’t imply pornography. Instead, pictures are considered pornographic if they are *typically* used for titillation.

        For example, a normal family picture of a nude three-year-old at the beach is not typically used for titillation, so it’s not considered pornograpy. But if the picture shows the genitals prominently or uses a sexual pose, it may become pornography.

    • 2.3

      I did some ninja updates to clarify that it’s the possession of information that must be legal under all circumstances. Thanks for the heads-up on this ambiguity.

    • 2.4
      Name

      Humorously the laws have done nothing to stop child pornography or rape. The laws merely force it to the dark corners of the web and ruin the lives of innocent people. The arguments for banning it aren’t logical and have no basis in reality. They were created out of fear. I’m not going to say I’m against child pornography because that is exactly what we are expected to say. They want those who favor freedom to come out and say “but I’m against child porn/child sex”. For not saying it means you are the worst scum of the universe. The moralizers who favor this legislation want to make us think all sexualization of children is bad. “Children” are sexual beings and there is nothing wrong with that. At least as child is being defined by these laws. Children don’t just become sexual beings at the age of 13 or 18. Children become curious and interested in sex at different ages. Some at 8 and some at 17. While the average might be 13. These groups have a larger agenda of making us feel ashamed about sex. And I’m not talking about child sex. They are against sex period. It’s not about children at all. We need to stop covering our bodies with loose fitting clothing and go back to 1970′s and 80′s skimpy or European (which is less and less revealing) styled clothing. There is nothing wrong with nudity and there is nothing wrong with sex. There is something wrong with physically and violently forcing another human being to do something against there will. This INCLUDES giving blood samples and other forms of violence against ones body by officers of the law (doctors, nurses, or otherwise) which the courts have no problem with.

  3. 3

    1.) Implement an exemption clause for documentation without intent.

    2.) Lower the age restrictions on pornographic materials to the age of consent, or raise the age of consent.

    3.) Childporn is different from documented murder because there is market for profiteering on documented child rape. Snuff films, on the other hand, have never been known to exist outside of horror movies. Oh, there are cases if documented violence for sure, but they are not produced in a commercial capacity. Like it or not, people who purchase child porn fuel the child porn market, and allowing them to purchase and own child porn would be nothing short of enablement of that market.

    Furthermore, child porn is not, in fact, an isolated case of making an exception to freedom of speech. Threats, libel, slander, incitement, conspiracy, false advertising, and purgery are all illegal as well. Would you have us repeal those laws too?

    • 3.1

      To the best of my knowledge, possession of a libellous or slanderous article will not put you in jail.

    • 3.2
      jp

      We had this ‘censor child pronography websites’ in Germany in 2009. Interestingly enough that started the rise of the german pirate party. IIRC this censorship law has been accepted – but it has never been enforced (which is actually not legal – you can’t decide on a law and the government just refuses to enforce it) and half a year ago it was revoked completely.

      Anyway, what I wanted to say is the “Zensursula” (Ursula von der Leyen), the most famous proponent of the censorship law, always argued that there was a huge market for child pornography. In fact, this just isn’t true and we told her that many times. Still didn’t stop her to spread wrong facts.

      There are studies that show that the vast majority of sexual crimes involving children happen happen without commercial intent. Most crimes aren’t filmed and a huge part of the child porn floating around has been filmed by parents – but usually not for commercial reasons – those videos were shared with people doing the same thing and someone started selling them.

      Here’s a concrete example about Zensursulas wrong numbers:

      http://netzpolitik.org/2009/hintergrundtext-kinderpornographie-internet-sperren/
      Section “Der kommerzielle Massenmarkt”
      and
      http://blog.odem.org/2009/05/incompetence-not-in-danger.html

      Short summary:
      There are many independent causes for the wrong numbers, but one was this:
      The english wikipedia stated “Child pornography is a multi-billion dollar industry and among the fastest growing criminal segments on the Internet”, the source was an american child protection think tank. Their source was ” Top Ten Reviews ™ “Internet Filter Review” “, an advertising text of an internet filter company. They have in no way backed their claims.

      The german wikipedia has lots of information about this:
      http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zugangserschwerungsgesetz

      • 3.2.1
        kos

        I work in examining computer put before the courts for child exploitation /porn/ cases and I can tell that there is huge amount of material. It used to be a million or so scanned images passed around between pedophiles, then the Russian organised crime got involved and created “studios” with huge sets of images and now, young boys and girls are being groomed by offenders to create the material using smart phones. Sorry to burst your bubble but we have prosecuted cases with literally millions of unique CP images in them. Someone is making this stuff and presenting it to the court, I see a lot of it. These kids are not in a happy place. They are being molested, often brutally. Torture, scat, “discipline”. There is a market. I see the” buyers” computers 1st hand every day.
        I agree that politicians exaggerate but the truth, lesser as it is, is still sickening .

        • Andy

          Sorry to burst your bubble, but millions of unique images is not significant. There are individual porn stars who have had thousands and even millions of still photographs taken of them over their careers, innumerable parents with digital cameras who have taken thousands of objectively innocuous photographs of their children that are considered CP by legislators, and on top of that a 1-hour video at a mere 30fps will give you over 100,000 unique images that you can distribute.

          Millions of unique participants would be significant, do you have any evidence to present of THAT being the case?

        • Talio

          @Andy: He did not say that there were millions of unique victims, only millions of unique images. Thousands or tens of thousands of children and the existence of a commercial industry is enough for it to be a big problem. I agree with Falkvinge’s conclusion about free speech and I believe it withstands the real horrors of exploitation. These horrors should not be taken lightly, however. You should not minimize the testimony of someone who is on the front lines against it and sees it every day. There are cops who spend many hours viewing sites and videos and they often end up needing to quit because they are morally exhausted by what they see.

    • 3.3
      Phil Howard

      If it were the case that snuff films did have a commercial market, that would be just as disgusting as the commercial market for child porn. Actually, a very small market really does exist, and these images can be found online. But there is a simple way to address the issue that makes child porn different in the way you raise the point about. Keep it illegal for COMMERCIAL distribution of these things (both … the child porn AND the snuff films). Information possession needs to be removed from these laws. Information possession is a totally different thing than commercial distribution.

    • 3.4
      rt5nga

      You’ve missed a trick. “Snuff films” do not exist (or at least are not known to have exist) only for a specific definition of “snuff film”. Movies of people killed solely for the production of a movie of people being killed have not been documented to be in trade and existence. That’s what is meant by “snuff film”. But a similar interest is certainly satisfied by the existence of movies traded with a similar kind of viewership in mind which are of people being killed in other circumstances which do not fall under the heading of “snuff film”. A film of a person being killed by the Mafia or Taliban to document their murder, and traded at first to create terror and then among those with a perverse interest in the subject matter, that’s a different thing altogether. And does exist, and there is such a trade, but it is not a “snuff film”. There is production of and trade in videos of animals being killed solely for the purpose of video, though, sometimes in a sexual context. The Supreme Court held that that was not obscenity, and was protected free speech.

      In turn, there is a wide variety of materials which appeal to pedophiles but which are not produced with a prurient interest in mind. The video suggested by Falkvinge in the Google Glass scenario would certainly be of interest to some pedophiles and, if released, would no doubt be traded. See the proliferation of “family nudist” events and materials on the Internet, which directly cater to pedophiliac tastes, aesthetics and customers.

      • 3.4.1
        SensibleGuy

        In re: Snuff films not made for commercial use….

        *AHEM*

        To all the self-righteous, overly conservative people…do you remember the films entitled, “Faces of Death”?

        Are you telling me that those were not produced for commercial use? How about all those gory drivers ed films? Now I know those weren’t murders, however, they were “snuff films” in a sense, and they were specifically made for commercial sale and use. The filmmakers didn’t all do it for free.

        Perhaps we should just continue to overprotect our society, and hide under our beds, putting people in jail or prison for anything that happens to be objectionable to anyone?

        It might just be easier to put cameras in every home so that we can all be monitored for things that would be offensive, therefore providing all evidence needed to arrest the awful criminal in all of us?

        Legislating things does not make them go away. It does in fact, create a market for things that are not readily available. Not only that, but it also creates a much more dangerous market.

        The so-called “drug war” did not stop drugs, nor did it discourage users and distributors. It did, and does in fact, create violence, death, and a larger, more sought after market for those drugs.

        There is no difference when it comes to the topic of discussion here.

    • 3.5
      Baldur

      There is, effectively, no commercial child pornography. I participate at GirlChat, a website for Girl Lovers, and several of our members have been convicted (and served their sentences) for possession of real child pornography. If anyone knows, they should – but no one knows of any commercial hardcore pornography since the 1970s, and from a document by one Mr. X published by Wikileaks we know that the one establishment in Eastern Europe that attempted to produce commercial softcore child pornography (nude pictures, no sex) never made much money and has since been closed.

      Commercial child pornography (as most people understand it) is a myth. However, it is true that several men who sold online photos of fully clothed children have been convicted of producing child pornography, such as in the WebeWeb case.

      • 3.5.1
        AnonPedo

        Well a couple years ago a “studio” called Siberian Mouse was raided and closed down. They produced commercial CP. Mostly lite lesbian and dildo stuff. From what I heard the models defended the owner because they were making decent money. Another studio supposedly exists called Falko or something. It’s like 50 bitcoins for a movie but barely anything is produced and some suspect it to be a scam or LEA honeypot.

        Either 98% of new CP is likely homemade stuff and a good portion of that is with willing participants. No force, rape, abuse.

        • anonymous

          “98% of new CP is likely homemade stuff and a good portion of that is with willing participants. No force, rape, abuse.”

          You really believe that, do you. Boy, you are sick.

        • Another Anonymous Person

          Just a note. From what I understand, the majority of people being prosecuted or that have been convicted of possession, or possession with the intent to distribute were using Peer2Peer networking programs. Totally free, non-commercial programs and no money was exchanged in any of these cases. Any thoughts on this?

    • 3.6

      Dear Nicholas,

      I realized I forgot to point out this glaring factual error, which is important to the discussion:

      hildporn is different from documented murder because there is market for profiteering on documented child rape [and not on documented killings].

      You probably need to tell this to Fox News, CNN, al-Jazeera, et cetera.

      The market for documented killings is immensely larger than any conceivable market for child abuse images. Every single newscast channel wants documentation of where killings take place.

  4. 4

    “Making insecure teenagers feel guilt, fear, and shame over their own bodies and natural desires, causing them to suppress their instincts in fear, even criminalizing natural behavior and destroying their lives, was never a side effect. It was the whole idea.”

    Did you get this from the bible? :)

  5. 5

    Lost in translation.
    “Child porn’ campaigners fail to distinguish between
    (a) Child porn: Material made by adults showing minors in a sexual context.
    (b)Child porn: Pornography of any type, made by or distributed by minors.

    In 1982 I was working for a computer company in Asia. There was a floppy disc going around which showed sexual animations on an APPLE II computer. This disc had been imported from another country by the _child_ of the big boss who went to a posh foreign school (in Singapore).
    This child had obtained the disc from school friends.

    In 1994 I was using ‘Gopher’ rather than http://. There was a repertoire of jokes. There was a whole section of sexually explicit jokes put onto gopher by …. A school in the Netherlands.

    In the days of webcam and google glasses children of both sexes are getting empowered to get up to all sorts of mischief.

    Child Porn Campaigners use the same style bullying as paedophiles which generally run along the lines:
    “My behaviour is perfectly harmless, and quite normal and you will really be greatful for what I am about to do with you.”

    People must explain to children that some adults are complete bullshitters, and will often tell lies to get their way. You have the right to say “No” to such endearments, and if you are confident, then use physical force if necessary.

    Children need to be taught that they can say “No” to adults at an early age, but of course many adults in authoritarian, religious or patriarchal societies do not like this.

    I don’t really think ‘child porn campaigners’ are friends of children. They are usually the friends of right wing circles that also seek to dismantle welfare provisions that were meant to keep children out of poverty.

    • 5.1
      kos

      that’s why some places use the term “child exploitation material” in the legislation. the issue is not that it’s showing naked bodies or that the subject is under the age of consent. The issue is the focus of the film and the abuse or exploitation of the child in making it.

  6. 6
    Martin

    What utter garbage! (The word garbage was put in place of a much stronger expletive, which might have been censored) Articles like this are just trying to justify perverts actions…they twist and manipulate hypathetical situations set in the future to try to justify one of the grossest things on planet Earth…it’s disgusting!

    • 6.1
      Anonymous

      We didn’t read the article, did we?

    • 6.2

      And here is the first one…

      Read the article, then come again.

    • 6.3
      harveyed

      I can’t see how child victims of sexual molestation would benefit from you looking away in disgust AND forcing other adults to look away from the EVIDENCE of CHILD RAPE.

      You clearly care more about your own want not to feel disgusted than to catch the real child molestors.

      Thing is: if we don’t allow people to see and depict the evidence of child molestation, how the fuck will they be able to report it to the police?? Under current legislation, I would be a criminal to go to the police and show them evidence. I could be convicted for just looking at the evidence. Showing the evidence of a child rape to a police officer would effectively be to say “yes I have watched child porn”. That kind of censorship-legislation is counter productive as fuck!

    • 6.4
      Anonymous

      I hope someone plants child pornography in your house/apartment and then report you to the police, since that seems to be the only way you’ll ever learn to think.

      • 6.4.1
        The Lost Sheep

        Ah yes, the old, “You disagree with me so I hope you are wrongfully sent to jail” argument.

        Now that’s the freedom we’re all looking for!

        Thank you for personifying the shrill, vindictive type of individual who would support legal consumption of child pornography.

        • harveyed

          Theres a much better and much mer straight to the point on this:

          Imagine scenario: you happen to stumble on someone abusing a child. As everyone else nowadays you carry with you your cell phone which has camera. You may be able to catch some evidence before the persecutor gets away.

          Now the troublesome part: Would you go to the police with the evidence, knowing that the law says that what you have on your phone makes YOU a criminal. You know that YOU have not done anything wrong, you just want to catch a criminal who has abused a child.

          Sadly most people would never risk being portrayed as child porngraphers, so if they ever get in this situation and knows about the child porn law, then the story ends, police never hears of it, the person responsible doesn’t get caught. Just because the person gathering the evidence is himself a criminal!

          Is that the type of society that you want to contribute to?

        • Will

          There’s a difference between “you disagree with me so I hope you are wrongfully sent to jail” and “you support a law which wrongfully sends people to jail so I hope that you yourself become a victim of it”…

    • 6.5
      William Lee

      @Martin

      You clearly (as others have pointed out) didn’t read the article, or else you failed utterly at reading comprehension.

      Also if you had ever been to this website (other than to spew reactionary, phoney ‘shock’) you’d know nothing gets censored here except spam. Were you lured in by the headline? What were you googling for that brought you here in the first place? ;)

      • 6.5.1
        highks

        With a lot of people, the logical unit of their brains immediately fails as soon as they read the words child pornography.

        That is exactly why it is so easy for governments to sell any kind of restrictive laws with this buzz word!

    • 6.6
      Mr. B

      Martin should use his own interpretation of this Article. He’s trying to justify paranoid Christian Zlots hell bent on making criminals of all that choose to no long be a virgin. The legislation on this subject has been so grossly twisted, it manipulates hypothetical situations set in the past to scare the shit out of people whom otherwise are leading normal and healthy lives. Now because you have a picture of yourself, from 50 years ago, one your mother took and the family has laughed at for all 50 years, every single family member is a class A felon not to mention my MOM, (I wonder if she can RIP with the new found knowledge she is a felon and child pornographer.
      I further this to Martin’s reasoning for the article, I say we raid his home, garage, and attic and prove to him that he as well can be convicted for being a gross disgusting pervert….. All it takes is one picture of him, his sister in a two piece bathing suit, cousin with a towel wrapped around her blowing a kiss to the camera, any picture can put you away MARTIN!!!! What is stated in the article is true with a ton of convictions to prove it.

      P.S. Fuck your paranoid utter garbage bull-shit….. That was the intent of the article genius, “Censorship!!” Dear Lord save us from the ignorant masses……

  7. 7
    Anon

    We didn’t read the article, did we?

  8. 8
    buglord

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, regardless of how much it is related to the article, stop using irrelevant words, such as saying someone is a pedophile when they’re rapists, that’s like saying “omg, he’s gay!” about some guy who just knocked down someone on the street and raped him, sure, that’s true, but that’s not the point, the point is that he’s raping someone, therefor is a rapist regardless of sexual orientation. (I don’t care about your social rules and collective opinions, many of them are dumb and should go away)

    also, please educate your damn children about these things, don’t just act like it can’t happen, if you don’t teach them, they’ll try find out. you might not want them to learn about it from a random internet creep or troll who may even be a pedophile, one that doesn’t go around raping kids.
    don’t think children are that stupid either, if you teach them properly, they can make their own decisions.

    • 8.1
      Chris

      I never thought of that before, but you’re absolutely right. But I wonder, what percentage of pedophiles never touch a child? Society seems to think that pedophile = child rapist.

      • 8.1.1
        Anders

        Most pedophiles never touch a child because they know it is wrong. Also they tend to be very torn up about their sexual orientation.
        Another interesting fact is that most child abusers are NOT pedophiles. They simply go after children because they are easier pray.

        • harveyed

          Yes. And as we all know… People walking around sexually frustrated is not good. It leads to increases in violence both destructive and self-destructive behaviours. Most pedos understand that it is very socially unacceptable to have sex with kids.

          Therefore it is important that these people have some way to get off without having to have sex with kids. Preferrably a legal and relatively harmless way.

          Probably better if these people could wank of to some legally produced porn than if they had to walk around sexually frustrated…

  9. 9

    Hey Rick and others,

    Rather brave to run this. Might have bad consequences for Pirate Parties, even though it is a discussion necessary to have.

    There is another potential reason why it is a good idea to legalize child porn. Some studies show that the availability of porn has reduced rape rates. Since child porn is a subset of porn, one could expect the same thing to happen with it.

    The causal theory is that when people have access to porn, they jack off to that instead and thus are less horny, and so less likely to rape. This reasoning applies just as well to child porn.

    Suggested reading material: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Public_health_effects_of_pornography#Epidemiological

    • 9.1
      Anon

      That may be the case, but I doubt the child being abused to provide the porn agrees.

      • 9.1.1

        Surely not, but the child porn that is already made can be used by pedophiles without further harm to the children in the film. If that helps reduce rape of children, that’s just good.

        If child porn really helps reduce rape of children, then animated child porn may also do so. And since that doesn’t require children actually be raped to be made, all the better.

        • Anon

          Get serious! Child porn is produced even though it is illegal. Do you really believe children will be safer as a result of legalisation.
          Adult porn is a growth industry as a direct result of the ease of availability and demand that technology makes possible. Will the adult porn already made satisfy the market?

          You also seem to forget that the children in the images already produced have to live the rest of their lives having been abused at that time. Then you expect them to live in a world which says it is OK for the whole world to legally view their abuse for entertainment.

          I think some people making comments here have had an empathy bypass.

        • Rick Falkvinge

          “Empathy bypass”?

          Where is your empathy when children are separated from their parents over possession of cartoons?

          Where is your empathy when a parent films her children, suspicious they have been abused, and immediately is arrested for recording child pornography when she hands it over to the police? Where is your empathy when she’s acquitted of all charges, but still prohibited from seeing her children ever again?

          Where is your empathy with the lynched and killed person in the UK over this kind of crime – who was the wrong person – and with his next of kin?

          Where is your empathy when a mother in tears deletes the family photo album just to be on the safe side (as even evidenced in this very comment thread)?

          Where is your empathy with the shattered families that this law creates?

          Some here have talked about victims of crime. We can’t do anything about that. But we can do something about victims of law. A reasonable law doesn’t create far more victims than the crime it addresses.

          These laws are heartless bastards, written by Christian fundamentalists who never gave a shit about children.

        • harveyed

          Please try and think again, Anon.

          In a world where it is illegal to own evidence of sex crimes against children, the ones who are protected by this law is actually the child molestors themselves.

          Children will definitely be safer if it is legal for citizens to own evidence and to show those evidence to the police. Much safer than if the same citizens would have to fear being seen as a potential child pornographer when handing in the evidence to the police. Most people would not dare to do the right thing – to go to the police with the evidence – if there was a slightest chance of them getting falsely portrayed as a child pornographers in the process.

        • Anon

          Rick, I absolutely have empathy for everyone who is the victim of the over zealous application of ill conceived laws. We agree the law is an ass and needs to be changed but in this instance I think your approach is misguided, arrogant, and conceited and will be misinterpreted. Far better imho to campaign to have the law redefine what is and what is not child pornography and change the law accordingly rather than trample on the rights of already abused children by calling for re-legalisation. (Yes, I understand that you are using re-legalisation in terms of the current law) However, using child porn as a tool for liberty is no better than those who use it for repression.
          Irrespective of who wrote the law I strongly suggest that you do not now introduce religion into the debate.

        • Goose

          I’m curious to see documented cases where producing evidence of the act was used against the person who provided said evidence.

          If the action of child rape took place in a parking lot with security cameras would the store owner be imprisoned despite having no involvement? Has this happened?

          Has anyone ever been convicted of possession of child pornography after showing police a picture which they took with the express intent of documenting the crime?

          I fully believe that the simple act of possessing information should not be a crime, but I do have some trouble understanding the specific argument that has been made here.

        • Goose:


          Has anyone ever been convicted of possession of child pornography after showing police a picture which they took with the express intent of documenting the crime?

          I would guess that this has happened, but I don’t know of such a case. However, I do know of a case where the mother was arrested and tried (and ultimately acquitted) in that specific scenario. However, even though she was acquitted from the criminal charge, she is now banned from seeing her own children – that is a separate process by Social Services and not the courts, a process which does not take into account an acquittal.

          I would argue that that is a much, much worse punishment than a a month or two in jail, even if it is not legally a “conviction”.

          Link to case here (in Swedish).

          Cheers,
          Rick

        • Goose

          I’m not overly convinced by that article, or the sparse assortment I have discovered with a quick Google search, but I appreciate your boldness in this posting.

          I will admit that perhaps my biggest reservation is in the wording. The knee jerk reaction the title alone causes in me makes it clear this is not an easy subject to tackle.

          In any event, thank you for your insights on this controversial issue.

        • Rophuine

          I used to work for a computer repair shop, and the issue of what to do if we ever happened across evidence of a crime came up a lot. The usual advice was:
          Minor stuff – ignore it. Who cares.
          Medium stuff – take copies, forward to the police.
          Big stuff – stop all work on the machine, call the police.
          Child porn – pretend you never saw it, it’s too dangerous to have even been linked to the stuff.

          It always bothered me, but that’s the advice we were given.

        • harveyed

          Rophuine: Exactly. Censorship and to criminalize looking is to encourage people to look away. What if everyone acted like that out of fear of being portrayed as a pornographer? That would be disastrous for the kids who really are victims of molestation. If no one dares to show the evidence to the police.. how could the criminals ever get caught?

  10. 10
    John N

    Well argued, Rick.

  11. 11
    Elton J

    I don’t like this, but your argument is compelling. I saw a lot of sleaze done by Poser artists, one of them did a girl servicing her father. And this sort of sleaze shows up in furry “art.” Unfortunately, this is the RIAA’s and MPAA’s biggest gun.

    The reason why we ban sex and the human body is because parents don’t want their children to try it. Khan Amore made a compelling argument that back in the day, English Common Law allowed for engagements to happen as early as eight years of age. Ancient Athenian men of my age would marry young girls of age 12, when they are starting puberty.

    As a Mormon, my Christian upbringing would say no. But Thomas Jefferson said that a free and open society can’t have Censorship of any kind, so my Classical Liberal side takes precedence on this issue. Makes me wish that Jesus was here to straighten things out politically. Our politicians and lobbyists need to have their butts paddled for being pro-censorship.

    • 11.1
      BDSM

      I do not watch any furry ‘art’ or other porn. But I can tell you that there is Ageplay (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ageplay), and I like it. Mixed with my diaper fetish.

      According to Wikipedia: ‘
      Ageplay is not considered to be related to pedophilia by professional psychologists’.

      And I agree. I do not intend to involve children in any way in my sexuality. Now, there might be some conceptual links. Who knows, maybe there are even neurological links between different sexualities. But it happens all between grown-up adults. You don’t have to like it, you can think it is creepy. But no one is harmed. And you and I are happy.

      Think more along the lines of BDSM and caring for each other (with a twist of control). It mixes with various fetishes like furries, diapers etc.

      And yes, I love grown-up women who are sane and intelligent. They have to be intelligent, else they wouldn’t be able to think for themselves. And accept my kink.

  12. 12
    harveyed

    Helt rätt Rick. Vi kommer aldrig åt problemen om vi vuxna blundar för dem och sopar dem under mattan bara för att det är obehagligt för OSS att se.

    Är man vuxen så får man kunna ta att bli äcklad nån gång emellanåt. Att vilja sopa samhällsproblem under mattan bara för att man själv blir äcklad av dem är fegt och egoistiskt!

    Att vuxna ej kan visa barnporrbilder för en polis utan att själva åka dit för barnporrbrott skadar ju barnen. Det är i Sverige idag olagligt att anmäla misstänkta barnporrbilder och övergrepp till polisen. Man kan själv åka fast för att ha sett på bilderna!! På vilket sätt hjälper det barna? Inte alls!

    Om det blir så att folk kan åka fast för att ha sett på bevisbilder så vågar ju ingen anmäla! Finns ju helsjuka fall som aftonbladet har tagit upp där en mamma blivit häktad för barnporrbrott när hon försökte påvisa övergrepp på sina egna barn. Helsjukt. En sån lag kan vi inte ha!

    Idiotisk skitlag. Dessutom tror jag att Emil har rätt i sin analys. Samhällen där vanlig porr är tillåtet har så vitt jag vet lägre våldtäktsstatistik än samhällen utan porr. Och vanlig porr är ju något som faktiskt också äcklar folk..

  13. 13
    Sam D

    I think the headline is a little disingenuous here. I think the idea that it should be re-legalized is a little absurd.

    What should happen is that the law should be nuanced, so that the focus is on production with intent to distribute. Clearly 2 16 year olds sexting while maybe ill-advised shouldn’t be a matter for the courts and age of consent laws that make teenagers sex offenders should be reformed.

    • 13.1
      Anonymous

      Being nuanced is just leaving the door open to extremists wanting to abuse the law by twisting it to their own ends.

    • 13.2
      Phil Howard

      So, how well have the other laws been nuanced?

    • 13.3
      Alexis

      “Clearly 2 16 year olds sexting while maybe ill-advised…”

      Sounds like you drank the teen bodies and sexuality are shameful cool-aid.

      • 13.3.1
        Sam D

        It’s ill-advised because images can spread beyond the one you intended it for.

        • Anonnymoose

          I suspect that aspect is a matter of generational change anyway: at the moment, employers, voters, and so on can and do discriminate against people who have posted nude pictures or reveal details of their sex lives. However, even people my age know a few people who’ve sent nude pictures to people, and those who are just entering their teens now will probably know a lot of people who are sexting or posting pics on 4chan and similar sites. It is unlikely that people will discriminate against those who did exactly what they or their friends did.

          That will probably erode a lot of the negative social consequences of losing control of self-produced porn. The problem comes in the transition period.

  14. 14
    Ever Vigilant

    Do you want me to DDoS your blog? you sick fuck, because your fucking asking for it.

    • 14.1
      Anonymous

      YOU are asking for someone to plant child porn in your home and then reporting you to the police.

    • 14.2

      Yeah, he is sick and so are many others, me included. Sick of having censorship and government invasion of privacy shoved down our throats in the name of child porn. Of course the real issues are economic interests, money, power etc…while child abuse goes pretty much unpunished and untreated in society. There is no interest to do so because for many it’s a hard subject to discuss about and for others it would mean that they lose the “rock” they hide their real interests under.

      So yeah you can go ahead and DDoS your self out of existence.

    • 14.3
      harveyed

      Well. Here we have another one who cares more about his/her own feelings of disgust than for children who are victims of RAPE.

      Because if you outlaw the evidence, how the fuck are people going to be able to show the evidence to the police??

      Looking away just because you are disgusted by something is fucking egoistic of you.

    • 14.4

      Hey EverVigilant.

      Your comment is perfectly appropriate for this subject matter – an excellent example of closing your eyes to something else you don’t like! Thanks for the demonstration.

      If you really disagree so vehemently, who don’t you talk about it instead of threatening to silence the discussion?

      • 14.4.1
        Anon

        I think your comments are glib. An article such as this will cause polarised comments. A disagreement of such vehemence could well be made by a person who has been the victim of child abuse. You are too quick to judge.

        • LindaM

          A victim’s situation does not give them the moral authority to skip reasonable argument. And we can empathize with their plight without turning them into special snowflakes who need to be mollie coddled.

    • 14.5
      Anonymous

      Pretty sure it’s a troll.

  15. 15
    BaalZeBub

    A very important and thorough article. I think it would be more effective if, instead of only the claim about absurd events being illegal, it would use some real life examples. The first in mind is the court case in Sweden, when parents were asked by the police to film their children to prove their claims. The claims were that the children had ‘too advanced’ sex games for their age. The parents did as instructed, gave it to the police – and got a court case for having child pornography as thanks.
    This is just one example. But those real life examples, for countries all around the world, would make people understand more acutely.

  16. 16
    noko

    I can’t help notice you didn’t mention anything about drawings.

    Which affects me, as a fan of Japanese anime/doujinshi/etc.

    I mean, I can legally have sex with a 16 year old, but it’s illegal for me to have a drawing of a 17 year old anime character naked.

    • 16.1

      Dear Noko,

      Thank you for contributing to the discussion. I apologize that your comment was erroneously flagged as spam – I just cleared it manually.

      I am following up with another article tomorrow (posting at 13:37 Stockholm time) where I illustrate how drawings have become illegal.

      Also, how do you measure the age of a naked anime character?

      Cheers,
      Rick

      • 16.1.1
        Anon

        I don’t think it’s possible to make such a measurement; it all depends on the intent of the artist, and it’s perfectly reasonable to draw an adult that looks younger than he/she is, or a child that looks older than his/her age. It also doesn’t help that unless the artist is making a point that a character is older than the others, they rarely look beyond their teens.

        There are also several japanese porn games with high school characters that have the usual “everyone is 18+” disclaimer, but you know it can’t be true for all characters, for obvious consequences of mandatory education. What would be done about those? Considering how high school is a huge theme in japanese pop culture, you can’t just brand those as child porn and kill an entire market because of *imaginary* (17yo) children.

      • 16.1.2
        Nakki

        You can only tell the age by the age given in the story. Anime and such usually refer to the age of a person by their grade, high school class 2-A would be about 16 years old 3-A about 17 etc…

  17. 17

    Rick, for eff’s sake, learn which issues can be discussed and which issues that will just blow up in your face. How do you think media will quote this blog post?

    Choose your battles, and choose the ones that you can win.

    • 17.1

      Read the last part again. It ALWAYS comes back to this. I didn’t choose this battleground, but I don’t hesitate to stand and fight here if my liberties depend on it.

      • 17.1.1
        Anders Troberg

        I don’t argue about the issue as such, it’s that it’s an issue that is so infected that it’s bound to turn bad. There is nothing to win by fighting battles that one is bound to lose. Choose another battle, win that, and eventually, on can go back and win the battles that were previously unwinnable.

        There are plenty of other battles concerning personal liberty that’s easier to win, more important and more pressing.

        • Perhaps. This is why we decided not to run the story in the social media in the Danish Pirate Party. Perhaps when we get more stabilized, we can run the issue together with a lot of other serious people. This is to avoid predictable press headlines like “The Pirate Party wants to legalize child porn” which will surely have bad consequences. Think of the fact that most people only read the headlines, but still form opinions.

        • HarveyWeinberg

          I am not sure how you measure winnable or more pressing. Your argument seems to be; you can’t win the CP debate and even attempting to do so will ruin your chances at winning other debates. This argument seems plausible in theory. In practice though it is hard to see under what battles to apply it, Historically someone just like you would have made this argument for civil rights, same sex marriage, medical marijuana, and gender equality battles. If our leaders can’t be counted on to at the very least state plainly and clearly what they think is right then they aren’t fit to lead. This doesn’t mean that all things that are wrong in the world must be addressed with the same level of vigor. You do have to pick your battles, but you should never censor yourself in calling out real wrong doing.

          Your argument amounts to ceding the moral high ground as the bedrock of the priateparty.

        • Anon

          I am not sure how you measure winnable or more pressing. Your argument seems to be; you can’t win the CP debate and even attempting to do so will ruin your chances at winning other debates. This argument seems plausible in theory. In practice though it is hard to see under what battles to apply it, Historically someone just like you would have made this argument for civil rights, same sex marriage, medical marijuana, and gender equality battles. If our leaders can’t be counted on to at the very least state plainly and clearly what they think is right then they aren’t fit to lead. This doesn’t mean that all things that are wrong in the world must be addressed with the same level of vigor. You do have to pick your battles, but you should never censor yourself in calling out real wrong doing.

          Your argument amounts to ceding the moral high ground as the bedrock of the priateparty.

        • abused

          I am not sure how you measure how winnable an issue is. Your argument seems to be; you can’t win the CP debate and even attempting to do so will ruin your chances at winning other debates. This argument seems plausible in theory. In practice though it is hard to see under what battles to apply it, Historically someone just like you would have made this argument for civil rights, same sex marriage, medical marijuana, and gender equality battles. If our leaders can’t be counted on to at the very least state plainly and clearly what they think is right then they aren’t fit to lead. This doesn’t mean that all things that are wrong in the world must be addressed with the same level of vigor. You do have to pick your battles, but you should never censor yourself in calling out real wrong doing.

