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Sweden to tighten child pornography laws

TT/The Local · 2 Nov 2009, 14:39

Published: 02 Nov 2009 14:39 GMT+01:00

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Once passed, the government's proposal will be sent to the Council on Legislation (Lagrådet) for approval before the bill is put to a parliamentary vote.

Currently, only possession of pornographic material featuring children is illegal in Sweden. In practice, this means that anybody who looks at pictures or videos of child pornography can escape punishment by taking care not to download any files.

The government hopes to close this loophole by passing a new law that will come in effect on July 1st 2010.

Monday's government session will also deal with another step in the legislative bid to combat child pornography as the government proposes the introduction of a strict age limit into the legal definition of child pornography.

Under the proposed terms, pornographic images of children under the age of eighteen will be classified as child pornography.

Story continues below…

However, since the second stage of the law requires a constitutional amendment, it must be approved by two consecutive governments. Part one is expected to be pushed through at Monday's extraordinary government meeting.

The government then hopes that the second phase will be completed shortly after next September's general election, enabling the new age limit to come into force on January 1st 2011.

TT/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

15:31 November 2, 2009 by dstergiou
The idea is pretty nice, but i have 1-2 questions:

According to the article:

"Under the proposed terms, pornographic images of children under the age of eighteen will be classified as child pornography. "

Obviously, they need to define exactly what the term "pornographic images" mean. Otherwise i predict a lot of loopholes

Also, i find it a bit lame that for such an important change they need to keep the "letter of the law", by having the bill approved by 2 governments. Just make it come into effect TODAY, do you believe that anyone, government or opposition will have any objections?
16:05 November 2, 2009 by karex

I second that motion!

Besides, opposing this law would be the equivalent of political suicide.
16:24 November 2, 2009 by blippe
If i click on any link on this site, I have no idea what is going to show up in my browser. Someone might have hacked thelocal, maybe dstergiou has succeded in slipping by an illegal picture on his profile? However if this law passes, you will have broken the law and might face a prisonterm, just by being lured to a page you never intended to visit.

The only reason you won't understand this is because the internet is so low on pornography of kids it will never happen to us.

And, you are unable to look at a webpage if you don't download it. Today it is illegal to save pictures, not to download them, last time this was up for discussion this was one of the points that was muchdebated, mostly because so much time was put down into defining what was a temporary (legal) copy and what constitutes an illegal ("saved") copy.

It is a scary day when it will be illegal to report child pornography, if you find it, you have wathced it and might go to prison if you report it.
19:44 November 2, 2009 by Osokin
Utterly ridiculous to ban "viewing" something, anything at all. Ban hearing, smelling too then ... what next, ban thinking ? If they could only enforce it ...
20:49 November 2, 2009 by PrinceKnight
The proposed laws sound somewhat half-baked; I am sorry to have to say. The veiwing of pornography is as old as the oldest profession in the world, prostitution; just take a loof at Alexa.com and you will how popular this form of entertainment is in modern society.

It is also true, you can not always determine the age of a girl in a photograph. Is she 16 or is she 22? Your guess is as good as mine.

When is the line between fine art and prnography to be drawn? Will publication of nudist culture, which is so popular in parts of Europe, be defined as pornography?

Why are the websurfers the target of legislation; when you can so easily be railroaded into some of the less acceptable sites? Would it not be more appropriate to target the producers of actual child pornography, rather then the unassuming websurfer? What is the real motivation behind these news laws?

It seems to me, in a country; where nobody can say for sure, if the King makes the Laws, or the clowns and puppets in Parliament make the Laws; this this is just another example of the thin edge of the sword of totalitarianism. Where the muted sheep standby and say nothing, even unto the moment when they are led to the slaughter.

At least, Daniel Westling, won't have any worries about any of this; as he is free of having criminal charges filed against him for anything. I wonder, if the same applies to, whomever was the original "Daniel Westling", back in the nineties, who gave his autograph out to poeple? (My God, Sweden can be so confusing at times.)
22:17 November 2, 2009 by bocale1
I am always really suspicious when I read that a new legislation has been prepared to fight things like terrorism, child pornography and so on... because this is normally the way governments use to attack and reduce private freedoms. This is because any of us would do more or less anything to defeat those terrible crimes and most of the people are ready to sacrifice their personal rights for that.

And I am afraid this law goes exactly in that direction for a number of reasons: first, because, unless any single link in the web is tracked by the government agencies, it is totally inapplicable; second, what it is intended to fight? people that just by coincidence watch illegal porno Internet pages instead of criminal gangs that makes business with that? and then, how to be sure of ages of actors and actress? how to prove that this person deliberately wanted to watch that stuff?

All in all, in the best case this is just a very political trick to get some consensus for the next elections; the worst case is that is the new way to try to spy any Internet users in all what they do.
00:31 November 3, 2009 by blippe
Well, at least the new law say that you can't be prosecuted for your own pictures as long as you haven't turned 18. Since laws like this mainly are used against teens who are "sexting", it means just the recipient of the picture is commiting a crime.
09:41 November 3, 2009 by Dr A
Nemesis, what you don't realize is that this law threatens to make us all paedophiles. You go first on the bonfire? Happy Halloween!
14:58 November 3, 2009 by eZee.se
"Also, i find it a bit lame that for such an important change they need to keep the "letter of the law", by having the bill approved by 2 governments. Just make it come into effect TODAY, do you believe that anyone, government or opposition will have any objections?"

This is not as important as filesharing to the govt. so it will take its time moving along slowly... teens nude... no real problem, teens downloading a tune... Oh noes! The world is ending!
12:48 November 4, 2009 by PrinceKnight
All of this really comes still as quite a shock to, especially in a country known for having been the world's more formidable purveyor of "beastiality pornography", such as Sweden historically is.

Have you ever been to Oslo? Standing before the city hall is a huge statue of naked children and young people. There is young woman holding the hand of a child. How old is the young woman? Not sure, maybe 20 or maybe 14; she has fully developed "breastesses". Perhaps the artist, who renedered the statue, was merely inept at rendering the features of the young woman to be over the age of 18? Maybe it would be a crime to even glance upon this statue; let alone to photograph it? Perhaps, the statue is merely a relic of generations past; a perverse Scandanavian generation of nudists, who are in no way representative of the very high-moraled generation of Scandanavians today?

Try this: Go to Google and click on "Image Search"; then type in "legal pornography": the only results, which you will get, seem to be "illegal" pornography. With this in mind, if a person is near-sighted, and thus unable to see the images clearly; is this the same as if the images were censored and obscured: can this be an accepatable legal defense?? For, it is for certain, very few people with poor vision are capable of having the same satisfaction from the viewing of images as those with keener eyesight.

Just a few things to think about.
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