We Must Make Virtual Child Pornography Illegal

Powerful Essays
The Supreme Court lifted a 1996 act banning virtual child pornography. The six to three ruling, led by Justice Anthony Kennedy, says the law violates First Amendment freedom of speech rights guaranteed to every citizen of the United States of America. Although many free speech advocates are shouting victory, many citizens across the country are lamenting over the loss in the fight against child pornography.

Child pornography has been present in society for centuries, but has only recently become more accessible through the development of the printing press and subsequently, the technology of the Internet. Until the mid-1990s, "illegal child pornography [had only] involved depictions of actual children engaged in sexually explicit activity" (ACLU), and virtual pornography had never before been an issue. This was before the Internet. The October 1996 Child Pornography Prevention Act was put into place with the purpose of updating then-current child porn and sexual exploitation laws mainly because of on-line transmission and creation of child porn. The Child Pornography Prevention Act of 1996 revised the previous child pornography laws, said the American Civil Liberties Union, by outlawing any "computer-generated depictions of children engaging in sexual conduct," or what is now commonly known as virtual child pornography. Virtual child pornography also includes any images presenting people who appear to be minors or adult bodies superimposed with the faces of children, often making it difficult to tell if the material is of a real child or not. These new forms of child porn were becoming prevalent on the Internet at the time because it was easily accessible and not yet illegal. The act therefore prohibited the possession, transm...

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Palmer, Elizabeth A. "Foes of 'Virtual' Child Pornography Seeking a Very Real Remedy After Court Strikes Down Ban." CQ Weekly. 20 April 2002: 1028.

Scherer, Ron. "New Vice Squad Troll the Web for Child Porn." Christian Science Monitor. Vol. 19. 17 December 1998: issue 16. Ebsco Information Services. On-line. 13 May 2002.

Slade, David C. "'Virtual' Child Porn." World & I. Vol 16. April 2001: issue 4. Ebsco Information Services. On-Line. 7 May 2002.

Terence, Jeffrey P. "Justice Kennedy Support 'Good' Child Pornography." Human Events. Vol. 58. 4 April 2002: issue 15. Ebsco Information Services. On-line. 9 May 2002.

Wekesser, Carol, et al. Pornography: Opposing Viewpoints. San Diego, CA: Greenhaven Press, Inc., 1997.
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