Talk:PROTECT Act of 2003

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This article currently only covers one aspect of the Protect act. Below is a complete summery of the act.

Protect Act summery:

  • Prosecutorial Remedies and Other Tools to end the Exploitation of Children Today Act of 2003 or PROTECT Act - Amends the Federal criminal code to make the authorized term of supervised release after imprisonment any term of years or life for kidnaping involving a minor and for other specified felony offenses, including sexual abuse.
  • Provides for mandatory life imprisonment of a person convicted of a Federal sex offense against a minor if the person has a prior sex conviction in which a minor was the victim, with exceptions.
  • Directs the Attorney General to establish a pilot program for volunteer organizations to obtain criminal history background checks on their volunteers.
  • Authorizes the interception of wire, oral, or electronic communications in the investigation of kidnaping, sex trafficking, and sex offenses against children.
  • Eliminates statutes of limitations for child abduction or the sexual or physical abuse of a child.
  • Bars pretrial release of persons charged with specified offenses against or involving children.
  • Directs the Attorney General to assign a national AMBER Alert Coordinator to facilitate the recovery of missing children.
  • Code Adam Act of 2003 - Requires the designated authority for a public building to establish procedures for locating a child who is missing in the building.
  • Requires a court, in sentencing a defendant convicted of an offense involving a minor victim, to impose a sentence within the Federal sentencing guidelines range, with exceptions.
  • Prohibits making a visual depiction that is a computer-generated image of a minor engaging in specified sexually explicit conduct.

This article should expanded to cover these other aspects of the act. --Cab88 10:56, 30 December 2005 (UTC)

Done. Ashibaka tock Save our rectangular corners! 01:44, 15 January 2006 (UTC)

COPA vs CPPA[edit]

The article mentions that "The prohibitions against computer-generated and illustrated child pornography have also been previously ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court, when they were included in the Child Online Protection Act."

However, judging by the relevant Wiki article, COPA has nothing to do with child porn; Rather, it deals with preventing children from being exposed to internet porn in general. The law that the author had in mind was probably the Child Pornography Prevention Act of 1996. It is mentioned in the Lolicon Wiki article, but surprisingly has no Wiki article of its own (yet).

Sorry, about six months ago a writer for some news site mixed them up, and ever since I have been confused myself. Ashibaka tock 03:55, 15 May 2006 (UTC)


This is awesome! It makes things illegal even if the laws of the country you're in say otherwise. Maybe soon Americans traveling to places like Amsterdam will be subject to the US drug laws too. I can't wait! --George Soros

The entire act is some kind of handout. Obviously Congress would not pass such silly things, some of which have previously been ruled unconstitutional, unless if all the yes voters were getting free cake and ice cream or something. 05:35, 30 May 2006 (UTC)
I guess "When in rome act as roman" is discarded in the US. (talk) 07:25, 3 June 2014 (UTC)

I think the clause about foreign countries was more symbolic than anything. Basically it looks like this law codifies an "American" concept of morality and carnal forbearance...basically a code of ethics Amerians should live by...does that mean I agree with it though? absolutely not! I wish I had known about this before it was passed! So now I'm just supposed to walk by those 8-year old girls in Thailand without satisfying my sexual appetite?!?!? NOT IN MY AMERICA!!! (I'm kidding, of course) still, they should never have included that clause, if only to avoid international relaations issues. Antimatter 03:56, 30 June 2006 (UTC)

So they've authorised prying into our private lives, spying on us, tapping into our communications, and it's all in the name of freedom, justice, and of course our kids. Yes! I see it now! A better United States, a United States to protect our freedom and of course our morals, God-defined morals! How wonderful!
Brought to you by the religious right.

I hope the democrats rising to power will anull most of this zeolotry ridden 'moral' code and not just accept it as something they couldn't do themselves because of their non-conservative nature. --AnYoNe! 16:49, 21 May 2007 (UTC)

I'm a member of the religious right and the implications of a law that can punish someone for a crime committed against a pretend/computer generated character or extend the reach of American laws into other nations sovereign territory frightens me. I think a better way to address this issue and protect our children would be mandatory death penalties for anyone who sexually abuses children. That would provide a powerful deterrent and there wouldn't be all of those constiutionality issues to deal with.