          Your argument amounts to ceding the moral high ground as the bedrock of the pirate party.

        • i

          Do You have a spine ?

      • 17.1.2
        Anon

        I will agree that the liberties of many have suffered as a consequence of misuse of the knee jerk legislation in the witch hunt against child porn and terrorism. But is your liberty more important than that of a child, that you call for child porn to be legalised. Child porn is not victimless.

        • printersMate

          Witch hunts always hurt the innocent. It is the nature of witch hunts to accuse many innocents for few if any guilty people. One likely result of an accusation of possession of child porn is removal from the family situation, and probable banning from contact with their own children. This harms the family so affected, even if the eventual verdict is not guilty. which can take several years to arrive at.
          As has been pointed out several times in this discussion, a image or video need not show a child being harmed to be considered child porn. The judgment is more of what would a pedophile find simulating, which unfortunately include images and videos that a parent considers precious moments of child raising.

    • 17.2
      printersMate

      Refusing battle simply means surrendering to those who use emotive arguaments to gain their own ends.

      • 17.2.1
        Effort

        It’s not as easy as this. I’ve been in a situation where I felt compelled to advocate the drawn “child porn” that features non-existent characters who may or may not look like children on the grounds of freedom of expression. The outcome? I still don’t hear the end of it. It doesn’t matter how you argue it, someone’s going to say you’re a dirty paedo if you support this type of stuff.

        The best argument they come up with is that laws reflect the broader society’s view of what is appropriate and what is obscene. If society feels uncomfortable about something, then there’s a very good chance it will get outlawed. Child pornography used to be legal in most countries, even for intent of commercial distribution, until the wider society got wind of it. There are two facts to consider:

        1.) Children are still very stupid human beings and they need some form of protection from themselves. This is why it doesn’t matter whether someone is talking about 17-year-old child porn or 11-year-old child porn. Most underage people make stupid decisions, and …

        2.) People are human and emotion will always play a role in accepting or rejecting ideas. Even Rick is guilty of this (just check out the title of this blog post). So before you start attacking people for not charging forth with their beliefs, think of this fact. I thought pirate parties were parties of solutions, not parties of cold rationale. If this is so, then perhaps we’ll need to find arguments that won’t just be pure rationale, but also effective. And talking about future Google Glass use in hypothetical situations isn’t exactly showing that connection with reality.

        • Anonymous

          “Children are still very stupid human beings” “Most underage people make stupid decisions”

          And magically stop when they reach 18? Many underage people can display more maturity and intelligence than would adults.

          If anything, such an opinion could and does certainly become a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you want underage people to be more intelligent, treat them as such. Overprotecting them, hiding essential facts of life from them, feeding them fairy tales and make-believe stories such as Santa will obviously keep them as retarded and uninformed as they come.

    • 17.3
      Mårten

      I don’t think there is a problem with discussing something. I think this post is wise, last time there was no opportunity to give the arguments for an information freedom point of view and the genie is already out of the bottle anyway, might as well take the time to explain the thoughts behind it.

    • 17.4
      harveyed

      There are examples in aftonbladet of people being charged with possession of and looking at child porn when they were in fact trying to provide evidence of other people abusing the children. If people understand that that is a consequence of the law, then they understand that the law is bad for the children.

      If no one dares to show evidence of child abuse to the police out of fear of themselves being portrayed as child pornographers – most people understand that would be a terrible situation for the abused children to be in. No one would dare to stand up for those children out of fear of being pointed at and called pedophile.

      So the battle is winnable.

    • 17.5
      harveyed

      http://www.aftonbladet.se/nyheter/article8652029.ab <– And here's one of the articles to explain why people may actually understand the real problem with anti-child-porn laws. Have a nice weekend, Anders. :-)

  18. 18
    Jen

    I’m sorry but your scenario is ridiculous. Someone is not going to get convicted of producing child porn because he accidentally wandered onto a crime scene while recording something else and then immediately called the police and turned over the evidence. There is a pretty huge fucking difference between intentionally producing child porn and accidentally catching footage of a violent crime. By your logic, someone who got footage of the rape of an adult is now in the porn business. If that’s your case that illegalizing child porn stops the capture of molesters, it’s really weak.

    The point of the ban is not to “catch child molesters” anyway. It’s to discourage the production of child pornography which necessarily involves illegal acts (statutory rape, etc.) Likewise, it’s not really a matter of censorship in most cases- you can draw a picture of a naked child. Many exist. You just can’t make a movie of something illegal happening to a child, because it requires that something illegal to happen.

    I do think the laws need to get a little looser when we’re talking about 16 and 17 year olds sending nudie pics to their boyfriends/girlfriends in the same age group. If we wouldn’t prosecute two people for having sex with each other, why should we prosecute them for trading pictures? It’s silly. (I don’t know what you’re on about with most people losing their virginity to rape… it depends on the country you’re in, but in most places sex between peers is not considered rape.)

    • 18.1
      Per "wertigon" Ekström

      The point of the ban is not to “catch child molesters” anyway. It’s to discourage the production of child pornography which necessarily involves illegal acts (statutory rape, etc.)

      But, wait a second… How does a ban on *owning* such content help? If it’s already illegal to create and distribute, then it’s pointless to make it illegal to own and watch. Go for the sickos producing the stuff instead of the passive watchers. If you’re going to argue that the viewers are indirectly responsible for driving up a demand, then you might as well argue that every Nike customer is responsible for driving up child labor demands in the sweatshops in China, thus a ban on everyone buying Nike shoes is in order.

      Likewise, it’s not really a matter of censorship in most cases- you can draw a picture of a naked child. Many exist. You just can’t make a movie of something illegal happening to a child, because it requires that something illegal to happen.

      Actually, as long as it’s fiction, it technicly does not require something illegal to happen. If it’s, say, an animated movie of a 15-year old schoolgirl getting molested by a pedophile, but has (besides the theme) no connection to reality, does that mean an illegal act has been commited in reality?

      Real child porn is an awful, awful thing, and I don’t want to touch that crap with a ten-foot pole, but let’s not forget it’s a documented evidence of a real crime. Today the laws are both way too strict and way too broad in their definitions. Therefore I’m for making it legal to own and watch but not to create and distribute child pornography – with the sole exception that should you happen to film an actual case of child rape by accident, you should go to the police with the evidence.

    • 18.2
      Jan Andersen

      > Likewise, it’s not really a matter of censorship in most cases-you can draw a picture of a naked child.

      Tell that to the Swedish anime translator that was convicted in a lower court for possion of child porn. He was unfortunately freed in a higher court. I say unfortunately, because the freeing verdict never made it clear if he was aquitted due to his profession or because it was a cartoon.

    • 18.3
      harveyed

      You are wrong. This has already happened. A mother has been charged with child porn in Sweden after trying to show evidence of her children being subject to molestation – according to aftonbladet. One of the biggest newspapers in the country.

    • 18.4
      atos

      Honestly with the things I’ve been accused off throughout my life I think it’s perfectly resonable that a turn of events not too different from the scenario described in this post could happen.

      Anyway Rick has a point. It’s basicly the same with drugs in Sweden and a whole lot of other places. You go for the consumer not the source (even though you should prioritize them). I’m thinking this, if one could make the laws more dynamic allowing easier interpretation in cases like the one described innocent people wouldn’t suffer from it, hopefully.

    • 18.5

      Dear Jen,

      I’m sorry, but possession on child porn is a so-called strict liability offense, where intent doesn’t matter, at least in the US. Just like possession of cocaine – if you have it, you’re guilty, open-and-shut case.

      However, I agree with your sentiment that this is ridiculous, and that no courts ever SHOULD convict on this. Regrettably, they would, because that’s how the law is written.

      Which is my point.

      Cheers,
      Rick

    • 18.6
      Sascha

      “It’s to discourage the production of child pornography which necessarily involves illegal acts (statutory rape, etc.)”

      Not at all. It discourages the distribution of child porn for free, and, therefore, helps to create a market. The film and music industries fight against copyright violation because free distribution is dangerous for their profits. The child porn industry, if there would be one, would do the same, for the same reason. To fight a market, possession and non-commercial distribution should be legalized.

      Fortunately, pedophiles with access to their community have secure possibilities to download and store gigabytes of child porn for free anyway. As a consequence, the billion dollar market imagined by child porn fanatics simply does not exist – it can have only accidental custormers, or a few porn addicts.

      The hope to catch, with these laws, a lot of pedophiles is also not a good idea. Organized pedophiles have secure access to child porn and know how to store it securely. So those catched are only the stupid, newbies, or non-pedophiles who are looking for child porn simply out of interest.

      • 18.6.1
        Pilgrim

        By your argument, all the child pornography that is collected by law enforcement agencies should be published on free downloading sites — in order to destroy the market.

        According to the copyright industry, this will indeed destroy the market or at least badly damage it. According to the usual arguments of the information-is-free crowd, it will actually encourage and enliven the market.

  19. 19
    Duke

    If you want an example of how ridiculous child porn laws can get, when the UK law on this – wonderfully entitled the “Protection of Children Act”, which makes it illegal to produce (or permit to be produced), possess or distribute “indecent” pictures of children – was updated in 2004, the government had to introduce a specific exception for situations where the “victim” and defendant were married or “lived together as partners in an enduring family relationship”.

    Yes… without that extra amendment, you could be convicted of producing or possessing child porn for taking pictures of your husband or wife.

    Interestingly, it only works for the other partner; there still isn’t a defence for if the “victim” takes the picture (or permits it to be taken). So if the child in the picture has it, doesn’t object to it being taken, or hands it over to anyone (including to their spouse), technically they may have committed a crime. I think when your “protection of children” law involves criminalising the child in question, you’re not really protecting them.

    Now, you could argue that no one would ever prosecute such a case (although recent experiences with the English CPS have shown them willing to prosecute all sorts of stuff), but a law that is only just if selectively enforced is a bad law…

  20. 20
    printersMate

    The issue of child porn is an emotive issue, but censorship of any kind erodes freedom of speech. Resting censorship is not the same as condoning any depicted actions. When possession of information is made illegal, the problem is defining exactly what is illegal,
    Child pornography, like Information of use to a terrorist (UK), only defines an Idea, with no clear boundaries of what is legal or illegal. This leads to outcomes when boundary material is involved dependent on personalities.
    A big problem with accusation of sexual offenses, or terrorist offenses, is that they damage the reputation of anybody accused, even when they are found innocent at a latter date.
    The politicking that is used to get such laws enacted can lead to a climate of fear. This in turn can lead to ridiculous decisions such schools banning the taking of photos of school plays.
    Censorship in general does no good, but does to harm to society, therefore all forms of censorship should be resisted. Do not confuse illegal acts with talking about or documenting them. Despite claims to the contrary, censorship is never about preventing crime, only about trying to eliminate those works, words, images, etc. that the censor finds offensive. Objecting to a work is not ground for calling for it censoring, nobody if forced look at it.
    Remember the definition of support for free speech :
    “I may disagree with what you but but I will fight to protect your right to say it”
    Censorship always compromises free speech.

  21. 21
    The Lost Sheep

    Sure, Falkvinge, but why stop there? Lets take your argument to its natural conclusion:

    http://www.theamericanconservative.com/dreher/are-pedophiles-people-too/

    What say you?

    • 21.1
      harveyed

      Well. The natural conclusion is rather that while people are disgusted by child porn ( people are disgusted by “ordinary porn” also, by the way ), quite some studies show that rape and molestation rates go down with more liberal laws towards the porn. I think the signature “Emil” had some source on that.

      So if you really want to protect the children from rapists and molesters, let the pedophiles have access to child porn in which production hasn’t harmed any kids. Then they can watch the porn and masturbate in their stinky basement or whatever and as a result – less kids get harmed.

      • 21.1.1
        Fred

        You’re using psychology.. way too hard to consider for most people that can’t get past the emotional response.
        Because it’s hard for them, we need to explain that such measures would be backed up by scientific studies, proving they ultimately protect the children.

        Still I believe it’s possible to focus the debate at what’s at stake here: keeping the freedom inherited from previous generations’ experience and sense of self-responsibility.

  22. 22
    Mel

    As a pirate, I completely disagree with this.
    To produce child porn a child must be abused. It should not even be called porn, they should be called crime scene videos/pictures of child abuse or child rape pics.
    The scenario is fanciful, a legal exemption of stumbling upon could easily be made in laws to prevent this scenario. There would be no evidence of searching or downloading the child rape image and the witness would be calling police or screaming for help or pulling the rapist off the child.
    Unless the ‘witness’ is just standing there, filming a child being raped then going home, to show his friends. In which case, I’d personally like to prosecute the fucker.
    Child crime pics/child porn, should never be legalized, unless & until people stop abusing kids to make & sell it.
    I respectfully disagree Rick.

    • 22.1
      The Lost Sheep

      Precisely. The video of the stumbled upon 12-yr-old would be evidence of the commission of a crime. The witness would turn it into authorities and it would be used to prosecute the offender. To conflate this scenario with the actual consumers and producers of child porn makes no sense whatsoever. This was perhaps the most specious logic presented here — and that’s saying a lot…

      • 22.1.1
        harveyed

        If there was a slightest chance that I would be persecuted for child porn charges for handing in evidence of molestation of a child to the police, I would never do it. And the more people who act like that… Then the more real child rapists go free. How would that be better for the children? It would be very bad for the children.

        Do you understand any better now?

        • Anonymous

          +1

        • The Lost Sheep

          I understand your anecdote. It just doesn’t have any bearing on legality. The law has an interest in prosecuting offenders not those who testify or provide evidence against them. This is all ridiculous fear mongering with no foundation in reality. Understand?

          Rule 414. Evidence of Similar Crimes in Child Molestation Cases
          http://expertpages.com/federal/a4.htm

        • harveyed

          “This is all ridiculous fear mongering with no foundation in reality. Understand?”

          No. The desperate hunt for porn-lookers is the real dangerous fear mongering in this context. The real criminals are those who really rape children and to try and hunt those who see the porn / evidence of abuse are NOT criminals in the same sense, but rather potential witnesses of the crime of molestation/rape.

          Or do you think looking at child porn should be as harshly punished as really molesting the children? That would be really counter-productive if the goal is to decrease the amount of children who are molested (since the porn produced can quite often be evidence of abused children). And I think that is a fair “goal”.

        • harveyed

          As I answered you before, you are wrong:

          A mother of several children in Sweden was convicted of child porn after trying to gather evidence of child molestation.

          The real dangerous fear-mongering is going after the evidence and not after the real rapists.

          Who would dare go to the police with evidence of child molestation if you risked being portrayed as a pornographer yourself?

    • 22.2
      harveyed

      Try and think once again: How are you going to show evidence to the police of a crime if you yourself are doing something illegal just by gathering the evidence or trying to give the evidence to the police?

      The criminalization of looking at and posessing evidence only helps the child molesters – by criminalizing the very act of trying to show the evidence to the police..

      This has already happened in Sweden. A mother tried to show evidence that her children had been molested to the police – only to be met by child porn charges. All according to aftonbladet – one of the biggest news papers in the country.

    • 22.3

      > To produce child porn, a child must be abused.

      This statement is false and misleading.

      In the referenced censorship directive, it is very clear that an actual child abuse does not need to have taken place for such imagery to be illegal. It also includes drawings and comics.

      Before you laugh at this silly notion, be aware that such a case just took place in Sweden, were a manga translator lost his job and family over having manga cartoons. He was ultimately acquitted, but not before having lost his career, home, and family. The cartoons he was convicted for (we’ve seen them as the Supreme Court finally declared them legal) included pictures of children playing in water WITH CLOTHES ON.

      The law is much more insane than you think. The people enforcing it are even more so.

    • 22.4
      printersMate

      While a philosopher can make fine distinction possession, knowing possession and deliberate possession, the law generally does not. The law generally takes the attitude that ignorance of the law is no excuse. This becomes a problem for society when the definition of what is illegal is poorly defined, such as child pornography.
      Banning the the possession almost certainly does nothing to prevent the creation of images and films of actual child abuse, or their sale and distribution. This was not an activity carried out in public for the obvious reason doing so leads to a jail term.
      The collateral damage of a law that has marginal impact on the real problem is significant. Simply being accused of possession can disrupt a persons life, cost them their job, and possibly their family. Being found not guilty several years down the road is no comfort to those affected.
      I think that nudist at a nudist resort would have to refrain from taking photos or movies if their are any children present, including their own.
      A victim of child abuse may only be able to draw depiction of what happened to them, which makes them guilty of possessing child porn, and passing them over to a therapist would make the therapist guilty of possession also.
      I do not condone child abuse, or child pornography, but do object strongly to the collateral damage done by a an indirect and largely ineffective means of combating it.

    • 22.5
      William Lee

      It has happened that people have been arrested for pictures of their children, (or their nieces/nephews) naked. Perfectly normal innocent pictures that every parent has of their children – no abuse, simply adoring, proud parents. Share them with the wrong co-worker, and they call the cops. For something that no sane healthy adult could even concieve of as ‘pornographic’.

      Facebook has pulled similar pictures.

      People are afraid to show natural human emotion in public, if it involves a child. The whole CP/pedo issue is wayyy out of control, a sign of a truely repressed society.

      People who cry ‘child porn!’ at every turn are scarier than pedophiles, and do at least as much damage to society as a whole, if not more.

    • 22.6
      Jeff

      While I agree with Mel that such material should be viewed as crime scene evidence. I disagree that it should be censored or hidden from the general public. The perpetrator and the victim need to be identified as soon as possible, so that the first can be apprehended and subject to trial, before being permanently removed from the human gene pool and the second can be removed from an abusive situation and helped to recover from the trauma and given all the aid possible to enable them to lead happy and productive life. This material should be distributed by the police as a request for public involvement. Every rapist/abuser is somebodies neighbour or associate and every victim is somebodies child. By hiding these events through censorship and suppression of the evidence we provide a safe environment for the abuser and perpetuate the abuse of the victim. The few twisted individuals that achieve sexual satisfaction from the misery of others would have had access to similar material from other sources anyway and if by making this material available we can we can reduce the time that an abusive relationship is continued by even one minute it is a win for humanity as a whole. The fostering of a positive body image and the transfer of the knowledge of what is morally right and wrong and the will to fight for these truths is the greatest gift that we can give our children.

  23. 23
    Anonymous

    I don’t think you should be watching porn at 10 or having sex at 13. I will tell my children as much if I feel they don’t understand my feelings on that.

    However, after reading through your article a second time and focusing on the rest of it, I wholeheartedly agree and praise you for being courageous enough to publish it with your name.

  24. 24
    waseihou

    Real life example (that’s the USA, but for how long?):

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wilson_v._State_of_Georgia
    17 years old boy spent two years in prison for consentual sex with 15years old…
    BTW: http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/eticket/story?page=wilson
    If he had accepted the plea bargain, Wilson would’ve had to register as a sex offender and wouldn’t have been permitted to live in the same house as his younger sister.

  25. 25
    waseihou

    I wonder why can’t I see this post if I added as a reply to myself…

    He was taping that, of course.

    Another story:
    Mother Arrested for Breastfeeding Photos
    http://www.sankakucomplex.com/2009/07/20/mother-arrested-for-breastfeeding-photos/

    IBM CEO Busted for Upskirt iPodomy
    http://www.sankakucomplex.com/2012/08/30/ibm-ceo-busted-for-upskirt-ipodomy/
    - not related to CP, but another example where recording via cell phone might be illegal (so another kind of censorship), being a peeping tom is not illegal, being a “tapist” is

    14-Year-Old Girl Faces 17 Years for Photographing Self
    http://www.sankakucomplex.com/2009/03/27/14-year-old-girl-faces-17-years-for-photographing-self/

    Children’s Child Porn Ring Smashed
    http://www.sankakucomplex.com/2009/01/22/childrens-child-porn-ring-smashed/

    Schoolgirl Sells Warez Using Oppai Photos, 2ch Hunt
    http://www.sankakucomplex.com/2009/06/08/schoolgirl-sells-warez-using-oppai-photos-2ch-hunt-ensues/
    they are not always that innocent but it was her decision, she should not be criminalized (not sure how it ended up) for using her body to sell warez (which should be shared for free in my opinion, so yes, she was a damn little slut…)

    Naked Women Crawled Into Horse “To Feel One With It”
    http://www.sankakucomplex.com/2011/10/31/naked-women-crawled-into-horse-to-feel-one-with-it/
    This ended well, but still she had to explain to police. This case is “animal porn” related, but still another example of how free speech is being hampered.

    Police Hunt Ushijima for “Public Indecency”
    http://www.sankakucomplex.com/2012/02/12/police-hunt-ushijima-for-public-indecency/
    in Taiwan they don’t like even panties being shown in public, photographing is even harsher “crime”

  26. 26
    Anonymous

    I posted the link to this on my Facebook. The reactions from four people (so far) were:

    “poorly written and poorly researched”, “agree on the teen bit but nothing else cause the scenario [Google glasses & park rape] described is unlikely to be taken to court”

    “so badly written with so many fallacies I couldn’t be bothered to read all of it”

    “consistency on definition of child porn needed through this piece but calling for all child porn to be legalized is lazy”

    “I don’t know how to feel about this”

    I think three out of four did not read beyond the first point; the latter commentator read it but agreed it is a difficult subject (for them as an individual) to judge on logic only and not emotionally. I dread to think what others on my Friends list are gonna comment since I posted the link on a Friday night, not everyone will have seen it yet. One person liked the link, then the like disappeared once the comments came.

    But I’m leaving it up because I believe in the argument, even if “poorly written and poorly researched”. I think I might lose some respect and possible friendships over it, but what can I do, stick my head in the sand like everyone else?

    • 26.1

      The Google Glass case is an open-and-shut conviction: possession of child porn is a strict liability offense in the US, like possession of cocaine, where intent isn’t factored into the verdict: if you have it, you’re guilty, period.

      • 26.1.1
        DavidXanatos

        I think the problem is that many people do simply not realize the extent and the letter of the law in this case.

        May by you should put a few examples of innocent people convicted under this laws at the top of the article.

        So that the readers see that it is not some theory or hypothetical case but it actually already happened many times.

      • 26.1.2
        Anonymous

        I think you FAIL as a human if your more concerned about getting good footage of an incident like that with your stupid google glasses, and try to do something and stop it from happening. Damned the footage,hopefully if anything it serves as a warning to the other creepy pedofiles out there that this will NOT be tollerated, and if you mess with someones child expect to lose your life in the process.
        I think this is where the people fail and stand back and need to use some common sense and not dance around the issue about the intent. Hence this is why courts exist to use the people’s common sense, so if it looks bad, smells bad, and handfull of people agree it is bad, most likely it is bad.

        • Anonymous

          I would love to be as naive as you are. Rick listed a bunch of cases (and so did other posters here) which show that:

          - there might be a mob that kills you when the dynamics are right, even if you are completely innocent
          - people get wrongly accused and people get wrongly convicted
          - the law will be bent and twisted

          Then there are all the other lines of argument that you conveniently ignored.

  27. 27

    We all played as kids “I show you mine if you show me yours” right? In my case, at the time I was a kid and doing this, cameras weren’t something that anyone and everyone had and children didn’t have mobile phones, but today things are different.
    Lets consider this…I’ve seen plenty of children nowadays talking on mobile phones and many most likely have cameras on them….so what if those kids playing “I show you mine if you show me yours” also take pictures of themselves and the other kid naked….who is the victim here, what is the crime? Now if as an adult I still have those pictures I would technically be a criminal by the current laws…I find that insane.

    • 27.1
      Caleb

      Actually, in most jurisdictions, you would be a criminal and could go to prison as a child, you should look into the number of cases of ‘sex offenders’ who were 15 year olds who took naked pics of themselves who were convicted of child porn production. Victimless crime, much?

  28. 28
    Ano Nymous

    Now I’m a bit mad at you, Rick, but not for the reason you might think.

    To be honest, I have only read the first, and half of the second part. But that is enough, because this is not about CP, but about Google Glasses, privacy and regular porn.

    I am surprised that you openly and under your own name confesses watching porn. In my opinion there is of course nothing wrong with that, and I don’t trust or like you any less because of that, I watch porn myself too, but it’s strange because you are openly admitting something that most people would want to keep private or anonymous. I expected a Pirate, who fights for the right to have such secrets, to use the ability to have such secrets. Of course, you admit it from free will, but still I find it strange.

    Now to the part that makes me mad: the Google Glasses. You simply state that Google Glasses is coming in a few years and will be capable of publishing realtime and recorded video to everyone on the internet, and nothing about if that is good or bad.

    Google Glasses is nothing short of a privacy nightmare so horrible there isn’t even words to describe it! Especially if they come with facial recognition technology. Even if they don’t, it is likely that someting else on the internet will be capable of that on the video from the Glasses.

    Everybody includes authorities, family, friends, co-workers, boss and personal enemies. Google Glasses is person-mounted surveillance cameras, an automatic electronic stalker, propably with GPS-tagging, facial recognition and everything! If a majority of people, or even a decent-sized minority, have them, you wouldn’t be able to walk a centimeter without being recorded from at least one angle, published OTI and, thanks to facial recognition and GPS, followed through your entire day and your entire life! Exactly the opposite of privacy!

    A stalker usually only stalks one person. These Glasses will stalk everybody!

    There wouldn’t be a trace of privacy on the mall, street, job, school, or even your own home if you are not alone! With regular CCTV the video is at least not public unless someone in it does soething out of the usual so it ends up on AFV or on the internet by some bored surveillance technician, or if someone commits an extraordinary crime so it gets on the news.

    Are privacy-minded people like myself supposed to walk around with ski masks over their heads all year around everytime we are near anyone who isnt privacy minded but still a tech freak?

    Google Glasses and similar technology must be banned, i repeat, it MUST BE BANNED!!!

    • 28.1
      Anonnymoose

      Since Rick is already open about his polyamoury, I wouldn’t think that admitting to using porn would do him any harm – those who would give him grief about the porn would already be giving him grief about the rest of his sex life. Also, here in Australia we’ve had celebrities admitting to watching porn and at least reading casual encounters ads on free-to-air television without any negative consequences, and I suspect that Germany and Sweden are more relaxed about such things.

      WRT Google Glasses, the problem with a ban is that the concept is far too useful, and you run into line-drawing problems. Google Latitude, for example, has been recording the GPS location of its users for years, so presumably voluntary users of Google Glasses shouldn’t be banned from simultaneously uses Latitude. Also, much of the utility of a wearable HUD comes from being able to analyse and tag the world around you in near-real time, and without censoring the internet we can’t stop them uploading their video stream to remote servers for processing (except by producing a competitive on-phone service, which would probably win if it was anywhere near as good simply because of mobile data costs).

      What I propose is:
      * we ensure that ordinary audio/video/photography privacy and consent laws apply to Glasses (with corrections if necessary, but that’s a mostly-unrelated set of problems)
      * prohibit the inclusion in the recognition set of any person or identifier belonging to a person (such as a car licence plate), unless that person has opted in explicitly.
      * ensure that the video recordings, GPS logs, and the extracted information are kept only in countries with acceptable data-security laws (very difficult to do, if they decide to offshore their operations, since we cannot block access to their services)

      As a community, we really need to produce an open, distributed, federated alternative to the backend services, and that we being this now, so that we can compete for users before network effects make Google Glasses dominant (even if we rely on hacking Google hardware). OpenStreetMap would be good partners for this, since their mapping data would be invaluable and the location information, suitably anonymised, would greatly help their mapping project. I don’t know if there and any existing projects, and I’d be happy to help, but the big problem is development hardware.

      • 28.1.1
        Ano Nymous

        Pretty words, but it woldn’t work.

        We need to draw the line waaaay before Google Glass.

        “we ensure that ordinary audio/video/photography privacy and consent laws apply to Glasses (with corrections if necessary, but that’s a mostly-unrelated set of problems)”

        That is the problem. There are no such laws, at least not in Sweden. Publishing someone’s pic with their name on it is perfectly legal even if the subject explicitly says no, unless said picture is “kränkande”, approx. insulting.

        The system must be built so that it is impossible to “face-recognise” someone unless they have opted in. Simple code changes must not be enough, because otherwise an evil govt. can simply subpoena or legislate that such information should be handed over. And when it comes to Google, a kind request is more than enough.

        And frankly, even if laws and such would prohibit unapproved use of data, who knows what goes on behind the scenes?

        The data collection from smartphones has already gone too far, but that mostly affect smartphone users. Glass would affect everyone in view!

        If we allow Google Glass and similar technologies, we WILL be creating a surveillance society which will make George Orwell’s ’1984′ seem very pale in comparison. Not might, WILL!

        This is extremely serious, and most people will propably just think “hey, thats a cool device”, with zero regard for privacy. I tell you, everyone will one day understand why we should’ve banned these kinds of technology, the question is whether it will still be possible to do anything about it when that day comes, and how many will have to die before that undestanding comes.

  29. 29
    Anders

    Thanks, Rick ;)

    After seeing this subject literally RAPED by scumbag Schlüter (as you have mentioned earlier), this is a fine and very well written answer.

    It also show what happens when emotions and lack of common sense gets into policy-making, makes me sad.

    I have read a lot of your articles, this is the first time where it have produced tears of joy for disassembling all the wrongs covering this subjects, thanks a lot ;)

  30. 30
    harveyed

    Very important subject Rick – and I think this is winnable, But… Far too lenghty and theoretic to convince the average Joe. The most imminently important part on such a toxic subject is to reflect the shame and disgust on your opponent so that it doesn’t stick with you.

    I think something like this should do the trick:

    “If I were able to get evidence of a child being molested and I knew that I may be called child pornographer if i took that evidence to the police, then I would not dare to do it, even if I knew it was the right thing to do in order to help the kid. If people don’t even dare to bring evidence of the crimes to the police, how the hell will we ever be able to help the children??”

    You could probably skip the last sentence. Most people would be able to extrapolate.

  31. 31
    Johan

    Thanks for daring to speak out on this extremely controversial subject!

  32. 32
    abused

    There is solid evidence that legalizing CP decreases abuse. http://phys.org/news/2010-11-legalizing-child-pornography-linked-sex.html

    You can always argue that it doesn’t matter whether legalized CP decreases actual abuse because making CP requires abuse. This argument fails for several reasons. CP can be made entirely digitally. Alternatively, You could pass a law that says that commercial production of CP can only be done by children in the same age group and can only be distributed when the children reach the age of 18. For example 13 year old Ingrid is enterprising and decides she wants to take some pictures of her hoohah and boobies. Ingrid is also aware that porn pictures of herself could potentially be damaging to her later career aspirations, so Ingrid decides to wait till she is older (18 years to be exact) before she decides whether to actually sell the pictures she takes when she is 13. Given the large market for CP Ingrid could probably make a fair amount of money selling them and put herself through college or buy a new home.

    In the end it seems very strange to me that society would allow minors to have sex with each other but would then censor them from being able to communicate fully and effectively about having sex. What is the substantive difference between a 14 year old writing a public diary about their sexual experiences and them writing a diary with photos of their sexual experiences.

    • 32.1
      Anonnymoose

      Well, under UK and Australian CP laws, writing a blog about her sexual experiences would also CP if it were potentially titilating. For that matter, writing it and not distributing it would probably be production and possession anyway, if it were classed as erotic.

      Also, in my own state there is no close-age exemption from the age of consent, so it might be taken as a public confession of statutory rape too. (Yes, the law is that stupid – the only thing protecting 16yo lovers from prosecution is that it would require their nominal victim to confess to raping them too.)

  33. 33

    Great article, Rick. I also see a great business opportunity here:

    - start jailyourenemies.com where people can record an email address, a credit card number and a password

    - charge the credit card a small fortune and start sending child porn to the given email address, all of it encrypted with the password

    - call the police and report their customers’ enemies on possession of child porn, informing the encryption key (informed by an anonymous source), and leaving it up to the victim to somehow prove they didn’t know the encryption key

    should child porn be too hard to find to run such a business, any copyrighted material distributed without permission would do, on countries stupid enough to have passed laws against possession or download of unauthorized copies

  34. 34
    Anonymous LD

    Man, you’ve got balls for writing this. I don’t even want to comment with my own nickname.

    But I think there’s a HUGE problem: you’re ignoring the reason for the existence of the “age of consent”.

    Legalizing possession of underage porn would mean changing from “a world where underage porn is banned” to “a world where every parent sues every website with pictures of their child/teen on it” (and if they don’t sue, hell, that’s awful). Maybe the underage person, not knowing how this world works yet, doesn’t care, but damn, I prefer censorship to living in a world where pictures of me naked (or even worse, abused), would be available on the internet, legally, and for free, WITHOUT my consent. It’s not just “information”, it’s a broken life. That’s not a question of copyright, that’s a question of respect — and the fact that when you’re not an adult, you’re not mature enough to decide some things, including some things that can ruin your life.

    There’s a reason why you must wait to be 18 to vote, drink beer, or become a pornstar, and this is the age of consent. Agreed, some start their porn career at 30 and regret it after, and some vote at 30 and regret it after, but “age of consent” means that at 18, you *should* be educated enough to know right from wrong. Regrets (that will follow you for the rest of your life) are MUCH easier to have when you’re underaged than when you’re an adult… especially when you’re manipulated. That’s why your private parts are banned from the world wide web until you’re 18.

