bs0d3 writes "According to a recent ruling in New York state, from Senior Judge Carmen Beauchamp Ciparick, 'Merely viewing Web images of child pornography does not, absent other proof, constitute either possession or procurement within the meaning of our Penal Law. Rather, some affirmative act is required (printing, saving, downloading, etc.) to show that defendant in fact exercised dominion and control over the images that were on his screen.' Which means under New York state law, creating, and possessing child pornography is illegal; the lawmakers never specifically said that merely viewing it is a crime. The prosecution mentioned that the images were saved on his hard drive via the browser cache. However the court ruled that this was not the same as having a saved image. This means that people from New York state who click the wrong link by accident will no longer face serious jail time and a lifetime of registering as a sex offender. People will be able to report what they've found to the police who can then go after the source of the child porn, instead of someone who was merely browsing the internet."An MSNBC article summarizes the case, and offers this pithy summary: "The decision rests on whether accessing and viewing something on the Internet is the same as possessing it, and whether possessing it means you had to procure it. In essence, the court said no to the first question and yes to the second."
Of the defendant in the case which sparked the ruling, though, reader concertina226 asks "Errr... just because he didn't download the pictures, how does this make it okay? He's still accessing child porn! "