Internet Pornography and Censorship


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Pornography is sexually explicit material, such as pictures, videos, or even writing, whose primary cause is to cause sexual arousal. The current pornography law states: “For the purposes of this Act, any publication a dominant characteristic of which is the undue exploitation of sex, or of sex and any one or more of the following subjects, namely, crime, horror, cruelty and violence, shall be deemed to be obscene. Or; for the purposes of this Act, any matter or thing is obscene where a dominant characteristic of the matter or thing is the undue exploitation of any one or more of the following subjects, namely, sex, violence, crime, horror or cruelty, through degrading representations of a male or female person or in any other manner.” Maximum sentences of ten years for its production and distribution, and five years for simple possession, are prescribed.” (The)The law regarding this material is as follows: "a photographic, film, video or other visual representation, whether or not it was made by electronic or mechanical means (i) that shows a person who is or is depicted as being under the age of 18 years and is engaged in or is depicted as engaged in explicit sexual activity or (ii) the dominant characteristic of which is the depiction, for a sexual purpose, of a sexual organ or the anal region of a person under the age of 18 years." Upon breaking this law, there is a sentence of up to five years in prison. Within three years of tracking, police have made 27 arrests and seized 84 computers with millions of images however; most of these people only get house arrest or more conditional sentences. It has gotten to a point, that there are just too many people to prosecute, and so many get off short of the deserved sentence-5 years-. (CBC)

There are offices of recognition, and people who analyze pornography, to first, make sure it is actual pictures, not digitally created ones, and also to make sure the material is counted as explicit. Pictures and documents are sent in, to be analyzed for one hundred percent certainty; the photos are real, and not photo shopped, or computer-generated. Before an arrest, or even and accusation can be made, the police must first make sure the material is actually against the law. This costs millions of dollars every year, to keep this program running. Before the ruling in 2002, all pictures were sent in, and all would be charged.

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Child pornography is illegal in the United States, but in 2002 the Supreme Court struck down on free-speech grounds, a 1996 federal ban on material that "appears to be" a child in a sexually explicit situation. This covers computer-generated images, although changing a picture in some way, such as the grafting of a child's school picture into a naked body, remains illegal. (Kiddie)
There are many cases regarding this issue of child pornography, for instance, the John Robin Sharpe case. In March 2002, there was a claim made against a man by the name of John Robin Sharp. He had been thought to have pornographic writing and images on his computer. After the first trial, he had been found innocent of the written documents; however, he had been proven guilty of two counts of possessing pornographic pictures of children, a finding that was expected because he had admitted the facts in one of the two situations. (CBC Canada) In March 2004, Sharpe was found guilty of a separate charge- indecent assault, stemming from an incident with a 14-year-old hitchhiker that was said to take place more than two decades ago. He was declared innocent of a second charge of sexual assault. This case held up other cases, because of the difficult decisions that needed to be made regarding what was acceptable, and what was not, as well as breaking down the law to pick apart the precise action that needed to be taken to deal with this particular case. (CBC Indepth) It was said that he was just challenging the pornography laws, and after firing his lawyer, became his own. In the court, while posing as his own lawyer, he brought up the young man who had been exposed, and began to ask him questions. (CTV) because he was testing the law, he was bound to get in trouble one way or another.
Another incident relating to Pornography possession is the case of Jeffrey Blaine Hall, 51, of Valley Village. Authorities had said that Hall had a subscription to a child pornography website- www.namgla.net –abbreviation for North-American-Man-Girl-Love-Association. This site was used by Hall and many other child porn circulators throughout the world as a bulletin board where users could link off to child porn Web sites and obtain graphic images of sexually abused children. Since this, the website has been shut down, and eight other arrests have been made. In a search of Hall's home, authorities had recovered three computers with several hard drives and disks containing more than 7,600 images of child pornography. They said Hall had used the screen name, ``pleasemr'' on the namgla site. Another man: Christopher Jarold Hoff, 41, of Lancaster was arrested after a complaint was made that he had molested and exploited a young girl by taking photos of her, for years. When the National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children was contacted about this, Hoff was arrested. Hoff faces 48 felony molestation and related counts in Los Angeles Superior Court. Five of those 48 carry life sentences if he is found guilty. He is being held in lieu of $5 million bail. According to the authorities, and based on their investigation and pornographic material seized at Hoff's residence, there are other victims and urge potential witnesses to come forward. (TWO)
There are many conflicts with pornography and censorship, and the effects on people during experience. A woman by the name of Kimberly Drake told a story of her life. She had walked in on her husband masturbating to a pornographic video, and was devastated that he needed that to be aroused. She then started thinking dangerously, and believing that to make him happy; she must do whatever it took to be like the women in those videos. She became a stripper, and later became addicted to cocaine and eventually sex. She held a speech during a seminar and really touched people’s hearts. There are different reactions, and different mindsets when exposed to pornography. Some people are appalled, some are delighted, and some are insecure. In this situation, the video hurt someone who viewed it, but in many others, it hurts the people who are in the videos, or involved in making them. (Power) There are conflicts however, everywhere with dealing with what is and is not acceptable. From explicit websites, right down to late night television, there is controversy with what is ok to show, and what needs to be blanked out, or covered up. Censorship is a moral conflict. It is entirely in the eye of the beholder that this is monitored. It showed up in programs as old as The Dick Van Dyke Show where Rob and Laura’s beds were not even pushed together. Because the producer, or channel representative sees something as unacceptable, they get rid of it, so other people don’t have to see what is inappropriate in their eyes. People will never agree on censorship. Some shows don’t blank out anything, but have a rating in the top corner of the screen. This however, (unless a parental control is set up) does not stop viewers of a younger age from seeing this material. (CENSORSHIP)
Pornography can be damaging in much more than just one way. There are so many sites out there, and so much terrible exploitation going on in the world. Every person who views these subjects, and this kind of material, deserves to be caught and punished for it. Pornography, especially child pornography are unacceptable anywhere in Canada and the United States of America, and the law states that: “for the purposes of this Act, any matter or thing is obscene where a dominant characteristic of the matter or thing is the undue exploitation of any one or more of the following subjects, namely, sex, violence, crime, horror or cruelty, through degrading representations of a male or female person or in any other manner.” (CBC) This means that whether you buy it, sell it, watch it, or create it, it is all morally wrong. Censorship is a different issue, but along the same lines, and affects people differently in each situation. It can be argued good or bad, but will never be resolved. This is a sensitive topic, and a very large issue with older men becoming addicted, and then caught and sentenced. It is very wrong. Yet people still continue to view it, and try to get away with it. The world of pornography is huge, and the sites out there are unlimited. There are magazines in stores, available for adults (18 or older) that have been approved by the law, and do not contain things as graphic as some of the websites that exist. In conclusion, pornography is a hot topic when it comes to moral, social, and legal controversy, because of the opinions of the people, and will not ever be completely resolved, and will never end in full either.


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