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Chapter

Cover Information Technology Law

20. Obscenity in the information society  

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, non-consensual disclosure of private sexual images (revenge porn) along with private regulation of pornographic imagery and proposals for Age Verification.

Chapter

Cover Information Technology Law

20. Obscenity in the information society  

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.

Chapter

Cover Information Technology Law

11. Virtual criminality  

This chapter examines the law on virtual crimes, including those covering Internet pornography, photographs and pseudo-photographs, and multimedia products. It discusses the difficulty of applying localised concepts of obscenity—which are dictated by cultural, religious, and societal values—in the global environment of the Internet. It also considers the issue of cyber bullying and harassment. It is shown that nation states have difficulty enforcing their own policies regarding what is or is not acceptable. However, matters assume a different perspective when there is a commonality of approach between the jurisdiction where material is hosted and where it is accessed. In this, the Council of Europe Convention on Cybercrime is a significant, albeit limited, development.

Chapter

Cover Smith, Hogan, and Ormerod's Criminal Law

30. Obscene communication and publication offences (additional chapter)  

David Ormerod and Karl Laird

This chapter deals with the offences addressed in the Obscene Publications Acts 1959 and 1964, and related offences. These offences not only have implications for freedom of speech but also raise important issues about the appropriate boundaries of criminalization. Obscene publications are governed by s 2(1) of the Obscene Publications Act 1959. This chapter also considers extreme pornography and other offensive communications offences such as malicious communications, obscenity in the theatre, possession of prohibited images of children, posting indecent or obscene matter, indecent displays, outraging public decency, revenge porn and recent proposals for reform.