News out of Oregon that grants people who search for kiddie porn some legal leeway sounds like child porn just got legalized. So how could this be good news? Because surfing the Internet for your porn just got a whole lot safer.
Turn off your creep alert! We're not advocating you join NAMBLA today or change your avatar to pedo bear. The truth is -- sadly -- you don't have to be searching for child porn to accidentally stumble on it these days or, worse, have it worm its way into your hard drive via the latest virus. Yes, even you law-abiding horndogs are at risk.
That's the reasoning behind an Oregon Supreme Court ruling that ruled "people who surf the Internet for child pornography haven't violated a law against encouraging sexual abuse of children -- so long as they haven't paid for, downloaded or shared the porn." It rings awfully close to "hey, go ahead, search for it, you know you want to" and gives us the heebie jeebies.
But with the bad comes the good, right? It sets a precedent that will hopefully spread across the land for the rest of us. We can have our Internet porn and a little safety from prosecution if entering "girl on girl" into Google lands us accidentally on a site with two little girls going at it. It's a lot easier to explain to the cops that you were disgusted by what you saw if you have the law on your side. Because the cops very well may show up.
That's what happened to Matthew White in 2009. The 22-year-old was downloading a "girls gone wild" video on Limewire, or so he says. Instead he ended up with little girls on his computer, a visit from the FBI and a prison sentence. Now he's a sex offender, just for going after a little legal, above board, average American male desired porn.
I know what you're thinking: of course, that's just what the sickos are going to say, that it was all an accident. But several friends who work with computer repair and maintenance would beg to differ. People bring in their laptop complaining it's lagging or not working entirely, and when the IT folks start sifting through the viruses, they find hard drives bogged down with accidental porn downloads. Maybe one or two comes from hardcore creeps, but it happens so frequently, and the owners so often convey real shock, that it's evident this is a serious problem.
Do you take the risk of Internet porn?
Image via orangeacid/Flickr