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Ashcroft, Lawmakers Try Again With New Virtual Child Pornography Law

1 May, 2002 By: Jessica Wolf




In response to The Supreme Court's recent ruling that struck down parts of the 1996 Child Pornography Protection Act (CPPA), Attorney General John Ashcroft and lawmakers are calling for new legislation that would criminalize computer-generated child pornography.

Monday lawmakers introduced a new virtual child pornography bill to the House of Representatives, The New York Times reported. The new language of this bill addresses the high court's concerns that parts of the CPPA were too broad, affected films and product where there were no actual children involved and could expand to include mainstream movies with redeeming social value, a caveat for judging a work as obscene in the judiciary's accepted Miller test.

Language in the new bill focuses more closely on computers and the Internet, the Times reported, and is more precise in its definition of virtual pornography, which was the main problem the Supreme Court justices had with the CPPA.

In the Times article, Ashcroft was quoted as calling the Supreme Court's April 16 decision a “legalization of computer-generated child pornography” that “has created a dangerous window of opportunity for child abusers to escape prosecution.”

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