    As for the comparison between possession of child/teen porn and the film of a murder, i’m just assuming the only reason why the film of any murder is available on the net is because family or friends haven’t sued the website yet (maybe the copyright belongs to the killer who filmed the murder, but again, that’s not a question of copyright, that’s a question of respect).

    • 34.1

      Dear Anonymous LD,

      First, thank you for contributing to the discussion, even if under pseudonym.

      Second, I get the impression your arguments are very Americanocentric. It is not normal for parents to sue over their children in any other part of the world.

      Further, 13-year-olds are smart. If they really wanted images of themselves online, they would use a website outside of their parents’ jurisdictional reach.

      But my main gripe is with your concept of “age of consent”. It appears you take for granted that this age is 18. It is not. It varies wildly across different parts of the world. In most countries in Europe, it is 13, 14, or 15. That’s why I make the case for 13 in the article – it has been tested and proven to work well in civilized countries (e.g. Spain).

      I understand your concern about abuse images being circulated, but there are a lot of people wanting to speak on behalf of abused children in a toxic subject such as this. What I would like to see is a poll among people who were actually abused in this horrible crime, whether they would prefer that a) the evidence of the crime against them was hidden from the public, but the monster that violated them can go on to do the same to 50 other children, or b) the documentation of the abuse against them may be viewed by anybody, in hope that somebody will recognize the monster who violated them and prevent him or her from doing the same thing to 50 other children.

      My money would be on 90% of abused children choosing the second option – for these options are mutually exclusive.

      Cheers,
      Rick

      • 34.1.1
        Anonymous LD

        Oh, sorry for my americanocentrism (greetings from Quebec, Canada!). Agreed, the age of consent varies. My point was that, considering the publication of nudity, we should respect the age of consent of a country (whatever the age of consent is), to protect childs and/or adolescents from themselves and others. Not doing this would mean not respecting the age of consent, therefore legalizing *everything* would be disrecpectful for them, and legalizing pictures or videos showing them being abused, without their consent, would be even more disrespectful.

        The point is not that the age of consent varies, but that young people can’t think properly until they reach, let’s say, “their own” age of consent. And publishing pictures or videos of childs or teens who haven’t reached “their own” age of consent, should always be illegal.

        Although publishing non-pornographic, censored pictures and videos of abuses could help.

        P.S.: My english may be bad, I’m from Quebec and I speak french.

        • But now comes the problem. There is no magic line where people can suddenly think, and before that they “can’t think properly”, in your words! There is only a continuum.

          Besides this age-related continuum in thinking power, people vary in their thinking as well even at the same age. Intelligence is normally distributed. There are many grown-ups that are less smart than the average 17 year old (or whatever age is chosen). And there are many 17 year olds outsmart most >18 year olds.

          Besides, what about really old people? They are sometimes less smart than children. Should they be disallowed to vote etc. too?

          I have thought about this before. For ‘age of consent’-fiction (people can consent at any age, even babies consent and disconsent to stuff happening to them!), perhaps a dual approach. Either 13 years old or start of puberty, whichever comes first.

        • Anonnymoose

          @Emil
          In those countries where the health authorities collect such data, we could base the AoC on the lower quartile age of those first engaging in sexual activity for the preceding year, rounded to the nearest year, with a 2-3 year “Romeo and Juliet” window for those below that age.

          That would probably be more politically acceptable in countries where the AoC is around 17/18, and deals with the cultural differences argument (that any evidence related to the AoC in Spain is irrelevant because we don’t have the same culture as Spain – of course, evidence from Pakistan or Iran is perfectly relevant, for no adequately argued reason) because the age is being determined by the local community voting with their actions.

  35. 35
    Thomas

    There is one reason to keep the legislations, to still have a ban on possession of child pornography. There could however be a good idea to discuss the legal definiton on child pornography.

    The one key reason to keep the current legislation is simply out of respect to the victims. In the absolute majority of child porn material, there is a child being abused and humiliated. As long as pictures of this abuse are distributed, the victim will be humiliated, time and time again. This is just not acceptable.
    And the rights of the victim, not to be humiliated time and time again, are by far more important than any other theoretical discussions. People are more important than ideas!

    Sure, it could be a good idea to discuss the definition of child pornography. But pictures of children being abused and humiliated are never, ever ok to distribute or own!

    • 35.1
      Thomas

      Sorry – the second paragraph should start with
      “… to keep the current legislation….”

      Fixed this for you. –Rick

    • 35.2
      Mårten

      “In the absolute majority of child porn material, there is a child being abused and humiliated”
      That is hardly true; since the definition includes cartoon drawings and self-pics of 17-year olds it is safe to assume the majority of child porn material does NOT involve a child being abused.

      I think everyone agrees with you that distributing images of abused children for enjoyment purposes is highly amoral. That is also the argument the legislators have used in Sweden. I think most people will argue like you: that the privacy of the victims outweigh what is perceived as theoretical and abstract civil rights issues.

      Sadly I believe it will be hard to make people realize they are not so theoretical any more. For example, there are plenty of evidence that censoring systems that were created with the intent to block child porn are also being used to silence political adversaries. These laws have been mostly ineffective in removing child porn from the internet anyway. Perhaps the saddest part is that these laws do nothing to prevent the real problem, that children are being abused in the first place. In fact they do the opposite by making it harder to gather evidence.

      I think this is worth an extra thought:

      Is possession of child pornography harshly banned because we want to catch child rapists and molesters, or because we’re so uncomfortable with its existence that we want to legislate it out of our own field of view, raped children be damned as long as we’re feeling comfortable ourselves?

    • 35.3

      Dear Thomas,

      First, thank you for contributing to this hitherto-infected discussion and helping to shine some nuance on the subject. I appreciate that.

      Second, I find it somewhat odd that you are discarding the arguments as theoretical, and then respond with a highly theoretical argument of your own – “the rights of the victim”. In many cases of child porn, perhaps most, there is no victim of crime. It is cartoons and self-made photos that cause people to be convicted for life. There are victims of law, not victims of crime.

      Therefore, I find your argument highly theoretical, and not really a basis for evidence-based policymaking?

      Further, I would like to see a poll among people who were actually abused in this horrible crime, whether they would prefer that a) the evidence of the crime against them was hidden from the public, but the monster that violated them can go on to do the same to 50 other children, or b) the documentation of the abuse against them may be viewed by anybody, in hope that somebody will recognize the monster who violated them and prevent him or her from doing the same thing to 50 other children.

      My money would be on 90% of abused children choosing the second option – for these options are mutually exclusive.

      Cheers,
      Rick

      • 35.3.1
        Thomas

        Rick

        Perhaps I was not clear enough, but I was referring to the “traditional” child pornography, meaning documentation of child abuses. It could be a good idea further clarify what “child pornography” means, but lets stick to the case where a child is being raped. Just for the sake of the argument.

        I don’t know, but I assume that child pornography is focused on the victim rather than the perpetrator? I would even assume that the perpetrators are hiding their identity. If that is the case, your options A or B are irrelevant. Since you can’t identify the person who commited the crime.
        This should be simple to verify by the police who are focused on these crimes.
        Another flaw in your choice between A or B is that there are loads of child pornography “produced” outside Sweden and outside Europe. Once again, no chance to identify the perpetrator. But the victims are still humiliated knowing that pictures of the abuse are used for fun and entertainment.

        Back to the question of A or B. For me, personally, if I should be abused and humiliated, I would not like the pictures to be freely available.

        @ Mårten
        Laws will never solve the root cause of crimes! How simple it would be if they could. And no, laws to ban child pornography will never work to 100%. But rather than to just give in, lets do our best to make them work!

        BTW Rick, thanks for fixing my last post!

        • Mårten

          As far as I understand from reading interviews with police working on this, the police do identify perpetrators by looking at the pictures. Naturally such photos are not intended to be distributed publicly on the internet in the first place and someone only need to identify the child or suroundings in order to catch the perpetrator. Figuring out who is the perpetrator once the victim or location has been identified is fairly trivial I imagine.

          Of course we should not ‘just give in’, we should focus on catching the perpetrators so that the children can be protected and stop the abuse (and consequently no more child porn is produced).

          There is no point in having laws that fail to help children while at the same time causes a lot of collateral damage and in some ways even undermine the democratic system. At some point the negative effects outhweight the positive. Laws can be bad even if the intentions are good.

          Also consider ‘snuff’ images which are not illegal, even though the victims are subject to equally horrible if not worse crimes. For some reason your argument is ever only aplied to children who are victims of sex crime, which makes one wonder if this is truly about protecting the integrity of the victims or something else.

      • 35.3.2
        Anon

        “b) the documentation of the abuse against them may be viewed by anybody, in hope that somebody will recognize the monster who violated them and prevent him or her from doing the same thing to 50 other children.

        My money would be on 90% of abused children choosing the second option – for these options are mutually exclusive.”

        As I said earlier, empathy bypass. There is no evidence to suggest that 90% would prefer the option you give. In fact all evidence suggests the opposite. There are still cases being exposed 50 years later when the victim new who their abuser was. They have suffered in silence for half a century. Your credibility is disappearing fast.

        • Dear Anon,

          as you accuse me of not being credible and lacking sources (despite my being clear that this is a gut feeling of mine rather than data), may I ask you for your data when you say “all evidence”, a statement which means a) there is much of it and b) there is none pointing in the opposite direction?

          Cheers,
          Rick

        • HalfVictim

          I want to chime in here. Rick, thank’s btw., this post is 100% spot on and
          expresses what I was thinking all the time (and I tested my ideas – which
          are similar in my circle of friends, with usually affirming reactions) – but
          you have the guts to attack it. And I rather like to stay anonymous.

          Regarding the empathy bypass: NO! Here is an interesting fact. Look up
          ‘repressed memory syndrome’ on google and try to figure out what is going
          on. You will notice that there is no clear answer whether memory can be
          repressed or not.

          Now, I myself have accused a psychologist’ father of a classmate of torturing m
          (non-sexually) at the age of seven. I felt at the time I reported this to
          the police that I was outright lying because of all the attention that was
          given to me. I felt an extreme amount of guilt and shame because of this.

          And, because repressed memory syndrome is such a heated topic in the world
          of psychology without a clear answer, I can only argue for being extremely
          careful. Both sides argue with sound science, occam’s razor and whatnot.

          But it just exposes the whole field as what it is. Not science. And based on
          this, people go to jail.

          I am not arguing for torturing or raping anyone. I am just arguing for being
          rational. And extremely careful.

          I would vote for being in the 90%, should any pictures exist and should it
          have happened.

          In the case it DIDN’T happen. Well! Guess what: I was the evil 7yo. who
          just went around and harmed an innocent man, just because I could and got
          the opportunity.

          I am convinced that people can do both. That 7yo. kids can be evil if given
          the chance (and possibly encouragement from parents – but I think it can
          happen without). And obviously that there are evil (child) rapists and
          sadists in the world.

          Excusing oneself’s emotionality, calls for decapitation etc. with
          ‘I’m all emotional because it is about rape/pedophilia/whatnot’ is NOT OK.
          It is especially NOT OK if it involves judges or prosecutors.
          We need to DEMAND rationality and impartiality, from everyone, including
          ourselves.

          For justice and a better society.

          What Rick suggests here is just one part about being rational about one
          crime complex. The one with the largest taboos attached.

          The real evil is rational, too. It knows how to manipulate
          people with emotions, taboos etc. And guess what, those people being really evil are probably
          at the top of your home country.

          But being rational != being evil. Even though it might appear that way.
          Assange might be an example.

          But being rational in this argument, even being called ‘having an empathy
          bypass’ is

          a) ad hominem
          b) appeal to emotion
          c) counter the cause, because problems like law and organization of society
          can never be solved with emotionality.

          The only emotionality that might remain is the one of the basic premise.
          Yes, I do not want people to get hurt. Maximum freedom for everyone,
          stopping where the freedom of someone else begins.

          This is extremely important.

          And if you argue after all that I have Stockholm syndrome as a victim
          and are thus not fit to argue – you are not taking me the victim serious.
          Not taking serious is the worst you can do to victims. ‘Feeling
          sorry’ might be at times a form of this.

      • 35.3.3
        Anonymous

        Indeed there is much of it, too much to post here but here is a sample:

        http://www.sussex.police.uk/news-and-events/news/2012/03/06/two-east-sussex-men-arrested-over-historic-child-sex-abuse-allegations/

        http://www.channel4.com/news/articles/world/catholic%2bcrisis%2bchild%2babuse%2bvictim%2bspeaks%2bout/3765177.html

        https://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/10/magazine/the-horace-mann-schools-secret-history-of-sexual-abuse.html?_r=1&pagewanted=all

        http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/crime/9515448/Manhunt-for-fugitive-paedophile-priest.html

        http://www.thedetail.tv/issues/84/chris-clerical-abuse-story/paedophile-priest-paid-by-church-for-17-years

        http://www.thelocal.de/society/20120126-40365.html

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catholic_sex_abuse_cases

        All relate to historical allegations of sexual abuse of children.
        Why historical? Because the victims were not able to relive their trauma at the time. Some victims never report the abuse others it takes sometimes 50 years before they have the courage to speak out.
        And you have a gut feeling that children would prefer the world to see their abuse! Gut feelings are not credible in such a serious debate and are not going to produce evidence based legislation.
        I suggest you need to do your own research and see counselors who deal with sexual abuse victims and talk to them.
        Do you know how many experts in child abuse are calling for the law to be changed? The reason I ask is that if you do not include them in this debate your campaign may well blow up in your face. I think it is reasonable to assume the opposition most certainly will have expert testimony. The money you put on your gut feelings will definitely be at risk.

    • 35.4
      Jan Andersen

      @Thomas who wrote:

      “There could however be a good idea to discuss the legal definition on child pornography”

      You mean like in fictional characters in a video game?

      http://n4g.com/news/784436/dead-or-alive-dimensions-banned-in-australia

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y40d6qnKZpM

  36. 36
    Pete Dixon

    I’m wondering is legalization of child porn would lead to more abuse of children. I suspect that it would. I do feel I know for certain that all pedophiles would support legalization. That’s enough for me to oppose it.

    • 36.1

      Dear Pete,

      Thank you for contributing a very important data point to the discussion. I agree that this is key for moving ahead with well-understood, evidence-based policymaking.

      As of now, there appears to be only one comprehensive study made, which draws a strong conclusion across data from ten countries that child abuse rates go down with the availability of pornography.

      I would love to see more studies on this subject, but as of now, that is the only data point we appear to have.

      (As for your guilt-by-association policymaking, I find it somewhat odd. “Hitler, Pol Pot and Stalin all loved coffee, so therefore, we should ban the plant“?)

      Cheers,
      Rick

      • 36.1.1
        Thomas

        The challenge to use the study is that it also coincides with the fall of the old communist regime in eastern Europe. So the datapoints from the Czech study can be attributed to anything that is a consequence of entire society being turned upside down.

        • True, although they also refer to many other countries that were not east of the former Iron Curtain (Canada, Sweden, Denmark, etc).

          But as I said, I’d love to see more studies on this. It’s an important data point.

          Cheers,
          Rick

    • 36.2
      harveyed

      I’m not convinced that is actually the case. Ordinary porn is everywhere on the internet. If hardcore internet pornography made people more likely to rape each other in general, then we should have seen an increase in rapes since the advent of internet, right? But that has not happened! Is there any reason to think that pedophiles have increased risk of raping than ordinary people? I would actually think it’s the other way around: if child porn is made legal and production is controlled so that no underage people are allowed to participate ( only drawn imagery or young-looking adults ), maybe we will even have less rapes, because the pedophiles then have a legal way to get off without harming anyone…

      However, as the current law is: just encouraging people to look away from the problem that some children are abused sexually in society is not gonna solve anything..

  37. 37
    Anon

    This article is just as extreme, fear-mongering and sensationalist as the tactics used by the “fundamentalist Christians” to get the laws changed in the first place. There’s a reason this discussion is virtually impossible to have, and that’s because people at both ends of the spectrum hijack it to push whatever agenda they have.

    You successfully identify pretty much all the flaws that exist in most child abuse/pornography laws around the world, and then completely bail out on proposing a sensible set of laws that protect the right people (the abused, people who assist the police with their investigations, etc) while punishing those who deserve it (i.e. the abusers).

    I am very disappointed.

    • 37.1
      printersMate

      The arguments for repeal of laws banning the possession of child pornography are protection of innocent. Example have been given of where innocents have suffered because if this law.
      No one is against the protection of children, or punishment of child molesters or rapists.
      Banning the possession of child pornography does little or nothing to stop real child abuse.
      Also possession does not identify a child abuser.
      Censorship, particularly of emotive issues, is always liable to excessive use by overzealous people.=, and the starts doing more harm than good.

      • 37.1.1
        Anonymous

        You forget that part of the reason for banning possession of child porn is in sympathy to the victims, who don’t deserve to have their abuse used for other people’s entertainment. It’s also used to try and protect the identity of the abused, much like why in some countries rape victims have their identity protected. You will never stop all cases of child abuse, but there is no reason to further continue the emotional trauma by allowing that abuse to be seen by anyone.

        And yes, there have been times where the law has caused people helping investigations to be punished, which is why there needs to be laws protecting people who bring this kind of information to the attention of the police. Whistlebowing and Witness Protection schemes are supposed to do this, but in a lot of countries (and going by the article, this goes double for Sweden) this does not apply. Fight for the rights of the people specifically helping with these investigations, not for everyone’s right to wank off over a child being abused.

        • You forget that part of the reason for banning possession of child porn is in sympathy to the victims

          A fine thought and good enough, but there’s something missing from the equation. Could you please elaborate on this? Specifically:

          - when teens are declared felons for willingly and happily sending nude pictures to one another, where does sympathy for the victims come in?

          - when a mother loses her children over filming them to prove indication of previous abuse, where does sympathy for the victims come in?

          - when a manga translator is convicted for possession of cartoons depicting nude children, where does sympathy for the victims come in?

          I’d be very happy if you could explain this part, because I find it very puzzling (and, to be honest, completely inconsistent between pretext of law and actual law).

          Cheers,
          Rick

        • harveyed

          Sympathy for the victims is important! It is what gives a reason to take *some* measures in society to try and solve the problem for the victims.

          However – exactly *what* measures should be taken in order to actually achieve the goal of protecting / giving the victims justice is just as important.

          The consequences of a certain legislation is at least as important as the intent! And when comes to child porn and pedophiles. I can hardly believe that any hardcore pedophile would not encrypt and anonymize their communication and their data. So there is very little evidence or reason to believe that censorship or illegalization of owning data will actually accomplish anything. However – the collateral damages that could be the consequence of the legislation is huge. Therefore it is a bad law.

          A good law is effective in protecting and/or giving “justice” to the victims without too much collateral damage to third parties.

  38. 38
    efdee

    The Latin expression is “Qui bono”, not “Cui bono” :-)

    • 38.1

      Sigh, the consequences of not knowing Latin. :) I wrote qui bono first, but somebody pointed out to me that the correct spelling was cui bono. Google and Wikipedia appeared to agree with this, so I changed the article.

      Seeing Wikipedia’s spelling, I’ll stick with it for now. Myself, I have no idea, I don’t speak Latin, I just wanted to appear academic or something… ;)

      • 38.1.1
        Colin Dean

        Don’t worry, ‘cui bono’ is correct. ‘Cui’ is the dative case of ‘qui’, expressing ‘to whom’ instead of the ‘who’ of ‘qui’. “Cui bono” thus means, essentially, “good to whom?” which is commonly understood as “who benefits?”. “Qui bono” would essentially mean “Who good” or “who good” or “what good” or “which good”, which, by itself, is a little confusing, leaning toward meaningless sans verb.

        Also, compelling article. It’s definitely a topic that needs to be discussed more in politics, but finding a way to discuss it philosophically without drawing the inane ire of those unwilling to explore academically a topic that cannot be expressed in a simple sound-byte sentence is the challenge we champions of freedom face.

      • 38.1.2
        Colin Dean

        Don’t worry, ‘cui bono’ is correct. ‘Cui’ is the dative case of ‘qui’, expressing ‘to whom’ instead of the ‘who’ of ‘qui’. “Cui bono” thus means, essentially, “good to whom?” which is commonly understood as “who benefits?”. “Qui bono” would essentially mean “Who good” or “who good” or “what good” or “which good”, which, by itself, is a little confusing, leaning toward meaningless sans verb.

        Also, compelling article. It’s definitely a topic that needs to be discussed more in politics, but finding a way to discuss it philosophically without drawing the inane ire of those unwilling to explore academically a topic that cannot be expressed in a simple sound-byte sentence is the challenge we champions of freedom face.

        (p.s. I’m leaving this comment for the second time – there’s no affordance that the original comment was accepted, so I’ve posted it again.)

  39. 39
    A

    Every argument is about the poor person who possesses child porn. Not one mention of the children involved. Children get fucked up for life from someone videotaping sex with them (especially if the whole world can watch it after its made its way to the Internet). Possession of child porn is wrong because it reinforces predatory sexual thought patterns that perpetuate the cycle that creates these videos. I can slightly sympathize with the argument about 17 year olds, but think about this… Do you really think you had the judgment at 17 to make a well informed decision about filming yourself having sex, that you would have the foresight to know that it could end up showing your naked ass all over the Internet? No fucking way. It’s wrong through and through, anyone who can’t see the obvious reasons why is deluding themselves. I’m all for free information, but not when it hurts people or when the information is personal/private in nature and obtained against someone’s will.

    • 39.1
      harveyed

      I believe you when you say that that the videos spreading all over the internet damages the children.

      But the thing is that censorship or illegalization is not a productive way to stop that. The vast majority of people already doing this kind of filmed molestations and distribution are doing it with encryption and anonymity online.

      How can we catch these predators if we are not allowed to show the evidence to the police? They will not be caught any better if we censor the internet – since the serious predators encrypt and anonymize their communication. You can’t selectively censor what is encrypted.

      I’m afraid the only thing that censorship and illegalization will accomplish is to create fear and uncertainty among the general population so that they will not dare to report suspected crimes that they see (online, or offline) to the police out of fear of being portrayed as child pornographers.

    • 39.2
      printersMate

      None of the examples given involve direct harm to children, one did try to doccument the behavior that may have indicated molestation. Some of the examples do involve harm to children by removal of a parent.
      Try to define illegal child porn in a fashion that never results in collateral damage by including innocent images etc. Such a definitioin would be limited to physical sex acts, and with pre-teen children. I doubt if such a definition would be acceptable to those who pushed through the ban, few convictions would be made under this rule.
      Making a 17 year old a criminal for posting naked images of tjhemselves only makes matter worse.

    • 39.3
      Passerby

      @ A

      “Possession of child porn is wrong because it reinforces predatory sexual thought patterns that perpetuate the cycle “[citation needed]

    • 39.4
      highks

      ” I can slightly sympathize with the argument about 17 year olds, but think about this… Do you really think you had the judgment at 17 to make a well informed decision about filming yourself having sex, that you would have the foresight to know that it could end up showing your naked ass all over the Internet? No fucking way.”

      … and therefore we need to put the 17 year old in jail, in addition to his or her own bad decision to post these pictures?

  40. 40
    Someone

    First, thank you for posting this article. It (unfortunately) takes great courage to have such a discussion in today’s society.

    I agree with the general theme: that sex crime laws (specifically child pornography and age of consent laws) are creating a generation of “victims of law.” They ironically serve to destroy way more families than they protect. They also serve to make normal human sexual behavior “shameful” and create depression and other psychological issues for those who have been branded by “society” (or the religious nuts that too often have control of society) as deviants for, for example, documenting their own bodies or deciding to engage in sex before society graciously “allows” them to (as if society has a right to tell an individual when they may choose to use their own body).

    Excellent work, and thank you for speaking up. One commenter wrote that since this is a battle you probably won’t win (in his opinion), you shouldn’t fight it. But, the battle must start somewhere, and even if you wage a campaign to achieve these goals and fail, you are setting up the bedrock for the person who, when the time is right, is able to fight this battle and win.

    I do want to make a clarification on US law. There are both federal and state statutes against child pornography. Saying that something is a “strict liability crime” is really saying that it has one or more “strict liability elements.” While *some* (but not all) child pornography laws in the US make age of the actor a strict liability element (that is, if you thought she was 18, but she’s 16, you’re still fucked), generally, you still have to knowingly be making or in possession of pornography (that is, “I didn’t know that my camera was about to record sexual activity” may indeed be an affirmative defense). The better argument, which you do also put out there, is that regardless of what the law says or could reasonably be interpreted to be, people are convicted anyway (such as in the examples of the mothers having photos of their children and someone placing a value judgment on them that they are sexual), and even if they are eventually acquitted, their families are torn apart.

    Again, thank you. More need to read this.

  41. 41
    edude03

    Rick, I agree with pretty much everything you wrote, the only point I would contest is the google glasses example, I think it was over dramatic.

    I think the more likely case is that it’s going to become illegal for males to wear google glasses anywhere where there may be children once non-techies figure out what they can do. Why? Because random moms will accuse us of taking pictures / video of their children in public and publicly chastise us. Taking pictures and video in public isn’t illegal but when you accuse someone of doing it for perverse reasons it’s a different matter. Then when you consider how common it’s becoming for normal men to be treated like pedophiles with no just cause or reason (quanta flights for example) then I think this example isn’t far fetched at all.

  42. 42
    Jordan

    Interesting read! I have one concern. In this article (and in the comments that follow) we are asking people to ‘think for themselves’ and see that legalizing pornography will have better outcomes then presently. My concern is that there may be an awful lot of people who do not think for themselves. This could be that they trust more in a higher power or they live their lives where analyzing and interpreting the meaning of things is not one of their utmost concerns. Which, by the way, I am not judging or saying, in all cases, is a bad thing.

    My point, before I ramble too much, is this: my guess is there are a lot of people who would rather than interpret ‘legalizing child porn’ as a way to protect children and free speech, would see it as an acceptance amongst society for owning child porn. I think there is a strong chance that by not legalizing child pornography, we are holding back some individuals from ever making child porn themselves or just plain raping a child. Maybe I am not giving enough credit to humanity but we are treading on dangerous water either way.

    Sure I agree by legalizing it, we would be allowed to take evidence and attackers would become more careless. Both outcomes would result in more captures. But are we really taking into account all the future repercussions when we tell every society and individual it’s OK to possess and watch videos where 50 year old men have sex with a 7 year old girls?

    • 42.1
      Jordan

      I should add that I think you’re right and the current system needs to change. We shouldn’t be sex offenders for making a documentary about child offenders because we want to expose them. Or because we got drunk one night and pissed in a park. Or because we were 19 and our 17 year old girlfriend’s dad at the time stopped liking us. Certain laws and the reasoning behind them are corrupt and not thought out. There is lots that need to change.

    • 42.2

      Hmm.

      I see quite a bit of grayscale between something being “OK” (possessing and watching videos where…) and something being criminalized to the extent where possession is a worse crime than the rape depicted in the video.

      Cheating on your wife or husband, for example, is not considered OK. But it’s not illegal.

      I’m arguing that the laws are counterproductive and prevent bringing child molesters to justice, and that I’d prefer to see a re-legalization of the evidence of their crimes, so that more of these monsters can be put in jail. Nowhere did I imply that I think the material in question is pleasant or okay.

      Cheers,
      Rick

      • 42.2.1
        Jordan

        Totally. I did not mean to imply you thought it was pleasant or OK. And I agree there are acts in life that are not accepted among society but are not illegal. What I am saying is that by suddenly legalizing all types of child pornography, there are risks that might carry possible negative outcomes and those should be addressed in an argument for or against something. Maybe you don’t agree. I was just suggesting there might be even after I read your interesting post that opened my eyes to a lot.

        Maybe we should adjust the current laws so that the innocent are more protected but we don’t legalize the possession of child pornography altogether.

      • 42.2.2
        kos

        then you need to be specific about the handling of evidence. Sure change it if you’re on the way to hand it in. But if you collect them you’re just a sick individual getting off on some kids abuse or exploitation. Make an exemption that police can see as an obvious boundary where prosecution will fail. Police aren’t interested in paperwork that results in failed prosecutions. It’s better for their career to do nothing than have repeated failed prosecutions, and more importantly, easier.

  43. 43
    pete

    by your argument, anyone who owns a security camera that catches a rape would be charged, which is ridiculous…this is quite a stretch that such evidence would be held up in court, if it ever even got that far; assuming the person who inadvertently stumbled on said-crime didn’t just stay and watch before getting help, if at all.

    • 43.1

      Yes, this is exactly what the law says. Many have challenged this post along the lines of “this is ridiculous, because it would mean that the law led to consequence X”, when indeed that is exactly what the law and precedents say.

      Which leads to the conclusion that the law is ridiculous.

      Which is sort of my point.

      I will be returning to the security camera issue (catching rape of a minor, or indeed minors having sex) in a post this Tuesday. It goes live at 13:37 Stockholm time.

      Cheers,
      Rick

      • 43.1.1
        pete

        How do you respond to actual examples of child rape caught on security cameras, where the footage was used to prosecute the offender, and not the security camera operator? a quick search of google already turned up a few results, and those are just ones that made it into the news. (ex: mall child rapist – http://www.surroundedbyreality.com/Misc/Crimes/MallRapist.asp)

        if you could contact some police departments in the US and try to get statistics on how often camera operators who inadvertently catch a rape on camera get charged for possession of child pornography it would be far easier to believe that this is a real issue.

        more examples:
        Child rape caught on school bus: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QzX1yrcXHj0

        http://disgustedwiththesystem.blogspot.com/2008/07/rape-suspect-caught-on-security-camera.html

      • 43.1.2
        pete

        maybe i didn’t mean to use the word ridiculous, but it still seems like quite the stretch to suggest this is a real issue as applied in the real world, as opposed to law-theory; also considering the precedents.

        • Caleb

          Police sometimes use discretion not to prosecute in such cases, but not always. For instance, a person I know downloaded what he thought was a video of two consenting adults, but which turned out to be two seventeen year olds. He agreed to a plead guilty in exchange for six months parole and the loss of his teaching certificate, making the college education he had completed six weeks earlier completely useless, and has to register as a sex offender for the next twenty years, as a result of which, he lost custody of his son. Victim of law indeed.

  44. 44
    DJ_Zephyr

    I suggest if you want to get your point across, you refrain from insulting Christians in the future. It was uncalled for and prejudiced, since TRUE Christians, like myself, do indeed care about protecting children. You are judging an entire group by its most misguided members.

    As for the bit about tracking and catching sex offenders, is this not already done? There was recently a massive kiddie-porn sting here in Florida that brought in 30-40 offenders. Be they the producers or the consumers who give them an audience, they need to be stopped.

    I do agree with one point- with the constant evolution of cameras, especially like the aforementioned Google Glass, there do need to be laws to protect video witnesses, even if I personally doubt any human judge or jury would prosecute such a witness in your given scenario. And if one were to be prosecuted, there would be a firestorm.

    • 44.1
      Anonymous

      “I suggest if you want to get your point across, you refrain from insulting Christians in the future. It was uncalled for and prejudiced, since TRUE Christians, like myself, do indeed care about protecting children. You are judging an entire group by its most misguided members.”

      No Christian would do this. Oh, a Christian did this? Regardless, no TRUE Christian would do this…

      Also, you didn’t mention what do you care about protecting from exactly?

      • 44.1.1
        Density

        TRUE Christians kill their children, if they’re disobedient:

        Deuteronomy 21:18-21 “If someone has a stubborn and rebellious son who does not obey his father and mother and will not listen to them when they discipline him, his father and mother shall take hold of him and bring him to the elders at the gate of his town. They shall say to the elders, “This son of ours is stubborn and rebellious. He will not obey us. He is a glutton and a drunkard.” Then all the men of his town are to stone him to death. You must purge the evil from among you. All Israel will hear of it and be afraid.”

        • MELEAH

          Ah yes, take Scripture out of context and use it to describe all Christians. Very mature!

        • Jonathan

          MELEAH, it is that very same act of quoting Scripture out of context upon which the entire US “culture war” lives and dies. Get your own house in order, as they say.

    • 44.2
      Anonymous

      So… how do I differentiate between true Christians that wouldn’t do that and non-true Christians that are doing this all the time?

    • 44.3

      You’re no true Kristian. You still own your limbs, a computer, a home, a family; your family still breed and wed; you’re not dead by poison or venom yet; you’re not ready for the world to end 1950 years ago.

  45. 45
    bakachan

    Hi, I thought I would add some data points.

    I work with websites that deal with cartoon artwork. As operator of the sites, I’ve taken a “If I don’t see it, It’s not there” approach. Both for Copyright enforcement and censorship requests.

    That said, there has been some flipflopping in the art communities on what constitutes CP. My view is that it’s no more illegal to create art depicting minors than it is to depict murders. The United states seems to have no problems with movies and cartoons full of violence, but show one mother breastfeeding and everyone is flipping out.

    There are artists that are known for creating porn (in fact if you scan over 4chan ‘s /b , /d , /h boards you will always find artwork depicting minors, cartoon or not.) The standard disclaimer is that everyone is over 18 and consenting, even if they clearly aren’t. With animated works, instead of “high-school” kids, they are all at private/colleges even though they wear the uniforms that would suggest they’re in high school. One of the above links (Sankaku complex) frequently links about CP laws ruining lives in Japan and abroad.

