The New Zealand Response to Internet Child Pornography

The New Zealand Response to Internet Child Pornography

David Wilson (Researcher, New Zealand)
Copyright: © 2011 |Pages: 16
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61692-012-8.ch016

Abstract

New Zealand’s approach to regulating illegal material on the Internet varies from other comparable countries. A single law governs the legal classification of Internet content, commercial films, printed material and a wide variety of other media and covers legal and illegal content. A Crown agency rather than the judiciary determines the legality of material. A specialist, non-police, enforcement agency deals those who possess or distribute illegal material, particularly child pornography. This agency actively seeks out child pornographers and has a high success rate in prosecuting them. This chapter describes the history, development and operation of the New Zealand censorship system, as it applies to Internet content. It is likely to be of interest to policy-makers, law enforcement officers and media regulators in other countries.
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Overseas Approaches To Child Pornography

New Zealand’s approach to the detection and legal classification of objectionable material differs from other comparable countries. In Australia state laws prohibit making, possessing or distributing material that describes or depicts a person who is, or appears to be, under 16 years of age in a manner that would offend a reasonable adult (Krone, 2005). Fictitious depictions of the sexual abuse of children or young people are covered, in addition to depictions of real people and the laws apply to a wide variety of media, including electronic material. The state and federal police investigate child pornography offences and the courts determine the legal status of material alleged to be child pornography. Material may be submitted for classification to the Office of Film and Literature Classification and the Office’s decision may be used in evidence (Office of Film and Literature Classification, 2006). The legislation governing child pornography and other illegal material is the federal Classification (Publications, Films and Computer Games) Act 1995 and censorship or general criminal law in the eight states and territories.

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