Podcast: "Sexting" could lead to teen prosecutions

Taking a nude or semi-nude picture of a minor could be considered child porn, even if the kid took it him or herself.

It's called "sexting" when someone takes a nude, partially nude or sexually provocative photo and sends it to someone, typically by cell phone. Some consider it a new type of flirting but if the picture involves a minor, it could be a state or federal offense even if the young person is the one taking and sending the picture.

In many circumstances, such pictures are considered to be child pornography according to Catholic University Law Professor Mary Leary. Though most prosecutors find another way to deal with these youthful indiscretions, some have pressed charges and won convictions.

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About the author

Larry Magid is a technology journalist and an Internet safety advocate. He's been writing and speaking about Internet safety since he wrote Internet safety guide "Child Safety on the Information Highway" in 1994. He is co-director of ConnectSafely.org, founder of SafeKids.com and SafeTeens.com, and a board member of the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children. Larry's technology analysis and commentary can be heard on CBS News and CBS affiliates, and read on CBSNews.com. He also writes a personal-tech column for the San Jose Mercury News. You can e-mail Larry.

 

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