    But as to what is considered CP in art, anime, manga? Go to any anime convention around the world, and there will be children selling yaoi/yuri/straight doujinshi. It’s all fanart with a sexual twist. This stuff should fall under copyright infringement, not child porn, but the child porn laws carry a more punishing blow. But nobody selling it, nor anyone buying it considers it child porn because it’s fictional, not mass produced, no real children are harmed, and arguably the copyright holder isn’t being harmed either. Yet legal definitions of CP in various countries would include it.

    The sites I run, again, there is a flipflopping view on what should be allowed. If the CP laws didn’t exist, people would still call for censorship because they don’t want to be exposed to it (see 4chan again) even by accident. The CP laws existing, instead are used as a reason to censor the artwork they don’t like, even if it’s two fictional 17 year olds fondling each other. Art communities are bad enough when they decide they just don’t want one class of artwork (eg furries, ponies, anime) and then waste plenty of time on trying to decide if the content is or isn’t, instead of just letting it be artwork.

    And don’t get me started on cosplay. Anime conventions are usually attended by children and young adults. It’s not legal to sell porn to minors, nor is it legal to create and distribute child porn, but go ahead and commission an artist to draw their cosplay on the spot, and nobody will even blink. Photos of cosplay, you never know how old someone is, some characters are underage but the people dressed up as them are not. Where do you draw the line?

    I agree in principal that the current way CP is approached is broken and we need to go back to commercial intent, both for CP and copyright infringement. If no real children are harmed, then there is no crime. It’s a huge expense for websites to censor content, and I’d rather err on the side of self-censorship than poorly worded legislation that treats only a symptom and not the problem itself. As it is, there is no proper way to word a law that would prohibit production or possession of child porn that wouldn’t result in family members or consensual partners from being targets of retaliation.

    Take for example the case right now of blasphemy laws in muslim countries. Want to get rid of someone you don’t like? Plant tamper with evidence on your target and the police will get rid of them for you. This is no different from knowing a co-worker you hate has pictures of their own kids naked on their cell phone and calling the cops to say said co-worker has child-porn. Such things happen, even unintentionally.

    People who work for internet sites, particularly eCommerce sites like eBay and craigslist are exposed to horrible, real, images and descriptions of things all the time, sometimes as retaliation from their own users for something innocuous that they took offence to. Is it a crime to report the content? Is it a crime to be the recipient of the report? Would taking action on the report be destroying evidence?

  46. 46
    Robert

    It will never be legal and should never be legal. End of discussion.

  47. 47
    Anderson Fortaleza

    Here’s the real problem behind this, why is it that there’s a market for adult entertainment (porn) at all? Because there’s demand. There’s huge demand for images and videos with pornographic content, and the key point is that *the demand drives the production of this material*.

    The production of porn material is not much of a problem itself because it’s done with the consent of the people involved in the production (I assume this in the general case).

    Let’s now move the scenario to child pornography. Question: Is there demand for child pornography? Yes! Does the demand drives the production of this material? Yes! Is the production of this material legal or morally justifiable? By no means! Therefore, a pedophile who has such material under his possession has moral responsability over the crime that has been commited, I am totally for this!

    The rape case you raised is a grey area and must be dealt as such, the worst thing that can be done is to exempt anyone in possession of child pornography from criminal prossecution, the actual result from this in today’s world would be an explosion of child abuse everywhere since, even with today’s law, it’s very hard to catch the perpetrators, and most of them are caugh preciselly because they possess this material.

    “Those who space the wolf, sacrifice the sheep”

  48. 48
    Marti

    Nudity is not obscenity. A photo of a nude child is not a photo of a child being raped. A child engaged in non-forced so-called “sexual activity” is not a child being raped. Consent means overt agreement, even when influence is (possibly) involved. The line should be drawn when force is used. A (willing) child being photographed nude is not a violent act. Potential future embarrassment is not good grounds for making something illegal. “Rape” should be (but it is not since “revisionists” got their hands on the word) the forceful insertion of a penis into the vagina or anus of an unwilling partner. Forced oral copulation is just that – forced oral copulation – it is only loosely “rape”. No matter the age, (true) rape should be illegal. “Harm” is what hurts people. Physical pain is clear proof that a harm has occurred (even medical procedures can be defined as “harms”done for greater goods).

    Laws should not be made to simply define crimes and (foolishly) imagine that the crimes (and any potential harms) will then not take place. Laws should be made to attempt to minimize harms. All harms can never be eliminated (nor even defined!) – harms can simply be minimized. Sometimes a lesser harm must be permitted to ensure that a greater harm does not take place.

    Oppressors seek out methods to oppress those who disagree with them. The safety of society as a whole trumps the safety of any single person – allowing oppressors the tools that they then can use against any opponent in the name of “protecting the children” is a terrible idea and threatens the safety of the society as a whole.

    Thoughts, and their expression, should never be proscribed.

    Pedophilia – the sexual attraction towards pre-pubescent children – should never be considered a criminal act. An attraction is just a thought. Thoughts should never be illegal.

    Forcing a child to engage in a physical activity involving genitalia should be illegal. But then again, laws against forcing a person to do something with their body that they don’t wish to already exist – there are already laws covering assault and battery. There is no need for “penis laws” proscribing what one can or cannot do with ones penis (or vagina), no matter what age the person is. Something being “disgusting” (or “immoral”) to some in society is no good basis for criminalizing human behavior, no matter how unusual or atypical it may be.

    Sex is just another kind of touch – one which can be extremely pleasurable. The fact that penises and vaginas are involved is irrelevant. Touching done in a kind, considerate, gentle, consensual way, should never be criminalized. Your body should belong to you, to do with as you wish. Your body is a gift from natue (or God, if you prefer). Your body should never be thought to belong to the State. Neither should children’s bodies be thought to belong to the State.

    “Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” (where have we seen that phrase?) trumps penis laws.
    Attempting to protect people from themselves leads directly (though not always quickly) to tyranny.

    Remember:
    First They came… – Pastor Martin Niemöller

    First they came for the communists,
    and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a communist.

    Then they came for the trade unionists,
    and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a trade unionist.

    Then they came for the Jews,
    and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a Jew.

    Then they came for me
    and there was no one left to speak out for me.

    Source for the above:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_they_came

    • 48.1
      Linda M

      “Rape should be (but it is not since “revisionists” got their hands on the word) the forceful insertion of a penis into the vagina or anus of an unwilling partner.”

      This is complete bullshit, since under your definition: a) one cannot be raped with a sex toy and b) a woman cannot rape a man with her vagina.

      The case of a woman locking up a man for days in her house and forcing him to have sex with her repeatedly proves otherwise.

    • 48.2
      printersMate

      Consent is no justification for an adult talking a child into actions beyond their years and comprehemsion. It is a breach of the trust that children usually olace in adults.

      • 48.2.1

        Therefore children need not go to class, see the doctor, read books, listen to music, learn anything that their parents ask or make them do.

        Actions are their own justification, and the actors not third parties should represent themselves.

  49. 49
    Anderson Fortaleza

    Here’s the real problem behind this, why is it that there’s a market for adult entertainment (porn) at all? Because there’s demand. There’s huge demand for images and videos with pornographic content, and the key point is that *the demand drives the production of this material*.

    The production of porn material is not much of a problem itself because it’s done with the consent of the people involved in the production (I assume this in the general case).

    Let’s now move the scenario to child pornography. Question: Is there demand for child pornography? Yes! Does the demand drives the production of this material? Yes! Is the production of this material legal or morally justifiable? By no means! Therefore, a pedophile who has such material under his possession has moral responsability over the crime that has been commited, I am totally for this!

    The rape case you raised is a grey area and must be dealt as such, the worst thing that can be done is to exempt anyone in possession of child pornography from criminal prossecution, the actual result from this in today’s world would be an explosion of child abuse everywhere since, even with today’s law, it’s very hard to catch the perpetrators, and most of them are caugh preciselly because they possess this material.

    “Those who spare the wolf, sacrifice the sheep”

  50. 50
    anonymous

    Toxic indeed…. feel like I need a shower after reading this.
    leagalize child porn because the laws are horribly written… what a strange argument…
    Isn’t that throwing the proverbial baby out with the bathwater?
    …that said, you make some good points on the current problems with the laws, and senarios that are clearly unjust. I think you should focus on how to fix the laws, rather then removing them alltogether. I also don’t think you give enough credit to the amount of free descretion that the legal system (usually) exercises- wether they’re technically allowed to or not. I imagine examples of abuse (wich you should really have documented thoroughly, at the begining of the artical) would be far far more prevelent if this weren’t the case.

  51. 51
    Anon

    If someone sent out email spam full of child porn, would the millions of people who suddenly have that in their spam folders be guilty of possession?

    • 51.1

      I recall a case in this comment thread where somebody was convicted for something in their cache they weren’t even aware was there, and it was uncovered by an IT forensics specialist, not normally accessible to any user. So, yes, under the strict liability possessive offense, you could indeed get convicted for that, if you’re unlucky enough.

      • 51.1.1
        kos

        I f this is true then this is really badly written law. In most countries “knowledge and control” is required to “Possess” something. You will not get convicted of possession if you do not have knowledge and control of that thing. Some places may differ but “common law”- UK, Australia countries use a definition of possession that it actually pretty solid.
        Come to think of it, now I get why Julian Assange is so afraid of being extradited to Sweden., if that’s example of the justice system there.

  52. 52
    Good book and article make clear some important things

    Much could be better understood on this topic just by reading (online, free) the following article:
    The Perverse Law of Child Pornography – Amy Adler
    http://share.pdfonline.com/f30c99e7466449c9ba2eb4cffa32936b/THE PERVERSE LAW OF CHILD PORNOGRAPHY Amy Adler).htm

    Also, Judith Levine addresses this is her excellent book:
    Harmful to Minors The Perils of Protecting Children from Sex
    which may be viewed (online) here:
    http://share.pdfonline.com/b976322caaa5447da869e590a1163de0/Harmful to Minors The Perils of Protecting Children from Sex by Judith Levine 1.htm
    If you live in a jurisdiction where downloading copyrighted material for personal, non-profit use is *permitted by law*, you may download the book by .TORRENT here:
    https://torrents.thepiratebay.se/5053933/Harmful_To_Minors_by_Judith_Levine_eBook_PDF.5053933.TPB.torrent
    (You will need a free program such as utorrent to then download the file.)

    “Educate yourself. Educate others. Change the world.”

  53. 53

    Your country in particular, Sweden, is one of those imposing jail sentences to citizens over illegal cartoon possession while politicians and media do not say a word about this political crime, because when you start jailing someone over what their thoughts are and not over what their actions are, then it becomes political persecution. It takes lots of bravery to speak out against this injustice, I have to congratulate you over the article, you will not be the most popular guy in the pub due to speaking out your mind but someone had to do it.

    Two years ago I wrote in my blog a similar post higlighting all of the lies that the Government is spreading about child porn and I think that it still applies nowdays:

    DECEPTION ONE: “Hundreds of children rescued from abuse”

    DECEPTION TWO: “There are 2.6 billion of child porn images“

    DECEPTION THREE: “Child pornography a 20 billion dollar business“

    http://www.privacylover.com/child-porn/

  54. 54
    KrazyDave

    SUPER intelligent article, reasoning and conclusion.

  55. 55

    Seriously this article is pure propeganda. You’re all sick for even discussing this subject. This is serious business that should be left to the government. Close your eyes and close your browser!

    • 55.1
      Marti

      Yes! Just what the government wants us to do! Oh, but you forgot one little thing…
      … we should open our wallets up wide, too. Very wide!

      See, it takes a LOT of taxpayer’s money to maintain the hysteria, pay the police, investigators and prosecutors salaries, fill privatized prisons with prisoners, pay the fees of so-called “mental-health professionals” who (supposedly) treat sex offenders (using unproven “treatments” [read=private-pet theories]).

      Its a multi-billion dollar growth industry!

      And don’t forget, too, that it takes a lot of money to keep the politicians “in the money” while they give lip-service to the worn promises that they are “just trying to protect the children”. Funny how that phrase is so effective when bandied about in an election campaign, isn’t it?

      “Cui bono?”

      Easy. It’s all about the money… just follow the money trail and it leads you to the REALLY guilty ones…

      Our Government (and its servants). Robbing us blind!

      “See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil.”

      Let the government handle it, right?

      So, yes, close your eyes… and bend over, because here it comes!

    • 55.2
      I can choose my name?

      I agree that this is a serious issue, but why close your eyes to this. And isn’t the government a representation of the people.

      In a democracy it is the people, like you and me, who elect suitable persons to govern. But this does not mean that the people that govern has a full understanding of what issues are important. The politicians and the government are dependent on their constituents pushing forward issues.
      It is your responsibility as a citizen to make the politicians and the government aware of those issues that are important.

      If we close our eyes and let the government make all decisions without public debate, we run the risk that one day we will wake up and find ourselves in a dictatorship.
      As an example, with ties to the underlying issue; if your government decided one day that, in the battle against child pornography, mandatory and permanent surveillance of your home is made law. Would you accept it? A camera in every room being monitored by the government (most likely a private contractor, since the costs and manpower required will be immense). Would you trust your government not to use the information gathered against you?

      The underlying issues with the laws against child pornography are far greater than just child pornography. The points that Mr. Falkvinge makes in this article are valid. But the precedent that the laws make are far worse. If left unchecked the scenario I gave in the example could become reality.

      And then there are those who use child pornography as a means to censor other things. example: If you use P2P technology, you are using the same technology that pedophiles use. You are thereby making it easier to download child pornography. P2P technology should therefore be banned.

      But in the hunt against child pornography, where does the line go? At a primary school there is a statue of two naked children. What about the famous statue in Vigelandsparken, “Sinnataggen”, which is a statue of an angry naked child. Both of these statues depict naked children, and thus could be considered child pornography. Shall we destroy these works of art and punish their creators?

      What if you, during surfing, comes to a web-page with a montage of pictures, one of which is a depiction of child pornography. In many countries you have committed a crime by viewing the picture. Will you report the web-page, knowing you are likely to be prosecuted?

      What if the police confiscates your computer. Your browser will most likely have cached the picture (saved it to drive), and now you are indited with possession of child pornography.

      Yes I know there are a lot of hypothetical scenarios here, but the points remains the same.

      1. The government is not infallible, they make mistakes and the consequences fall to the people. Therefor it is imperative that the public are part in the debates in issues, especially important and controversial one.
      2. The laws against child pornography are poorly made. It does not differentiate, and thus reduce the efficiency. Also they target and persecute innocents, witnesses and arts.
      3. The precedent the laws create, makes it possible to censor and persecute a lot of other issues. Like the war on terror, and the changes in surveillance and security measures, the war on child pornography can be used to defend more invasive monitoring of the population.

      In my opinion Ms. Ann Frankly, you are what I would call narrow minded and ignorant. And you have completely missed that Mr. Falkvinge is the founder of the Pirate Party in Sweden, a political party. When a politician addresses this issue, it is governmental business.

      As for you Mr. Falkvinge. Your article is commendable, and it is great that a politician actually has the guts to put this issue front and center. Unfortunately the public opinion will be tainted by the concept of abolishing child pornography laws (not to be confused with child abuse laws). Good luck with the media =P.

  56. [...] Falkvinge hat auf seinem Blog geschrieben, warum Kinderpornographie legalisiert werden muss. Beim Lesen dieser Zeilen bekomme ich das kalte Grauen und Wut, unglaubliche [...]

  57. 56
    Good book and article make clear some important things

    This is a repost of the above post (September 9, 2012 – 21:00) with links fixed (I hope…)

    Much could be better understood on this topic just by reading (online, free) the following article:
    The Perverse Law of Child Pornography – Amy Adler
    http://share.pdfonline.com/f30c99e7466449c9ba2eb4cffa32936b/THE%20PERVERSE%20LAW%20OF%20CHILD%20PORNOGRAPHY%20Amy%20Adler).htm

    Also, Judith Levine addresses this is her excellent book:
    Harmful to Minors The Perils of Protecting Children from Sex
    which may be viewed (online) here:
    http://share.pdfonline.com/b976322caaa5447da869e590a1163de0/Harmful%20to%20Minors%20The%20Perils%20of%20Protecting%20Children%20from%20Sex%20by%20Judith%20Levine%201.htm

    If you live in a jurisdiction where downloading copyrighted material for personal, non-profit use is *permitted by law*, you may download the book by .TORRENT here:
    https://torrents.thepiratebay.se/5053933/Harmful_To_Minors_by_Judith_Levine_eBook_PDF.5053933.TPB.torrent
    (You will need a free program such as utorrent to then download the file.)

    “Educate yourself. Educate others. Change the world.”
    ——————————————————–
    (I substituted %20 [percent-sign20] for the spaces in the above URLs.)

  58. 57

    This Article is just pure madness, Child Porn is not free Speech it is a crime ! It destroyes also the privacy rights of the children abused. So, thinking this to the end it will violate privacy of the victims even more than state surveillance.

    So everything should be done to ban it !

    • 57.1
      Jan Andersen

      @Klabautermann: Totally agreed. Well, almost. All we need is to agree on the definition of what constitutes CP. Once we agree on that we can start raising the stakes and burn the f.ckers! You did say that everything should be done to stop them, right?

  59. 58
    random_pirate

    Greetings from across the gulf!

    Rick, you’ve got balls the size of my homeland. (Don’t Sweden and Finland look like a nutsack and a cock together?)

    Truly an amazing article which everyone should read as many times as it takes for them to finally get your point and agree with it. Let us struggle united to make the cp legislation sensible and gain victory over malevolent and self-servient decision makers!

    • 58.1

      Thanks, mate!

      This subject is toxic as fuck, but damn me if I’m going to sit down and shut up over it again. I’ve just about had it with the censorship attempts waving this card expecting people to not dare oppose them.

      Enough is enough.

      Cheers,
      Rick

  60. 59
    Kapteeni Karvamakkara

    I watched the video. I don’t think it was a teenager being killed. It seemed like teenagers killing an older bloke. The video quality was very bad so it’s hard to be 100% sure. Also he wasn’t stabbed in both eyes, only one the left eye (with several thrusts).

    My intention is not to undermine your blogpost in any way and I agree with what you are saying. Just wanted to clear some facts.

    And I don’t recommend watching the video, although you see much worse on TV. Personally for me, seeing a starving child, or even a hobo with a “will work for food” -sign is much worse than seeing a fat bloke being killed.

  61. 60

    During the ACTA affair the Dutch economics minister stated that ‘normal’ citizens did not have to fear ACTA because it was only meant for taking down child porn sites:
    http://gendo.nl/en/blog/arjen/acta-war-over-we-win-again
    One could conclude that in the case of distribution of photographic evidence of actual child abuse the Minister is first and foremost concerned with possible copyright infringement on this material. Its all a matter of priorities I Guess.

  62. 61

    “Technically, most people growing up today lose their virginity through rape. I say “technically”: they lose their virginity through rape because legislators have redefined “rape” to include consensual, voluntary, loving sex between people of typical age of sexual debut. ”

    While I agree with your basic point, that claim is a considerable exaggeration. Median age for loss of virginity in the U.S. is reported at 17. Only 12 states have an age of consent higher than that, and in some of them sex is either legal or something less than a felony if the partner is not too much older than the minor.

    • 61.1

      What is *reported* and what *is* are very different things, especially when discussing sexual matters.

      Most young people have been subtly trained to be ashamed of sexual activity, and probably wouldn’t admit the ‘true’ number to most anyone outside their close friends. Plus, you’ve got a HUGE difference in what young people view as losing their virginity, with many young people today not viewing oral sex as something that would count toward no longer being a virgin, though a large number of people, and likely every law on the subject, would disagree.

      But then, I was 22 when I lost my virginity, so I’m an anomaly no matter how you look at it.

    • 61.2
      Anonymous person

      You said median… that means that half are BELOW that point.

      Important to note.

      According to the study I see, 25% of boys claim to have sex by their 16th birthday. I think all 25% of those boys are thus being “raped”, technically, since I don’t think any US states have an AoC below 16.

  63. 62
    Ardyvee

    My only problem with the article is that [I felt] it suddenly became a crusade against Christianity (and religion + politics). And it’s strange I’m bothered by it since I disagree with it [religion in general]. But I believe it would be wise to avoid targeting a group specifically, no matter how true what you’re saying is.
    Then again, it might be just me. I did take care to not miss the real message, though.

  64. 63
    Good book and article make clear some important things

    CORRECTIONS ON LINKS:
    Post 52 has links to an article and a book. If you copy/paste the links (up to the part that has the “.htm”) and paste those into our browser address bar, the files will load correctly.
    Post 56 links do NOT work. I don’t know how this site’s software handles links, but my attempt at making a “clickable” link did not work.
    Sorry…

  65. 64
    Gabriel

    Let’s summarize these into their core messages to see why these arguments are fucking stupid.

    1) “What if you walk on a child being raped and you are recording it.” This is fucking retarded.

    2) “Just like real rape vs. statutory rape, child porn could have been owned for genuinely harmless reasons (eg. you own a picture of yourself) — so child porn should be legal. ” This is fucking retarded. Also there are romeo and juliet laws for a reason.

    3) “Some people take advantage of laws used to protect innocent people — so we should make owning cp legal.” This is fucking retarded.

    The great great great GREAT majority of cp isn’t teens sexting each other. It’s kids getting sexually abused. There is absolutely no reason ownership of that kind of material is justifiable.

    • 64.1
      Beverly

      Calling everything ‘fucking retarded’ by making a straw man out of it misses the point.

      You’re not engaging the fine details that the examples in the scenarios in the article are meant to highlight.

      And the fact is, the way the laws are constructed ARE used by censorship advocates to grab power. That’s more the point of the entire situation.

    • 64.2
      AnonPedo

      Quick question… how much child porn have you seen? None? I thought so.

      So how are you so sure that it is 100% of children being raped/abused? Children can’t enjoy sexual activity you say? Where is your proof? I can attest first hand that children enjoy sexual activity, both in CP videos and real life. So shove it.

      This is one area where people (including researchers) make incredibly bold claims regardless of their lack of evidence. Apparently I am supposed to be short, have low intelligence, be socially retarded, have no adult friends, be a psychopath, etc. etc.

      None of those are true.

      Apparently children are supposed to be asexual, have no interest in their bodies or the bodies of others (especially adults), and receive no sexual pleasure at all, and would never ever seek to initiate any type of sexual activity.

      None of those are true as well.

      • 64.2.1
        Anti-Pedo

        Rick,

        One of your ‘supporters’ just admitted to having sex with a child. Unless you support adults having sex with children I would suggest that you turn your logs with his IP over to law enforcement who can handle it from here.

        Anti-Pedo

        • Anonnymoose

          While that is quite possibly what AnonPedo meant, GP’s first-hand experience could be as the child in question. Also, depending on AnonPedo’s location, there may be no crime to answer.

          In any case, the Pirate movement has repeatedly commented on the low value of IP addresses as evidence, and it is far from improbably that Rick’s servers don’t keep logs of IP addresses, at least not for more than a few minutes to spot dumb spambots.

        • You don’t know whether AnonPedo is adult or refers to adults. Also your ekename means you oppose kids, so anything you say is shit.

    • 64.3
      harveyed

      Well. How the fuck are we supposed to get the perpetruators behind bars if no one is allowed to show the evidence to the police?? Evidence of child rape can be considered “porn”. If child porn laws make people don’t dare to show those kind of things to the police, we effectively have no way to catch the real child rapists.

      I would never dare to show any evidence to a police if there was a slightest chance in hell that I would myself be considered a child pornographer if I did so.

  66. 65
    Max E.

    > And on the ground, a 12-year old who is being raped watches helplessly as
    > witnesses turn away and delete all evidence of the crime being committed
    > against her.

    I’d like to point out that a workaround for this has already been in place for a while. That is to relax the requirement for evidence and convict on someone’s say-so. Unfortunately, that can be equally problematic, raising the rate of false convictions.

    NOTE: I’m not proposing we require photographic evidence for every conviction: it’s possible that a witness might not have a camera handy. But an outright ban on evidence is not desirable.

  67. 66
    Dave

    Rumor has it that most child pornography shows children who are merely nude (posed erotically), masturbating, or engaged in sexual activities which show simple consent (though according to the law, not informed consent). It seems that pornography showing sad or crying children, much less coercion, must be very rare because most people of ANY sexual orientation don’t like that.

    By reputation, online communities centered around child pornography are on the bleeding edge of computer security – but that doesn’t mean they like the idea of children being hurt more than anyone else.

    Given that possession of child pornography is highly illegal, what do you think these people are going to do if they have evidence that would allow the authorities to find a perpetrator who is clearly using force or coercion against a child? They may greatly desire to turn this information over to the authorities, but how are they going to explain how they obtained it? Are they going to do this when they know without doubt that they will be imprisoned for many years, become outcasts in their community, and lose their friends, their family, and their career if they try to help? What do you think they will do if they know that the well-being of their family depends on their NOT reporting a heinous crime?

    Criminalizing child pornography protects rapists and thugs, because they can hide among people who are too scared to report them. Criminalizing the mere possession of child pornography harms the victims of actual assaults, among many others who have not harmed anyone.

    • 66.1
      Anonnymoose

      You have also skirted around another problem with current laws against possession: good crypto is relatively easy, so most of the people who get caught in possession aren’t expecting to be investigated at all. (I think the comment form a senior detective that encryption is rarely a problem in CP cases appeared in Rick’s follow-up.) That does include a few idiots, but for the most part it means that the people who are found in possession of CP are going to be teenagers, parents with borderline pics of their kids, people with a few dodgy pics in a large archive, and so on.

  68. 67
    Mori

    It’s very interesting to see which persons engage the article itself, and which ones unthinkingly react with “how horrible that anyone is even discussing this it’s vile and wrong and I won’t think about it any further”.

    Which goes a long, long way towards proving several points raised in the article.

    Child porn is an issue of Moral Panic, one of the greatest of our time, and one reason it’s tangled up in Moral Panic is because of shared guilt.

    Most children are harmed or raped not by strangers on the street, by evil, often imaginary “weirdos at computers somewhere” -but by people they know-.

    They are raped by family members.

    Raped by priests at the church the family attends.

    Raped by formerly trusted educators at schools where the family lives.

    By close neighbors who work their way into the confidence of the family.

    By their own parents. Or grandparents. Uncles. Inlaws.

    Children are most often abused by US, not by “them”.

    And there’s huge, vast, sprawling shared shame, terror, and fear over this truth. We cannot stand to think about it. We cannot stand to ponder how our society produces dysfunctional families and how we enter into family contracts and marry people who are screwed up, turn a blind out to fathers who rape daughters, and help perpetuate backwards, unenlightened culture that represses sexuality, encourages misogyny, and treats children as property. Treats them as property even as we venerate them, and constantly say “think of the children.”

    When most people say “think of the children” I tend to wonder: are they really thinking of the children, or are they thinking of their emotional attachment to the bundle of ideas “childhood” represents in society? Because if we’re really thinking of the children, we’re doing a pretty damn poor job of showing it. Most of the time, we hurt the children.

    And so yes, we want to turn away. We want to blindly give power and authority to exploiters as long as they say “we’ll make laws that hide all the bad things you’re so afraid of”. And they know we’re stupid and ignorant and fearful and guilty and weak and selfish. They know exactly how to manipulate us because of it.

  69. 68
    Peter

    When will politicians stop using the term “quantum leap”

    It is a really minuscule leap

  70. 69
    Pengalor

    Hi there RIck. Great article! I’ve been saying the same things for a while. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been frustrated trying to explain the difference between a pedophile and a child molestor (from people saying things like they think pedophiles should have their genitals cut off and their faces burnt with acid, not kidding).

    If you are interested in the subject of child pornography and its legality, might I suggest you look into lolicon. It’s a type of animation, originated in Japan, that depicts usually very young girls in sexual situations. While this may seem abhorrent to some, it is a crime to own in many places despite the fact that there is no victim in simply drawing young girls/boys in sexual situation. People are essentially prosecuted over owning cartoons. There’s even evidence that such ‘simulated child porn’ could help stem actual child molestation by providing pornography to pedophiles who might need it so they are better able to control their urges.

    I will say right now, I’m not a pedophile nor do I look at child pornography. However, I base all my thoughts around reason and these laws do not make sense the way they currently are. I defend pedophiles because their label has become synonymous with criminals and that is not fair to someone who simply has a mental condition that they may never act on in their entire lives.

    • 69.1
      Libby

      Sadly the public has turned the pedophile into a three headed monster, one that can’t be anything like people they know and trust. It’s the disassociation. Everyone says things like ‘burn their faces off with acid’ because they’re externalizing the complete terror they feel at the mention of a pedophile. They want to make sure everyone knows how normal they are, that they can’t possibly have any sympathy for someone with a mental/emotional/sexuality problem.

      As others have already remarked it is probably also avoidance because so many cases of actual child harm come from those near the family instead of strangers. Many of these cases are ongoing molestation where the perpetrator carries it out for months or years, all because the ‘good people’ won’t talk about such subjects and the children themselves don’t think they have anyone to turn too. Again, easier to scream bloody murder when a pedophile is mentioned so that everyone thinks the only pedophiles are over there, not over here…

      • 69.1.1
        Anonnymoose

        I remember a documentary about a Californian priest who committed child rape for years, whose first victim didn’t tell anyone because she heard her father say that if anyone harmed her, he’d kill him on the spot. She said that she was afraid that if she reported it, her father would end up in jail. I would assume that that sort of fear would be pretty common, so perhaps it would be worthwhile to try to get a general consensus that one does not rant about child abusers in front of children.

  71. 70
    Chris B.

    I work closely assisting law enforcement in combating child pornography as computer scientist, and have lectured at multiple international law enforcement conferences on the topic. I disagree strongly with items 1 and 3 but generally agree with item 2. Note that I can only comment on the US., international laws vary widely and I am not a lawyer. Let me say that clarification of the laws is never a bad thing. However, suggesting that merely because a law is imprecise the entire concept behind the law should be thrown away is wrong.

    Issue 1. This entire argument in relation to ‘Google Goggles’ is specious. Aside from the fact that there is not a Prosecutor who would charge you, or Jury in the entire country who would convict you in the above scenario (note this assumes there is not reasonable evidence that you were involved in the above act) all legal systems that I am aware of (remember we have 50 states and federal law to discuss in the US) have several types of exemptions for individuals in this type of scenario. You claim that “if you have it, no matter why, you’re guilty” This is simply not true, at least in the US. Lets start by looking what an actual court has had to say in State v Hurst, 2009 WL 580453 (Ohio.App. 2009),

    “If a person walks down the street and notices an item (such as child pornography or an illegal narcotic) whose possession is prohibited, has that person committed a criminal offense if they look at the item for a sufficient amount of time to know what it is and then walks away? The obvious answer seems to be ‘no.’ However, if the person looks at the item long enough to know what it is, then reaches out and picks it up, holding and viewing it, and taking it with them to their home, that person has moved from merely viewing the item to knowingly possessing the item by reaching out for it and controlling it.”

    Understanding what digital ‘possession’ means is more complex, especially in the internet where you cannot view a file without a copy of it being cached. This is where intent is a significant portion of the law in determining issues such as possession. If you inadvertently recorded footage of CP walking around and immediately gave your data to the police or deleted it in all states I know you did not commit a crime. If someone sneaks cocaine into your bag without your knowledge and it is found by customs you typically did not commit a crime because you did not ‘possess it’. Someone else put it into your bag and you didn’t know it was there. Admittedly you would need to prove this, but in the case of child pornography I think it’s fair that you should need to explain why you possessed this material.

    If on the other hand you deleted the Google Goggles CP from your drive or turned the cocaine into the police you likely didn’t possess it in the eyes of the law. In fact, many defendants in child pornography possession cases successfully defend themselves in court with claims that they deleted CP and did not intentionally download it, hence did not ‘posses it’. Those who make this defense (I deleted it) and fail, typically are convicted because the prosecution provides evidence that they searched for the material, i.e. put “Child Rape Images” and 30 variations of that into Google, or demonstrate that they viewed the image repeatedly over a lengthy period of time and did immediately delete it and hence did not unintentionally view it and did in fact ‘posses’ it .

    Next, let me say a few things. Each child pornographic image is a crime scene photo. Note that in the US, the mere fact that a child is not clothed does not make it child pornography. Further, viewing of these images re-victimizes the children who were forced to participate. Imagine how you would feel if it were legal for others to possess, and pleasure themselves, to pictures of you being raped? Imagine knowing that those pictures were being ‘traded’ for all time and there were nothing you could do about it. Now imagine that these people followed you as some would a movie star (remember you’re a public figure now people are looking at your images online) trading your phone number and address. This exact scenario has happened to multiple victims of child molestation and child pornography. I for one do not want to live in a society where this action is legal.

    Further, of individuals currently serving in prison for possession of child pornography a significant portion of them, who have not even been suspected or convicted of personally molesting children, have in fact done so. One study, “The Butner Study Redux” by Michael Borke Ph.D. found that 98% of individuals currently serving in federal prison for possession of CP, with no documented history of molesting children, had in fact molested children averaging 11 victims a piece. As one psychology expert explained this, “How many people who have ten thousand baseball cards have never even picked up a baseball?” It is a fact that viewers of child pornography are statistically likely to be ‘hands on’ child molesters themselves. The notion that legalizing the possession of this material will make children safer is simply wrong. Many child molesters wind up being prosecuted because they are initially investigated for viewing child pornography. If you remove the ability to investigate pedophiles for possession many ‘hands on’ molesters would never be discovered.

