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17.11.2009

Verkhovna Rada once again pays no heed to public concerns

   

The Verkhovna Rada on Tuesday passed in its second reading the draft law “On amendments to some legislative acts (on countering the spread of child pornography) despite well-founded and widespread criticism of the bill.

The law is supposed to heighten measures combating the preparation, sale and circulation of child pornography and involving children in the preparation of such material.

As reported already, the law contains an addition to the Law on Telecommunications stating that “operators and telecommunication providers shall restrict the access of their customers to resources which spread unlawful information content in accordance with a court order.”

Human rights groups have added their voice to the concern expressed over the bill. There is, for example, no mention of child pornography in this addition, nor any definition of “unlawful information content”.  This gives a dangerous level of scope to officials who can interpret such terms as they wish.

Changes to the Law “On the protection of public morality” define the concept of “production of a pornographic nature” created with the participation of a child or with the use of their image; the preparation of child pornography for the purpose of circulating it via computer systems; offering or providing access to child pornography, circulating it, with the help of information and communication systems, buying, sharing and storing child pornography via computer systems for oneself or others, etc

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