This is some bizarre news. A New York judge ruled that merely looking at child pornography online is no crime. What the hell?
The judge ruled that in a case which was centered around a professor who had viewed "hundreds" of child porn pics, and found that he did no wrong because there was no Right Click > Save As. He didn't save the pics of the kiddie porn.
This seems impossibly horrible and wrong, but, technically, the ruling is sound, MSNBC reports:
"Merely viewing Web images of child pornography does not, absent other proof, constitute either possession or procurement within the meaning of our Penal Law," Senior Judge Carmen Beauchamp Ciparick wrote for a majority of four of the six judges.
You would actually need to deliberately save child porn pics to your hard drive for that to be illegal apparently:
"Rather, some affirmative act is required (printing, saving, downloading, etc.) to show that defendant in fact exercised dominion and control over the images that were on his screen," Ciparick wrote. "To hold otherwise, would extend the reach of (state law) to conduct - viewing - that our Legislature has not deemed criminal."
Ciparick follows the logical extension of this legislative absurdity (and then does nothing to stop it).
A person can view hundreds of these images, or watch hours of real-time videos of children subjected to sexual encounters, and as long as those images are not downloaded, printed or further distributed, such conduct is not proscribed.
That's a horrible ruling. But lets not forget the browser has cache files. If its cached on your computer you don't choose to save it.
Thanks for that, appeals court. You're doing a great job upholding the spirit of the laws that prevent horrendous child abuse.The Atlantic Wire points out, federal rules against child porn don't mention caching at all. Because caching doens't count as a download.
Either way, its a really weird ruling, and we definitely don't agree with it. At the very least, something needs to be done about the availability of child porn on the internet.