Archive for Thursday, November 15, 2007

Boyda’s bill to close child porn loophole passes

November 15, 2007


— The House on Wednesday unanimously approved Kansas Rep. Nancy Boyda's bill to close a loophole that allowed a Kansas City, Kan., man convicted of possessing child pornography to escape punishment.

Boyda's measure targets a court decision earlier this year that threw out the 2005 conviction of William Schaefer.

Schaefer was found to have illegal images of children on his computer that he obtained over the Internet. But the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in September that an Internet transmission is not "interstate commerce" as required by the federal child pornography laws.

Boyda's bill closes that loophole to specify that Internet transmissions do, in fact, travel across state lines.

"It shouldn't have been this hard to start off with," Boyda said. "But Congress every now and then can get it right and move quickly."

The Senate is expected to consider a similar measure later this year.

If the legislation ultimately is signed into law, it would apply only to future cases and would not be retroactive to Schaefer's case.

The 10th Circuit's ruling in Schaefer's case contradicted a previous decision by the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in a different case. Such splits often are resolved by the U.S. Supreme Court, but Boyda said she did not want to wait months or years for that outcome.

"We need to get these guys in jail and keep them there," Boyda said. "It's about keeping our kids safe from these predators."

She said the appeals court in its ruling essentially asked Congress to clarify the law if it intended Internet transactions to be considered interstate commerce.

Boyda's legislation was one of several measures the House passed on Wednesday to toughen laws on child pornography and sex predators.

Another bill would approve spending $1 billion to combat online child exploitation, create a Justice Department office to coordinate prosecution efforts and provide more money to hire agents and improve forensic lab capabilities dedicated to child exploitation cases.

The Department of Justice estimates that one in five children between the ages of 10 and 17 received a sexual solicitation or approach last year while using the Internet.


dagopman 8 years ago

This is not Boyda's bill. She is a co-sponsor of the measure but not the author. The article title is misleading.

BigDog 8 years ago

Of course it's Congresswoman Boyda's bill ....almost everything Congress does is because of her..... every bill she votes for or is co-sponsor of she takes credit for.

preebo 8 years ago

Correction, She IS the Sponsor of the bill and not a Co-Sponsor.

...Now who is misleading?

Godot 8 years ago

Marion is right. This may be paving the way for tracking purchases over the internet back to the state of the purchaser.

preebo 8 years ago

"Marion is right. This may be paving the way for tracking purchases over the internet back to the state of the purchaser."

This is your concern? Seriously? You're worried about that and you're not complaining about the Patriot Act, or Warrentless Wiretapping? Wow.

staff04 8 years ago

daGOPman lives by the daGOPcredo. Make assertions first, fact check later...

justanothertaxpayer 8 years ago

The fear of the government regulating the internet is nothing new. There are sites dedicated to preventing such laws. Just look at the past when the Government subpoenaed Google and other search engines to obtain user's information about searches. Do you really want "Big Brother" watching your every move even in cyberspace? About the Patriot Act and the Wiretapping issues, this issue falls right in line with those. I believe that if you commit a crime then you must pay for it but at what cost to our own liberties shall it take to make sure people don't commit those crimes. Am I going to give up one liberty at a time because the Government tells me that it a matter of national security and that it will make my life safer? Hell no. You can not give up your liberties and freedoms for the illusion of safety.

preebo 8 years ago

Sidenote "The man who trades freedom for security does not deserve nor will he ever receive either." -Benjamin Franklin

monkeyspunk 8 years ago

Whoa whoa whoa! Marion, Godot, justanothertaxpayer, while I share some of your concerns about the privacy of the web this bill is justified and is not a harbinger of doom. Truly making mountains out of mole hills, and it makes you look like supporters of NAMBLA.

This was a true loophole that should not have existed. If this person possessed illegal data on his local hard drive and it was obtained via the Internet and the transfer did indeed cross state lines, how is this not a justifiable ruling? There are concrete ways to prove where data is obtained using IP and MAC addresses, logs obtained from Internet Service Providers, and many other sources that are all easily obtained.

The question was "Do Internet transactions take place across state lines." The definitive answer has almost always been YES. Yes it is possible he received the data from someone in his state, but most likely he did not, and a talented forensics team knowledgeable in computer science could easily track the data, depending much on the technical savvy of the offender.

