Thursday, June 27, 2013

Federal laws supersede state age of consent in cell phone c.p. cases

An Ars Technica article by Nate Anderson warns that recording (as on a cell phone) a video of a person under 18 in an intimate act may violate federal child pornography laws even though the person under 18 is still over the age of consent in a particular state, link here.

There is a serious case involving Sidney Myers, 20, who videotaped an encounter with a 16 year old girl in South Carolina, where the age of consent is 16. 

Several major states, however, including California, Virginia, Arizona and Wisconsin still enforce 18 as the age of consent. 

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

NBC reports on Google's initiative to keep child pornography off the Web

NBC Washington this afternoon (Wednesday) reported on Google’s plan to build a database of encrypted child pornography images to assist law enforcement, as reported in the NBC News story, by Yanncik Lejacq here.
In the television interview, Scott Rudin spoke for Google about blocking search results for illegal images. 
Much of the money spent will assist the Center for Missing and Exploited Children in Alexandria, VA (at the King Street Metro stop). 
Google has an official blog post on the effort, here. The encryption algorithm also allows images to be identified without having to be viewed again by people.

It would sound as though the same kind of technology had been explored by FOSI, earlier called the ICRA; but the service was abandoned (reported Dec. 3, 2010).   

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Self-Censorship Repeal Part II: more postings of old writings from the Army days of the 60s

There’s a little more news in the “self-censorship” issue that I discussed here on May 3.

I’ve posted, in the “content” subdirectory of my main publishing site “”, two more manuscripts.  One of them is a 1981 short story by me “Expedition” that deals with strip mining and mountaintop removal.  No, that doesn’t lead to censorship.  (Maybe it could have at one time.)   The main course is “Chapter 4”, not from my first “Do Ask Do Tell” book, but from the 1969 unpublished novel “The Proles”, which I wrote out by hand in a binder notebook in the barracks while I was stationed at Fort Eustis. VA.   The chapter is titled “Interlude” and actually is a detailed, graphic account of my fourteen weeks in Army Basic Combat Training in early 1968, with much more explicit language than was used in my 1997 book.

The language in a few spots is quite explicit, using expletives that were common in Army “proletarian” speech during the Vietnam era.  In a few cases, terms with racial overtones were also used.  The fact that a much higher percentage of African Americans wound up in infantry combat and became casualties in Vietnam, because of the student deferment system at the time, is certainly important and born out here.  So is the ambivalent attitude toward homosexuality, which was often ignored but sometimes could be deployed as a way to control or demean others who were weaker in the barracks. 

With COPA overturned, I have gone ahead an left the crude language, typical of 1968, in place, as a historical record.  

Saturday, June 01, 2013

People who share (P2P) and watch c.p. sued in Maryland

Persons who watched child pornography created by others, up to 180 of them, have been served as defendants in a civil lawsuit filed by a woman near Annapolis , MD, the Baltimore Sun reports, in a story here

 The content was produced by her children’s father and another party.

A federal law allows victims to sue persons who trade in the content.  Many or most of these persons could and may be prosecuted for possession.  But it is possible to be served in a civil suit without prosecution.

Sharing the material in a P2P network would normally constitute trafficking and possession, resulting in prosecution.  Could a party who watched the material on someone else’s computer be sued successfully?  Such a person might not be involved in what the law considers possession.  That would be an interesting legal question.    

Update: June 29:

I has been reported that the Supreme Court will take up the issue of liability for a "home user" next term.  There are already conflicting appellate decisions. Details to follow.