In cases like this one, Facebook and Snapchat could very easily find themselves on the hook for sex crimes right along with their more demonized digital counterparts.
By Cake Staff: Many of us who grew up in conservative middle-class families almost never got the ‘sex talk’ from our parents.
The feds didn't step in, for instance, when dozens of cops were under investigation for sexting and having sex with an underage girl in Oakland, California. prosecutors have been big lately on exercising jurisdiction over both social media and sexting, and these have also been the subject of much attention in Congress lately.
No adult, especially not one sworn to uphold the law, should be sexting with a teenager, let alone propositioning one.But considering the kinds of things that cops in this country frequently get away with—murder, sexual assault, physical abuse, actual sex with minors—the severe concern in this case rings either a bit paranoid or a bit hollow.SESTA is fraudulently sold as a way to target only "bad" sites like Backpage, and this week Facebook joined several other tech giants in supporting it.But as the O'Kimosh case (and so many others I've encountered) illustrate, it's not only ad sites like Backpage and Craigslist, or explicitly adult-oriented sites, where Americans advertise, find one another, communicate, and arrange to meet for sexual activity that violates local, state, and federal laws.Or in the recent case of a Bronx officer arrestd for paying to make sex tapes with a minor. The federal government has been exercising increasing control over sex-crime-related matters of all sorts lately.
But getting the feds involved in cases like these is generally an awful idea (though O'Kimosh's position as a cop on a tribal reservation may have posed some special considerations here).A bill in the Senate expands the authorities' power to use wiretapping in cases that involve the Mann Act, obscenity, and sexting with a minor.And the Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act (SESTA)—a misleadingly named bill that actually hinders efforts to stop sexual exploitation—would amend Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act to deny legal immunity to websites and services whose sites were found to enable certain sex crimes.A former Disney computer executive who used internet chatrooms for lewd exchanges with underage girls until he was caught trying to solicit sex from a 13-year-old has been told by a federal judge he will not have to serve any prison time because of his exceptional contributions to FBI efforts to track sexual predators online.In a case that has come to symbolise the difficulty of distinguishing harmless fantasists from dangerous paedophiles on the internet, Patrick Naughton emerged from his year-long criminal prosecution with considerable dignity despite being convicted for the crime of crossing state lines with intent to have sex with a minor.Showing obvious respect for Naughton, the judge not only waived prison time - which could have been as much as 15 years under federal law - but also said the defendant would be under no obligation to help the FBI further during his five-year probation period.