Brian Ribbon writes: In a case which largely escaped the attention of the mainstream media, a man from the UK has been charged with "publishing an obscene article" for discussing sexual fantasies involving children during a private online discussion with a friend. This case comes shortly after the dismissal of the controversial "Girls (Scream) Aloud" case, in which a defendant was unsuccessfully prosecuted for "publishing" a story involving the rape and murder of adult members of a popular music group. Presumably, the increasingly authoritarian Crown Prosecution Service hope that they can ressurect (and broaden) the Obscene Publications Act, simply by charging a paedophile with the offence. The man was also charged with downloading ("making") and possessing indecent images of children; a very broadly defined law under which people have been convicted for possessing naturist images of minors.
Brian Ribbon writes: In a country where politics regularly trumps the genuine protection of children, the parliament of the United Kingdom has now criminalised the possession of drawings and cartoons which feature children engaged in (or witnessing) sexual acts. The law is a result of lobbying by various commercialised "charities" who hope to gain publicity through their politicial acitivies, arguing that images of virtual children could incite the commission of contact offences against children, even though research indicates that virtual images reduce the likelihood of viewers molesting children. The new law prohibits any image which "focuses solely or principally on a [virtual] child's genitals or anal region" or depicts any sexual act which involves virtual children or is witnessed by virtual children, and is "pornographic" and "grossly offensive, disgusting or otherwise of an obscene character.