Combatting those who intentionally access images depicting child sexual abuse on the Internet: A call for a new offence in England and Wales

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    Abstract

    In England and Wales, there are four main categories of offence surrounding images depicting child sexual abuse, those of making/taking, publishing, distributing and possession. Despite being in force for almost 40 years, it is argued that now, additional regulation is required. In response to technological provision such as private browsing, streaming and encryption which are providing investigative difficulties for digital forensic analysts, this article proposes the need to implement a fifth offence, one of ‘intentional accessing’ and debates the feasibility and justifications for doing so. Such an offence would also arguably support the effective transposition of Directive 2011/93/EU into English law. This proposal also coincides with the recent enactment of the Investigatory Powers Act 2016, which enforces new data retention requirements on Internet Service Providers allowing offender Internet connection records to be stored for up to 12 months and potentially retrospectively investigated.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)111-124
    Number of pages14
    JournalComputer Law and Security Review
    Volume34
    Issue number1
    Early online date27 Jun 2017
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 28 Feb 2018

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