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In NE, email porn, go to jail?

State attorney general introduces bill to make sending of pornography a misdemeanor - a felony if sent to a child.
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Written by Richard Koman on
Fear of the Internet as a "cesspool" coupled with an almost hysterical fear of child pornography is leading to a rash of outrageous criminal legislation. In Nebraska, a state senator introduced a bill at the attorney general's request that would make emailing a pornographic image a crime - a felony if mailed to a child, the Associated Press reports.
"It is an area of criminal code that is antiquated," Sen. Mike Friend said. "Laws aren't static, and they should change with the technology."

The bill would allow prosecution for harassment of adults and children, with consequences increasing exponentially if kids are involved. Intimidation - whether by telephone, computer or other electronic methods - would be a misdemeanor, punishable by a year in jail and a $1,000 fine.

But if the violator was over 18 and knew or had reason to believe the recipient was younger than 16, he could spend five years in prison on felony charges and pay a $10,000 fine.

"The thing that interests me — just like any father — is we're looking to add a layer of protection" for children and other vulnerable people, Friend said.

The bill would also allow prosecution of spammers, Friend said, although he expressed doubt the perpetrators would easily be found.

"You have to give a tool to prosecutors, and then you have to let a prosecutor do his or her job," he said.

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