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Porn ruling raises UK law over Net freedom

It doesn't matter where your server is, if you post from the UK, you're answerable to UK law

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It's official -- the Internet does not make a mockery of national boundaries -- and national laws -- as a London-based smut peddler has found to his cost. At Southwark Crown Court, London, yesterday, Judge Christopher Hardy ruled that 28-year-old Graham Waddon could be prosecuted for publishing material declared illegal under the UK's Obscene Publications Act -- the most illiberal in the Western world -- even though Waddon had placed that material on servers in the US. Waddon's defence argued that since his pornography site was located in the US, it was outside UK jurisdiction and therefore safe from prosecution under UK law. However, Judge Hardy said that the act of publication took place when Waddon posted material on the site from his home in Sutton, South London, and when police downloaded the material later. Following the ruling, Waddon pleaded guilty to 11 sample counts of publishing obscene material on the Internet and one charge of possessing an obscene video featuring a dog. The case was ajourned until 30 July pending pre-sentencing procedures and reports into Waddon's medical state. From his South London home, Waddon ran a series of smut sites, including FarmSex, Europerv and Schoolgirls'R'Us, and netted £1.5 million a year charging fellow pervs £25 a month to access the sites. ®

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