    Issue 2. I agree with you that this is a concern. Labeling children as sex offenders for life because of what two teenagers voluntary did with one another is a problem. This is not to say that re-transmission of the material should be legal which is typically where these cases become a problem.

    3. Free speech is a complicated issue. Screaming fire in a crowded theater is not protected speech (in the US). Libel laws prevent us from saying anything we want. Ultimately I concur that some individuals use issues, such as child pornography, for their own gains. However, simply because some individuals want to use this issue towards their own end for issues such as copyright law does not mean this issue, child pornography possession, should be legal. Personally, I think that the importance of protecting children is more significant than any type of ‘slippery slope’ situation that may cause. However, you have a right to feel that fighting copyright law and ‘internet freedom’ is more important than protecting children who have been molested. Such trade offs on issues are made in many societies.

    Finally, you’ve drawn a conclusion that “In the end it’s as simple as this: it should never be illegal to merely possess information, any information.” While I agree in general, in this case I have to disagree. ‘Possession’ of child pornography in the legal sense means owning it and keeping it, not merely ‘viewing’ the information as discussed earlier. There is no reason anyone outside of law enforcement should intentionally keep and ‘posses’ this information. Viewing child pornography re-assaults the victim with each subsequent viewing and continues the ongoing trauma past the rape and molestation that occured. This is not to suggest that someone e-mailing you a child pornographic image should mean you’ve committed a crime. The crime is if you keep the image of a child being raped and look at it repeatedly instead of deleting it. In the end it’s REALLY as simple as this: children/victims deserve to know that individuals around the world cannot freely possess and enjoy images of their torture.

    The issue of child pornography should not be used to argue for internet freedom, any more than it should be used to argue against it.

    • 70.1
      AnonPedo

      Oooh so you work with law enforcement that deals with CP? Does that mean you have seen it? If so then you are a dirty liar. Forced? Raped? I have seen very few child porn videos that involved clear rape and force. Most contain children engaged in the activity happily or they are just going along with it. Not that I agree with the latter but stop lying.

      • 70.1.1
        Chris B.

        Children cannot consent and are by definition being forced and raped. I strongly encourage you to seek help for your issues.

        • The problem is with the underage so I will ask you to refrain from the legal misappropriation of words that redefines child as a minor (which is variant age between countries, states, and even codes, all of which ignores that age of consent is a Victorian fabrication and there’s plenty of global testimony by youths–kids and teens–who are true actors in their sexual habits upon themselves, their age-peers and age-others; resources are at Newgon.com but you can look at any comment board on a news story about a comely teacher busted for “inappropriate” (That is a lige.) relationship with a student where the males elect to be the alleged victim at the age. As for myself, I am a nonageist nonprude nonliar. In 1st grade I had a crush on the teacher; in later grades I had a crush on other students. Earlier I knew who was gross.) and a-priori misrepresents any age group by their capability with terms to incriminate or excuse on one standard of conduct irrelevant to age (which cannot be helped by the individual; my IQ is over 170 and I went to college at 11 and 12. When I was underage I used to pose as overage in IRC to fit in social groups, but did not exclude myself of groups on this accidental ranking by time. Maturity is not a virtue. One should not belong to any progression that eventually ends in one’s death. It is most important for one’s brain to be least developed at any time, contrary to popularly-cited studies which suppress IQ bias: http://google.com/search?q=alysdexia+Giedd.) that infringe on constitutional and civil rights (1st Amendment for free speech, press, and assembly; 13th Amendment agains involuntary servitude; 14th Amendment for equal protection of citizens; 26th Amendment agains [self-contradictory] ageist suffrage; derivative rights for youths, children, witnesses, political dissidents, owners, heirs) to keep a legal minority with no or fake advocaty whose testimonies cannot be admitted in trials after [but not for, as the trial only serves to protect the law and not the citizen] them where professionals and parents fib in their own best interest instead of the former’s. Not only do you work with a crooked government that makes laws to break laws (The laws are illegal, if you didn’t get that.), for its polity to work it must sanction, promote, and commit crimes such as solicitation, conspiracy, aiding and abetting, impersonation, possession, fraud, theft, libel, extortion, vandalism, laundering, bribery; however they label these differently under citation, sting, accomplice, undercover, bait, decoy, confiscation, indictment, plea bargain, forcible entry, police auction, witness immunity. When tried for deranged laws I believe the defendant can call for the justification defense that the jurists and jurors lose their judicial immunity as they are not dutiful in their knowingly false statements of the grounds and goal of the laws they enforce, that they know everyone is not the same, that their assertions are not arguments, that they do not represent the subjects or victims in any disclaim of the offense, and that they wilfully interject their own interpretations of extant words (like child–the born offspring after the brood that applies to any citizen–or abuse–the misdeed wrong by the subject/object’s skill and will, where for sex the brain and body work from birth–or rape–abusive sex as defined by the subject/object, not by a third party, even when the subject/object isn’t even considered a party). It is not that kids cannot understand one role or another; it is that society refuses to teach them, or even this elder party is too inarticulate, clumsy, slow, and lackwitted to teach a group not in their retinue. So some [in either group] may get away with rape of the former group, where the former the latter do not believe could even consent therefore could not dissent either, so why should the former group matter?

        • crosspost (in moderation):

          http://absolutezerounited.blogspot.com/2013/08/alleged-freedom-hosting-administrator.html#comment-1276327835
          jacey, can you and the other ageist insexuals comment on this blogpost and the followup on public policy?: http://falkvinge.net/2012/09/07/three-reasons-child-porn-must-be-re-legalized-in-the-coming-decade/. Also comment on some of the comments. You may use the thread between a computer scientist who works with law enforcement who expresses the same fibs you do and me who writes a confutation of the social hretoricals: http://falkvinge.net/2012/09/07/three-reasons-child-porn-must-be-re-legalized-in-the-coming-decade/#comment-118472.

          Whether these group terms are self-described or described by professionals or dictionaries is irrelevant to their etýma which shows that folk like you abuse these terms. A pedo (or pædo, pædi, pæs or other declensions) is a kid and filo and filia mean friendship; therefore a pædofilo is a kidfriend, a kid who’s a friend which, like boyfriend or girlfriend, has nothing literally to do with sex but that one must infer by context when other terms aren’t considered. Not only do you switch the substantive so that you vilify kids, the referend of the compound, you vilify the other stem of friendship. Filia does not mean love; eros is love and erastès means lover. In both English and Hellènic there is no distinction between love of mind and love of body. Likewise a pæderast is a kid who’s a lover. The complement of which is a erastopædi, a lover of a kid, or erastopædia, a lover of kids. Wherefore you ignorantly and regularly conflate sex with rape, love with lust (lagneia), consent with abuse, and contact with molest, you then libel your opponent with your fabricated terms and imagined victimhood. But you are not kids nor youth. You are one person, and you are not interested in what the former say so you never will write or publish from that perspective. That makes you a crooked liar.

      • 70.1.2
        Sennet

        @AnonPedo: Are you sure that those children arem`t just trying too hard to please the adult, awkwardly doing what is expected of them? As another commenter said, children are generally not taught to say no to adults. It is probably a crime in many jurisdiction to say that, but: try looking more closely, with another eye.

        @Chris B.: Very nice write-up. The AnonPedo probably will not seek help, because he knows that it would mean instant jail and end of his life. Another unfortunate side-effect of the current law and public hysteria…

        Yours ‘by definition’ is correct by the law point of view, but he was saying something different. This definition is subjective, and varies in time and space. In some places the law says it is 14–18, In others just marriage will do (although in those places the wife is likely always raped, regardless of age…).

        A child can consent on artistic gymnastics training. In some countries, a adolescent can enlist in army at age of 16, but not consent on sex with someone older, or even the same age. In my view, brutal training and killing deserve higher maturity for consent than many things sexual, yet the reality of the law is often the opposite. The question on wether children and teens can effectively give consent for anything is a complex subject.

    • 70.2
      Brin

      Just to address one point of your posting: At least in Germany, ‘possession’ of CP already happens when copying the images to the RAM of your computer, or if your browser preloads images into its browser cache, *without you ever seeing the images*. Source: http://rechtsprechung.hamburg.de/jportal/portal/page/bshaprod.psml?showdoccase=1&doc.id=KORE205092010&st=ent

      This is the slippery slope Rick addresses. You can’t really know how the definition of ‘possession’ might change.

      Brin

      • 70.2.1
        Chris B.

        Brin,

        I agree completely that this is a slippery slope and that CP being inadvertently cached should not be a criminal offense. This is however different from the fundamental argument that owning CP should be legal which is the focus of the post.

        Chris

  72. 71
    Anon

    I hate it when people try to defend a childs right to their sexuality while at the same time saying it’s wrong to try and save face. Children are sexual beings the moment they are born, even before then fetuses masturbate in the womb. Children start exploring eachother sexually the moment they get their hands on each other. Further there is no evidence that such sexuality is harmful, and in fact there is evidence to show that it has health benefits. Studies have shown that people who began having sexual intercourse as a child were more likely to develop fewer mental health problems, were less likely to develop drug habits, were more emotionally stable, and were just all around healthier. There is also no evidence that consensual child-adult sexual relations is harmful and in fact studies have shown that most children at the time didn’t think anything of it or even found it enjoyable and continued with it. It wasn’t until they were older that they re-conceptualized what had happened to fit in with societies narrative. They even go as far as to think of themselves as freaks for enjoying it when society says it’s so wrong. Others never speak out about their consensual relationship because they know the resulting hysteria will ruin their lives, and they don’t want to hurt the person they love.

    The following are scientific studies that back up what I have said:

    http://www.ethicaltreatment.org/research.htm

    http://www.ipce.info/booksreborn/martinson/infant/InfantAndChildSexuality.html

    http://www.addictinginfo.org/2011/11/29/six-year-old-wisconsin-boy-being-prosecuted-for-playing-doctor-with-a-five-year-old/

    http://www.srmhp.org/0402/child-abuse.html

    http://sexuality.spaceandmotion.com/sexual-development-children-teen.htm

    http://web.archive.org/web/20050310183555/http://logicalreality.com/openbb/board.php?FID=61

    http://human-stupidity.com/stupid-dogma/faulty_science/us-congress-senate-condemn-scientific-researc

    http://human-stupidity.com/stupid-dogma/child-porn-witch-hunt/children-loved-child-porn-modeling-photo-sessions-were-the-highlight-of-my-life-children-traumatized-by-federal-government-prosecution

    http://www.srmhp.org/0402/repression.html

    http://human-stupidity.com/stupid-dogma/child-porn-witch-hunt/legal-child-pornography-reduces-child-sex-crimes-milton-diamond-hawaii

    http://human-stupidity.com/stupid-dogma/teenage-sexuality/child-porn-laws-kill-destroy-lives-judge-jack-b-weinstein

    http://www.ipce.info/library/web-article/trauma-myth-susan-clancy-book-review
    http://transres.freeweb7.com/levine.html

    http://www.ipce.info/library_2/files/rind_jen.htm

    http://human-stupidity.com/irrationality/stupid-dogma/child-porn-witch-hunt

  73. 72
    AnonPedo

    If it was legal all you people could also see that child porn is not filled with crying raped hurt children. Quite often the children are enthusiastic and/or enjoying the sexual interaction. Most child porn is not rape/forced molestation. Oh sure that exists, but most pedos on child porn sites will denounce it. Just go check out Lolita City (done through the TOR network and if you don’t download anything and clear your cache you will be fine).

    • 72.1
      Anon

      It always confuses professional therapists who have been allowed to watch CP that the kids love it so much. It really disturbs them, they just can’t wrap their heads around it.

  74. 73
    Peter Fox

    I just wanted to thank you for writing about this. As an IT professional, I’ve mused before that I could destroy someone’s life pretty effectively by using my skills to put CP on someone’s computer, and then anonymously report them. Even adding it in a way that makes it look like they’ve searched for it and downloaded it over time is not all that difficult.

    This only works because possession itself is a crime. I already know there are unethical people with similar skills out there.

    After all, as any locksmith could say about knowing how to make and break locks: properly fixing things and properly breaking things requires the same kind of knowledge.

    Furthermore, even if the accused is not convicted in a court of law, there’s frequently a public stain of trial-by-media that never goes away, because some people will wonder, ‘Well, if he/she went to court, there must have been SOME good reason.’

    And of course, there’s all the good points about CP involving fictitious, never-existed-in-real-life drawings and related media being treated with the same penalties as true CP.

    No one I’m otherwise aware of wants to endanger their political position by suggesting that current CP laws are wrong because – as this very article has shown – of the knee-jerk, think-of-the-children reactions. Far better just to bury it, whatever the expense.

    Anyway, thank you again. If it’s made at least one other person think, and it seems to have done that, it was worth every word.

  75. 74
    David V

    Hi Rick, I hope you do not mind me addressing you directly. The illegality of child pornography is something that has stood out in my mind as a large problem for several months, and it’s finally good to see someone with social weight bringing attention to it, and then also seeing it get lots of attention from places such as Hacker News. It’s something I’ve debated about many times and I have come to really despise the stigma that exists in our society regarding child pornography. I just wanted to share some of the aspects of this topic that I believe are important yet weren’t mentioned in your article.

    In our society, child pornography is difficult to acknowledge because it combines two of the biggest stigmas that our society fights. The first is sexuality outside of marriage. We come from a society that is extremely conservative especially regarding sexuality. There are people from my local church that did not ever kiss anybody until they were married. My church celebrated this ‘accomplishment.’ The second is that we are very over-protective of children. We are discouraged from letting our kids run around the neighborhood unsupervised, even if they have been exposed to topics like stranger danger and live in a very good neighborhood. Combine these two things with the constant brainwashing from the media and you get a stigma that is very hard for a person to overcome. A freethinker who has never been exposed to the idea that legalizing child pornography is a good thing will have a very hard time taking any sort of argument seriously. There’s too much momentum in the other direction. Having said that, it’s important to break the ice slowly (and perhaps over a period of several conversations) with anybody you are trying to ‘convert.’

    Legalizing the possession and distribution of child pornography does not mean that there will be more of it produced. Currently, there is pressure felt by the child porn communities to produce child porn. The (http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2011/08/feds-hack-past-user-anonymity-bust-72-subscribers-to-child-porn-horror-site/) dreamboard bust revealed a website that heavily pressured members to produce new content. Part of this pressure potentially came from the fact that the content was not already available, and content that existed in the past had been lost to busts. Briefly switching to the topic of snuff videos, the majority of snuff video websites do not produce content. They attain pre-existing content and aggregate it. This is most likely what would happen if child porn were to be legalized. If child porn gets legalized, there will be a lot more scrutiny applied to the videos that get released. If a video is released to the public of a crime being committed, it is more likely that the criminal will be brought to justice. This is not only good for catching criminals, it’s also good for deterring criminals. If I am a producer of child porn, I am going to be much more comfortable releasing it to a community where I know it’s highly unlikely that a non-pedophile will see it (because it’s illegal for someone to possess my video). But if I know that someone might take my video and post it onto the public and legal childporntube.com, I might think twice about producing it in the first place.

    And then there’s the idea that someone viewing a rape is damaging to the person that got raped. I’ve seen interviews of people who were raped as children (and the video propagated), and they speak about how every time they see a person, they wonder if the person has seen their video. To me, this is more of an inability to overcome the tragedy that has happened. At the end of the day, if you get raped and humiliated, that’s something you shouldn’t try to block from memory. It’s a part of your history and it’s a part of who you are today. It’s not pretty, but it’s something that you can overcome. I think a lot of what holds people back is consistently being told that they have been permanently damaged. If a person is told over and over by professionals that they have been abused in a permanent way, the prophecy will fulfill itself.

    Another very common argument is the idea of ongoing distress caused to the victim by having a video that has been seen by many people. This is a real thing that happens and can sometimes cause people lots of distress, however I think it’s an issue that can be overcome. If you got raped and thousands of people watched, that’s terrible! But it shouldn’t be something that you can’t overcome. It’s a part of who you are and trying to forget that it happened by outlawing the video isn’t going to undo the pain that happened. Accepting the tragedy as a part of your history and using it to make positive changes in your life (or to motivate you to make positive changes in society) will allow you to overcome the pain. There are also other examples of videos that cause distress, for example viral videos like the star wars video that ‘ruin’ the life of the person being made fun of in the video. Does that mean that videos such as these should be outlawed? It comes down to the same style of problem solving. Either you lament that nobody likes you and you writhe in pain, or you accept that you did something silly/stupid/retarded, and you move on. If everybody you see comments on it, you keep with you a few clever phrases to dispel the tension.

    But the bottom line is still the same, and lots of people are afraid to accept the truth. Banning the possession of child pornography is just as bad as banning the possession of a highly controversial book. The freedom of speech is extremely important, and child pornography is a giant loophole in our constitution that gets exploited to block other freedoms as well. And there are legitimate reasons for possessing child pornography. What if you want to make a documentary on the life of an underground child porn star (even if s/he was brutally abused)? What if you want to keep cute pictures of your kids in the bathtub? What if you are explaining internet culture and you want to dedicate a part to Tor? These segments might offend people, but they still have legitimate reasons to be protected by free speech. People get offended by exposed penises. But pornography is still legal, and with good reason.

    • 74.1

      Hi David,

      Thank you for your well-articulated thoughts that add important context. I must say that I am… very surprised… that there are still people who don’t have sex before marriage, and the notion that people wouldn’t kiss before marriage is completely alien to me.

      This is a key part of my analysis that you highlight:

      If a video is released to the public of a crime being committed, it is more likely that the criminal will be brought to justice. This is not only good for catching criminals, it’s also good for deterring criminals.

      If I film a presidential assassination, my name is recorded in history for centuries. If I film a horrible rape in attempt to bring the perpetrator to justice, then I’m the bad guy? That’s not going to bring molesters to justice.

      Cheers,
      Rick

      • 74.1.1
        Anonnymoose

        Over in Australia, I knew a man who wouldn’t kiss anyone intimately until he was married, and had only once even innocently kissed, clothed-mouthed, anyone except his mother. I knew a few other people from his church, and they thought he was a bit weird but still someone to look up to as a person who actually followed the rules they professed.

        • He didn’t. The NT in four chapters discourages marriage. One Gospel has the long version which forfends the married of resurrection. He’s also supposed to cut off his limbs, sell everything, hate his family and own life, play with snakes, drink poison, cast out demons, eat or drink anything without fear, be brides of Krist.

  76. [...] Gründer der Piratenpartei, Rick Falkvinge, will „Kinderpornografie“ wieder legalisieren. Dazu führt er drei Argumente [...]

  77. [...] Falvinge, Gründer und erster Vorsitzender der schwedischen Piraten, fordert die Legalisierung von Kinderpornographie. Das tl;dr lautet in etwa: Kinderpornographie ist das Totschlagargument der Content-Industrie und [...]

  78. 75

    Thanks for writing this article. I think the law is more complex in the US than you’ve written – as I think that some states make different distinctions and the prosecution has discretion that varies by jurisdiction.

    As a Tor developer, I’ve been attacked for supporting an absolute right to read and an absolute right to speak. No exceptions of any kind should be built into the fabric of our networks or into the fabric of our societies. Prior restraint is wrong, flatly. I’ve made a similar argument to the one presented in your article during public lectures, usually during Q&A time, as a response to extremely angry people in the audience. It usually feels like they haven’t thought things through.

    It is important to drive home the point of similar cases where a video is in itself horrible but the crime captured is important to expose. As an example, I present a video. It’s absolutely terrible – a person mulling around during a protest with a red shirt is shot in the head; his brain spills out onto the ground and he appears to die instantly. Here is the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mpIol2xBPQQ

    So, what is the problem here exactly?

    The problem is not just the video tape of a Thai King’s sniper killing a person, it is the sniper who kills a person. The video is also presents a problem. It presents evidence that seems to compel people and it moves people to anger or sickness. Those that see the video, I think, should feel the need to take action about the actual crimes documented in the video!

    That video is evidence of the sniper’s crimes and to censor it is to take the last moments of the victim and to snuff them out entirely. Again. What could be more despicable than to forever silence the truth about a person unjustly murdered by a monarch and his sniper thugs?

    I find it hard to imagine but actually, your article drives it home: the thing more despicable is to systematize it in the form of censorship and to do it in the name of protection; who gains with the video I presented? The tyrant king and his violent murderers.

    How many murdering military snipers, abusive cops or monarch’s thugs are on the internet? After the Occupy videos I’ve seen, I’m guessing it is non-zero and likely higher than the total number of child pornographers in absolute numbers. Though I admit, I wouldn’t be surprised by an overlapping set of assholes in those two sets.

    Do we ever hear about needing censorship of the internet based on those known internet using criminals and their often well documented crimes? No, not seriously. We rarely, if ever, even hear about accountability thanks to the Blue Shield.

    It sounds odd but I think, rightfully we shouldn’t make such an argument seriously. Everyone has a right to speak, even alleged murdering snipers – they also have a right to a fair trial, where evidence, such as the video above, will be used as evidence in an attempt to bring justice. To ensure that justice is created, we must know about the crimes committed against humanity.

    We must not shy away from it, that which is so terrible to see and even more terrible, I imagine, to experience. Nor should we destroy the greatest medium for sharing those potential truths that the world has ever seen and certainly not to benefit profiteers, kings or murderers.

    • 75.1

      Hi Jake,

      While I wouldn’t even say that I disagree with you at the end of the day, I definitely think it’s useful to acknowledge and humor the sincere elements of the other side (of which there are, in this case, plenty) when it comes to certain issues.

      This is one where there are reasonable points to be made from the other direction, and I think it’s important to acknowledge those so that they can either be refuted, conceded, or otherwise addressed.

      The main hole I see in what you wrote is this: I think there’s a crucial distinction to be drawn between the video you described and any given one of child pornography. Namely, that in the case of child porn, the perpetrator of the crime is in league with the documentor of it. In the case of child porn, the videos are produced for the titillation of the viewer. By criminalizing possession (once again, not that there aren’t any real and serious problems with doing so), you reduce the market, the demand, for such images, and hopefully make their production less lucrative.

      In the case of your Thai protester shooting video, I’m guessing that its creator took and published the video in hopes of bringing the perpetrators and enablers of the crime closer to justice. By censoring that, you lessen the impact of the video, exactly as you say, and encourage more summary executions like that one. By censoring child pornography, you lessen demand and, theoretically, shrink the industry.

      Does that make any sense?

      Now, whether it allows others to shy away from it is a completely separate question, and a perfectly valid one on which I think all of your points I agree with.

      Cheers,
      @adlwalrus

  79. 76
    Bernd

    I agree that child porn should be re-legalized. My past self would be surprised by this, but I came around in the digital media and connection era.

    The truth is that there is a mismatch between the severity of a prison sentence (or even a domestic search by the authorities) and the mere possession of media data.

    There is also the point that people think that much child porn is more violent that it actually is, on average. And people cannot correct this misinformation because of the material’s legal status.

    I also agree with the slippery slope arguments regarding other free speech, even though I think they would be in and of themselves insufficient to justify re-legalization.

  80. 77

    Fascinating issues you raise.

    “In the end it’s as simple as this: it should never be illegal to merely possess information, any information.”

    Let’s suppose some hypothetical near future in which someone makes available simple instructions for a bomb the size of a suitcase that can vaporize the entire planet. Let’s say the instructions are so simple that it requires merely the click of a mouse button to send these instructions to your 3d printer. What if the click could destroy an entire galaxy? These scenarios might seem far-fetched but the accelerating pace of technology could mean they are a lot closer than we think. The assertion above might still be argued to be valid, but I’m not entirely convinced that it is as simple as you claim.

    • 77.1

      Dear Carl,

      That’s an interesting extreme (but the law is tested at its extremes – the exception proves the rule, as it is said).

      As a more contemporary counterpoint, I could make a nuclear bomb off the information found on Wikipedia about its construction, if I had only access to the fissile material (which I don’t by a long shot). This would be the same type of problem. What are your thoughts on this?

      Cheers,
      Rick

      • 77.1.1
        lol

        What a bullshit dude. You can’t make a nuclear bomb with the instructions you find in the internet. You can maybe make a dirty bomb with some radio active material, but not a nuclear bomb. Maybe you should read up on what a nuclear bomb is before pretending that you can build up one.

        While the dirty bomb still can cause high damage and contamination, it’s no where near a nuclear bomb that could blast of a whole city of the size of new york. So shut the fuck up and trying to find some unrealistic examples to justify your crap

        • Anonymous

          With what you can find on the net, you could probably build a Little Boy, given a high-quality machine shop (you need to mill two flat surfaces under inert gas), suitable equipment to make sure you don’t poison yourself, and suitable fissile material. Sure, it would be horribly inefficient, but it would be very likely to work. Sure, you couldn’t wipe out the entirety of greater New York or London, but you could do serious damage to a whole CBD.

    • 77.2
      Mårten

      If someone came up with “a bomb the size of a suitcase that can vaporize the entire planet.” that can be printed with a 3d printer I am pretty certain we are all completely screwed. :)

      On the other hand, I am pretty certain that is impossible. While technology is improving at an alarming rate there are physical laws that even the most advanced future technology has to follow, such as energy conservation: you can only get so much explosive energy out of a bomb as you put into it to begin with.

      Like Rick says, it is not hard to figure out how to make a nuclear bomb, it is hard to get hold of the weapons grade uranium. Something not even a country like Iran seems to have fully succeeded at despite trying for a while now.

      I would worry more about global warming, WW3, etc.

    • 77.3
      Jan AndersenJan Andersen

      First you will have to ask if making it illegal to posess the information about how to create a planet buster bomb will keep the information out of the lunatics hands.

      If it will not, then how do you increase the chance of someone coming up with a method for detecting or better yet prevent the bomb from working?

      By keeping it a secret or by letting everyone contribute with ideas?

    • 77.4
      Anonymous

      Can you come up with a way to stop the information spreading, without violating one of the key principles of the Pirate movement?

      Can you think of a way to reliably catch anyone who is serious about keeping it secret that he has the information (as opposed to curious kids, people with open proxies, and so on), without breaking Pirate principles?

      If you can’t stop the bag guys trading the information, and you can’t catch them possessing it except by some other source of information which provides evidence of a criminal conspiracy, you’re left with only punishing people who aren’t really all that evil. That, to me, seems monstrously unjust.

      Of course, possessing such plans might be evidence, in conjunction with other factors, leading to confinement under mental health laws, just like possessing plans of a bank isn’t in itself illegal (except, perhaps, for copyright violation), but if you have an oxy torch, some diamond drills, and so on, you’re likely to end up convicted of conspiracy to commit a robbery.

  81. [...] Pirate Party founder Rick Falkvinge has written a must read essay on why “the battle over freedom of information” will be fought over laws banning [...]

  82. 78
    WOlter Schneider

    What he wants to express is, that we should deal rationally and logically with this issue, not get caught up in an emotional response. That’s how you solve problems, not by tabooing them.

    • 78.1
      Pengalor

      I definitely agree. I have been lambasted before for defending pedophiles (while differentiating a pedophile, ephebephile, and child molestor). People refuse to adopt understand in these situations and act entirely on emotion.

      I’ve had multiple similar conversations with my father. My father is a very intelligent man and is wiser than most people I know with the common sense to back it up. However, he has told me that he thinks it is wrong, for example, for an older man to date a young woman (by this I mean say a 40 year old dating a 20 year old). When asked for the logic behind this it’s often met with “Well, I just think it’s gross, that person is young enough to be my son/daughter!” This says to me that everyone is susceptible to these situations and illogical beliefs formed on emotion. Same with incest. I’ve heard people say incest is wrong and these people must be sick for being attracted to a family member. When I ask them exactly what is wrong with it as long as they don’t procreate then come up empty handed. Taboos are taboos because the reasons against them are not logical. They are based off of kneejerk emotions and deeply ingrained social dogma. We need to encourage people to open their minds and release their judgement. They need to look at a situation and whether it is actually harmful or whether we are letting our judgement be clouded by disgust or disdain.

  83. 79
    Thomas Küppers

    Dear Rick,

    This discussion is contra productive and bad communicated.

    Also it comes to a critical time: The pirate party in Europe should talk about the serious problems in Europe and not about such a theme of more academically interested.

    The people believe in us because they hope we can change their life’s and can create a better world.
    With the article you brought fear to the hearts of Million parents. You also constrained our efforts of being recognized as a serious political party.

    Please wake-up and realize your responsibility as founder of the Pirate Party.

    With best regards

    Thomas Küppers

    Pirate from Germany

    • 79.1
      Brin

      Dear Thomas,

      as far das I can tell, the issue has been raised deliberately by Rick personally instead of the Pirate Party because it is toxic. I’d hate to see the Pirate Party rejecting his well-reasoned thoughts without need, because Rick addresses something which has irked me a LONG time now: That you can destroy somoeone’s life by planting data on his computer, that you can go to jail over drawn images.

      Rick is definetely not taking the easy road by addressing this, but I think this needs to be addressed sooner than later – the laws are getting worse and worse (“Jugendpornographie”), and thus harder and harder to repeal.

      This needs to be discused, we need to start somewhere. Maybe the Pirate Party should not touch the topic directly because it is toxic, but I’d also hate to see it stabbing Rick in his back over his valid arguments.

      Brin – also a Pirate from Germany.

    • 79.2
      Density

      Fear to the hearts of millions of parents?

      Is this about a horror film or about real life? This affects everyone. The fear you’re talking about is created by those who claim that owning CP must be illegal. It is the very reason why everyone started to “protect” their WiFi networks in Germany with passwords about a decade ago, even if they would like to share their access point with others. Sooner or later, no one dares to own *any* pictures of children or adolescents, not even pictures from ones own childhood.

      Have the German Pirates become too successful and forgotten what they stood up for in the beginning?

    • 79.3
      Anonnymoose

      One important issue, which Rick has mentioned in other posts, is that everything which is necessary to actually catch serious CP collectors is the same as what is required to catch people with pirated films. (By serious, I am excluding people like sexting teens, parents with bath time pics, and that sort of thing – I mean the type of people that Anti-CP crusaders want people to think of.) Apart from using honeypots or undercover police, the other techniques used to discover potential CP collectors are all things which the Pirate Principles reject: breaking private encrypted messages, spyware, banning and breaking into private communications, and so on.

      Of course, undercover police or honeypots would have to be delivering real CP to collectors, or they’d be shut out of the “rings” they are going after.

      That means that, if police investigative powers were restrained in ways which I am sure you want, the only people who would be getting caught, apart from a few idiots, would be the people who are currently victims of the law, making the law hopelessly unjust.

  84. 80
    Liberal

    I don’t understand, why viewing naked teens is illegal while watching gore sites, where people got raped and butchered in real life seems to be legal?

    Nudity is no crime.

  85. 81
    David

    Somebody send the FBI to this guy’s house and search for child porn!

  86. 82
    Matt

    My verdict of your article: utter nonsense. Here’s why:

    The example of witnessing a child rape in a park with streaming glasses is totally contrived and no judge will convict you of child pornography in that case or similar cases. If someone then took this stream and uploaded it onto a porn portal, that’s a different issue. I’m quite sure we don’t want to conflate these two separate events juridically.

    As for your teenage lovers example, there have been some extreme cases, mostly in the USA, but I’m quite sure normal teenage behaviour, including them sending each other nude pics of themselves, can be decriminalized again where such incidents happened, without having to decriminalize a completely different offense – child pornography. It’s a matter of definition, not a binary question. Then again, if a third party, or even the participating persons themselves, took those pictures and uploaded them onto a porn website, that’s a different matter altogether. Although, then of course, there’s still a difference in _who_ did it. Decriminalizing all possibilities is certainly not a good answer.

    As for your third assertion, that child pornography being illegal opens the floodgates for all kind of censorship, this is, of course, not an automatism. It is quite clear that a number of interest groups exist in society that would want to introduce, and extend censorship. However, here in Germany, we have successfully fought a law that would bring censorship under the pretext of fighting child pornography (v. d. Leyen’s “Internet stop sign” censor-list proposal) through e-petitions to parliament and demonstrations, _without_ the demand of making child pornography legal. These proceedings show that those two issues are not interlinked.
    You are doing free speech a disservice by adopting the language and pretense of enemies of free speech by claiming that child pornography is free speech. It is not and should not be decriminalized.

    • 82.1
      Anon

      The thing is, all of these examples have already happened in the US, it’s not an extreme, it’s a daily occurrence. Your reasoning isn’t based on reality, it’s purely emotional. Parents have lost their children for taking pics of them bathing, people have been imprisoned for reporting finding CP on the internet, and CP was made illegal in the first place by feminists trying to ban ALL pornography. The very first CP law passed in the 70s/80s contained more laws regulating adult porn than child pornography. CP is used as a trojan horse all the time.

      Look up a childrens book called Show Me!, or some of LS Studios images, this is the stuff being made illegal. Completely harmless.

  87. 83

    Oh Rick! Have you ever expected the intellectual plebs in the lobbies and parliaments to only have a clue about what you`re talking? I think those who didn´t understand your article maybe will give you a shitstorm. Currently in Germany it´s getting worse: the parliament(Bundestag) is up to legalize genital mutilation of minors … at the same we have the legislation you described on teenagers takeing photos of theirselfs. … so where and how to effectively ‘fight’ these economic interests behind that? Crowdfunded buy out?

  88. [...] Kinderpornografie aus Von Marion Lenke, am 10. September 2012 um 16:47 0 Tweet In einem Blogbeitrag hat sich Rickard Falkvinge für eine Legalisierung von Kinderpornografie ausgesprochen. Die [...]

