10 July 2008


I guess new technology calls for the creation of new words to explain new phenomenon. I always thought that I was fairly clued in and up-to-date on things. Today I learned that there was such a thing as sexting. The phenomenon is generally about people who utilize all the technological capabilities of their gadgets. In this case their mobile phones.

Most mobile phones now include cameras that have the ability to take still pictures and streaming video. A lot, albeit not all, people enjoy photographing and filming themselves in all their glory or in compromising positions and then sending that to friends and colleagues. This I was aware of but I did not know that this form of communication had a name, sexting.

For me when consenting adults take pictures of themselves and send them to each other is fine with me. Once you do it and then you lose control of those images and they appear on the Internet and end up causing you embarrassment, then so be it. This, I suggest, goes with the territory.

However, teens now also have mobile phones and by default also have the ability to be actively involved in sexting. The question is when kids send naked pictures of themselves to their peers of the same age have they broken the law? Are they involved in child pornography? Can they be charged?

It is clear that when someone over the age of consent encourages someone under the age of consent to photograph themselves and then sext them, then this would be something that would run afoul of prevailing legislation, at least in Australia.

New technology will require new laws to govern new developments and phenomenon.


treespotter said...

nothing i hate more than people whose approach to new technologies are by saying they require new laws.

nothing kills inventions like new laws.

treespotter said...

... that sounds very much like the Menkominfo approach: if you don't get it, regulate it.

Rob Baiton said...

not regulating the technology per se. Some content issues thought don't ya think?

If it becomes a medium or forum for the exchange of child pornography then I have a problem with that. on the contrary I stated that if consenting adults want to go for the photo exchange, then they should go for it.

I was specific on what needed to be regulated and it was narrowly stated.

treespotter said...

existing laws are more than enough to deal with the most urgent of issues.

technology always require time to mature - some weird shit always happen in its earliest days, but not to let it mature will kill innovation.

existing laws are almost always sufficient to deal with the most urgent of issues. ITE laws is a prime example.

Introducing new laws complicates matters:

- overlapping laws, in ID, this is a real problem
- burdening the incompetent bunch in DPR with stuff they hardly understand
- as is often the case with new technology EVERYWHERE, we're never sure how it's going to unfold. there's always a potential for misuse and abuse; regulation tend to restrict rather than to encourage.
Innovation - and economic benefits by extensions - requires support and encouragement, a planned long term policy rather than restrictions. Regulations on early technologies tend to be counter productive.

Rob Baiton said...

Gonna have to agree to disagree on this one as I do not see regualting kiddie porn as killing innovation.

Do I think the current laws can cover the eventuality to which I allude, almost. So, maybe not a new law but an amendment to tighten the provisions and close any loopholes.

treespotter said...

well, that's unfair. I totally agree for laws against kids exploitation, sure. I'm speaking generally for new tech and new laws.

As is the case with porn, repeatedly, each new laws just muddled the water further and further. Provisions and amendments - improve the existing laws and fix the encorcement, i'm 200% on that. Drafting new laws to override and overlap with the existing ones, i find troublesome. it's not the issue, tis the approach.

GJ said...

Kids aside for the minute, how do you get lovely ladies to send you SEXT messages. Do a post on that.

Sorry a little flippant.

Rob Baiton said...


I thought I responded earlier to your comment but it seems to have disappeared. That shows you how much tech knowledge I have, I cannot even control my own blog :D

No offence intended and it was probably worded poorly in that sense. Agreeing to disagreeing on the regulating of technology in a general sense.

I do agree that it "tis the approach" that is faulty. It really is a matter of thinning out the legislation by taking out overlapping provisions, closing any loopholes, and then racheting up enforcement.

Once again, apologies for any offence!

Rob Baiton said...


Do you really want the girlies sending you their naked pictures?

I was thinking about doing a Stumpy and inviting an anonymous poster / ranter to provide the nitty gritty details on the methods used to get the sexting happening.

Now that you have requested it, I might have to call in that favour I am owed by the ranter / poster.

Anonymous said...

It is easy you say you don't want new laws inhibiting new technology. Did you realize though, that under current law minors who take and/or send pictures of themselves can and are being charged with child porn charges and subsequently face sex offender registration requirements

this is not something most ppl would be comfortable saying the law should continue to do-but instead shows the law as struggling to keep up with technology

Rob Baiton said...


I normally prefer a pen name or something similar in order to distiguish one anonymous from the other.

I am not sure that your response to the post or the subsequent comments is an accurate reflection of at least my position on the matter.

Nevertheless, thanks for dropping by and leaving a comment.