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It’s for The Children
Posted by: Dale Franks on Monday, August 18, 2008

In a noble effort to protect the children of California from...something...a unamimous Assembly approved AB 534. Assuming this bill becomes a law, the children of California will no longer have to worry about the...uh...thing that the legislature is outlawing.
SECTION 1. Section 273i is added to the Penal Code, to read: 273i. (a) Any person who publishes information describing or depicting a child, the physical appearance of a child, the location of a child, or locations where children may be found with the intent that another person imminently use the information to commit a crime against a child and the information is likely to aid in the imminent commission of a crime against a child, is guilty of a misdemeanor, punishable by imprisonment in a county jail for not more than one year, a fine of not more than one thousand dollars ($1,000), or by both a fine and imprisonment.

(b) For purposes of this section, "publishes" means making the information available to another person through any medium, including, but not limited to, the Internet, the World Wide Web, or e-mail.

(c) For purposes of this section, "child" means a person who is 14 years of age or younger.

(d) For purposes of this section, "information" includes, but is not limited to, an image, film, filmstrip, photograph, negative, slide, photocopy, videotape, video laser disc, or any other computer-generated image.
So, now the...thing...that children are threatened by will no longer be a threat, since there's now a law preventing you from doing...the act. Whatever it is.

It sounds wonderful. I'm not sure what circumstances would have to transpire to actually allow anyone to be prosecuted for this new crime. And it seems to me that any act that might fall under this new law is already covered under the existing law against aiding and abetting a felony.

But, it's for The Children™, so, naturally, I'm all for it.

UPDATE: A commenter writes:
I also recall this being related to a case where someone - I don’t know if he was a convicted offender or just openly supportive - had set up a site telling pedophiles spots they could find kids. His claim was that just posting pictures of kids at playgrounds with driving directions etc. wasn’t actually illegal even though he made it clear he was doing it to help pedophiles find kids.
Yeah, well,that's still legal under the bill.

Think about the elements of the crime the bill sets up:

1) You must "publish" the information.
2) You must do so with the intent that another person imminently use the information to commit a crime against the child.
3) The information must aid in the imminent commission of a crime against a child.

The word immanent has a clear meaning. It means that it must take place in an immediate time frame. Posting a kid's pics, then having a crime occur next week...isn't imminent.

Basically, the way the law reads, what it covers is someone who posts a pic of a kid on the internet and says, "Here's a picture of a child you can attack tonight." But, of course, that's already a felony abbetting charge right there, so I'm not sure what the new law accomplishes. Essentially, it's so narrowly written, that it will, as a practical matter, cover almost no act that is likely to occur.
 
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I think I know what this is about. There was convicted sex predator who was hanging out in public parks, taking photos of kids and posting them online along with his "review" of the best parks. Pretty sick stuff.

I wonder if anyone bothered to see if there were already laws on the books for this sort of thing?

"Crimes" of "intent" make me all twitchy.
 
Written By: Ronnie Gipper
URL: http://
I also recall this being related to a case where someone - I don’t know if he was a convicted offender or just openly supportive - had set up a site telling pedophiles spots they could find kids. His claim was that just posting pictures of kids at playgrounds with driving directions etc. wasn’t actually illegal even though he made it clear he was doing it to help pedophiles find kids.

I believe that’s why the law is so narrowly defined and in fact specifically calls out the internet and email for this purpose - the goal wasn’t to prevent ’mom & dad’ from mailing a picture of their kid at the park with a note of what a great day they had for grandma and others to see, it was aimed directly at the activity of this person and others like him who were taking pictures of other peoples kids and attaching information on which park they could be found at if you were looking for a good time. No specific threat to the child, no actual crime committed by the poster - but a little like your neighbor posting your home address, contents of your home and security system and suggesting those looking to empty the safe stop by...

The narrow definition might seem limiting but is actually appropriate, and note you don’t have to prove a felony was comitted against a child, just that the person involved was posting pictures that the type of person who would commit that felony could use for that purpose. In the case the person readily admitted to that and even that purpose.
 
Written By: BillS
URL: http://bills-opinions.blogspot.com/
This will no doubt lead to all kinds of restrictions on everyday actions. I expect that soon, parents will not be allowed to photograph their own children at school or sporting events. This is because other children may well end up in the photo and then get included in an e-mail or web posting.

I know, I lived with this while living in Australia from 05 - 07. Parents were not allowed to bring cameras to school functions. This was because some sort of law made it illegal to photograph other kids. Part of the rationale was that I was living in Canberra and the government school my children attended was in a neighborhood with lots of children of foreign diplomats and staff.

Thus we could only get pictures made available by the official school photographer, a volunteer who had to get each picture approved before making it available. You can imagine how many actual pictures we ended up getting, pretty close to zero.

So just wait for the lawyers and risk averse bureaucrats to start implementing the restrictions "needed" for this law.
 
Written By: GBW
URL: http://
"Computer generated images"? Hasn’t there already bee a US Supreme Court ruling that images are not kids and therefore can’t be treated as such?
 
Written By: SDN
URL: http://
Basically, the way the law reads, what it covers is someone who posts a pic of a kid on the internet and says, "Here’s a picture of a child you can attack tonight." But, of course, that’s already a felony abbetting charge right there, so I’m not sure what the new law accomplishes. Essentially, it’s so narrowly written, that it will, as a practical matter, cover almost no act that is likely to occur.
While I’m sure BillS is correct as to the catalyst for the statute, I read it pretty much the same way as Dale. If there is already a felony charge for aiding and abetting child endangerment/statutory rape/rape, etc., why create a new misdemeanor charge? It’s a lesser included offense with a pretty high burden of proof for the state (intent? imminent?), so it’s not clear that the legislation does anything at all to address the situation BillS alludes to.
 
Written By: MichaelW
URL: http://qando.net
So, perverts didn’t know kids hang out in playgrounds?
 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
Maybe just my perspective, but it sounds to me like this is a law trying to fight the more personal types of ’raiding’ that start on the more internet-centric imageboards, and IRC. (Specifically the various *chan boards)

The kind of thing that happens there is that for whatever reason, a ’raid’ is started on someone. Then the other posters start investigating online to find ’dox’ on that person. That includes finding any online accounts they might have, like myspace, facebook, photobucket, and a physical address.

Then they start with harassment. Ordering pizzas to be sent to that address, ordering things online in their name and having them sent to their address, hacking into their online accounts and defacing them, adding photoshopped pictures of their face on pornography, etc.

All of that sounds relatively prankish, until you realize that the *chans can occasionally get several hundred people involved in these raids.
 
Written By: Dustin
URL: http://
Yeah. That actually has nothing whatever to do with this law.
 
Written By: Dale Franks
URL: http://www.qando.net
Reason #87,654 to not live in California.

 
Written By: Grimshaw
URL: http://

 
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