Question from ssss, Is it illegal to intentionally view illegal content online in the UK?
Answer from AI:
In the United Kingdom, the law is clear that the creation, distribution, and possession of certain types of illegal content are criminal offences. However, the legality of merely viewing such content online can be a more complex issue.
Legislation on Viewing Illegal Content
Under the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008, it is an offence to possess extreme pornographic images. The law does not explicitly state that viewing such images is illegal, but if an image is viewed online and it gets automatically saved into the cache of your device, this could potentially be considered as possession.
The Protection of Children Act 1978 and the Criminal Justice Act 1988 make it illegal to take, make, distribute, show, or possess for the purpose of distribution any indecent photograph of a child. Again, the law does not explicitly state that viewing such images is illegal, but if an image is viewed online and it gets automatically saved into the cache of your device, this could potentially be considered as possession.
Legal Advice and Reporting
If you have viewed illegal content online, even unintentionally, it is recommended that you seek legal advice. It is also important to report the content to the relevant authorities. In the UK, you can report illegal content to the Internet Watch Foundation.
Precautions and Consequences
- Always be cautious about what you view online. If you suspect that a website or piece of content may be illegal, it is best to avoid it.
- Remember that your internet activity can be traced. Law enforcement agencies have the ability to track illegal online activity back to specific IP addresses.
- Viewing illegal content can have serious legal consequences. In addition to potential criminal charges, you could also face civil lawsuits from the victims of the illegal content.
Please note that this information is intended to provide a general overview of the law and does not constitute legal advice. If you need advice on a specific legal issue, you should consult with a legal professional.