Child Porn Charges Manufactured from Celeb Photo Hack?

Since I’m not a libertarian I think that all pornography should be illegal—not just child porn. People who exploit children deserve to be punished. It should count as a form of sexual assault.

sex offender

But I am having trouble believing that celebrities who somehow legally had nude photos taken of them when they were underage get to prosecute viewers because they put those pictures on their computer by clicking a link (knowingly or unknowingly).

According to TMZ,

Olympic gymnast McKayla Maroney says she was under 18 when the hacked nude photos of her were taken … and now she’s taking legal action against several porn sites that reposted the images.

TMZ has learned one of Maroney’s attorneys fired off a letter to Porn.com … informing the site that McKayla was underage in several of the photos. The letter demands the images of McKayla — who turned 18 last December — be taken down immediately.

Another attorney for the gymnast sent a different letter to multiple websites stating Maroney owns the copyright on the hacked photos. 

OK, I am more than fine with Porn.com being forced to remove those images, though I suspect that leaves them making money with many other young girls who can’t afford a lawyer. But is this really what is meant by child porn? How can Maroney admit these pictures were taken and not implicate herself or her parents or other guardians in a crime? If they are illegal then why do they exist in the first place?

And yet I suspect no law enforcement agency will show any interest in these questions even though they might prosecute someone who has one of her images on her computer.

The hacked nude photos of MTV actress Liz Lee were also taken when she was underage. Why?

So The Dot reports, that a group on Reddit that shares images has panicked because they suddenly realized that the images included child porn.

Here, redditors respond to Classiest_Erection with step-by-step instructions for how to use software to wipe his hard drive, which ostensibly contains illegally obtained underage nudes. We’re watching a crime being aided and abetted in real time.

In another instance, notwhoyouthinimnot goes out of his way to proactively encourage redditors to remove all record of their criminal activity.

OK, they are a pack of perverts and I wish they would repent and maybe avoid going to Hell. But is this the kind of thing that child porn penalties had in mind? I know there are child porn criminals who probably ought to be executed (and who found employment with the Federal government for what it’s worth). But is that true of people who don’t know how to erase an image after clicking on a link, either unknowingly or because they associate it with an adult celebrity?

To reiterate, pornography is seriously dangerous and should be criminalized, albeit with gradual punishments. But making it a First Amendment right, insisting it is a protected hobby, and then turning around and treating people like hardened child pornographers because they clicked a link so that there is now an image on their hard-drive is simply not just or right. If we are going to prosecute, then we need to see equal treatment imposed on the people who took these photographs in the first place.

The government has created this environment. It needs to repent and change it, not use scapegoats.