Are You The Next Child Abusing Pervert?

Today there was an article on the Sydney Morning Herald about a man (Chris Illingworth) who has been charged for posting a video to Liveleak that has been deemed (somewhat extremely) to be of child abuse. The video contains a father swinging his child around by its arms (note: I have not actually watched the video). The video had already been on YouTube and there for the man was not opening any new windows.

He is being charged for ‘publishing child abuse material’ and the anti-pedophile squad Task Force Argos is arguing that as he ‘published’ the material to the site, he was actively and knowingly spreading this ‘child abuse material’. The question this charge raises, in particular if it sticks is where does the line get drawn?

To break it down lets run through a few scenarios –

1) James finds a video of a child falling down a ditch and the parent on the film laughs before helping the child. This, to James, is funny and sounds like a video that would be on Australia’s Funniest Home Video (Yuck). So James being a fucking idiot who think this kind of crap is humorous, posts the video to Liveleak. Unknown to him someone in the government has also seen this video and decided it is illegal material, there is no possible way for James to know this as he found it on a public site while using a work computer which filters adult material- According to the current charges this is ‘Publishing Child Abuse Material’

2) Same situation but instead of uploading the video to Liveleak James merely hyperlinks to the video in a twitter post/blog post. – Applying the same twisted theory does this mean James is guilty of ‘Distributing Child Abuse Material’?

3) Once again same scenario only this time James uploads and embeds the video onto a forum owned and operated by his friend, the forum is hosted on local servers. – Is James the only one looking as publishing charges? The servers are Australian and they are hosting material that is (unbeknownst to them) illegal. Is the forum moderator accountable also, for not immediately removing the material and reporting James to the police (despite the lack of knowledge of any wrong doing).

This situation must be remedied. If these charges stick then we are looking at a another step down the tunnel that leads to a police state, where you can be punished for doing nothing but accessing and redistributing already publically held information. We, as a nation cannot afford these charges to set a precedent.

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9 thoughts on “Are You The Next Child Abusing Pervert?

  1. I also haven’t seen the video but there was a photo of the man and it wasn’t a “child” it was a baby and what looked like a fairly young one.

    I have swung my kids around by the arms and so was concerned when I heard about this but when you see the photo and the size and fact that it is a baby. It really isn’t the same situation.

    JMTC

  2. Okay, I was at work when I first saw this and missed that the guy charged wasn’t the swinger (so to speak). I stick by say that using the word “child” rather then “baby” is probably trying to play down the video.

    Perhaps the guy re-posting the video was a little tuffly handled, but what was there to gain from him reposting the video? Was he posting it for giggles or because he was trying to show how bad it was? If it was the later, okay. If it was the former, well, he is on a slipper slop.

    Again, JMTC

  3. Uh since when is it such a fucking crime for a parent to swing around a baby by the arms in a playful manner? I havn’t watched the video since I would rather not get raided for being a pedophile just to satisfy my curiosity.

    From all reports I myself read on an australian newspaper sites, the baby was laughing and giggling, so uh how exactly, does that constitute abuse?

    And all this guy did was repost the link. Maybe the police should spend their time catching real pedophiles instead of band-aid harrassment of regular people.

    This society is rapidly heading down the shitter.

  4. @Aaron
    a) They are not calling him a pedophile!!!!! Nor would they call you one for watching it. An abuser maybe, not a pedophile.
    b) Babies are tough but its not a good idea to swing them by there arms
    c) Why repost it? What value did the guy add? At best he is an idiot! Probably shouldn’t get arrested but hopefully he has better judgement in future.

  5. I agree that re-posting the video was not a great idea (if only because it is adding more clutter to the internet), but the point is that what he has done cannot be declared illegal.

    I understand that ignorance of the law is not the right to break it, but with material that is a) unmarked b) so borderline, it is surely not reasonable to assume that a person would know that it is illegal.

    The other point is that if a child being swung by the arms is a video of abuse, then what about a video of a child getting hurt (even accidently)? Using the same logic, the act of the child getting injured is not abuse in and of itself but surely the act of trying to profit from it, ala Australia’s Funniest Home Videos is? Does this mean Channel 9 (not sure on station?) should be held liable for ‘publishing child abuse material’?

  6. Chris Illingworth, the man charged for republishing the viral video, apparently uploaded it to Liveleak in order that the man doing the swinging could be identified. IOW Illingworth was a whistleblower.

    http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=9ba_1228838805

    “Biggles9 worked with one of Liveleak’s founders ( Hayden Hewitt), who in turn worked with the UK police, who in turn worked with Interpol, who traced the video’s origin to Russia (possibly a “circus family”). However, Biggles9’s IP address was also recovered and forwarded to the Australian federal authorities, who in turn forwarded it to Task Force Argos, who in turn arrested Biggles9. Hayden says at no point, on LiveLeak, were we contacted by any Australian authorities asking about Biggles or the video.”

    The video in question apparently is still on Youtube (I haven’t seen it), so perhaps the Task Force Argos links with their US counterparts aren’t very well developed, or maybe the US authorities (where the video has been shown on TV across the nation) are somewhat more tolerant, considering the baby in the vid is said to be smiling and giggling after the incident.

  7. Chris found the vid on utube and re-posted it to liveleak as a news story. He had nothing to do with the video – he didn’t make it and he doesn’t know the people in it.
    It has been released that the family is a Russian circus family.
    Chris’ life has been turned upside down by these charges.
    The officers who raided his house (in full view of neighbours) are from Argos – a task force who promptly deals with children’s sexual abuse cases and he has been tarnish as a pedophile, had his tires slashed and other things happen.

    As an example of how strict Queensland laws are – the Simpson are considered as ‘people’ in Queensland. Therefore if I was to download an episode of the Simpson’s in which Homer is strangling Bart then my house could be raided, charges laid and I could go to jail for up to 3 years.
    Yet when Steve Irwin controversially took Bob Irwin into feed a crocodile – no charges were laid.
    It is sad that this has gone to such an extreme and I hope Chris gets justice.

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