The story is a little old, but I figured I’d share it here since it helps to know about these things when they happen.
This one, however, is interesting though because it entails obscenity charges for material that’s actually worth criminalizing, which is the real rape of adults.
I’m honestly not sure how to feel about this one. Obscenity laws, by their very design, are designed to oppress and censor speech that which offends the mores and sensibilities of the community, not actually protect people or punish those who exploit innocent people.
Because on one hand, I feel like Congress could easily pass a bill that criminalizes the sale, possession, and distribution of ‘real’ rape videos since the same rationale behind excluding CP/CSAM in Ferber and Osborne could apply in the context of actual adult rape material too, but I honestly don’t know.
I’m honestly concerned about how this would make overturning the obscenity doctrine look, should an opportunity arise. I’m afraid some jurist or agent would point to this and say “look we need them we can’t overturn them!” when the interests in obscenity are wholly incompatible with the interest in preventing actual sexual exploitation.
There is absolutely no reason why fiction should be treated as though it’s real when it’s clearly or demonstrably not real.
This is probably the first time this has ever actually come up, and it will likely be the last since this type of material is extremely niche, taboo, and redundant, since there does exist a content space of material involving the subject of ‘forced sex’, but it’s all acted and the producers of this material make it a point that it’s not real.
I feel like Congress, if they want to seem useful, could draft legislation that goes after ACTUAL rape content and not waste their time with harmless sex dolls and the like. And keep in mind, I do mean limited to depictions involving the real, actual rape of human beings, not simulated, faked, or acted content, which is so common online, but at the same time, I don’t know if Congress can be trusted with such basic legal work since simulated rape might come off as unsavory enough to include.
U.S. and European authorities have shut down a website selling violent rape and child pornography videos after the arrest of the underground site’s alleged 32-year-old Dutch administrator on obscenity and money laundering charges, federal officials said Thursday.
Michael Rahim Mohammad, known online as “Mr. Dark,” was indicted by a federal grand jury in the District of Columbia in connection with the operation of DarkScandals, the government said. The bitcoin-based online site was selling more than 2,000 videos of alleged sexual assault and abuse on the Internet and underground “dark net,” federal prosecutors with the U.S. attorney’s office in D.C., the Internal Revenue Service and Homeland Security Investigations announced.
The investigation sprang from the takedown in October of South Korea-based site Welcome to Video, which U.S. authorities described as one of the world’s largest child pornography websites. Investigators following its trail found that a District man who admitted to downloading nearly 3,000 videos from that site also allegedly used DarkScandals, authorities said.
A nine-count indictment returned March 5 and unsealed Thursday charges Mohammad with distributing child pornography, producing and transporting obscene matters for sale or distribution and engaging in its sale and transfer, and money laundering.
“The types of crimes described in this indictment are the most disgusting I’ve encountered in 30 years of law enforcement,” Don Fort, chief of IRS Criminal Investigation, said in a statement, adding: “It is a special kind of evil to prey on and profit from the pain of others. Criminals should know if you leave a digital footprint, we will find you.”
Mohammad was arrested Monday at his home in the Netherlands, where he has been charged with possession and distribution of child abuse material, sedition and tax offenses, Dutch authorities said. An attorney for Mohammad could not immediately be reached for comment.
The defendant received $1.6 million through curating the site, which he started in 2012 and claimed offered “real blackmail, rape and forced videos of girls all around the world,” court documents assert.
Users paid for video packs for download via email through cryptocurrency, such as bitcoin and Ether, or with credits earned by uploading new videos, authorities said. The site rejected “fake, amateur . . . or acted movies” that did not portray real sexual violence, U.S. officials said.
As part of the prosecution, the Justice Department also filed a civil forfeiture complaint seizing 303 virtual currency accounts allegedly used by customers around the world.
“This Office will not allow predators to use lawless online spaces as a shield,” Timothy J. Shea, the U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia, said in a statement.
Dutch and German national police and Europol assisted in and conducted their own investigations, officials said.