  89. 84
    Lol

    Dude, your are an idiot. Two 17 years olds who film themselves while having sex is no child porn. Child porn is actually 1-14, 15-18 actually falls in the category of “minors”. While sex with and by minors is still illegal, it’s a different when it comes to the penalty.

    You disqualified yourself as being an idiot

    • 84.1

      Dude, your are an idiot. Two 17 years olds who film themselves while having sex is no child porn.

      Now, jurisdictions differ, but in Sweden (and I assume most of the EU) this is most definitely the case.

      • 84.1.1
        Anonymous

        IS Hungary not in the EU? In Hungary the age of consent is 14.

      • 84.1.2
        frodo911

        Of course this is most definitely nonsense. Is it really that hard for a self proclaimed net citizen to perform a simple check on wikipedia?
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ages_of_consent_in_Europe

        • That article refers to age of consent to having sex. The age for being photographed in sexual contexts is an entirely different animal. Do not assume that they’re the same concept because they happen to coincide where you live, for they are quite different in most places of the world.

          In Sweden, age of consent for having sex is 15, and for being photographed in sexual contexts it’s 18. It’s a strict limit, so two 17-year-olds having voluntary, consensual sex on camera is textbook child abuse imagery.

  90. 85
    mikator

    “So, on your lovely stroll in the park, you turn a corner, and to your shock, see a 12-year-old being brutally raped right in front of you.”

    Yeah sure, and what if, when you turn away because google turned you into a live video stream zombie that cannot act on their own anymore, in the next corner another 12 year old is being raped?

    You are so right Mr. Rick Falkvinge, this is a reason (and I even added another) for legalize child porn! This would have soo much positive side effects, like every illegal child porn consumer and finance for that all, would turn into an investigator! No more raids and unmasking of ideal homes and people. What a great new world this would be – Child porn consumers and Google glass Zombies watching each other and broadcasting it to the rest of the world! Finally, we would be civilized, Rick Falkvinge for president!

    To be serious: first they tried to censor the internet because of child porn. They failed, probably also because there is no way to accidentally stumble on child porn. Now the same who claim they prevented this censorship push for things like “child rights”, which are nice words they use to hide bad things, like “free sexuality for children” and the “right of choice for children” i.e to get vaccinated without parent consent.
    Children are easy formable and therefore we must protect them from hazardous influence. What is more harmful for a little soul than too early sexuality. The numbers of sexual disoriented people is growing as you can see on parades and demos. Even if they (grown up men) warp themselves in pink butterfly costumes, they are sad and lost. They want to destroy society as their lives have been destroyed. For their proxies like the new political parties i.e “the pirates”, to attack the most weak his is an easy way to generate more of these hidden society (and everything else) haters. These parties and people are not rebels who push for good, the opposite is true. It is the old world order in new clothes pushing for a new world order, which is the same as the old except their perversions happen in daylight in the public and are broadcasted for everybody. And as usual they call it freedom, rights, improvement etc.

    • 85.1
      Jan Andersen

      As you stroll along in the park a woman falls down apparently from a heart attack.

      You have some training in performing CPR and other lifesaving measures.

      Do you try to resurrect her, or are you afraid of getting sued if she dies, and merely calls 911?

  91. 86
    Mel

    I had to stop reading after the second point — especially because I’m pretty sure you’re missing the reason child porn is illegal.

    It’s not that we can’t stand to see or think about, nor that we think its horrible (though we do). The reason it’s illegal is that children can’t consent to it. Consider it similar to statutory rape laws — a 12-year-old has no clue whether or not they want to appear in public nude.

    Obviously, you’re example with 17-year-olds in love is a different story and can be argued — but considering people weren’t allowed to vote until 21 less than 50 years ago (in the US at least), I’m not thinking we’ll agree that 17-year-olds have the ability to make such informed decisions about life.

  92. 88
    POS

    you sick F U C K.
    When we reach you, you’ll be the first witness of a legal snuff movie,
    with you as victim, and every normal person will accept it as legal.

    You are exactly the person who stands in front of the kindergarden
    with a bag full of sweets.

    Try to find out what inmates do to people thinking like you,
    hopefully it will be the last thing you find out.

    But trust me, there will be some one changing your mind for life in a sec.

    no regards

    the non sick people of the world

    • 88.1
      harveyed

      You clearly care more about your own feelings of disgust than about the children you EGOISTIC PIECE OF CRAP.

      Making it illegal in owning EVIDENCE of CHILD RAPE will make it more difficult in finding and prosecuting the real child-molesters.

      So stop being a disgusted ego and start to think about the consequences if no one dares to go to the police with the evidence! If people don’t dare to go to the police with the evidence, then the children are far worse off!!!

      • 88.1.1
        POS

        So you think by making your passion legal, that you help any child?
        I would like to know the name of the dope you take every day.

        Police is not even able to scratch their asses, so how could they help, even when some one goes there.

        And when it’s legal, what do you try to do agains these people …

        You belong to Hitler times. Guy’s like you…

        • harveyed

          How would you like to be accused of child pornography if you brought evidence of molestation to the police in order for them to try and find the molester?

          “Police is not even able to scratch their asses, so how could they help, even when some one goes there.”

          Oh wait, it must be that you clearly have no intent in even trying to get the real CHILD RAPISTS in jail. You actually admit it yourself… so what do you propose would be a good thing to do to reduce the number of child molestations?

          “You belong to Hitler times. Guy’s like you…”

          No, YOU belong to Hitlers times.

          Hitler was the guy who put homosexuals and other “perverted people” in death camps. I bet that’s what you would like to do, had you only got the chance. It is censorshop that starts society to evolve to something even close as totalitarian as Hitlers Nazi rule.

        • POS

          Yepp, you’re right and you are the first one they put in jail for that.

          By the way, tracking my computer, mail, address etc. makes you not look like a loyal party.

          Looks like you need to know who are the people that are not your opinion….

          ISP is informed.

  93. 89
    Matt

    By equating child pornography with free speech, you’re doing free speech and the fight against censorship a disservice. You’ve adopted the pretense of censorship proponents that no censorship means free child pornography. This is a huge mistake, both strategically aswell as factually.
    There can be free speech without child pornography, it is a matter of sound definition, not a binary question. If you think you need to conflate these two independent issues, then maybe you should ask yourself if you have a personal problem with child pornography being illegal, and not with free speech being suppressed.

    • 89.1
      harveyed

      You are wrong. You can’t stop any communication without censorship. That’s the definition of the word.

      And for the second matter there are serious flaws in illegalizing child porn: the most important one being that it is difficult to show picture- or video-evidence of children being molested to the police or other authorities without risking to be seen as a child pornographer. At least this has already happened in Sweden, I don’t know about the situation in your country, but it is easy to imagine that most people would be very reluctant to put themselves at someones elses mercy of calling them child pornographers.

  94. 90
    Ano Nymous

    Hi Rick! Could you respond to my comment #28? I’m sure you’re busy, and if you don’t find it worthy of the time it takes to answer it, i accept that, but I think the Google Glass (my mistake calling it Google Glasses) is a big and important problem that deserves discussing.

  95. 91
    RayJoha

    Hmm.. read and re-read, including all comments. A few “important” people, mostly on Twitter, seem to be in opposition to this article and it`s notions. PP in Germany and AU distancing themselves. Really interesting stuff happening.

    But…I think Mr. Falkvinge simply is trying to get as many of us as possible to read and think, not about CP, a boring and complex challenge for the next decade.

    If I subtract CP, I end up with this: Possession of information, depending on lack of criminal intent, should never be illegal.

    This is easy to agree fully with.

  96. 92
    Daniel Wimed

    I’m a swedish piratesupporter and the neither I nor the Swedish pirateparty agrees with Rick on this subject.

    • 92.1
      Micke Kuwahara

      I am (or at least I thought I was) since its founding a Swedish piratesupporter and I agrees strongly with Rick on this subject and you have no right what so ever to speak for the whole pirate party and all of its member. Information CAN NEVER be illegal in a free society.

      • 92.1.1
        Mab

        Dear Mr Kuwahara

        The Swedish Pirate Party agrees with Mr Falkvinge regarding the fact that the current legislation in a lot of countries are problematic but disagrees with Mr Falkvinges sollution. The Swedish Pirate Party believes that only pictures of sexual abuse of children should be defined as child pornography and that willful possession of such pictures should continue to be criminalized.

        This is the position of the Swedish Pirate Party, supported by the national board and our current Party leader. So Mr Wimhed was indeed correct when he stated that the party does not in fact agree with Mr Falkvinge on this matter. And this should come as no surprise to anyone who’ve followed the party’s history as Mr Falkvinge was rebuked back in 2010 when he as, at that point, the party leader of Piratpartiet advocated the very same opinions he advocates here now.

        Best regards

        Mattias Bjärnemalm
        Board member
        Piratpartiet

  97. 93
    Victor

    I’d like to pinpoint that some of the situations pointed by Rick have already happened: A couple of years ago child porn prosecution in spain came almost to a halt due to the declaration by part of one of the state fiscals that reporting it is itself technically a crime as you would have possesed the offending materials.

  98. [...] Falkvinge hat auf seinem Blog geschrieben, warum Kinderpornographie legalisiert werden muss. Beim Lesen dieser Zeilen bekomme ich das kalte Grauen und Wut, unglaubliche [...]

  99. [...] und auch überhaupt sonst ein bemerkenswerter Mann und Politiker. Vor drei Tagen nun hat er einen Artikel auf seinem Blog veröffentlicht. Titel: “Three Reasons Possession Of Child Porn Must Be Re-Legalized In The [...]

  100. [...] mich gerade dabei, darüber nachzudenken, ob ich überhaupt einen Blogeintrag über Rick Falkvinges Einlassungen zum Thema »Kinderpornographie« schreiben soll. Die Schere im Kopf klappt gerade mächtig auf. Bei [...]

  101. 94
    Hugh

    Rick, I was accepting your argument until you started villifying evangelicals. For the record, I am a secular Jew. I also used to be a criminal prosecutor. You would be amazed at the diversity of opinions that exists between seriously religious people. Your apparent hatred for them discredits you and weakens your arguments.

    Also, your discussion of the possibility of being charged with a criminal offense for the inadvertent recording of sexual abuse of a child misses some important points. First, child porn laws are different in every jurisdiction. Second, believe it or not, even strict liability criminal offenses have defenses. The prosecution still has to prove a connection between the contraband and the defendant. I have had drug possession cases thrown out because we could not prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the cocaine hidden under the trash in the defendant’s car was put there by him and that the cocaine in his bloodstream was there because he intentionally ingested the drug.

    • 94.1

      Whatever his opinions of crazy people, religious or not, they have no bearing on this argument. If they bother you, that’s too bad. You should then ignore them, and focus on the argument.

      • 94.1.1
        Hugh

        The writer’s biases and prejudices affect his credibility and limit his ability to make his arguments appeal to a broader population. His incomplete description of Christian evangelicals calls into question the completeness and veracity of his history of the laws behind the bans on child porn.

        Likewise, his over simplified description of the legal consequences of unintentionally recording and broadcasting contraband will hurt his ability to appeal to legal professionals.

    • 94.2
      Anonnymoose

      Over here, “Christian values” or “family values” in political terms usually means that a person is not only opposed to any kind of sexual expression other than within a married heterosexual couple (and possibly with even more restrictions than that), but also that they want all aspects of society to either enforce their idea of the one true sexuality or to deny the mere existence of anything else. (It often also means that the person wants things like state-funded Christian religious instruction, or doesn’t believe in an old earth.) Pretty much the only times other politicians mention personal faith is when arguing that Christianity doesn’t require so-called “family values”. A lot of those “family” politicians are tied to, and effectively endorsed by, American-style evangelical churches, and that means that in political terms, “evangelical” is almost synonymous with “puritanical moralist”.

      Since Sweden is even more secular than Australia, I would expect that to be even more the case over there.

  102. 95

    This Article is doing damage to all the Pirate Parties around the World !

    • 95.1

      Yes, German Pirateparty is allready under pressure by the mass media. Dont think it is good for the movement to write about complete legalization to own such material. This will help the Government and mass media to accuse alle Pirates/activists of being pro Pedophile if we need to fight against censorship the next time. So this is definitv not a big help, it is indeed doing damage.

      • 95.1.1
        Density

        The way I see it, this blog entry went viral in Germany *after* the German Piratesparty released a press release commenting on it. I also doubt that the Germans think Rick Falkvinge represents the German Pirateparty, and in the past they sheltered a rather well-known member who joined them while being charged for owning child pornography. That didn’t seem to be a problem back then, and the fact that he was later convicted and sentenced didn’t hurt the German Pirates either. But perhaps the last CP discussion in their party has left some scars and some of them have grown allergic to the topic.

      • 95.1.2
        harveyed

        Have the mass media in Germany already forgotten CensUrsula and the organization of volunteering victims of child abuse who spoke out against censorship? How very sad.

  103. 96
    Trutzblankehans

    You address a problem, that needs to be addressed. Good thinking. But I think your approach is so wrong. If law is tested by its extremes, than what about the people with gigabites of documentation of abuse? Should they rely be encouraged? I give you credit for the right questions. But just because Censilia and all the other freaks abuse the children a second time when they use the childporn as a reason for curtailing the information we should not take to the opposite extreme and forget about the protection of our children.
    I think the legislation needs to be worked on, but that doesn’t mean that we should legalize CP, but that we have to stop humoring religious fanatics.
    Regards
    Peter
    PS: to the non sick people of the world: first read, then THINK and then realize that you have nothing of value to say.

  104. 97
    DavidXanatos

    This topic is definitely a difficult one,
    I think there are a few things any rational person can agree on:
    1. making pictures of your self must always be legal and making things with your own body you self want must always be legal
    2. artificial pictures no Mather what they depict are nothing more than fixated thoughts and thos also must always be legal
    3. being grown up and dressing yourself as whatever and make a porn must always be legal

    Now booth above things are illegal under the usually EU/US CP laws, thats bad that should be fixed.

    But what about the things that are “real CP” I mean the documentation of sexual violence against a real person whom was a minor during that time.

    Rick has a point in saying that a video where some gets booth knees shot and his back broken is legal to posses.
    I think I may be wrong but I think violently put raped is much less traumatizing than being bitten into a weal chair shouldn’t booth survivors be protected the same way?
    I think they should, if this goes now towards baning mere possession well, ok, that may be a little bit over the top, but for example banning the purches and distribution would be reasonable.
    afaik. it would be illegal to sell a snuf video at least as long as the victim is still alive that would be a violation on privacy/personality rights.
    The same would apply to when your land lord makes secret videos of you sitting on the crapper and tries to sell them. I’m actually not sure about the possession of such videos if they are illegal.

    And thats kinda the point laws against “real CP” are technically censorship, but so are other laws to that protect ones privacy.
    The simple fact is that if you allow undiscriminated any information to be freely traided you can say bye bye to your privacy.

    We should reform the laws so that not simply a depiction of a minor doing something sexual is illegal, but only recordings of actual sexual violence against minors.

    This would also mean if you are over 18 and want to sell your childhood porn you made your self you should be allowed to do that.

    David X.

  105. [...] in a blog post that “the possession of child pornography should be re-legalized” (see here). And with that he focuses on possession in terms of digital material stored on your computer. This [...]

  106. [...] “Three Reasons Possession Of Child Porn Must Be Re-Legalized In The Coming Decade“, the article discusses child pornography. Falkvinge’s key argument is that the current [...]

  107. 98
    Tragor

    Dear Mr. Falkvinge,
    while you are perfectly right, this posting does hinder your cause. The problem is that most people do not have the mental capabilities to think about this rationally. They will only see that you want to decriminalize something in connection with child abuse, and that is it. Even that you have good reasons for claiming this will actually help reduce child abuse will go unheard by most. Rational argument is futile, if the targets are incapable of understanding it.

    One thing the Pirates may need to learn in order to be politically successful, is that most people are idiots and in love with their own misconceptions. The proponents of unconditionally criminalizing ownership on child porn do know this fact very well and are shamelessly exploiting it for their dark goals that have nothing to do with helping children and everything to do with silencing anybody not to their liking.

    • 98.1
      Anonymous

      I believe this is exactly the wrong way. In the end, your line of reasoning leads to using manipulation, arrogance etc. to ‘deal’ with ‘the populace’ as a politician. But in the end, that just back fires and as soon as you try to use manipulation – for example – to achieve your means, it will be exploited for example as a taboo by others.

      Like this very issue.

  108. 99
    Density

    On Offbeat China, I found this article:
    http://offbeatchina.com/too-much-internet-freedom-for-minors-in-china-a-10-year-old-girl-blackmailed-after-nude-video-chats-with-a-11-year-old-boy/

    It tell a story about two children having a nude video chats while one of them records the sessions. Now is that article more about the blackmail that followed the chats and what children nowadays do in their spare time, but this discussion about CP give the story a totally different meaning.

    Imagine your child would record a video chat session of another child. A nude session of course. And as children try to imitate adults, the recorded video is unmistakingly and intentionally of a sexual nature.

    After some time, a friend, a colleague or perhaps a neighbour visits you and uses your computer for a few moments. He stumbles upon the recording and as a good citizen reports you to the police.

    This could virtually happen to anyone with children.

    I wonder if it actually means that we have to mindcontrol our children in various ways or watch 24/7 what they are doing?

    • 99.1
      Tragor

      No. We will need to tell them to be careful about this issue. This will mean explaining to children what this is about. But that is basically it. It is a new danger, but there is no way to contain it without draconian and completely unacceptable reductions in personal freedom.

      Some children will damage themselves (and others) by stupidity, no matter what. This is just a new way to do it, there is only so much than can be done to protect them. Just think of children that cannot distinguish between important and unimportant. Sooner or later they get run over by a car, fall of a bike without a helmet, blow themselves up, get electrocuted, poisoned or burned, etc. Some manage to learn something from this experience. Those that do not will repeat it. Come to think of, this happens to adults with that particular disability as well.

      • 99.1.1
        Density

        I think this is different. If your child commits homicide, you won’t be called a murderer. And in the case of 15-year-olds, it would probably a matter of hurting themselves, but 10-year-olds would most likely hurt their whole family and lose their parents. And as we approach times where even 5-year-olds know how to use the Internet, I wonder how I shall explain to them what “porn” is. Or even worse, how can we explain to a 5-year-old what “indecent” means?

        Frankly, the only way I can think of is to tell your children not to take photos and videos of themselves at all, because they might lose their parents because of that. Perhaps also forbid them any nudity in public, so they won’t cause any harm to others.

        • Tragor

          Ah, the legal aspect is different. (“Losing their parent” is legal fallout, not an effect of their pictures/video being in the public.) The legal aspect is really, really messed up and the only way to deal with this is to fight it as a parent. That has been made hard by all the political vultures riding on the “child porn” meme. But it needs to be done.

          As to understanding: Maybe understanding the problem is a minimal requirement for Internet access for children. There are others. For example, they will run into normal pornography pretty fast anyways. Basically a bit of playing with a search engine is enough. So they need to have some idea what that is and that it does not depict reality.

          Another area where the laws do not match reality. There is no protection except teaching the kids common sense.

  109. 100
    anon_90210

    Sorry but I completely disagree.

    - As you mentioned in the update, no court will convict you if you happen to walk in on a rape. Other people’s streams will help to prove you were not doing something illegal. But with this example you already jump to an open and widely used technological innovation that poses grave privacy issues imho. Wether or not it is a public place, I do not think everyone should be allowed to record – and stream! – by everybody else walking around. Isn’t it of of the aims of the pirate party to protect personal privacy in public, even for the criminal? In case it would be legal to possess/record/stream, crimes will attract an audience (I expect some for monetary reasons simply to gain followers) which will not be motivated to interfere in the act (this would end the show).

    - Yes, youngsters will try to view porn and it is the duty of adults to atleast try and hide it. Allowing them to freely use every means of technology is simply madness and will lead to an excess stream of child pornography all over the internet.

    - I agree child pornography is abused to impose censorship. Tweaks to the policy are required to make sure the laws don’t get imposed to a wider field and judges need to make sensible decisions. This is an opportunity to create public funding opportunities for programmers developing filters to completely block the possibility to create or view child pornography imagery.

    • 100.1

      > As you mentioned in the update, no court will convict you if you happen to walk in on a rape.

      Actually, I mention the exact opposite: these are strict liability laws, and while discretions differ between states, the general rule is that if you knowingly have the material recorded, you’re guilty.

      Cheers,
      Rick

  110. 101
    Commander Sinclair

    You said what needs to be said. I admire your courage. Despite having written articles like this one, I never published them. You’re very brave and you’re doing the society great service. Child porn needs to be openly and rationaly discussed. There also needs to be research. A lot of it. We can’t make policy decisions based on emotions and mere theories. That leads to unsound tactical decisions and we might end up hurting the kids we’re trying to protect, as we’re doing right now.

    With current strict laws, even the research of child porn is illegal, which isn’t helping at all. The media conveys distorted vision of child porn which doesn’t exist in the real world. There are plenty of myths, but nobody wants to stand out and debunk those. All you have are a couple of comments from pedos who – unlike the rest of the world – know what they’re talking about. You should read them. But who trusts anonymous comments? And who has the courage to investigate this matter himself? In the end, we’re making blind decisions and laws that hurt not only the kids they’re supposed to protect, but the rest of the society as well.

  111. 102
    printersMate

    Having re-read through the comments, several thing are obvious, arguments against making possession are often nuanced, an are mainly concerned with the definition of child pornography being stretched to cover images that do not, repeat not, show any evidence of any actual crime.
    Those that simply want the law unchanged seem to be largely under the impression that it refers to child abuse image and films only.
    I can’t remember where I found it, but I once heard a podcast by a man who had been abused by men when he was a child. He was firmly of the opinion that banning child porn hindered him by indirectly making it difficult for him to ‘speak’ about the issue. Because indirectly it made other people unwilling to talk about the problem.
    One of the problems with censorship, it makes a topic taboo, as some of the reaction to Ricks posting and the discussion show. The worst comment on this article are those that say child porn bad, no discussion needed, which sweeps the matter under the carpet.
    While not directly related to the topic under discussion, the following article is fair representation of a victims relationship to a horrific image.
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2012/jun/02/girl-vietnam-napalm-photo-peace
    Incidentally under some definitions of child pornography, the image would be illegal to posses.
    Another point worth making, which came out of bus of video equipment taken round schools near San Francisco, is that giving children the tools and a bit of training allow them to describe things that have happened to them, and how they feel about them. Sometimes when a person says that they can’t speak about something traumatic they mean that they are literally unable to talk about it. Given alternative tools, that can make films, or cartoons that describe what happened, and how they feel. Making all form of child pornography illegal cuts of this means of expression.
    I will be interested to Ricks list tomorrow, but various incidents of accusation, and conviction have more of the feel that the law has extended the definition of child porn to enable convictions to be obtained easily if they are made. As a legal tactic this is not that far removed in effect from the Spanish inquisition and witch trials that occurred around the same time. The inquisition used torture to gain a conviction. Anti child porn advocates have are using the definition or pornography to cover almost any images of children.
    Censorship involves a catch 22 in trying to carry out a sensible discussion, only indirect reference to t6he censored material can be used, as use of actual samples of censored material is breaking the law, as proven by the material being found illegal.

  112. 103
    me

    I think you just see one side of the dime. You totally ignore the victims. You have no idea what it means to a little boy or girl to get raped. The trauma that sexual violence against children causes can be compared to the trauma that soldiers suffer from when witnessing the most brutal scenes you can imagine. And this trauma, in manny cases, will stay for the rest of the victims lifetime. The wound will never heal.

    Do you know what trauma means? You see a movie or listen to a song that reminds you of something deep in your subconscious. Suddenly you are scared to death. You are not able to move. You have the feeling not be yourself anymore. You totally lose control over yourself.

    Often victims are not able to build up long lasting relationships. Women e.g. are scared when a men is sitting next to them. They can say to themselves: “This is not dangerous. The guy won’t hurt me.” But when fear is burned into the subconscious, you have no control over your emotions. You are simply scared.

    Do you know how humiliating it is for a victim to imagine that the worst, the most painful experience they ever made is being watched by broad public? Most victims will wish to die while having that thought.

    I know someone who experienced the issue. And believe me, often enough her life is just a nightmare. She needs highly dosed medicals to get more than two hours of sleep.

    The scenario of the google glasses you make out is very unlikely to happen. How often does someone witness a child being raped?
    And even in case you do: call 911. If you witness a child being raped today (without wearing google glasses) and you back the offender, you incur a penalty as well. So where is the difference? In case you wear google glasses, you have a proof. Thats the only difference I can see.

    To demand that child pornography should become a legal thing just because in some very rare cases someone innocent could become a suspect is ludicrous.

    How about the hundred thousands of children that will get raped if your sick idea would become true? Your claim is absolutely disproportional.

    I hope the party congress in Neumünster was the last time we saw you as a guest of the german pirate party. Luckily enough Bernd Schlömer said that you are totally out of the line/totally out of your mind. I totally agree with him.

    • 103.1
      Fork Freedom

      You have completely and utterly failed to see the point.

      • 103.1.1
        me

        Please explain what you mean.

        How can legalizing child porn be the solution?

        Where does the article respect the feelings of the victim?

        • Density

          How do CP laws respect the feelings of victims? In many places it is illegal for 16-year-olds to photograph themselves having sex, regardless of whether the intercourse itself is illegal or not.

          The feelings of the “victim” are absolutely irrelevant in such a case. If the produced content is of a sexual or just “indecent” nature and you’re in the wrong place or have the wrong nationality, you may face a few decades of imprisonment and lifelong listing as a “sex offender”.

          I can’t think of

        • harveyed

          The thing is that anti-child-porn laws literally encourages adults to look away if they see any evidence of children being molested. That actually helps the pedophiles in getting away – because if no adults dare to go to the police out of fear of being called “child pornographer” when showing the evidence, then they are much less likely to get caught.

    • 103.2
      AnotherPoster

      As another poster said. You failed to see the point. Also, data please. Also, consider people wrongly accused. Also, consider children accuse wrongly. Now, please start thinking.

    • 103.3
      phillipsjk

      This is a very important issue, and most the initial responders seemed to have missed me’s point.

      To use a less polarizing excample, Virgin Moboile trolled Flicr for CC-By-2.0 licensed images to use in an AD campain.
      Source: http://www.flickr.com/groups/central/discuss/72157600541608353/

      The issue comes down to privacy, something that the Pirate Party is equally concerned about. The Ad campaing was a voilation becuase the “models” never gave permission for their likeness to be used to sell products and services.

      In Canada, I think the redistribution rape evidence may fall under the Youth Criminal Justice Act.
      [quote="Section 118(1)"]
      Except as authorized or required by this Act, no person shall be given access to a record kept under sections 114 to 116, and no information contained in it may be given to any person, where to do so would identify the young person to whom it relates a a young person dealt with under thios Act.[/quote]
      I am not clear on how the act applies if the perpetrator is over 18 though. Section 119 generally specifies that records must be destroyed after about 1 year. Discolsure is prohibited, but I don’t think simple possession has any pelaties.

    • 103.4
      highks

      “I think you just see one side of the dime. You totally ignore the victims. You have no idea what it means to a little boy or girl to get raped.”

      And how exactly does the current legislation prevent those horrible things from happening? Exactly, it doesn’t. It only hides these cases better so we don’t have to see them.
      And in addition to that, it leads to 15 year olds being imprisoned for taking pictures of themselves or people losing their jobs and children over drawn anime cartoons which don’t even have to be sexual.

      Your argument is like when people say because crack cocaine is horrible and dangerous, we need to keep marihuana illegal, too.

  113. 104
    THINKNOW

    Wow I thought 5 seconds and here is the reason why child porn should never be legal.

    If there is a market, there is production!

    And no “they produce anyway” please.
    Today probably only the sick do it, if it would be legal a lot more would try it. And as it is with sick making things, weak minds get stuck.

    • 104.1
      Len W

      Maybe I misread you, but: nobody’s arguing that it should be legal to *produce* CAI, where children are abused in the process. Yes, if we changed the laws to something like Rick is proposing, it would be legal to produce imagery like CAI cartoons, where no-one is actually abused. And then more people might produce and sell it. That might seem revolting to both me and you, but will it actually do any harm?

    • 104.2

      “THINKNOW”, the child pornography “market” is not driven by money. There’s very, very little commercial child pornography. It seems to work more like the “market” for pirated software; users swap it between themselves for free.

  114. [...] Gruß an Rick Falkvinge… Bewerten:Weiterprollen:TwitterE-Mail Hinterlasse einen Kommentar Hinterlasse einen [...]

  115. 105
    IDontFuckKids

    You pedophile motherfucker, you sick bastard, I hope someone cuts your fucking penis and balls off…and very slowly and painful!
    I hope some hooligans or whoever will “take care” of you. I only hate that the community will have to pay your certainly expensive hospital bills! PIG! Pigs are slaughtered, didnt you know?

    • 105.1
      harveyed

      Please use your brain as a human for a change instead of going on your blind fucking monkey-rage.

      This anti-child-porn law actually PROTECTS the pedophiles – because if other people are not allowed to look at or have evidence of child molestations – how the fuck are you supposed to give that evidence to the police without risking being caught for child porn??

      Laws forcing adults to look away from the problem of child molestation is counterproductive as fuck.

  116. 106
    MC

    If you had titled the article “Child Porn laws should be improved with a bit of common sense so police resources can more effectively be focussed on protecting the victims” you might have actually made a usefull post for mainstream discussion.

    But you didn’t, consequently it comes off as a cheap piece of trash masquerading as journalism by a nut job with an overwhealming sense of entitlement complaining that his own personal freedoms are being encroched upon by an oppressive and vindictive minority.

    In that regard I consider you no different than the christian fundamentalist idiots you spend paragraphs railing against.

  117. 107
    Nemo

    If the possession of documentary film recordings of Nazi exterminatory acts against entire races and populations is not illegal within the purview of the legal systems in question then neither should the visual recordings of illicitous sexual acts involving subjects juridically held to be under the age of minority; for the latter artifacts cannot logically be described as more ethically despicable or deleterious than the former are to humanity as a whole.

  118. [...] but here’s three reasons to legalize possession of child pornography. Rick Falkvinge explains here. The examples are far-fetched, though they are valid [...]

  119. 108
    WTF

    You seriously frackin’ need to review strict liability before you spout your mouth off any further. Censorship of child porn is a greater injury to society than, well, child porn?

    Actually it was that point when I simply stopped reading, because I can only handle so much over-privileged stupid in one day.

    • 108.1
      Anon

      How is child porn in any way a danger to society. You realize it used to be legal right? You know it didn’t effect society in any way right?

    • 108.2
      harveyed

      Banning child porn hurts the children. Because if it is banned, people don’t dare to go to the police with real evidence of child molestation and rape. The fewer people who dare go to the police with such ILLEGAL evidence, the fewer molesters and child rapists we will catch!

      • 108.2.1
        mavrik2

        your a freakin idiot…would love to have you listen to the child pornographers that tell about the real kids they have molested and that the child pornography images and videos helped fuel the desire. you stupid moron

        • Anon

          So in turn, because you watch porn of people screwing in a police station, you will go out and hit on police officers?

          It just doesn’t make sense that an act that will always leave a child at least traumatized is charged with less than an act which coul,d possibly, convict a serial rapist.

        • harveyed

          Watching ordinary porn doesn’t turn people into rapists. Why would child porn turn pedophiles into rapists? It’s rather the other way around. If there is child porn available – the pedophiles can sit in their basement and quietly wank off – and thereby curb their desire instead of walking around, raping children.

          Much better if you could have legal child porn which is produced in a controlled manner (cartoons or young-looking adults) than that the pedophiles would have either no porn at all or even worse – to have to make the porn for themselves – and actually damage children in the process.

  120. 109
    Francisco

    I dont know how old you are and frankly am too lazy to go search for it, but I found you text outrageous and as if written by some ignorant child with no real life experience. I have the feeling that your political career ended today. You have just indelibly associated yourself and your party with child porn. This article wont bring you any more votes. (you may get some votes from the child molesters). If you wanted to be a provocateur, you should have asked for a job at Ryanair.

    • 109.1
      harveyed

      Please, Francisco, use your brain.

      The laws against child porn protects the pedophiles, because people don’t dare to turn in evidence to the police out of fear of being called child pornographer. This has happened in Spain. The police say themselves that they don’t get any more evidence against child molesters because of the child porn laws.

  121. 110

    how could you seriously have thoght that headline was a good one?

    I do not want to be associated with people that writes such headlines.

    • 110.1
      knallfrosch

      Wow, this pretty much sums up the article, intentional or not. Congratulations!

      Don’t think about whether the law makes sense.
      Don’t think about whether changing or removing it would help children, innocent citizens, the freedom of speech and our democratic systems.

      Let’s just stop thinking and look away.

  122. [...] now we might actually get to have this discussion thanks to an opinion piece published by Rick Falkvinge, the founder of the Swedish Pirate Party. He is explaining how our current laws are written by [...]

  123. 111
    Nick

    I’ve thought for quite some time that if Christians really wanted for there to be more virgin children out there they would allow ten year olds to watch porn. Same goes for rapists because I’ve hard on the news, which can probably be verified by a quick google search, that there have been less rapes per capita after the invention of porn on the internet. This would probably extend to child molesters too; less pedophiles if there were legal post-pubesent (as you put it) porn. Just like how 2 hours of violent video games a day can be more of a violence inhibitor than 8 hourse per day of exercise. The information of violence helps suppress the desire to actually act out in a bad way.

