If your child uses Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, or other social media, be sure you know what they’re posting or receiving … as they may be violating child pornography laws! Here are just a few:
Connecticut General Statutes Section 53a-196h(a)(1) prevents a 13 to 17-year old child from possessing any child pornography (nude, or partially nude photo of another 13 to 15-year old child.)
Connecticut General Statutes Section 53a-196h(a)(2) prevents a 13 to 15-year old from transmitting any child pornography (nude, or partially nude photo of themselves) to a 13 to 17-year old child.
Connecticut General Statutes Section 53a-196f prevents any person from possessing any photos or videos considered child pornography (nude, or partially nude photo of a 13 to 17-year old child.)
Social Media & The Internet
We live in a different world. Often we learn of kids sending, or posting, photos of themselves (or their friends) in various states of undress, or in sexually provocative positions. Whether they call it “sexting” or anything else, it will trigger a criminal violation that can result in jail, fines and a criminal record. In Connecticut, this is Child Pornography!
More concerning, is if your child downloads or transmits (sends or posts to social media) any images of a child under the age of 18 (notwithstanding that the subject in the photo may look older), while using the family Wi-Fi account.
If the authorities determine that any images or videos (defined as child pornography) have been downloaded (or posted) from your ISP address (Wi-Fi account), they may secure a search warrant of your home, computers, and mobile devices. This allows the police to enter your home (even by force), and search for, and seize, any computers, mobile devices, flash drives, DVDs, or hard drives.
What should you do?
While we want our kids to have access to the Internet, we need to monitor what they’re posting and downloading to their phones or computers. You should consider adding some safeguards to their devices. Explain to your child the consequences and your concerns. Finally, remind your child to always insist that their parents be present before turning over any mobile device, or answering any questions about what they posted, downloaded or possess on their mobile device.