Careful now, all you Ashley Dupre fans
March 22, 2008 1 Comment
“A lawyer for the call girl linked to former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer said the woman was only 17 when filmed for “Girls Gone Wild” videos in 2003.”
at least, according to this:
“The FBI has recently adopted a novel investigative technique: posting hyperlinks that purport to be illegal videos of minors having sex, and then raiding the homes of anyone willing to click on them.”
trying to click on a link for a video starring this notorious 17-year-old could be “violating federal law, which criminalizes “attempts” to download child pornography with up to 10 years in prison.”
and then there is what this legal framework could mean for all internet users:
Civil libertarians warn that anyone who clicks on a hyperlink advertising something illegal–perhaps found while Web browsing or received through e-mail–could face the same fate.
When asked what would stop the FBI from expanding its hyperlink sting operation, Harvey Silverglate, a longtime criminal defense lawyer in Cambridge, Mass. and author of a forthcoming book on the Justice Department, replied: “Because the courts have been so narrow in their definition of ‘entrapment,’ and so expansive in their definition of ‘probable cause,’ there is nothing to stop the Feds from acting as you posit.”
The framework to criminalize internet use exists, at least when we’re talking about content that is not protected by the First Amendment. So all that may need to be done to criminalize attempts to view other types of internet content (copyrighted material, anyone?) is a little cut-and-pasting with a different description of illegal content into the existing legal framework.
It may be that all we need are lawmakers with a little imagination…
(image via Jezebel)