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Viewing Child Pornography Is LEGAL In New York

In one of the most disgusting rulings I have ever heard, the New York Court of Appeals ruled on Tuesday that viewing child pornography online is not a crime.

“The purposeful viewing of child pornography on the internet is now legal in New York,” Senior Judge Carmen Beauchamp Ciparick wrote in a majority decision for the court.

Please, go back and re-read that. Let it sink in.

You can LEGALLY view child pornography in the state of New York.

It hurt to type that sentence out.

In case you’re wondering, this wasn’t a random decision; there was a court case surrounding Marist College professor James D. Kent. In 2009, Professor Kent brought his computer to a store to be checked for viruses; the store employees found a large amount of child pornography on his computer cache. Kent argued that he never downloaded the images.

If you aren’t computer-savvy, whenever you view an image online, a copy of that data is saved in your memory cache. It’s used as a time-saver so you don’t have to re-download Facebook’s logo every time you sign on, for example. Whenever you view any website, all the images are temporarily saved.

I do understand the loophole involved in this case. There can be a difference between actively searching for and downloading child porn, versus getting attacked by a virus or a pop-up ad or something.

New York law still states “it is illegal to create, possess, distribute, promote or facilitate child pornography.” The wording, however, doesn’t address simply “viewing” the material. I still think this ruling is absolutely absurd and I can’t quite wrap my mind around the fact that a judge put their name on such a decision.
Click here to read the full 34-page ruling.

Flickr user steakpinball

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