Post: Court Should Uphold Federal PROTECT Porn Law

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Tomorrow, the Supreme Court hears the case of Michael Williams, who boasted in an Internet chat room that he had pictures of himself engaged in sex acts with his daughter, a toddler. Federal law enforcement officers got a search warrant and found on his computer photographs of children engaged in sexual acts. He was charged with one count of possession of child pornography and one count of pandering under the Prosecutorial Remedies and Other Tools to End the Exploitation of Children Today (PROTECT) Act of 2003. The basis for the second charge was his online offer to supply an undercover cop with pictures of his daughter. Those pictures did not exist.

Williams convinced the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit that the law was overly broad and in violation of the First Amendment’s guarantee of free speech. The Washington Post editorializes that the high court should reverse the appeals court. The growth of the Internet has given pedophiles unprecedented access to child pornography. To choke off demand for it, says the Post, those who peddle child pornography must be held criminally liable — even if they exaggerate or falsely advertise the material they hawk.

Link: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/10/28/AR2007102801300.html

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