These issues are different in nature and should not be confused.It is the submission of this paper that any regulatory action intended to protect a certain group of people, such as children, should not take the form of an unconditional prohibition of using the Internet to distribute certain content where that is freely available to adults in other media.But as with the Web and the Usenet, only a small fraction of the IRC channels are dedicated to sex.There are more than 14,000 Usenet discussion groups all around the world but only around 200 groups are sex related, some of these relating to socially valuable and legitimate discussions, concerning, eg, homosexuality or sexual abuse."Law and the Internet" (ISBN 1-901362-30-2) can be ordered direct from Richard Hart Publishing at a cost of 25.00 per copy, plus 3.00 postage and packing for the first copy and 1.00 for any subsequent copies.[Mastercard/Access and Visa can be accepted.] For further information see: pornography should be regulated is one of the most controversial topics to have arisen in relation to the Internet in recent years.Section 1(1) of the 1959 Act provides that an article shall be deemed to be obscene if its effect or the effect of any one of its items is, if taken as a whole, such as to tend to deprave and corrupt persons who are likely, having regard to all relevant circumstances, to read, see or hear the matter contained or embodied in it.(14) Under Section 2(1) of the Obscene Publications Act ( OPA), it is an offence to publish an obscene article or to have an obscene article for publication for gain.
This has been the case ever since paedophiles started to use the Internet for circulating pornographic materials related to children.(17) Paedophilia can be seen as a minority sexual group, with its own form of expression explicitly involving fantasies and imaginings about sex with children.
The following headings will try to address the issues arising from the multi-layered approach to the governance of pornographic-content on the Internet.
This section concentrates mainly on those aspects of UK law relating to obscenity which have particular reference to the Internet.
The Internet also makes it possible to discuss sex, see live sex acts, and arrange sexual activities(3) from computer screens.
There are also sex related discussions on the Internet Relay Chat ( IRC) channels where users in small groups or in private channels exchange messages and files.
Akdeniz, Yaman "Governance of Pornography and Child Pornography on the Global Internet: A Multi-Layered Approach," in Edwards, L and Waelde, C eds, Law and the Internet: Regulating Cyberspace, Hart Publishing, 1997, pp 223-241. Introduction The availability of pornographic content on the Internet The governance of the Internet Overview of UK pornography laws Obscene Publications Act 19 Child pornography UK child pornography laws Protection of Children Act 1978 Section 160 of the Criminal Justice Act 1988 Operation Starburst Possession offences Distribution offences Fellows and Arnold: The Birmingham University Case US attempts to regulate the Internet - the Communications Decency Act 1996 (CDA) Legal challenges to the CDA Developments within the European Union Responsibility of Internet Service Providers (ISPs) Self- regulation by ISPs - the Internet Watch Foundation UK police censorship of Internet newsgroups Technical solutions and rating systems Parental control software Conclusion Copyright 1997, 1998 Yaman Akdeniz.