Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/04/18/chat_ruling/

China fails to ban nude web chats

No basis in law for a cover-up

By Lester Haines

Posted in Law, 18th April 2007 12:18 GMT

The Chinese have dismally failed to clamp down on nude web chats after discovering "there was no basis in law to bring charges" against a housewife who arranged such online fleshfests, Reuters reports.

The 36-year-old woman, known only by her surname Li, was charged with "organising pornographic activities", viz: using a webcam for nude chats and setting up online group encounters for nudists.

However, investigators discovered that "nude chat rooms were not defined in China's pornography laws", an oversight described by state news agency Xinhua as a legal "blind spot".

Accordingly, a court in the Beijing district of Shijinshan rejected the case, and prosecutors withdrew the charge. One prosecutor said: "Under existing laws, it is inappropriate to treat this as a criminal offence."

But while China's nudists can continue to chat away with impunity, perpetrators of other internet porn outrages need to watch their backs. The country's Ministry of Public Security last week announced a six-month crackdown on net smut which has "contaminated cyberspace and perverted China's young minds", as one minister put it. ®