New records inspections proposed for US pornogrphy industry
June 15, 2004
WASHINGTON — Attorney General John Ashcroft proposed tougher records
inspections Monday for the pornography industry to ensure that no
minors are being used in sexually explicit films, books, magazines
and Web sites.
Meanwhile, a Justice Department report conceded that the
department had done no records inspections over the past 12 years,
though rules authorizing them have been on the books.
Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, the chairman of the House Judiciary
Committee who had called for the report, said that "Enforcement to
date, across administrations from both parties, has been less than
stellar, to put it mildly."
The proposed rule is based on legislation signed into law last
year by President George W. Bush, the Protect Act, which calls for
stiffer federal penalties for crimes against children and gives
prosecutors new tools to fight child pornography.
The proposed rule tightens the list of acceptable forms of
identification, scrapping college IDs and selective service cards.
It also requires that forms of identification be accessible to
government agencies to ensure they are legitimate.
The rule will be finalized after a public comment period.
"These changes will put teeth into our efforts to ensure that
children are not being used as performers in the sexually explicit
productions of the media," Ashcroft said. "There will be no excuses
for anyone who takes part in abusing children for sexually explicit
Kat Sunlove, executive director of the Free Speech Coalition, a
trade association for the pornography industry, said the group
supports efforts to protect children from sexual abuse.
But she maintained that underage actors are not used in adult
"We don't need to," Sunlove said. "There are too many
18-year-olds that knock on the door on their birthday."
Sunlove said her group would probably not oppose the proposed
regulations. – Sapa-AP
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