Take a step back and get some perspective. This is a GOOD thing.

monkeyspunk 8 years ago

Ah, another point. The fact that this is even an issue shows that the Judicial system in the US lacks the flexibility and knowledge to deal with the frequent changes in computer technology. Had the judges and lawyers in the previous case been more versed in how the Internet works and how it can be tracked through examination this bill may not have been necessary.

Perhaps this will help them better understand a need to get up to date with technology, especially when you consider just how much crime occurs over the internet.

Godot 8 years ago

I'm not arguing one way or the other. I am simply pointing out the potential consequences of this bill, intended or not.

staff04 8 years ago

"I would think that any law that would limit Porn would tick liberals off."

If that's what happens when you think...well, I guess that explains a lot.

daddax98 8 years ago

"Hopefully the Senate will see through this and not allow it to proceed."

Unfortunately Rep. that does not vote for this would be labeled as "In support of child porn" which would be political suicide. Just look at the responses here

Taking this step is like using a bazooka to kill a fly; even if you accomplish your goal the collateral damage is not worth it

staff04 8 years ago

"Liberals have been clamouring for Amsterdam Porn for years.


Not according to a recent survey conducted by an online Christian community:

And there's this article, from a couple of years ago that highlights the fact that conservatives and liberals consume this kind of media at the same rate:

Maybe you should just stop trying.

a_flock_of_jayhawks 8 years ago

This is really strange. The same people that were saying "if you don't have anything to hide, then you don't have anything to worry about" a few days ago are crying over this measure. Very odd.

daddax98 8 years ago


exactly who are you talking about. The ditto heads seem to be following form to me.

a_flock_of_jayhawks 8 years ago

daddax98 (Anonymous) says:


exactly who are you talking about. The ditto heads seem to be following form to me."

Yep, those guys. In the words of a Senator from Kansas, "You know it. I know it. The American people know it."

a_flock_of_jayhawks 8 years ago

Kanservativeman (Anonymous) says:


Great citation (not)! From the same sewer as the "Gold Star Mothers" lie. Try citing a source with a little better reputation next time if you want it to be taken seriously.

a_flock_of_jayhawks 8 years ago

Kanservativeman writes, "Don't like the source, don't read it."

You're the one who put it out there to support your argument. Talk about a clown.

You sound a lot like Captain Obvious. Like you, he has an obsession with clowns. Kinda spooky. I think you and Captain_Obvious are one in the same.

justanothertaxpayer 8 years ago

I am not refuting the crimes this individual committed. As I stated, if he has committed the crime then carry out the punishment. However, as 4th_grade_education put it, defining the internet as a virtual interstate system will allow the government to have control of our rights via the internet. I can only imagine how the FCC must be sitting back and enjoying the show. Yes there are legal ways to obtain the information needed to track and bring internet criminals to justice but if the internet becomes regulated, then the government will be free to do what they want to obtain this information without any legal course. Just as they are doing with the Patriot Act. I don't define myself as a Liberal but I do not want to see mine or anyone else's freedoms taken away for the sheer act of bringing someone to justice or for the possibility of false safety (that of which will be saved for another topic). Sooner or later, when it is all said and done with, when we no longer have the rights that we cherish so dearly, you will realize what you have sacrificed but it will be too late. I pray that we, nor our children, will ever live in a society such as that without personal expression and freedoms.

Amy Heeter 8 years ago

I said this before and will say it again. If you don't have anything to hide you should not be worried. I have seen several news programs about these internet predators and agree something needs to be done about them. Some may think these guys looking at pictures on the net is harmless but once they become aroused they are going to find a child to prey upon. Then there are two children being exploited the kid in the pictures and the kid who ends up being raped.

Ralph Reed 8 years ago

Marion writes.

"I think that you people are missing the real key of this article; that being increased government intrusion into and control of the internet."

Take a look at what is happening in other countries. The government locks down the internet so no traffic goes in or out. It happens in the PRC all the time, along with constant monitoring (which is a topic for another set of posts). It also happened during the recent riots in Myanmar (Burma).

We live in a world in which communications are monitored and any suggestions of disagreement towards those in power is seen as a threat. Welcome to 1984, 23 years later.

Any censorship of the internet is an infringement on the right of free speech. That same right which allows people to post on forums such as this one, even when they hide behind anonymity.

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