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Regulation of Computer-generated virtual Child Pornography under American and French Jurisprudence: One Country’s Protected “Speech” is another’s Harmful Smut.
Unformatted Document Text:  Free Speech Coalition, while technically consonant with American legal precedent, has dealt a severe blow to, and weakened, to a considerable extent, child pornography suppression around the world. Apparently, the Court has taken the position that it is better to err on the side of freedom of speech, even if that means a whole category of material that most of the rest of the world finds illegal, is allowed to be produced and circulate on the Internet from American servers. The problem is that this decision gives a new lease of life to producers, traffickers and consumers of child pornography. In this day and age when digital imaging has advanced to the stage when the images of real people can be digitized, manipulated, made virtually unrecognizable and inserted into animation films, it will not be long before the images of real children are digitized and passed off as virtual children. If Operation Cathedral is anything to go by, it is already known that law enforcement officials around the world are having a hard time identifying thousands of real children that have been sexually abused, videotaped and the images distributed on the Internet. Actually, the electronic insertion of an adult-looking person on a real child’s body, in a bid to conceal it, would probably pass muster under Ashcroft unless law enforcement officials can show which part of the image is real and which is not. Indeed, several elements of French anti-child pornography law would now not pass constitutional muster in the United States, raising the specter of conflict of laws, diminished law enforcement cooperation, and French virtual child pornography producers moving their “wares” to servers in the United States because of its wider free speech protection.

Authors: Eko, Lyombe.
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Free Speech Coalition, while technically consonant with American legal
precedent, has dealt a severe blow to, and weakened, to a considerable extent,
child pornography suppression around the world. Apparently, the Court has
taken the position that it is better to err on the side of freedom of speech, even if
that means a whole category of material that most of the rest of the world finds
illegal, is allowed to be produced and circulate on the Internet from American
servers. The problem is that this decision gives a new lease of life to producers,
traffickers and consumers of child pornography. In this day and age when digital
imaging has advanced to the stage when the images of real people can be
digitized, manipulated, made virtually unrecognizable and inserted into animation
films, it will not be long before the images of real children are digitized and
passed off as virtual children. If Operation Cathedral is anything to go by, it is
already known that law enforcement officials around the world are having a hard
time identifying thousands of real children that have been sexually abused,
videotaped and the images distributed on the Internet. Actually, the electronic
insertion of an adult-looking person on a real child’s body, in a bid to conceal it,
would probably pass muster under Ashcroft unless law enforcement officials can
show which part of the image is real and which is not.
Indeed, several elements of French anti-child pornography law would now not
pass constitutional muster in the United States, raising the specter of conflict of
laws, diminished law enforcement cooperation, and French virtual child
pornography producers moving their “wares” to servers in the United States
because of its wider free speech protection.


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