    • 111.1
      mavrik2

      Nick you a freaking idiot….too bad the protection and freedoms we have extend to people like you

      • 111.1.1
        harveyed

        So basically you are saying that you despise our democratic rights of free speech..?
        The cost of free speech will always be that people are allowed to say things that risk making you disgusted. If you don’t like that, move to North Korea or some of the sort instead of destroying our society.

  124. 112
    Think of children

    There are pedophiles around. Should they be jailed for life for what they are?

    If not, then how does availability of solo-sex material that suits their needs affect their behaviour in real life?

    Regarding Rick’s comments on Christians: What is the typical response, when suspections of child abuse rise in catholic shools? Should the true believers start by cleaning their own nest first? Buy some porn to the priests, to keep their hands off the choir boys.

    • 112.1
      harveyed

      Actually there are studies on that which are done on “ordinary porn” and how it affects rape-frequency. As far as I understand, societies where “ordinary porn” is legal have lower rape-rates than places where porn is illegal.

  125. [...] läs denna artikel och bli inte förvånade om ni själva kommer argumentera för legalisering av barnporrinnehav [...]

  126. [...] last article about the counterproductive laws on the topic of child abuse imagery has drawn quite a bit of attention, and I’m very happy [...]

  127. 113
    Chris D

    I’m impressed with your willingness to address this issue. I would not dare be so bold. The arguments are mostly well thought-out, and presented with a level-head. I have little to add, as I agree with your ideas here. Cheers.

  128. [...] Besitz von Kinderpornografie soll legalisiert werden. Diesen Vorschlag macht Rick Falkvinge, Gründer der schwedischen Piratenpartei. Seine Idee stieß schon innerhalb weniger Stunden nach [...]

  129. [...] Three Reasons Possesion of Child Porn must be Re-legalized in the Coming Decade [...]

  130. [...] relevant sa givet Falkvinge’s to sidste artikler om børneporno (1, [...]

  131. [...] Falkvinge will Kinderpornografie legalisieren hier der originale Blogbeitrag: (in englisch) Three Reasons Possession Of Child Porn Must Be Re-Legalized In The Coming Decade – Falkvinge on Info… ich lese darin die Ideen von einem, der findet, dass die heutigen Gesetze weder dazu geeignet [...]

  132. 114
    Mike Smith

    I give you a lot fo credit for having the courage to publish your views on this subject. I agree with a few things you said (re: two teens having sex with each other and first amendment concerns), disagree with a few other things, but the main thing is that it should be ok to have an adult conversation about this. You have been attacked since putting your views forth. That, in and of itself, should show us that change is needed. This gut reaction that anyone who wants to discuss child pornography is somehow sick or crazy is quite frightening.

    For example, I am for the decriminalization of marijuana, yet I have not done any recreational drugs in about 30 years. I do not smoke pot. I do not think it’s good for you. Yet, I think it’s insane to lock people up for possessing small amounts of marijuana and to treat these people as if they are drug lords.

    Possession of child porn should be legal because anyone can click on a link and have that image put in their cache. Anyone can be sent an e-mail anonymously that has attachments of child porn. And anyone can use someone else’s PC and/or hack their router, etc. The mere possession should not be a crime. The bar should be higher. There’s a world of difference between someone who surfs porn sites and ends up with underage photos in his browser cache by accident versus someone who pays for child pornography from the person who is taking the pictures! Also, nudity should not be treated the same as photos of young children being forced to have sex with adults! If I have a photo of my daughter in our bathtub at 3 years old, I’m a pedophile? Ridiculous.

    Again, thank you for taking the risk. We need more brave people to stand up and say we need to have an adult conversation about this. Pointing a finger and yelling “monster” doesn’t cut it in a civilized society.

  133. [...] or adult pornography). I stand corrected: Rick Falvinge, founder of Sweden’s Pirate Party, has taken up the pro-legalization cause. (Interesting choice as a policy focus, but to each their [...]

  134. [...] Überlegung steckt in Rick Falkvinges provokativem Blogpost mit der Forderung, der Besitz Kinderpornographie müsse legalisiert werden.  Falkvinge ist prominenter Vertreter der schwedischen Piratenpartei und hat auf seine Forderung [...]

  135. [...] Im Kampf für ein freies Internet und das Recht auf freie Meinungsäußerung und Information begibt sich der schwedische Piratenpartei-Gründer Rick Falkvinge nach Ansicht der Piratenpartei Deutschland ins Abseits. So fordert er in einem aktuellen Artikel die Re-Legalisierung des Besitzes von Kinderpornografie, um deren juristische Verfolgbarkeit zu verbessern sowie die Vereinnahmung durch die Content-Industrie zu verhindern. http://falkvinge.net/2012/09/07/three-reasons-child-porn-must-be-re-legalized-in-the-coming-decade/ [...]

  136. 115
    harveyed

    Great that you dare to make this stand Rick. Please refer to CensUrsula in Germany too.

    The child-porn-censors are WRONG and they KNOW it. The worst thing they could get is an opponent who is both brave and smart.

  137. 116
    HappyKnut

    There is a difference between shaving and cutting your head off – one can have laws that protect the images of child rape while at the same time not criminalizing parents taking pictures of their children in the bath. Stop the moralizing and view the content objectively, one might find that the rights of the victims in the images are more important than our “right to information”.

    • 116.1
      phillipsjk

      The difficulty with balancing the rights victims with the right to information is essentially the “Coloured Bits” problem.
      See: What Colour are your bits?
      http://ansuz.sooke.bc.ca/entry/23

      Even if the now adult victim of a child abuise film gives persmssion for redistibution (however unlikely that is), it will be impossible to determine that from the film itself. I suspect some of the problem with computer generated imagery is that the photos are *too realistic*, and easy to confuse with the real thing (Again, it is the process of generating the image that is important, not the content of the resulting image itself).

      The outrageous example given by Mr. Falkvinge about witnessing a child rape with augmented reality glasses brings up all kinds of privacy issues. This summer, a man was assualted for wearing augmented reality glasses that do not stream or record video.
      Source: http://www.sync-blog.com/sync/2012/07/futuristic-glasses-get-u-of-t-professor-assaulted.html

      While it is generally accepted that you don’t have an expectation of privacy in public, wholeeale recording of video may allow authorities or stalkers to follow you retroactively simply because the information exists.

      If the rape takes place in public, does the victim have an expectation of privacy? If the rape is recorded in private, how does that change things?

      Can the victim ever give permission to redistiubute the video? Can the child’s parents or guardian grant redistribution permission on the child’s behalf? Does it change things if the parent is the perpetrator? The answeres to these questions can never be detrimined just by examining the bits making up the video (unless it is included in potentially unturstworthy meta-data).

      Given that the Pirate Party advocates short copyright terms, copyright law is a poor fit; and would likely lie with the photographer anyway. That said, the Copy-left model may hint at ways such things can be selectively allowed on a case-by-case basis.

      • 116.1.1
        anonnymoose

        The obvious basis for law would be the existing framework of privacy law (which determines where is “fair game” for filming and recording audio – usually what can be seen by an ordinary person in a public place is OK, and everything else is not) and model release law (which limits when you can publish photographs of people – that varies a lot more, but typically if it is principally of a person, or taken in private, you need the subject’s permission).

        Under that model, the parent would be able to consent to publication, but that raises issues where the parent is the perpetrator.

  138. [...] claim for the legalization of child porn without following waves of anger. Here is the blog entry: Three Reasons Possession Of Child Porn Must Be Re-Legalized In The Coming Decade – Falkvinge on Info… Reply With Quote « Previous Thread | Next Thread [...]

  139. 117
    Dag

    You make all these arguments that CP laws mean evidence of abuse gets destroyed, but then you propose that we “limit the child pornography laws to cover pre-pubescent children only”. Did I misinterpret that or are you suggesting we only protect teenagers against abuse, and not children? You did propose it as the solution to “the particular problem” of “shoving your fundamentalist religious morals down the throats of insecure teenagers”, so maybe you didn’t mean to say it was the “full package” solution to *all* issues surrounding the CP laws, but I’d just like it clarified.

    • 117.1
      Rick Falkvinge

      This is an excellent point. I tried to propose solutions section by section, acknowledging that each problem that I presented didn’t necessarily in itself justify a wholesale re-legalization of possession of child abuse imagery.

      In the case of teenagers being unjustly prosecuted for something that harmed no one and which they did willingly, I suggested that specific solution.

      It is not a solution to the problem of people not daring hand in evidence of child abuse. To address that particular problem, though, wholesale legalization of possession isn’t needed either – just an unconditional clause that you can always leave material to the police.

      Overall, I argue that the ban on possession was written with a different intent than protecting children, and admit at the same time that a complete revocation of the ban may not be necessary to solve the worst problems I enumerate, but I also question its effectiveness in solving any problems at all. If it’s not effective in helping, it should be revoked for the collateral damage it causes.

      Cheers,
      Rick

  140. 118
    Elijah B.

    Whatever merits of your argument were demonstrated in your article were, in my view, hindered by your flaming of “fundamentalist Christians”.

    You described us (without any restraint or exclusion) as “despicable” and “nut jobs”. You described the ECTWT (as you said, the E stand for Ecumenical) as a “fundamentalist Christian” organization: you don’t appear to understand that fundamentalist Christians are not ecumenical. Because fundamentalist Christians, by definition, hold to the plain teaching of the Bible, they cannot ecumenically embrace those in the churches who don’t do this. Fundamentalists are a tiny minority in any nation, even the USA. You will find that it’s the ecumenicals, not the fundamentalists, who are pushing a social justice agenda to strengthen laws against child porn. The ecumenicals, in turn, typically reflect (to some degree) the liberal perspectives found in the non-Christian world. You are libeling a group of people who don’t belong to ecumenical organisations.

    Perhaps you believe that any Christian who has a conservative view must automatically be a fundamentalist. Such is not the case. I should also point out that just a very few generations ago the western world almost universally embraced the biblical perspective of morality, even if most people were not biblical Christians. Christians and society were more in step back then.

    If the moral perspective is different now from what it was then, who do you think has changed – the bible-believing Christians or the world? If the world has changed its morality, is the change our fault? Your comments reflect those who have departed from the biblical foundation of society, yet you pour hatred out about us as if we are the cause of the evil that’s in the world. In this you are not any different from a great many others in the world today who blame Christians for the wold’s problems.

    I am not saying to transfer your hatred from the fundamentalists to the ecumenicals. It’s your hatred that’s the issue, and using your article as an excuse to express it is pretty poor stuff.

    Your diatribe against fundamentalist Christians, or Christians in general, is ill-informed at best. You have contributed to the hate speech we are experiencing from people in many places these days. That you have an obvious hatred of us is your choice and I don’t imagine this message is going to change your mind, but you are unjust in what you say, and I wasn’t going to let this article pass without calling you out about it.

    You have influenced others to hate us, as I’ve seen in a number of the comments made above where more hate speech has been made against us.

    • 118.1
      Byrel

      Indeed. Chirstian fundamentalists don’t tend to like ecumenicalism at all. I almost cracked up when you said the ‘E’ in a ‘fundamentalist’ christian organization stood for ecumenical.

      Another place you seem to be mistaken about is the agenda of fundamentalists. Most of us are secularists; we believe that government should be entirely neutral in the field of religion. We also tend toward the libertarian end of things.

      Your arguments were fairly sound; your attempts at ‘finding the culprit’ were not. Quite bluntly, there’s a large segment of the population in the US who conflate government and culture. They want the government to ban things that are culturally impermissible. I suspect most of them would support a law banning just such videos as the murder you linked to. It’s the same group that supported movie ratings and regulation after all, and that regulates excessive violence as well as sex.

      Way to go championing a worthwhile cause. Take care when dealing with blame though, as it can easily fall on the wrong people.

      Prove all things, hold fast that which is good.

  141. [...] I have just read an extraordinary blog. It was written by someone called Rick Falkvinge. He founded the world’s first Pirate Party in his native Sweden. The title of the blog is “Three reasons why child porn must be re-legalized in the coming decade”. [...]

  142. 119

    Dear Falkvinge,
    from the perspective of a German pirate, I’m in two minds about your piece.

    On the one hand, I rationally adore the craftsmanship of your arguments: While some of your models to illustrate a point may be a little keen in the eyes of some people, it generally works. For me, it really transports the message, that we need to differentiate A LOT MORE than we do so far, when it comes to those issues in concern, in order to come to balanced results.

    On the other hand, I have come to understand (which was hard, but well-earned – with a LOAD of help from my pirate friends…!), why there was such a crap typhoon after you published it: In German public(-ized) political discourse, the philosophical essay does simply NOT PLAY A ROLE any more (that was around 1800 until, maybe, 1918…). Germany is all about realpolitik. I deeply hope that you come to understand, how it came to pass, that the “Bundesvorstand” published that press release, and those personal commentaries by Udo Vetter and Andreas Popp.

    But probably, this calls for quite a bit of explanation.

    2009 was a difficult year for Pirate Party Germany. As Ursula von der Leyen’s outlandish campaign to mobilize the German people against the internet (i.e., in her portrayal, against that evil hoard of child pornographic filth and not much above that), Pirates in Germany had to fend for their good renown by NOT LETTING their (I wasn’t a member then, yet) party be connected to any discourse other than those condemning child pornography, or those not talking about that AT ALL. The topic had a huge divisive impact upon German society. If ANY German Pirate had ventured to write a piece as your recent one, all of 2009′s success of the party in Germany would have evaporated.

    In Germany, there is IMO a much harsher mechanism of “mainstreaming” public opinion by means of media, than in some other parts of the world. This type of mainstreaming makes heavy use of emotional effects, and of “Skandalisierung” (oddly enough, there seems to be no such article as that lemma in any other Wikipedia than the German one, http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skandalisierung – or I didn’t look hard enough; roughly: Scandalization). Part of Skandalisierung is, that some discourses stand before a strict fork: EITHER invoke to some unspoken(!) morality of the assumed majority that will be recipients of the discourse, OR be shoved off with your rational argument to the far-off corner of an unreliable voice which was only heard from the abyss of conspiracism (OR, thirdly, to remain silent in the remainder of the debate, stay on your toes and keep your head down). One major prerogative of ANY political group in Germany is, to handle those (apparent) restrictions.

    For a digression into history, let’s visit the German version of the Age of Enlightenment: It’s high period was roughly bipartite, for one, there was the “Aufklärung” (which translates as Enlightenment, roughly mid-18th century), and then somewhat later, we had “Sturm und Drang” (mid- to late 18th century). And the latter, IMO, partly initiated 19th century’s Romanticism, which rebelled against reason and rationality (which, then, had been recuperated by the state).

    AFAIK, at least England and the United States had nothing to compare to that rift in magnitude: While Victorianism represented a tremendous intra-societal stabilizer for the Anglo-American world, consoling Christian faith with the state, religion was an element of resisting elements of society within (the wider) Central Europe. The continent was more fascinated with consoling the military with society, while some strains and expressions of religion were part of resistant(!) practices and early muckraker activity. In my perception, two consequences result from that: First, in the Anglo-American societies, there was no cross-cultural divide between “heart” and “mind”, which, in contrast, is one characteristic phenomenon when it comes to German intellectual life. And second, as “heart”(i.e., the political…!) and “mind”(i.e., the philosophical) got separated back then, the former became the tool among and towards the masses of the people, while the latter remained a luxury reserved only for the social elites. At least the USA did not maintain any such staunch class barriers between their socio-economic stratums, and neither did England nor (AFAIK) did any country in Scandinavia.

    I think the divide between emotional, moralizing discourses on the one hand, and rational, elitist discourses on the other hand, that we can observe in Germany’s society of the 20th and 21st centuries, are partly due to the divide between rational “Aufklärung” and irrational “Sturm und Drang” (later: “Romantik” / Romanticism). In turn, Skandalisierung became one key mechanism in maintaining hegemonic discourse in German media.

    And as we, the Pirates of Germany, have to deal with Skandalisierung on an everyday basis, we have to watch our steps very closely. Any press release, that had fallen short of clearly distancing Pirate Party Germany from your #3reasons blog post, might have turned into a month-long running the gauntlet for Pirates with public and / or media exposure. This may be good or bad. Probably, most people never reflect on this kind of considerations.

    My personal opinion is, that EVERY discourse as serious as this one deserves(!) to be conducted without any harassing fire by excessive emotionality, unexplicated assumptions of moral standards disturbing it. Instead, this kind of discourse should be conducted as rationally as possible, and in as “KISS” terminology as possible, at the same time. While I am aware of the fact, that this blog post of mine does not fulfill the KISS criteria (at all…! m) ), I hope to make contributions within the pirate party to nurture that future, in which Skandalisierung is merely a marginal phenomenon, and the one with the better, more thought-over argument calls the shots – and classism / elitism in German media, politics and education vanishes for good.

    (Here comes the Pathos-heavy ending…)

    But this is an Utopia (that is, an εὖtopia, IMHO – which, by the way, is an Anglo-American reading of Greek, again…), And we have to fight for it. While we have to be aware of the intricacies of each of our regional cultures, we must never let each other down, in order to make a Pirate Internationale of some kind actually work. While we have to struggle against many kinds of resistance, let us never raise blades against each other. Pirates of the world, no matter how diverse your provenance and disposition, UNITE!

    But still let’s refocus on offering common platforms… ;-)

  143. 120

    Rick,

    Awesome article. You have more guts than anyone I know, and write more clearly and sensibly than anyone I’ve ever read on such controversial topics. People don’t like to hear hard truths, and you will certainly gain some enemies over such opinions. The truth stings, but it must be told.

    Censorship in all forms is evil. Freedom of information, freedom of speech/expression, these things must be absolute. We may not agree with the speech/expression/information, hell, it may disgust us, and make us physically ill, but that is no excuse for limitations.

    Cheers!

    • 120.1
      Thomas

      So the right to personal integrity is less important than “freedom of information, freedom of speech/expression”? The right to personal integrity for victims of crime, raped children, is that “censonrship”?

      • 120.1.1
        harveyed

        You have the same problem always in law. In the end you must provide evidence to get someone inprisoned for a crime – but the evidence itself may be inconvenient and or disturbing for the victim – portraying them as weak and taken advantage of.

        But the argument to at all cost protect the integrity of a victim actually helps the child molesters much more than it helps the victim! If no one is able to or dares to bring evidence of crimes to the police, the perpetrator will always get away… So the shaming and scaring that is being done really hurts the children much more than it hurts the child molesters.

        • Thomas

          If I understand you right, you claim that it is ok to violate the right to personal integrity, provided that it is about evidence for a crime? With the same logic, you must appreciate the Swedish FRA regulations, since their mission is to prevent crimes. And during that process, one could argue that they breach the personal integrity.

        • harveyed

          The victims’ integrity is already broken for fucks sake – the perpetrators in the case of a child molestation already have the power over the child porn data. Censorship or mass surveillance won’t do a thing since these people encrypt and anonymize their communication.

          However, if anyone else was to get ahold of it – any well willing citizen – the only sensible thing to do would to have laws in society that encourage them to show the evidence to the police – and not to scare them from doing so.

        • Thoma

          According to your weirs logic, if the personal integrity is violated once, it is ok to violate again and again? Does that logic hold for any other breach of integrity? If its broken once, it perfectly ok to violate it again and again.

          My argument that you support the swedish FRA is not based on technology or how effiecent it is. Only that you are reasoning to support the advantages of violating integrity if this can be used as evidence in a criminal court or to prevent crimes.
          The logic is identical!

        • harveyed

          No Thomas. It is your logic that is lacking.

          You don’t explain why making child porn illegal would help the victims. Do you think the real child molesters send these images on “the open” on the internet? No. Of course they don’t. They are very careful to encrypt and anonymize their data.

          Therefore banning child porn together with mass surveillance and censorship won’t help the victims even one bit. We need the police to to do real investigative work and infiltrate these molesters hidden social life. We also need all help we can get from ordinary citizens in daring to go to the police with whatever evidence they may find.

          Your method of trying to put shame on the victim is the real disgusting part. We adults need to dare to talk about these things. If the adults cower away in fear and shame from talking about and describing the problems in society, how would that ever help anyone??

  144. 121

    The UK seems to be moving in the opposite direction. Bill proposed to outlow forms of written word : http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-19574487

  145. [...] hat, und zwar “Child Porn Laws Aren’t As Bad As You Think. They’re Much, Much Worse” und “Three Reasons Possession Of Child Porn Must Be Re-Legalized In The Coming Decade”. Der Mediensturm war erwartungsgemäss beachtlich, der Skandal-Tenor der Mitte-Rechts-Presse [...]

  146. 122
    Christian

    It’s a pity this article did happen. It hurts the pirate party movement very much. Do you really value information freedom over privacy and human dignity?

    More than any information freedom I value the right on pictures of me and my privacy, especially when a picture shows me in a situation that turns my life into a nightmare and other people want to watch it to cum on their keyboards.

    Of course people who accidentally click on this stuff should not be prosecuted, but only because this is hard to determine, you shouldn’t legalize it. Murder is also sometimes hard to investigate, but I am happy to pay taxes for this.

    • 122.1
      Mårten

      What do you think is more important to the victim?
      a) To catch and convict the molester and stop the abuse.
      b) To prevent someone from ‘cuming on their keyboard’.

      • 122.1.1
        Christian

        Ah, I see it’s a simple a or b choice. How about both of them? Only because somebody obviously incompetent says there is only one thing you can achieve, it doesn’t has to be so.

        You dont make laws to weight some injustice over another one. When you deny a child the right to prevent/control the existance of photos of their own abuse, it’s only a small step to a world without privacy.

        • Pirate

          Tell me a place in world where u can live in privacy.

          1. When you go out of your door, your neighbour then the public, private and business/shop cameras know you and RFID Reader and your electronic devices (phone) send signals to trace you. (You have to get off the energy supply/battery of your device to calm your device and not to be detected by officials/police.)
          When you buy things via (credit, payback etc.) card all (local) business men (supermarket, shop, advertisers, banks) know what you need.
          You leave data with your personal name and time stamp even when you dont want to.

          2. When you are back home, your neighbour, the water/energy facilities and your ISP will know what you do when you do it. Take a shower, bath, wc or washing machine session, sooner or later the smart grid
          (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smart_grid)
          tells the supplier how much he has to replenish. It will be only a matter of time to hear or see commercials in your own bathroom, since you have no other way to afford clean water.
          Do some cookings or dinner/lunch/breakfast and the supplier know if you sleep or not. Get online and every click on your keyboard or mouse or telephone leave information about you.
          The same for being at work.

          3. The state, the officials collect and centralize mandatory disclosured information of any business you do and they go online with this files and sell it because they have no money, too. Thanks to the crises.

          4. If you think you better hide in the jungle not to loose your “right of information” etc. The only difference between here and there is that here it is regulated so you can look at your collected information and sometimes you have the right to delete.

          5. In the USA the gouvernment has your baby’s DNA even when parents dont know or agree to collect it. Have a look at:
          http://edition.cnn.com/2010/HEALTH/02/04/baby.dna.government/index.html

          Already today you only have the feeling to live in privacy.

        • Christian

          I live in Germany and privacy is taken serious here. Of course privacy alone is not the reason for prohibiting possession of certain information.

          Everybody should be able to control the distribution of certain data. This process must not be supported by censoring robots, but by convention, law and humanity.

          Technically one could create an infrastructure for providing metainformation about resources, that everbody can anonymously access. This would allow everybody to access autonomously information while being aware about risks and if crimes have been committed to distribute the resource.

          Would you try to prevent the distribution of a video where you are shown being raped? Wouldn’t you think it is your right that, if you want it, nobody else is allowed to possess this piece of information?

        • Pirate

          1. Would you try to prevent the distribution of a video where you are shown being raped?

          You only can try to prevent the distribution of a video, when you achieve knowledge about and before it is done. You could not prevent the distribution (at all) of any video even if someone is not raped when you don’t notice the existance. Every now and then you are kept on a storage device when you walk along at home or as a tourist elsewhere. It only depends on those – who take you (by chance) on camera as you went into their dear motive to be captured via cam – to set this on public record or not.
          You can delete websites with pornstuff as easy as you can rip out a site of a book. But the one who has the original or a copy of it can it put back as easy, too. It must not be on the same place, that would make it too easy to delete it again.

          If you bring them to court for deletion reason you only draw much more attention to it: Streisand-effect.
          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Streisand_effect
          And as you are living in Germany take a look at:
          http://www.focus.de/panorama/boulevard/kriminalitaet-bmw-grossaktionaerin-klatten-erneut-erpresst_aid_417513.html
          when Mrs. Klatten get blackmailed by one gigolo and three other men for making an affair with him public or not.

          I would advice anyone to try to prevent the distribution when you could trace the person/victim with this video. If it is anonymous postet as if it is a file like others no names and so on, better do hands off. Otherwise you do the connection between you and this special file. The internet doesnt forget anything unless the storage devices get kaput on their own. The best is to tell executives about it, so they can secretly get to the source and to its copies, just in case…

          2. Wouldn’t you think it is your right that, if you want it, nobody else is allowed to possess this piece of information?

          If you feel better, you should have this right, but it wouldn’t change the fact, that if it is once distributed it never comes back. You never can be sure that nobody has a copy of it. It’s like democracy: Once the citizen go to an election the power didn’t return to the citizen. And you only go to the next election when you fear that another party do the same but with another (small) emphasis/weighting you dont want.

          Besides: If someone distributes childporn and didn’t make the file anonymous, so you can’t trace back to the victim, the more easily you can catch the criminal.
          And anytime the fact is public a child is being abused you have to live with it even noone documented it on camera:
          http://www.promipool.de/deutschland/wilson-gonzalez-ochsenknecht-seine-mutter-vermarktet-sein-kindheitstrauma-41679/
          “Es war ein Freund der Familie, Michael K.. Er passte 6 Wochen auf die beiden Ochsenknechtbrüder während eines Flimdrehs der Eltern auf… 1997 wurde Michael K. auf Grund dessen zu drei Jahren Haft verurteilt.”
          Translated: “It was a friend of the family. He “babysit” them and abuse one of two. Since then the victim can’t sleep and the criminal got three years in jail”
          But the both/three has to live with it and that public knows it, too. Well, the criminal got zensored “Michael K.”, the victim not. Only those who knows the friends family knows even the criminal. But the public knows all of the victim. Who make them forget that someone got a victim? You can’t and you can’t feel better even if you know you would have the right to delete pics you don’t want to show others. You can’t wipe out/reset mind memories (, yet).

          I generally agree with you, when childs are abused more often in our society…but till now, there are only single cases. If it would happen more often the society has a much greater problem, than to delete some pics. And these should be the reason for a world wide zensoring and a potential criminalisation of parts of society esp. of those who are online?

        • Mårten

          @Christian: it is an (a) or (b) choice because (b) makes (a) more difficult. The more (b) the less (a), and that can never be right. Stopping the abuse should always be the priority.

          The children has no control of the existence of pictures of them, it is a judge who decide if he or she think a picture could be used for titillation. It does not even have to be pictures of real children. Those who are behind these laws don’t care about raped children, they care about hiding images they find disturbing from *their own* field of view.

        • Thomas

          I am getting confused! I thought that the Pirate Parties fought to protect the right to personal integrity? But after reading the comments here it seems like it is the other way around?
          Can somebody please enlighten me? Is the freedom of information, the right to free communication and preventing crime more important than the right to private integrity?

        • Pirate

          @Thomas (September 14, 2012 – 19:53)
          http://wiki.piratenpartei.de/wiki/images/0/03/Parteiprogramm-englisch.pdf
          “Manifesto of the Pirate Party of Germany” (Translated Version)
          As i wrote below (comment No. 123) “All themes have a dialectic, two sides of same coin.” When you fight for one thing you diminish the importance of the other/others (in a political sence).
          You are quite right for what PIRATES enter:
          “7 Privacy and data protection
          Privacy and data protection are necessary to safeguard people’s dignity and freedom.”
          but they also argue for
          “2.3 Reinforcing separation of powers and freedom” and
          “3 Copyright and non-commercial reproduction”
          PIRATES don’t want to be patronized and do make up their mind in any (individual) direction. For their way to go they have to be informed up-to-date and have to gather information. The status quo hinder the collection of data and informaiton when you accidentally follow a link to a childporn site or get childporn spam via e-mail. If so you are jailed and can’t follow your own path. There is no PIRATE who want intentionally harm any other persons (dignity) especially childrens; it is more the contrary they want to get these criminals who abuse them. Furthermore PIRATES condemn the way the establishment/state powers exploit childporn (for censoring reasons).

        • Thomas

          @ Pirate
          According to your comment, the enforcement of the law is more important than the right to personal integrity.
          You are making a very clear stand in your comment, that it is more important to identify and to secure evidence on the perpetrator than it is to respect the rights of integrity of the victims.

        • harveyed

          @Thomas:

          The integrity of the victim has already been broken at the crime scene. You won’t accomplish anything to further protect the victim with either internet censorship, mass surveillance or anti-porn-legislation since these images and videos are sent encrypted and anonymized.

        • Christian

          @Mårten: There are always laws that make other laws harder to enforce. Laws for data preservation contradict laws of privacy etc. This is never a reason to ditch a law. It is crazy you think humankind has to decide between security and privacy or other important principles.

          In practice you have to find a compromise, but when making laws you have to think about how the world should be!

          @Pirate: You are crazy, if you think one should ditch a law because it is unpractical. I am happy the German Pirate Party has distanced itself from Falkvinge and his absurd thesis.

        • Pirate

          @Thomas (September 15, 2012 – 07:42)
          It is really close to what i mean, but i have a hint to change what your fear: Let the weak(est) alone in their fate but PIRATES have their freedom.
          Hint: Before you (asap) delete childporn data take forensic samples and place them in court exhibit. While today any typical data storage device can break, before you can examine it with new/future technics and you might loose this data, i have an idea to store them longer:
          http://www.extremetech.com/extreme/134672-harvard-cracks-dna-storage-crams-700-terabytes-of-data-into-a-single-gram
          “The work, carried out by George Church and Sri Kosuri, basically treats DNA as just another digital storage device. Instead of binary data being encoded as magnetic regions on a hard drive platter, strands of DNA that store 96 bits are synthesized, with each of the bases (TGAC) representing a binary value (T and G = 1, A and C = 0).”
          Put the DNA into a freezer and you can store data millions of years like dinosaur did in ice, just in case criminals live as long. Today the examination of DNA collected in former days convict criminals.

          But i already told you: as long as the once published data don’t break on its own you can play “the rabbit and the hare” with (childporn) publishers. It don’t depend on PIRATES or any other political party to respect any victims integrity.

        • Pirate

          @Christian (September 15, 2012 – 12:56)
          “… the German Pirate Party has distanced itself from Falkvinge and his absurd thesis.”

          There is nothing to win in an election year (end of 2013 parlament) when you fight for (re-)legalising the possession of childporn. The German Pirate Party would also fight for freedom of speech (etc.) but not to hook it on childporns – before election is done. It is easier to let this talk do Falkvinge to get into peoples mind. Even you know now that German Pirats distanced them from Falkvinge. So it is much better to do this tactic and follow strategic mainstream mind. In Germany there are other building lots to get voters easier on Pirates side.
          Besides in Germany the law is already done but not so in Sweden. There is an ongoing revision to print and speech freedom:
          http://www.regeringen.se/content/1/c6/19/76/00/7f3a5175.pdf
          “En översyn av tryck- och yttrandefriheten”
          containing “barnpornografi”.

          Furthermore there is a judgement of the swedish supreme court:
          http://www.hogstadomstolen.se/Domstolar/hogstadomstolen/Avgoranden/2012/2012-06-15%20B%20990-11%20Dom.pdf
          …the swede translator of Japanese Manga is not guilty of childporn…

      • 122.1.2
        Christian

        @harveyed
        WTF, nobody said there must be such technical measures. Would you legalize murders that are hard to investigate? It’s about priniciples not about practicability.

        It’s is crazy how many misguided, shortsighted, misinformed, misanthropic people add their metal waste to this lunatic article. I would’ve never thought that there is anything other than disgust in the comments.

        You may discuss the way one can solve the practicability problems of child porn laws and eventually the definition of child porn, but questioning the prohibition of the possession is like questioning the prohibition of murder. It is a principle you cannot question in a civilized nation.

        • harveyed

          The definition of a civilized nation is that ANYTHING in society can be questioned and discussed.

          It’s very interesting that you bring up the case of murder. A crime that almost no one would argue should be legal. Imagery of violence are not illegal to the same extent as child porn. Therefore it is easier to go to the police with evidence of murder – since you yourself are not a criminal for posessing the evidence of the murder. Had it been illegal to own evidence of murder, however… then people would not dare go to the police with that evidence.

          This type of censorship legislation actually helps the criminals in getting away from justice.

        • Christian

          Nobody says the way how unwanted possession of child porn is handled in some cases is the right way. But legalizing the possession of child porn in general as an answer is like allowing theft to reduce numbers on crime statistics.

        • harveyed

          No it’s not the same thing as legalizing theft at all.

          Legalizing child porn makes it possible for pedophiles to get release of sexual tensions without having to harm any real kids. I think it is a good thing if we could have a legal controlled market for child porn that sees to that no kids are harmed in the production of the porn.

          That is much better than having sexually frustrated pedophiles running around. Isn’t it?

