Possession of extreme porn to become criminal offence

Perpetrators face three years in chokey


The Government has published a new law which will criminalise extreme pornography. The Government first indicated that it would criminalise the possession of violent pornography two years ago.

A new Criminal Justice and Immigration Bill has had its first reading in Parliament, which means that it has been published and awaits debate and committee scrutiny.

The possession of extreme pornography will be punishable by up to three years in jail, according to a statement from the Ministry of Justice. "Material covered will include necrophilia, bestiality, and violence that is life threatening or likely to result in serious injury to the anus, breasts, or genitals," said the statement.

Such material has been illegal to publish until now under the Obscene Publications Act. The material has not been illegal to view or possess, though; the new law will make possession a crime. Images of child pornography are already illegal to view or to possess.

The legislation is designed to tackle the fact that with internet publishing something can be created and published on the other side of the world and instantaneously viewed or stored in the UK.

"[This material] can be accessed in the UK from abroad via the internet. Legislating in this area will ensure that the possession of such material is illegal both on and off line," said the Ministry of Justice. "This Government will always seek to close gaps in the law caused by misuse of new technologies, such as the internet, which allow existing controls to be avoided."

The legislation covers realistic pictures, even those which are not photographs, moving images, and files or data that can be converted into pictures.

The new law is designed to take account of the context of images, and recognises that an image which might seem to constitute extreme pornography in isolation may not do so in a wider context. "Where an image forms an integral part of a narrative constituted by a series of images, and it appears that the series of images as a whole was not produced solely or principally for the purpose of sexual arousal, the image may, by virtue of being part of that narrative, be found not to be pornographic, even though it might have been found to be pornographic if taken by itself," said the published bill.

"The new law is not intended to target those who accidentally come into contact with obscene pornography; nor would it target the mainstream entertainment industry which works within current obscenity laws or those who sell bondage material legally available in the UK," said the Ministry of Justice statement.

Copyright © 2007, OUT-LAW.com

OUT-LAW.COM is part of international law firm Pinsent Masons.


Other stories you might like

  • Stolen university credentials up for sale by Russian crooks, FBI warns
    Forget dark-web souks, thousands of these are already being traded on public bazaars

    Russian crooks are selling network credentials and virtual private network access for a "multitude" of US universities and colleges on criminal marketplaces, according to the FBI.

    According to a warning issued on Thursday, these stolen credentials sell for thousands of dollars on both dark web and public internet forums, and could lead to subsequent cyberattacks against individual employees or the schools themselves.

    "The exposure of usernames and passwords can lead to brute force credential stuffing computer network attacks, whereby attackers attempt logins across various internet sites or exploit them for subsequent cyber attacks as criminal actors take advantage of users recycling the same credentials across multiple accounts, internet sites, and services," the Feds' alert [PDF] said.

    Continue reading
  • Big Tech loves talking up privacy – while trying to kill privacy legislation
    Study claims Amazon, Apple, Google, Meta, Microsoft work to derail data rules

    Amazon, Apple, Google, Meta, and Microsoft often support privacy in public statements, but behind the scenes they've been working through some common organizations to weaken or kill privacy legislation in US states.

    That's according to a report this week from news non-profit The Markup, which said the corporations hire lobbyists from the same few groups and law firms to defang or drown state privacy bills.

    The report examined 31 states when state legislatures were considering privacy legislation and identified 445 lobbyists and lobbying firms working on behalf of Amazon, Apple, Google, Meta, and Microsoft, along with industry groups like TechNet and the State Privacy and Security Coalition.

    Continue reading
  • SEC probes Musk for not properly disclosing Twitter stake
    Meanwhile, social network's board rejects resignation of one its directors

    America's financial watchdog is investigating whether Elon Musk adequately disclosed his purchase of Twitter shares last month, just as his bid to take over the social media company hangs in the balance. 

    A letter [PDF] from the SEC addressed to the tech billionaire said he "[did] not appear" to have filed the proper form detailing his 9.2 percent stake in Twitter "required 10 days from the date of acquisition," and asked him to provide more information. Musk's shares made him one of Twitter's largest shareholders. The letter is dated April 4, and was shared this week by the regulator.

    Musk quickly moved to try and buy the whole company outright in a deal initially worth over $44 billion. Musk sold a chunk of his shares in Tesla worth $8.4 billion and bagged another $7.14 billion from investors to help finance the $21 billion he promised to put forward for the deal. The remaining $25.5 billion bill was secured via debt financing by Morgan Stanley, Bank of America, Barclays, and others. But the takeover is not going smoothly.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022