Child porn: Even surfing can mean jail

Wednesday, 15 January 2003, 10:25 AM EST

And if you host a Web site or forward an e-mail containing images of children -- who are or seem to be under the age of 16 -- being abused, you could face imprisonment of up to 10 years.

If you receive and view an unsolicited e-mail -- or spam -- of offensive material and immediately delete it, then that counts as a reasonable explanation, according to Peter Robbins, chief executive of Web campaigners, Internet Watch Foundation (IWF).

But he warned anyone tempted to access child pornography online that even if you delete images and Internet page addresses from the computer's hard drive, police can still retrieve them, as they did with a PC belonging to pop star Gary Glitter, who was jailed for four months in 1999 for possessing child pornography.

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