Unless of course if your 18 year old son had sex with a 14 year old, right? --AnYoNe! 16:46, 21 May 2007 (UTC)

I feel that there is insufficient information on this page regarding the provision of the PROTECT Act that attempts to exercise universal jurisdiction over American citizens when they are not even in America. How is it even possible that the USA can prosecute someone for non-commercial sexual actions overseas? For example, in Japan the sexual age of consent for the country is 13, though individual prefecture laws can change that to be as high as 18. Still, assuming you were in Japan and had consensual unpaid (non-commercial) sex with a 14-year-old in a prefecture where such activity was 100% legal under the "law of the land," how on earth can the United States say that "because you are a U.S. citizen, we can now prosecute you for violating a U.S. law on foreign soil?" I understand that this provision works if international commerce (e.g. sex tourism) is involved, but is it even possible for it to apply otherwise (no commerce involved)? If the U.S. can't claim extraterritorial jurisdiction because no commerce is involved, why isn't the law explicitly limited to international commercial sexual activity? (I could insert my own conspiracy theories about the so-called "Police States of America" but I'll leave the answering to others more knowledgeable; IANAL.) Daivox (talk) 19:43, 15 July 2008 (UTC)

Contradictory bullet points[edit]

The article lists both "Prohibits drawings, sculptures, and pictures of such drawings and sculptures depicting minors in (Miller test) obscene OR engaged in sex acts" and "Does not include drawings,cartoons,and /or comic satire". Which is true? Or does the latter mean "does not include drawings, cartoons, or comics meant as satire"? Gregly 15:55, 22 March 2007 (UTC)

It says "any representation that resembles a minor" engaging in sexual conduct, so far, there has been one conviction of an individual possessing erotic underage cartoon figures engaging in sexual acts, however, this could be judged by the supreme court to decide if cartoon figures do or do not carry enough resemblance with real underages, falling into artistic media and therefore be extempt from the act. 02:35, 21 April 2007 (UTC)
The law's definition of indistinguishable is what does not include drawings. I am removing the last bullet as it is confusing to the casual reader. I may add the information back in later, but it is not critical. Essentially the law makes all depictions of children, drawn or otherwise, engaged in a sex act illegal. - 05:40, 13 May 2007 (UTC)

Status of this Law?[edit]

The Article mentions "Prohibits drawings, sculptures, and pictures of such drawings and sculptures depicting minors in (Miller test) obscene OR engaged in sex acts."

The information about the court cases relating to this law and the current effectiveness of this law is very nebulous. What parts have been striken down? What is the effect of United States v. Williams on this law? Where exactly does lolicon fall here? Kevingamer 20:11, 19 May 2007 (UTC)

I noticed that myself, but I don't know exactly which parts are currently under injunction and which aren't, so I can't help in this regards. Also, according to the wiki entry on future decessions the supreme court is going to hear a case on this in the 2007-8 term but it's not exactly clear which sections of this law that will cover. Jon 19:44, 27 June 2007 (UTC)
Actually that is INCORRECT as the law 1466A states
Any person who, in a circumstance described in subsection (d), knowingly produces, distributes, receives, or possesses with intent to distribute, a visual depiction of any kind, including a drawing, cartoon, sculpture, or painting, that—
(A) depicts a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct; AND
(B) is obscene;
(A) depicts an image that is, or appears to be, of a minor engaging in graphic bestiality, sadistic or masochistic abuse, or sexual intercourse, including genital-genital, oral-genital, anal-genital, or oral-anal, whether between persons of the same or opposite sex; AND
(B) lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value;
Thus the image of fictional children engaging in sex is NOT by itself against the law UNLESS that same material is ALSO deemed as obscene at the same time by the specific legal qualifier of the word AND in both legal conditions. Thus, a handdrawn image of fictional characters engaging in straight vaginal only sex would NOT be illegal as such sexual act is "protected speech" while say images of sex while in bondage and the sex is forced CAN be deemed as obscene, which is what Dwight Whorley was convicted of -- OBSCENE sexual cartoons.
lolicons as long as they are NOT deemed to be "obscene" are still legal as long in the case of computer generated images are "virtually indistinguishable from" a true photo of an actual minor engaging in actual sexual action.
the status of lolicons that are NOT based on actual human minors such as chibi nagas and the like are NOT included ANYWHERE in the letter of the law and are thus excluded from such legal restrictions at the present time. Though I sure someone will soon put the condition of "or any human-like character (nagas for their human top), or character that has any human-like attributes or characteristics (werebeings)" in the next revision of this never ending set of restrictions.....—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 08:39, July 5, 2007

This looks a bit odd[edit]

From the article:

For the purposes of this law, illicit sexual conduct includes commercial sex with anyone under 18, and all sex with anyone under 18.

If "all sex with anyone under 18" is covered, then what is the need for the specific mention of "commercial sex" with exactly the same age limit? Loganberry (Talk) 23:49, 21 May 2009 (UTC)

Loganberry: the reason "commercial" sex is specifically mentioned, is to provide a "hook" by which the sentencing can be made harsher. It's not a redundancy, these people know what they're doing. Same tactic as the "hate crime" add-on: it's not enough to convict person Q of crime X - we need to add Y and Z to the sentence. 1927metropolis (talk) 00:45, 30 May 2009 (UTC)

Link to PDF on the Senate page is broken. Anyone feel like digging up the replacement? 1927metropolis (talk) 00:47, 30 May 2009 (UTC)

Sources found for odd sentence[edit]

... and all sex with anyone under 16.

