Is online porn illegal?
The subject of pornography can be extremely sensitive. Questions of legality, morality, and ethical concerns come up many times.
In terms of legality, pornography can be split into two types: child pornography and adult pornography.
When it comes to child pornography, this is a pretty cut and dry issue, it is illegal. Any person caught in possession of, producing, transporting, transmitting, selling, or distributing child pornography can and likely will be prosecuted under the law. A big reason for this is that children subject to this illegal business are under the age of 18. It has also been found that many child that are subjects of child pornography are also subjects of child abuse, which is also a criminal offense. This reason also leads to the illegal nature of child pornography.
Adult pornography is a different case. It is not illegal to possess adult pornography in your home as long the featured participants are consenting individuals of at least 18 years of age. In the United States the Supreme Court in Stanley v. Georgia, 394 U.S. 557 (1969), held that in a person's home "the mere private possession of obscene matter cannot constitutionally be made a crime."
Distributing and selling porn
In many states and places around the world, it may be illegal to sell, share, and show pornography to others. It is illegal everywhere to show adult material to minors. Visit your state or country website for official rules and regulations regarding distributing and selling porn.
Ethical and moral issues
The issue that comes up surrounding adult pornography is more of an ethical or moral one. Some people don't view it as a problem and actively participate in viewing or distributing it. Others view it as wrong, unethical, and immoral. They feel the human body was not meant to be put on display in this fashion or shown in videos for all the world to see. It's considered an act of adultery and sin in most, if not all religions.
- Protecting children from harmful material and people on the Internet.
- See the COPA definition for further information and related links.
- Internet help and support.