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Technology and Child Pornography Laws

Oregon’s Attorney General is seeking to clarify the state’s child pornography laws. This follows last week’s decision by the Oregon Supreme Court that ruled it is not illegal to view child pornography on the internet if the images were not intentionally downloaded. Other states have outlawed even the viewing of child pornography, but Oregon law outlaws the viewing of images only if they were knowingly downloaded, printed or paid for. In the cases that were overturned in last week’s decision, the images in question were viewed online but not knowingly downloaded to an individual’s computer. John Kroger, Oregon’s Attorney General, is asking the state legislature to bring the state’s law more in line with today’s technology.

Should the viewing of child pornography be outlawed, or just its production and distribution? Technology makes it increasingly easy to access, produce, and receive pornography. How far should the law go in its regulation?


  • Kristin Carveth: Deputy Public Defender
  • John Kroger: Oregon Attorney General
  • Ernie Allen: President and CEO, National Center for Missing or Exploited Children
  • Eugene Volokh: Professor of Law, UCLA School of Law

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