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International

Germany: Child pornography’s legal grey zone

A German ex-parliamentarian is being investigated for possessing child pornography. Prosecutors and other experts are often forced to make difficult distinctions on whether a given image crosses the line into illegality.

When it comes to the legal definition of child pornography in Germany, a large grey area exists. Just by entering relevant terms in a search engine or trying to open a picture on a computer, individuals can face prosecution. That’s because searching for and attempting to obtain child pornography are illegal in Germany, just as the possession of such materials is.

Only certain experts or investigators are allowed to search for the images. If private citizens search on their own – even if their intent is to help the police – they are committing a criminal offense. Full Article

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Geeez… what is it with those Germans? What kind of standards are those? Actual children under 14 must be depicted? Actual sexual conduct must be depicted? So no prison for taking photos of a perfectly legal act of those 17-year olds who are considered old enough to engage in sexual conduct, like in some US States? So no felony prosecution for that teenage girl with the nude selfie in the article on this site a while back?

And the punishment… where is the mandatory minimum of 5 years? Or 20 years, consecutively without parole, per image? And what is this max for ‘severe distribution’ – 10 years? Absurd. Hey, how about life or hundreds of years? Actual judging and sentencing by… actual judges? Not to mention the lack of a life long public shaming registry?

The humanity!! And to think that last time I visited Germany it certainly SEEMED like a perfectly civilized and pleasant place. If they only knew.

I think Germany has learned a lesson from its dark past, both in increasing harshness of the penal state leading up to the third Reich, and the Staci of East Germany. The strong arm totalitarian tactics lead to war and a break down of civil society, not security.

Hi Tim;
Good point. It’s too bad the self serving dummies here are incapable of learning from history and avoid mistakes already made.

Yes, I always wondered how those “other” countries, and also our country in the past, could show so much violence against certain citizens. Weren’t we better than that, now? And then, as if some power was mocking me, I was put on the Registry, and I began to relive the past.

Hi Tim;
The popular propaganda portrays the US citizen as the next best thing to God only wanting to help, like in Iraq, Libya, central America and a host of other countries. The truth is America (the people) is no better than anywhere else. Here people have the capacity for cruelty and injustice, jut look at the registry.

A little story of the “progress” made in the oppression of our black brothers and sisters; in 1990 I was traveling through the Great Smoky Mountains (man o man are those country girls fine!) and there are still towns way back there that will lynch a black man after they make him watch his daughter get raped, all for being out after dark. I saw several towns with signs posted in front of the city hall, and all over down town that said things like “No Blacks Allowed” or “All Ni–as caught out after dark will be lynched”. It’s true; I have seen this with my own eyes. I went into one of the stores to buy a drink, and a big strapping black man and his two sons had the counter loaded down with their shopping (they weren’t allowed to use a shopping cart), and I stood behind them and watched them pick everything up and stand to the side, just so I could pay for my purchase. They seemed thoroughly cowed. The red-neck behind the counter just smiled; it was weird.
My point is oppression is alive and well here in amerika. Granted there has been much progress, but inequality and oppression seems to be something some men and women are not willing to let go of. Every time a new and oppressive law/ordnance is passed against us registrants it is a giant step backwards and makes the progress that has been made seem phony.

Yes, I believe you. Even in my nice southern California town, a man who was trying to sell coffee to raise money to alleviate hunger in Africa, was shouted at and had things thrown at him during the morning commute. The white guy advertizing a pawn shop on the sidewalk never gets harrassed. The progress hasn’t seeped into everyday culture– in fact it is going backwards.

Hi Tim;
Indeed, it is going backwards. Our state sponsored plight is proof of that! If this registry and punitive law witch hunt isn’t stopped it will grow to include more people than anyone can imagine.

I believe if the witch hunt isn’t stopped many of the haters that cheer with glee every time another oppressive sanction is placed upon us will soon find them selves in prisons, facing punitive laws, and quite possibility a lifetime of registration for things nobody ever imagined would become a crime.

Does anyone know how to tell the age of a naked teen? How do you know if your naughty or nice?

Troll Alert.

why don’t you just go back to your internet porn and occupy yourself that way instead of posting inappropriate comments here.

It would seem the point of my post shot way over your head.
So be it.
Let me try again. In an age where the internet is posting and advertising so much sexual content, how is the average person supposed to protect themselves from viewing an illegal photo from a legal one (in the gray zone).
Could it be that all web sites need to have a government sanctioned rating?

I apologize; But I think anyone looking at your comment would find the wording ambiguous, at best.

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