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Information Technology LawThe Law and Society

Information Technology Law: The Law and Society (4th edn)

Andrew Murray
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date: 09 December 2023

p. 50420. Obscenity in the information societylocked

p. 50420. Obscenity in the information societylocked

  • Andrew MurrayAndrew MurrayProfessor of Law, London School of Economics and Political Science


This chapter, which examines pornography and obscenity on the internet, first provides an overview of the UK common law standard known as the Hicklin principle and the Obscene Publications Acts. It then discusses the UK standard and US statutory interventions on pornography, the impact of the case ACLU v Reno on the regulation of sexually explicit content on the internet, pseudo-images, and images depicting child abuse as the most extreme form of pornographic image, and the policing of pseudo-images in the UK and internationally. The chapter also considers the law on non-photographic pornographic images of children, along with private regulation of pornographic imagery and the new Age-verification code for adult websites.

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