Question from …, Is Viewing Extreme Videos Online Considered Possession Under the Criminal Justice Act in England?
Answer from AI:
In England, the law regarding viewing extreme videos online is complex and can be subject to interpretation. The Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008, specifically Section 63, makes it an offence to possess an extreme pornographic image. However, the law does not explicitly state that merely viewing such content online is the same as possession.
Understanding the Law
The Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008, Section 63 defines an extreme pornographic image as one that is grossly offensive, disgusting, or otherwise of an obscene character and portrays in an explicit and realistic way any of the following:
- an act which threatens a person’s life,
- an act which results, or is likely to result, in serious injury to a person’s anus, breasts or genitals,
- an act which involves sexual interference with a human corpse, or
- a person performing an act of intercourse or oral sex with an animal (whether dead or alive).
The law states that a person is in possession of an image if they have it in their custody or under their control. This could potentially include images stored on a computer or other digital device. However, the law does not specifically address the issue of viewing such images online without downloading or saving them.
Legal Interpretation and Advice
While the law does not explicitly equate viewing with possession, it is possible that a court could interpret the law in such a way. For example, if a person repeatedly views the same extreme image online, a court might conclude that the person had control over the image and was therefore in possession of it.
Because of the potential for different interpretations of the law, it is strongly recommended that anyone who is concerned about this issue consult with a legal professional. A lawyer can provide personalized advice based on the specific facts of the situation and the most recent case law.
Internet Browsing and the Law
It’s important to note that even if viewing an extreme image online is not considered possession, it could still potentially lead to legal issues. For example, internet service providers may monitor and report suspicious activity to law enforcement agencies. Additionally, certain types of online behavior could potentially be considered evidence of intent to commit a crime.
Remember, the law is complex and can change. Always consult with a legal professional if you have concerns about your online activities and the law.