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Looking at child porn soon illegal in Sweden

Sweden plans to make it illegal to look at child pornography, beefing up its ban on possession of child porn that does not apply to those who merely view such images on the Internet.

The new law would make it illegal to "actively gain access to child pornography" even if the images were not technically in a person's possession, the centre-right government said in a statement.

"The law on child pornography was last reformed in 1999. Since then, advances in technology have made pornographic images of children much more accessible. The legislation against child pornography must therefore be adapted and tightened," it said.

"The government has today decided to submit a proposal with changes to the child pornography law to the Council on Legislation," it added.

Anyone who produces, purchases or is in possession of pornographic images featuring children currently risks up to six years behind bars in Sweden under the existing law, but just looking at such pictures on the Internet is not illegal.

Sweden's neighbours Denmark and Norway already have such legislation in place.

Experts have in the past noted that the number of people in Sweden who look at child pornography has soared due to the rising use of the Internet, where it is readily available.

No date has been set for the bill's introduction in parliament or its vote, but the government said it wanted the new law to take effect on July 1, 2010.

 

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