TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: U.S. Now Says All Porn is Child Porn Unless Proven Otherwise

U.S. Now Says All Porn is Child Porn Unless Proven Otherwise

Spam Daily News (
Tue, 20 Dec 2005 15:17:11 -0600

From Spam Daily News

All pornography in the US is now effectively classified as child
pornography, unless providers can prove the ages of everyone taking

The law, which requires porn producers to hold copies of all actors'
photo ID for seven years, has been in place for some time, but as of
23 June, the rule was extended to cover online pornography as
well. This includes online forums, adult personals sites and any other
place where adult material may be published.

At issue is the government's right to make sure that anyone seen in an
explicit pose on a U.S.-based website is legally an adult.

Previously, the government only targeted people who actually produce
sexually explicit content. That's why the boxes containing porn videos
feature notes in fine print confirming that performers are of legal

But the new interpretation allows investigators to go after so-called
"secondary producers," including webmasters who buy or steal content
from someone else. Critics claim that the government could even target
online museum exhibits or news coverage of the pictures from the Abu
Ghraib scandal.

Lawrence Walters, an adult industry attorney, said the revised federal
regulations impact all Web sites that allow sexually explicit images
such as penetration, masturbation and S&M -- including gay male
cruising sites.

Cruising for a sex partner and posting a nude image doesn't
necessarily fall under the federal regulations, but the images can be
posted on commercial Web sites that sell ads and are in the public
domain, he said.

For instance, a man posting his nude picture on a Web site might have
to prove to site owners that he is 18 or older, and documentation must
be on file with the Web site that includes government-issued
identification cards, Social Security number, name and address.

In response, a number of sites have voluntarily taken themselves
offline, to avoid breaking the newly applied rules.

According to BoingBoing, has taken down and, which contained the occasional explicit image, although
it is/was not a porn site, as such. and
took down photos, as did some featuring celebrity nudity. Even
non-porn online publishers like, a gay website,
temporarily removed all photos from its personal ads, even though it
bans pictures with adult content.

In a statement on the site,'s administrators call the
law a "side-handed attack on the pornography industry", and says that
it would be impossible for it to meet the requirements of the

While the law is designed to protect minors, and prevent exploitation,
some free speech campaigners argue that the law gives authorities an
awful lot of power to close down sites they don't approve of, even if
that was not its original goal.

Violations of the requirements are criminal offenses punishable by
imprisonment for up to five years for a first offense and up to 10 years for
subsequent offenses, according to the DOJ.

SOURCE: The Register; Wired; Washington Blade

Copyright 2005 Spam Daily

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