Someone changed the age back to 16, which I managed to find sources for. The gist of it is this: The U.S. Constitution gives Congress the power to "regulate commerce with foreign nations" (the Commerce Clause, one of the enumerated powers). Because courts have interpreted the word "commerce" broadly, Congress can regulate not only "commercial sex" (i.e., prostitution), but also non-commercial sex that occurs after a person "travels in foreign commerce."

Jury Instruction -- Affecting Interstate or Foreign Commerce
(As I understand it, this source implies that "travels in foreign commerce" is synonymous with "travels to a foreign country.")

United States Code, Title 18 Chapter 117, 18 USC Sec. 2423, Subsections (c) and (f)

  (c) Engaging in Illicit Sexual Conduct in Foreign Places. - Any
United States citizen or alien admitted for permanent residence who
travels in foreign commerce, and engages in any illicit sexual
conduct with another person shall be fined under this title or
imprisoned not more than 30 years, or both.

  (f) Definition. - As used in this section, the term "illicit
sexual conduct" means (1) a sexual act (as defined in section 2246)
with a person under 18 years of age that would be in violation of
chapter 109A if the sexual act occurred in the special maritime and
territorial jurisdiction of the United States; or (2) any
commercial sex act (as defined in section 1591) with a person under
18 years of age.

United States Code, Title 18 Chapter 109A, 18 USC Sec. 2243, Subsection (a)

  (a) Of a Minor. - Whoever, in the special maritime and
territorial jurisdiction of the United States or in a Federal
prison, or in any prison, institution, or facility in which persons
are held in custody by direction of or pursuant to a contract or
agreement with the head of any Federal department or agency,
knowingly engages in a sexual act with another person who -
    (1) has attained the age of 12 years but has not attained the
  age of 16 years; and
    (2) is at least four years younger than the person so engaging;

or attempts to do so, shall be fined under this title, imprisoned
not more than 15 years, or both.

The case for under the age of 12 is of course handled elsewhere in Chapter 109A. --Keith111 (talk) 11:06, 7 June 2009 (UTC)

This is odd... if I understand this correctly: this law makes sex with persons under 16 in foreign countries illegal yet several states have ages of consent under 16 (Hawaii is 14, Connecticut & Tennessee are 15). So, if one is a resident of these states conduct that is legal there is illegal if done if a foreign country. Seems quite strange.
PainMan (talk) 04:35, 26 August 2011 (UTC)

Truth in Domain Names[edit]

can we actually discuss truth in Domain names or have a separate article for that as all links to that link to here and this article doesn't explain it at all Tydoni (talk) 20:02, 22 January 2010 (UTC)

PROTECT act is not in compliance with Miller obscenity test[edit]

I removed the following uncited statement: "However, the provisions of the Protect Act are distinct, since they establish the requirement of showing obscenity as defined by the Miller Test, which was not an element of the 1996 law.". It is uncited and factual incorrect. The protect act does not appear to define obscenity the same way as the Miller test does. The Miller test has three prongs, all of which must be met, in order for something to be obscene. They are:

  • Whether "the average person, applying contemporary community standards", would find that the work, taken as a whole, appeals to the prurient interest,
  • Whether the work depicts or describes, in a patently offensive way, sexual conduct specifically defined by applicable state law,
  • Whether the work, taken as a whole, lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value.[3]

The Protect Act text however defines obscenity slightly differently as follows:

'``(b) Additional Offenses.--Any person who, in a circumstance 
described in subsection (d), knowingly possesses a visual depiction of 
any kind, including a drawing, cartoon, sculpture, or painting, that--
           ``(1)(A) depicts a minor engaging in sexually explicit 
       conduct; and
           ``(B) is obscene; or
           ``(2)(A) depicts an image that is, or appears to be, of a 
       minor engaging in graphic bestiality, sadistic or masochistic 
       abuse, or sexual intercourse, including genital-genital, oral-
       genital, anal-genital, or oral-anal, whether between persons of 
       the same or opposite sex; and
           ``(B) lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or 
       scientific value;'

As you can see, the above text appears to omit the first prong of the miller test which states that "the average person, applying contemporary community standards would find that the work in question, taken as a whole, appeals to the prurient interest.". It also admits the words " in a patently offensive way" which are a part of the second prong. Some might argue the any depiction of child sexual acts even in drawings, cartoons, etc. is by it's very nature "patently offensive" but since the Miller test includes those words then the protect acts definition of obscenity would need them too to be in compliance with the Miller ruling. For the above reason I request the removed statement not be put back. Most likely there needs to be a statement added that describes how the act attempts to ban obscene porn but point of that it's definition obscenity is not in compliance with the Miller case and thus may not be constitutional (as per the 1st amendment). -- (talk) 23:27, 9 October 2014 (UTC)