        • Thomas

          So we just have to sacrifice a few kids, being raped and humiliated, for the sake of the better good?
          I don’t know, but I find it hard to belive that any Pirate party will ever have any success whatsoever, pursuing the logic, the politics and the lack of respect for the individual and the individuals right to personal integrity that are so clearly demonstrated in the comments here.

        • Mårten

          @Thomas @Christian: I do not understand you at all, you think it is more important to hide the evidence of abuse, rather than stopping the abuse itself? You want people to look away and pretend it did not happen when they see abuse (that is the effect of the law). How can you justify that?

          As far as I can see you are the ones who are willing to sacrifice kids with the argument that you want to protect the same kids privacy? That is crazy.

          You have also failed to explain why we should only protect the privacy of the victims in the case of sexual child abuse images, not in any other case of abuse. Why?
          (hint: it is evidence of crime).

        • harveyed

          What are you talking about? Sacrificing kids? There is nothing in what I say that would imply “sacrificing” any kids.

          You are just lying and scaremongering. The anti-pirate stand on this is would hurt kids lots more than the pirate one.

        • Christian

          @harveyed, Mårten: Your opinions scare me. Virtual child porn is another thing, but I wouldn’t want to raise kids in a world where somebody could rape them make a movie of it and then other people could legally own the footage. I am not only for a prohibition of possession of child porn but also for a prohibition of real life torture and murder videos.

          This stuff is against human dignity and would lead to an illminded society.

          Please overthink your opinions and dont see child porn in isolation to the crime that leads to it or as disconnected from the persons and their personal lifes that are depicted in it. If you really dont see any connection you should visit a psychologist.

          I will not add any comments here anymore, it is simply too terrifying and depressing.

        • @Thomas:

          That is disgracefully dishonest argumentation. I’ve kept the “I want to kill you”-type comments on this article, but I sincerely considered blacklisting you for that kind of dishonesty.

          You can’t possibly be unaware of the fact that what’s in dispute here is the assumption that the ban on possession child abuse imagery leads to less abuse. I argue that it leads to more.

          Thus, it should be absolutely super-clear for anybody even remotely involved in the discussion that the problem is how we catch child molesters, protect innocent teenagers, and safeguard the fabric of the open society, at the same time. I argue that the ban on possession of CAI is counterproductive towards all of these goals.

          To respond to people who want to minimize child abuse and criticize today’s counterproductive laws towards that effect, implying that they want to “sacrifice children”, is outrageously dishonest.

          I’m a professional politician, and what you just attempted would be significantly below my work ethics.

          Cheers,
          Rick

        • Thomas

          @ Rick and harveyed
          You seem very upset over my comment about sacrificing a few kids? If you had actually read what harveyed wrote, I am sure that you would have understood. But please let me clarify.
          My comment was a reply to harveyed where he wrote “Legalizing child porn makes it possible for pedophiles to get release of sexual tensions without having to harm any real kids”
          The consequence of this is that we accept that a few kids gets raped and humiliated, then distribute the movies and pictures to the pedophiles, in return for that they will keep off other kids. The logic is straightforward, you accept to sacrifice a few kids, being raped and molested, so that the pedophiles will keep away from other kids.
          What was your question?

          @ Mårten
          Pictures or movies are not evidence, but they can be used as evidence in a court. Huge semantic difference. And pictures are used as evidence in courts as we speak. Two weeks back the Swedish police found some 800 pictures and movies, owned by a man. They will of course be used as evidence if possible.
          And if you bother to take a look at the Swedish police website, you will find all the instructions and e-mail addresses you need to report child pornography. So if you should find something, by accident, it is very easy and safe to report to the Swedish police.
          Your argument that the current laws should hide evidence is just not correct! You just haven’t done your homework!
          Also, of course we should protect the privacy to other victims of abuse, crime or humiliation. There are too many examples of kids being bullied where the perpetrators are shooting a movie of the abuse, distributing the movie on the net. Just for fun. This is often even more humiliating and hurting the victim more than the abuse itself. I don’t know what you think, but for me – this is not ok! It would be reasonable to call that a crime.

        • harveyed

          Thomas:

          There is a fundamental flaw in your argument. That is: if we have legal porn in which no children are harmed, then no children have to be raped to produce the porn.

          What I meant is basically: legalize production of porn where no kids are harmed, but the material still can arouse pedophiles, for instance using drawn art such as hentai or young-looking adult stars. That way no kids have to be harmed, but the pedophiles still have some way to get a release – without having to document the raping of any kids.

        • harveyed

          Christian:

          “Virtual child porn is another thing, but I wouldn’t want to raise kids in a world where somebody could rape them make a movie of it and then other people could legally own the footage.”

          Well if it was illegal to own the footage, how would the molesters ever get caught? I as a citizen would never ever dare to report any evidence to the police if there was even a slightest chance that I myself could get persecuted for child porn charges over having those photos or videos. If i accidentaly got child porn on my device, I would just try and delete any evidence that I ever had the file on my device. The police would never hear of it – effectively it would only protect the child rapists, the more adults are being scared into looking away from the evidence.

          Illegalization of evidence of these horrible crimes is to encourage adults to look away from the problem of child abuse and molestation. The police get + in their stats for each crime they are able to count. Child porn would be easy to count for the police – especially if they got promoted based on how many people they are able to catch, but… would ultimately lead to a society where adults don’t dare to report evidence that they see to the police. If they see anything, they delete it immediately and the police never hears of it.

          It is a pedophile rapists dream world if adults are encouraged to delete any evidence they may ever get of child rape instead of daring to go directly to the police and report it.

          I would not want to raise my kids in that kind of fear-mongering censor-society where adults don’t dare to look out for each others kids.

        • Thomas

          @ harveyed
          Not sure if I follow your logic?
          Do you mean that a three year old kid is not hurt when being fucked in the ass, as long as “the production is legal”?
          Or do you mean that pedophiles are happy looking at cartoons?
          This is a serious topic, please choose your arguments accordingly! Dont be stupid!

          And once again, child pornography is already used as evidence in courts. And you can very easy without any risk, report child pornography to the swedish police. Just follow the simple instructions on their website, with email adresses and simple instructions on what information the investigators are looking for.
          Please – do your homework before engaging in an important discussion!

        • harveyed

          Thomas: Well, you are clearly not serious. You don’t read what I’m writing at all and it should be clear to anyone reading this that you are only trying to fuck with me… I’m not gonna waste any more time on you if you can’t keep a sensible discussion about this.

        • Thomas

          @harveyed
          Please don’t flatter yourself, I am not trying to fuck you.
          I would argue that your problem is that I am actually reading what you are writing.

        • harveyed

          Thomas: If you read what I am writing and have any arguments at all, then you should have been able to answer the following.

          “There is a fundamental flaw in your argument. That is: if we have legal porn in which no children are harmed, then no children have to be raped to produce the porn.”

          But you haven’t.

        • Thomas

          @ harveyed
          This is getting really stupid!
          If you had bothered to read my reply, you would have seen the question marks stating a question that I did not follow your logic.
          Perhaps you can clarify?

          “Not sure if I follow your logic?
          Do you mean that a three year old kid is not hurt when being fucked in the ass, as long as “the production is legal”?
          Or do you mean that pedophiles are happy looking at cartoons?
          This is a serious topic, please choose your arguments accordingly! Dont be stupid!”

        • harveyed

          Lol, Thomas you really are trying to break some kind of trolling-record in here.

          I never ever said that it should be legal to fuck a three year old kid in the ass. That’s something you totally made up.

          I said it should be legal to have drawn art and adult actors do the porn in a controlled environment so that no real kids had to get damaged in the process. That way pedophiles could wank off in their basements and not have to walk around sexually frustrated or look on real videos of molestation.

        • Mårten

          @Thomas: For the last time, no-one is arguing that child abuse images are a good thing or that it should be legal to make them, any sane person will agree that it is wrong (NEDM). It is dishonest and insulting of you to pretend that anyone does.

          You keep ignoring the arguments made here and only repeat that it is important to protect the privacy of the victims. I think everyone agree with you on that, it is important, but not at any cost, especially not at the cost of stopping the actual abuse. To pretend the images are worse for the victim than the actual abuse is just preposterous.

          The Swedish police’s recommendation if you discover child abuse images is to carefully delete any and all images and contact the police (and then hope you don’t get charged). Unfortunately (in this case) people does not always do what the police tells them to do, I think we can agree that most are not going to take the risk of reporting. Consequently it is fair to say the law encourages people to look away and pretend it didn’t happen rather than help stop the actual abuse.

          The world is full of imagery, ideas and information that is disturbing and sometimes simply plain wrong, but it is generally agreed we have to live with that in order to ensure an open and free society. It is a principle we call freedom of expression.

          Every evening there are dozens of TV-programs making profit of the most horrible murder and abuse cases imaginable, why are you not upset about the victims privacy in those cases?

          Why should we not outlaw the possession of all information and images that are “not OK”? How about films that insult other peoples religious prophet ? Where and how do you determine what should be forbidden and what should not?

          When this law was new I reasoned exactly like you, that it was an acceptable sacrifice to protect the privacy of the victims. Sadly I was young and naive and had a too simplistic view of how society works . It took me a long time to come around, but it is as Rick said, now we can see that the critics were right on every point.

          If I believed this would actually help save some children then I could accept it, but all the facts, including your and Christians comments just show that this has nothing to do with protecting children. It is about preventing pedos from getting off, and while disturbing, that does not really harm anyone. People fantasizing about disturbing things is not something I am willing to risk freedom of expression or open society in order to stop.

          This is a slippery slope, once we start outlawing information there is no saying where it is going to end. This law is only a few years old and it has already gone way to far.

        • Thomas

          @ harveyed
          Once again, you don’t reply to the key questions. In your world of legal “light child porn” would pictures and movies of real kids being raped be legal or not?

          @ Mårten
          If I get your argument right, you claim that the police would get more pictures and movies of kids being abused, if child porn would be legal, rather than in the current system?
          Currently, the police captures 100′s and 1000′s of pictures and movies each and every week, as we can read in the media.
          On top of that individuals are reporting direct to the police.
          Do you have any data points, any statistics, any reasonable logic to back your argument? Anything substantial to demonstrate that making child porn legal would provide the police more evidence than today?
          Or is it just what you would like to see?

          And by the way, the way you describe how to report child porn to the Swedish police is not correct. It does not help an important discussion if the comments are not true…..

        • Pirate

          @Thomas (September 20, 2012 – 07:49)
          All persons would search and send CAI or links they suppose to be illegal to police. Now, not all who wants to, don’t press the button for sending while even it is illegal to look at. They are threatened with sentence, yet.
          If you legalize possession of CAI in RAM (asap you switch off your pc RAM data is deleted) you have about 80 million (German) internet users more to send CAI links to police. If you dont legalize this form of possession 80 million (German) internet users are threatened to sentence with every click they do, while those CAI services might be legal to have elsewhere and want to make money with it so they do kind of marketing:
          http://www.vg247.com/2012/08/21/league-of-legends-wins-fight-over-porn-domain/
          “Riot Games has won a battle of LeagueofLegends.co, a porn site which relied on mis-typing to usher unsuspecting LoLers into a world of bosoms and bums.” (have a look at Comment 124 Nr. 5)

        • Thomas

          @ Pirate
          How many times have you, by accident, found child pornography?
          For me, never. Despite being around some odd sites once in a while.
          So there is no substance whatsoever in your claim that 80 million Germans would crawl the web looking for childporn and report to the police! There are no hard facts to support your ideas.
          How many pics and movies do the German polica capture today, with the current laws? Start from there and then try to find some hard facts or sound logic that would support any idea that there would be more pictures and movies for the police if it was legal. By they way, you also have to make a sound argument that the “production” of child porn would not increase due to legalization.

        • Mårten

          @Thomas:
          “If I get your argument right, you claim that the…”
          Child abuse images should NOT be legal, possession of such images should be legal (not the same thing). If possession was legal it is reasonable to assume that the threshold for reporting would be lower. It should also increase awareness of the issue. But this is only part of the argument.

          “the police captures 100′s and 1000′s of pictures and movies each and every week, as we can read in the media.”
          Not sure that figure is correct but it highlight another problem with the law: we can not see how it is being used. We don’t know what kind of pictures and movies are being “captured”. It could be anything from cartoons and teens playing on the beach to toddler rape. I think it is fair to assume most of it is in the first category since there is much more of that available on the internet. One might also wonder if it is new images or the same 100 copies making the rounds? We have no clue because the law makes it impossible to audit how it is being implemented

          “the way you describe how to report child porn to the Swedish police is not correct.”
          Then please correct me? I took the information directly from their website.
          http://www.polisen.se/Om-polisen/lan/os/op/Polisen-i-Ostergotlands-lan/Projekt-och-samverkan/Projekt-Tindra/Barnpornografi/

        • Pirate

          @Thomas (September 20, 2012 – 20:39)
          “How many times have you, by accident, found child pornography?
          For me, never. ”

          HA! You watched “childporn” as you read Falkvinge’s blog because he embedded a single drawing of manga which was supposed to be childporn for all judges but supreme court. You just got lucky, because this manga translator was “not guilty” at the end. If he didn’t fight for you till the very end, you would get a knocking on your door. Besides if you are not a swedish resident you have a knocking after all, if this kind of picture is supposed “childporn” in your country after all. And unless you did not watch childporn with this picture but than by the picture which won the Pulitzer: A naked girl running down the street and no soldier or other person even the photographer Nick Ut gave her clothing or do a censor bar. Everyone knows her naked: Phan Thị Kim Phúc. She never ever can delete the picture, everyone can look at her being naked, 40years ago. The manga wasn’t realistic enough, but the picture of Kim is real.

          >Despite being around some odd sites once in a while.So there is no substance whatsoever in your claim that 80 million Germans would crawl the web looking for childporn and report to the police!There are no hard facts to support your ideas. How many pics and movies do the German polica capture today, with the current laws? Start from there and then try to find some hard facts or sound logic that would support any idea that there would be more pictures and movies for the police if it was legal. By they way, you also have to make a sound argument that the “production” of child porn would not increase due to legalization.>

          Why should I? What has the one thing to do with the other? You only can tell in general that you get more childporn documented the more people have the devices to do so.
          In former days you have to draw childporn and only churches could afford infant angels on their walls. The more technic people have the easier the documentation is. The more camera/foto handies people have the more pictures were sent through the air. The more google glasses/camera drones people have the more videos are there. The better lenses get the better quality videos/fotos have the farther you can stay away not to be caught. This doesn’t correlate to law this is just the way technic is going to.

        • Thomas

          @ Pirate
          I did notice that mr Falkvinge used the picture from the Vietnam war to support his ideas and it made me furious!
          I have many friends in Vietnam, friends who’s families suffered during the war. Using this picture in an argument to support child pornography is an outrageus insult to the victims of the Vietnam war, you are insulting my friends! It also shows your total lack of empathy and lack of understanding of all the individual tragedies.
          Being from Germany, you should know better about the horrors of war. Please talk with your parents or grandparents – I am sure that they can give you a better understanding.

        • Pirate

          @Falkvinge-webpatrol ^^
          Thanks for protecting me and your website. Sorry when you need your time to control my posts. I (really) wonder why? Church Police reasons? I can’t tell what’s going on in Sweden, but want to know. Perhaps you could answer in another blog entry. Or just do these thoughts as it were your own. I give the right to use them to anyone. No copyright on them: art and chilporn.

          Isn’t it childporn to look at new born Jesus lying life-sized and naked in a crib in december? And what is with the “artist” who prepare the crib at christmas time in the name of religion? Same for pictures of nude (african) children to collect money at charity.

          @Thomas (September 21, 2012 – 08:19)
          So you looked at the nude young girl named Kim and watched accidentically childporn. Well, not in terms of law but in my mind. Falkvinge was right to tell us that nothing is easier to get internet user to watch accidentically childporn. He just manage to get a “facsimile” so noone will get a knocking on his/her door while s/he looked at these picture but only when your in a country where it’s illegal to posses Pulitzer photos like that in the RAM.

          You can look at nude Kim when you were a soldier, you can look at Kim when you were the photgrapher, you can look at Kim when you were the judge to rule about the Pulitzer but anyone – who tells you to cover the girl with clothing before and with a censor bar after picture was taken – insults you and your friends. And you tell me to have a lack of empathy only because I put it in an argument? You will censor me only ’cause you can’t defend little Kim anymore and I suppose you feel like unconsciousness. What is with the children you could defend but you censor? You put a censor bar on all people like you did to me who can report such cases of childporn. People like you ran around with a huge warning sign (beyond this point crime happens) preventing philanthropists to help children.
          In “real life” isn’t there always a philanthropist around active helping a crying child: When the children feels lost in a shop, isn’t there someone who take this child to the shopowner to let him shout into the microphone: “The child – name XY – is found and can be picked up by the parents and if not he will phone the police.”
          But you only put a huge sign/fence around every child so noone can see if the child needs help or not, if the child gets raped or not… and it is the same via internet.

          Is it really me who “needs a better understanding”?

          And the technic is going on not only for molester who can use webcams, google glasses or camera drones to remotely rape children; but also for the philantropist who create such devices and analyze the documents to convict the rapist.

        • harveyed

          Once again, Thomas… your lack of logic and common sense is stunning.

          Yoy say you have relatives and friends who have seen the horrible face of war.

          And for some reason you want to censor so that other people are not able to partake of those people’s frame of reference of how horrible war is.

          That just doesn’t make sense. If you really cared about other people being able to Understand the horrors of war, then you should be the first one to argue AGAINST censorship of war imagery. If people who have NOT seen war in real life are not able to see it, because it is censored… How the fuck are people ever going to understand how horrible war really is if images of war is censored??

  147. 123
    Hans H.

    I will vote for the pirates, because of this honest and eye opening post. I wish more politicians would be so intelligent and honest.

  148. 124
    Pirate

    All themes have a dialectic, two sides of same coin.
    1. Blocking Websites
    a) EU was funding the distribution of childporns; well they were far away from intending to do it. http://jobs.euractiv.com/job/network-coordinator-7047
    “Since September 2008, Save the Children Denmark has been coordinating an EU funded European NGO network ‘The European NGO Alliance for Child Safety Online’ (eNACSO) which consists of children’s rights NGOs from, at present, twenty EU member states.”
    They advertise jobs for those who enlist websites of childporn to filter the web for family save browsing. Soon they notice, some were deploying these lists and put them on public record.
    (http://www.chis.org.uk/file_download/10/81)
    Those who looked forward to childporn were up-to-date with these listed websites.
    Besides not all citizens in the EU could apply to those jobs, since looking at childpornstuff was already forbidden in some EU member states.

    b) Whistleblower like Wikileaks
    They puplish lists of websites taken out by those of interest.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Information_published_by_WikiLeaks

    2. Deleting Websites esp. childporn stuff
    We have to consider Falkvinge is right: Whenever you delete data of copies you make it difficult to get the (original) source. Have a look at new technics to get the source.

    a) Printer
    When a device prints something on paper you can easily analyse which device it was and within no time when it was a printer.
    Have a look at:
    https://www.eff.org/issues/printers

    b) “source search algorithm”
    http://www.heise.de/newsticker/meldung/Quellensuchalgorithmus-fuer-vernetzte-Strukturen-eroeffnet-neue-Wege-in-der-Computerforensik-1665600.html
    “Bei wem ist eine bestimmte Information, die in einem Netzwerk kursiert, zuerst aufgetaucht?…Dr. Pedro C. Pinto möchte mit seinem Ursprungssuchalgorithmus gleichermaßen der Bekämpfung von Kriminalität, der Seuchenforschung und der Werbewirtschaft helfen…”
    Translated: “Who has the one particular information, circulating in a network, first published?…Dr. Pedro C. Pinto wants to fight against crime and help epidemic researchers and advertising industry…”

    c) Technic innovations
    If you have deleted court exhibit in former days while u cannot examine it due to the lack of analysing technic you would have let go criminals. Now you can convict someone because of e. g. DNA analysis etc. When someone documents child molestation with a handy or “google glasses” and sends into network for publishing purpose you can trace not only the device but him/her everywhere. Untill everyone has one of this smart cameras even not for eyes aid (only) but like carrying creditcards with RFIDs elsewhere, software can compare a place at which child abuse had taken place or a face involved in it with pictures or videos of someone (tourist) who just passed by later. In many EU member states there will be new form of ID Card with standard passport photographs. This will be another form to identify and trace people via (public) cameras and readers.

    3. Bank/State crises
    The ongoing of the finance problem will cause to save money in the executive sector, too. It will hit not only public servants/officers but also the inventory. Who will search childpornos when there are no official observer/investigator available (because of the savings). Do you want to search after a foreign childs porno to get the criminal(s) behind (see eNASCOs job advertise in denmark above 1.a), in case that you live in a state where you put yourself into jail doing so?
    In Germany there was a parlament representative (Mr. Tauss) who wanted to do parlamentary researches about childpornos. The German justice told him he as a parlamentarian is not allowed to make up his mind about it (and to burst childporn bonds on his own).
    http://www.telemedicus.info/article/1768-Tauss-Rechtsirrtum-oder-Paedophiler-umfassendes-Update.html

    4. Data preservation
    Sure, these days all states create some kind of internet (security) departements and they all will be on the mere fight against childporn, ah no it was terrorism. As they pretend to tell public that data preservation is to detect terrorism the only things they get are some drug dealers. We all have to be frightened about terrorism. It is invisible like air and smells like dust so there must be data preservation at all costs. Did you know that there are occupation categories like doctors who kill more people each year by medical errors than any terrorist groupings ever did, even at 9/11 (~3.000 deaths) or the new wars (e. g. Afghanistan)?
    http://uwf.edu/sahls/medicalinformatics/docfiles/debates%20usa%20death%20rates.pdf
    “It shouts about death and disability in US hospitals: “Preventable adverse events are a leading
    cause of death” and “at least 44,000, and perhaps as many as 98,000, Americans die in hospitals each year as a result of medical errors.”” (2008)

    5. Re-Legalise Possesion of Childporn
    Who will posses Childporn only to be outed in public you have such. There is no step closer in mind that you also want to abuse a child on your own. You will be brandmarked, can’t live at a normal status quo. Websites trace such beings and not only those with gps chips at their feet to tell the system they are near a kindergarten.
    But of cause when u legally buy Pronos of adults and the distributor/seller does a mistake and there is a single picture of an underaged on it. Or if in his country childporn is legally and he does bonus data into your internet shopping sending to you.
    But worst case is when you click on a weblink and get to such pornos even if you dont want to:
    http://www.vg247.com/2012/08/21/league-of-legends-wins-fight-over-porn-domain/
    “Riot Games has won a battle of LeagueofLegends.co, a porn site which relied on mis-typing to usher unsuspecting LoLers into a world of bosoms and bums.”
    And pornsellers do nothing else than any other good marketing business, force people to do things they dont want to.

    6. Data Storage
    a) It is not fair, that you can store childporn in a family album lifelong but not a second in a RAM.
    b) Data storage mediums get bigger each day. Today it is normal to have 1 TB and to up and download data. A single childporn pic with which you get jailed is about 1MB. This is 0,0000001% of all data of this medium. It will take more time to detect than to delete these file on that storage after you downloaded data you never thought it would contain such stuff.
    c) Falkvinge is right when he outlines a bot net easily can spam masses of e-mail accounts with such stuff. Considering the newly posted Syrian Files of Wikileaks with all that till now unknown e-mail addresses this will be great fun for investigators:
    http://wikileaks.org/syria-files/docs/113063_usa-vs-iran-coming-this-may-.html
    And every now and then there are hacked websites with their e-mails and passwords published:
    http://0xicf.wordpress.com/2012/06/12/back-to-the-game-10000-twitter-user-oauth-token-hacked-and-exposed-by-anonymous/

    => These days it is very easy to frighten citizens (using new medium like interenet). Either they will break copyrights or licenses on their own by accident and cought by patenttrolls/lawyers; or they will be knocked down intentionally by others, sending them childporn.
    => Mushroom management: Lift your head out of the shit and you get cut.

  149. [...] Rick Falkvinge: Three reasons possession of child porn must be re-legalized in the coming decade [...]

  150. [...] Reporterin Teresa Sickert über Rickard Falkvinges Artikel zur Legalisierung von Kinderpornografie in Schweden und Jurist Claus Pinkerneil klärt die Rechtslage in [...]

  151. [...] Piraten-Politiker Falkvinge hat dazu einen hochinteressanten Text in seinem Blog geschrieben. *Link* Aber auch der hier bereits verlinkte ZEIT-Artikel, der die schwedische Diskussion um [...]

  152. [...] Linktipps 09:33 Reporterin Teresa Sickert über Rickard Falkvinges Artikel zur Legalisierung von Kinderpornografie in Schweden 17:03 Rechtsanwalt  Claus Pinkerneil klärt die Rechtslage zu Kinderpornografie in [...]

  153. 125
    Pirate

    Did anyone mention already the sexual abuse case of Roman Polanski against a 13 – year – old girl?
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roman_Polanski_sexual_abuse_case
    “The arrest provoked particular controversy in France, where over the years many had downplayed the severity of Polanski’s crime, highlighting instead his achievements as a film director and the many years that had passed since his flight from the United States.”

    In other words if someone took a picture of this molestation between the underaged girl and Mr. Polanski getting free, but everyone else possessing this picture in the RAM gets jailed. This picture would show childporn and even the adult woman’s confirmation she had forgiven Mr. Polanski after all this time but this would not affekt the illegal possession of this picture.

    Even when an abused child died after 70 years the “judicial danger” of the picture of this molestation remains till the data got deleted or broken.

    What will happen to someone who gather information which is “protected” with watermarks showing childporn? Does his will to posses the information cover the illegal possession of the childporn watermarks? Given the fact that he will posses the information at any costs even when he knows about the special watermarks…

    What will happen to someone who got jailed because of having childporn pics and after his sentence he accidentally get the same pictures again, because someone wants to hit him again?

  154. 126

    Great article. The first person I have seen in a long time that thinks reasonable

    Human-Stupidity.com has focused on child porn witch hunt (click on my link in the title above) and teenage sexuality for a long time

    http://human-stupidity.com/irrationality/stupid-dogma/teenage-sexuality

    We have been assailing exactly the same topices.

    Please visit and comment

    • 126.1
      Pirate

      http://human-stupidity.com/stupid-dogma/religion/sucking-infants-penis-is-legal-in-the-us-if-you-first-cut-off-his-foreskin-without-anesthesia
      (CARE: Clicking this link will show you – after a text and pictures – a picture where a man carries a baby wearing clothes and another man hold an instrument in his hand pointing to baby’s genitals, other people standing in the background having fun or looking interested)

      “An old man puts the infant boy’s injured penis into his mouth to suck the penis, to suck out blood

      But no, it is a religious rite, totally legal.

      Up to 96 percent of the babies in the United States and Canada receive no anesthesia when they are circumcised…”

      Let’s say the parents or even strange people around (waiting for their baby’s rite) take pictures of this ritual (old man sucking baby’s penis or vagina after circumcision) to show the courage or tenacity while the baby was not crying during the session. These parents can put the picture/video in the family album wihtout getting jailed. Let the strange people send their pictures and videos of the strange rite to foreign baby’s parents via e-mail – who will be jailed possessing the data?

      The picture will be first on strange peoples pc sending through their router to their provider (ISP) to another and so on till
      1. to the parents provider (ISP) and parents own pc.
      2. to any provider (ISP) where the parents can download on foreign pc.
      3. to any provider (ISP) and parents own pc.

  155. [...] Falvinge joins me in demand­ing an end to the cen­sor­ship of “child pornog­ra­phy”, and points out that if in the US you observe the rape of a child, mak­ing a video or photo to use [...]

  156. 127

    Damn Falkvinge, you said it very well. I’ve believed similarly for the better part of a decade, and suffered for my belief in that. People will persecute any who advocate this belief. The ‘you want children to be abused’ type arguments flood in. People are afraid to point this out. You are courageous for doing it so openly.

  157. 128

    really good article,gives a perspective i hadnt thought about before.thanks for the eye opener!!!.i agree with all the points he makes,particularly the reasoning behind the religions intentions.From me thumbs up!You set the alarm,now its up to us to wake up…and maybe eventually through this kind of change,we will reach a society that would not have peadophiles,child molesters ,or rapists.but its a long way ,and i m not sure some parents will be happy for their kids to be potential targets in the next years….so they look for a fast fix…which is burn everything and everyone…and yes it is setting the roots for a whatever-we-dont-like-we-ban regime,and gives the power switch to the religious (therefore hypocritical) fundamendalists.and if i take iran as an example,no thanks,i will not take from that…..so big up again to the author.

  158. [...] article est une traduction de Three Reasons Possession Of Child Porn Must Be Re-Legalized In The Coming Decade par Rick Falkvinge. /* Notez ce billet !  (Aucune note pour l'instant)  Loading … Vous [...]

  159. 129
    Bones

    Sigh- I have read down over 300 posts, and various things have managed to tick me off. Child rape Does not equal Child porn Just as regular porn does not equal Rape. In-fact, there are former child porn starts today, who are completely normal individuals. And Pedophile does not equal a rapist.. I am now 20, and for most of my life I have had an preference towards loli type bodies.. I sadly like younger woman.. I hate myself for it.. Yet I would never hurt anyone.. In-fact I have spent most of my time helping those whom have been raped, find some closure.. I try to get them to tell the authorities.. Or simply be the one to hold there hand and talk to in there misery. I can not help what sexually attracts me.. Can you? Can you deny that perhaps a woman’s soft bosom pressed upon you does not register some reaction within your loins? Or perhaps a man whom has just the right amount of definition in his chest.. A gentle caress.. A sweet kiss. Anything can trigger what you like.. But we do not decide what we want.. I would never condone violence against anyone Children especially.. And I continue to tell those under 18 and above not to send explicit photo’s due to what it can do to ones phyce, if a harmful person sent those online.
    Yet here I have to worry about every act I take.. I talk to kids and help them, yet if someone finds me hugging one in condolence for there past.. I am talked about.. When I was 17 my gf sent me pictures of herself.. And I freaked out.. I was so worried about going to jail I chastised her and lost her.. I indeed know that porn rids me of my sexual urges.. And I know that drawn images hurt no one.. AND ANYONE CAN FEEL PLEASURE.. Being 18 did not gain me my knowledge of the world.. My own… Past.. Gave me this knowledge.. And it is simply this. People have the right to decide what happens to there lives. Who are we as a society to dictate what is right and wrong for every individual. I could go on about my past and tragedies, but that would undermine my opinion, with a biased notion perhaps.
    Hear this. I DO NOT WANT CHILD PORNOGRAPHY LEGAL BECAUSE I LIKE IT. It should be legal due to its effects on other people.. Or perhaps better rules associated with it. But lets face it EVERY rule has its issues.. There is no perfect rule, they all have ways around it and repercussions. I agree with Rick in part, he has the right idea…. If I was a parent and my child was arrested for posting pics of herself to her bf.. I would well be slightly angry at her.. But understanding. I would defend her.. For I did the same thing when i was 16. I would have witnessed her birth, dressed her, bathed her.. I would have raised her and on plenty of occasions seen her nude.. yet by the law I would have committed an unlawful act. I was witnessing, in there eyes. CHILD PORN at it;s source. I would have seen as she came from the womb, a sexually explicit material no? I would have changed her diaper and some people LIKE THAT so erotica for them no? I would have seen her breastfed.. Again another thing some people get off on.. Some people even get off on impregnation. SO YOU KNOW WHAT.. The entirety of raising a child.. I witnessed your so called.. Child porn.
    Separate child porn and child rape.. Separate the pedophile from the rapist.. Cause rapists get off on the rape. No matter the age. And on the topic of snuff films.. And the eye gauging.. Some people get off on that too.. So everything can be explicit sexual material. Depending on the person. Yet child porn is the only thing we hide from them.. Idk maybe I am just rambling.. but this pisses me off at times.

  160. 130
    Pirate

    When you (re-)legalize CAI, do you leave abused children alone in their fight to delete the pictures or to get compensations from CAI owners (doing them on public record)?
    Noone wants nude pictures of oneself against his/her will in foreign ownership.

  161. 132
    Twilight

    You know, not all pedophiles are into passing around nudity pictures. Some adults just fall in love and get carried away like my best friend who hit on me during my freshman year and he was 18 and yes both of us got our integrity not going so well and he didn’t know it was wrong to have sex with me. Look, opinion if sex ed was taught earlier than puberty than I think this article description just might work but rapists, totally different story

  162. [...] Richtung (Straffreiheit von Kindermissbrauch) in einem Artikel auf seiner Homepage geäußert: “Three Reasons Possession Of Child Porn Must Be Re-Legalized In The Coming Decade”. Die rechtliche Bewertung für Deutschland bezogen auf diesen Artikel von Rick Falkvinge wäre [...]

  163. [...] Gemüter ja schon wieder etwas beruhigt. Rickard Falkvinge, Urahn aller politischen Piraten, hatte die Legalisierung von Kinderpornographie gefordert. Wie nicht anders zu erwarten war (und von ihm sicher so gewollt), brach nach einer [...]

  164. 133
    Pirate

    http://edri.org/cleanIT
    “A leaked document from the CleanIT project shows just how far internal discussions in that initiative have drifted away from its publicly stated aims, as well as the most fundamental legal rules that underpin European democracy and the rule of law.
    The European Commission-funded CleanIT project claims that it wants to fight terrorism through voluntary s