Leftist Rick Falkvinge Defends Possession of Child Porn 1

Falkvinge turning necks again. Take notes, Infoshoppers.

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falkvinge.net
by Rick Falkvinge

Handcuffs opened

Child pornography is a toxic subject, but a very important one that cannot and should not be ignored. This is an attempt to bring the topic to a serious discussion, and explain why possession of child pornography need to be re-legalized in the next ten years, and why you need to fight for it to happen.

ABSTRACT
This article argues that our current laws on the topic are counterproductive, because they protect child molesters instead of bringing them to justice, they criminalize a generation of normally-behaving teenagers which diverts valuable police resources from the criminals we should be going after, and they lead to censorship and electronic book burning as well as unacceptable collateral damage to innocent families. Child abuse as such is not condoned by anybody, and this article argues that current laws are counterproductive in preventing and prosecuting it.

When possession of this type of information was criminalized, those who opposed that criminalization (which I didn’t, at the time – this was before my activism) pointed at four major objections:

  • It would not be effective, and possibly counterproductive, in catching child molesters.
  • It would lead to censorship without accountability.
  • Reporters complained it would undermine journalistic freedom that has stood intact for centuries.
  • Constitutional and political science scholars pointed out that it undermined centuries of free speech/expression traditions in a way that would be used by special interests to silence opponents of business interests unrelated to child porn.

In retrospect, all of this has come true. This is bad enough in itself; it is downright catastrophic. There are three overarching reasons why possession of child pornography must be re-legalized: the ban prevents catching child molesters, especially in light of new technology; it creates a generation of branded sex offenders that did nothing wrong; and it is the battleground for free speech itself. Let’s take these one at a time.

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