Friday, April 20, 2007

Nudists on Line or Online Sex? A Case for China

Chinese online nudist off the hook
April 18 2007 at 03:43PM

Beijing - A Beijing court has thrown out a case against a woman arrested for organising nude online chatting because China's pornography laws do not mention chat rooms, state media reported on Wednesday.

The 36-year-old, identified by Xinhua news agency only by her surnamed Li, was arrested three years ago on pornography charges after taking off her clothes and chatting with other Internet users via webcam, the agency said.

Li, who also organised chat rooms for other nudists, has said she was "seeking excitement", Xinhua said.

However, prosecutors subsequently determined they were in a legal "blind spot" as online chat rooms are not defined in pornography laws.

New laws introduced since her arrest also failed to address the issue, it said.

"Under the existing laws, it is inappropriate to treat this as a criminal offence," Li Kai, a prosecutor in western Beijing's Shijinshan district, was quoted as saying.

He added that his office could not prove that Li had committed the criminal act of disseminating pornographic materials.

Members of China's rubber-stamp lawmaking bodies are routinely criticised for having little knowledge of the complex issues they are charged with legislating.

Authorities plan to stage a major crackdown on cyber-porn, which is booming in China, Xinhua reported last week. Ten government departments will spend the next six months removing pornography from the Web as part of the campaign.Online pornography is already illegal and China takes great efforts to ban offending sites, but cyber-sex remains widely available to anyone who wants to search hard enough.


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