US’s high court on virtual child porn

The Supreme Court has upheld criminal penalties for promoting, or pandering, child pornography, the Associated Press reports. "The court upheld part of a 2003 law that also prohibits possession of child porn…. The law sets a five-year mandatory prison term for promoting, or pandering, child porn. It does not require that someone actually possess child pornography" and it replaced an earlier law that – according to Fox TV law columnist Lis Wiehl – required prosecutors to prove that the images were of "real" children, not digitally altered or morphed images, when "the 'real' children (aka victims) involved in child porn are almost impossible to find, let alone produce as witnesses at trial." In related news, New York State Attorney General announced that major US Internet service providers would block sources of child porn, the Washington Post reports, but the announcement created confusion as the ISPs later clarified that they weren't blocking anything (when free-speech advocates spoke out) – just "enforcing their own longstanding terms of service by agreeing not to host sites and newsgroups known to contain child porn," reports ConnectSafely.org co-director Larry Magid in his column on this at the San Jose Mercury News. Meanwhile, France "is joining at least five other countries where Internet service providers block access to child pornography," the Associated Press reports.


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