Frequently Asked Questions

Please select your question category

The idea for this legislation was originally raised in the 2003 Green Paper on E-Business and was a direct response to the role technology and the Internet play in the proliferation of crimes against children. The exploitation of children for sexual purposes has been a global problem for many years. The Internet, whilst being a tremendous tool for education and business, has also become the most significant factor in the sexual exploitation of children and the principal means for exchanging Child Pornography.

The growth of information technology has transformed the production of child pornography into a sophisticated yet easy to accomplish global industry. Technology has made it easy for anyone to produce and distribute child pornography from their home. Anyone with access to children, a digital camera and a home computer with an Internet link can be in business in short order.

This new technology and the problems it presents defy comparison with all other means of communication. With the new demand, comes an increase in supply. Human Rights Watch has estimated that there are a million child prostitutes in India alone. It has also been estimated that there are 800,000 child prostitutes in Thailand and between 100,000 and 300,000 in the United States. UNICEF states that conservative estimates place the number of child prostitutes exploited for pornography worldwide to be approximately two million, and that another million boys and girls throughout the world are forced into the sex trade every year.

Child pornography is a worldwide problem and it is prudent to have the mechanism in place to ensure that the Director of Public Prosecutions has the ability to successfully prosecute criminals locally. This legislation will also enable Bermuda to act on information provided by international law enforcement agencies as we assist other jurisdictions in the eradication of these abuses.

The Internet has been responsible for the exponential growth of this material on a global basis. While the original intent for this legislation was to focus on the online environment, it was decided to enlarge the focus and include offences relating to child pornography in its larger context and not just in the online environment.

Yes. The definition for materials is very wide and includes all types of visual images, written material as well as audio recordings. It should also be noted that it includes representations of children (i.e. drawings; three dimensional images; adults dressed as children; adult bodies with faces of children superimposed etc.). The children (or their representations) do not actually have to be actually involved in the 'acts' but merely have to "appear to be" so involved.

Under the age of sixteen years.

The offences are:

Section

Offence

S182C

Showing child abusive material, child pornography or offensive material to a child.This section is very broad, as ‘offensive material’ is defined to include material that depicts violence, drug misuse, cruelty or ‘abhorrent phenomena’. It is known as the “grooming” offence as it has been drafted to cover all those acts that child predators are known to employ when de-sensitizing a child in anticipation of their committing an abusive act.

S182D

Use of children in the production of child abusive material or child pornography.If you have custody, charge or care of a child and allow them to be used in the production of child abusive material or child pornography you will have committed an offence.

S182E

LuringIf you use any form of communications device to communicate with a child for the purpose of committing any of the acts listed below, you will have committed an offence:

  • S177(1) – Unnatural offences and attempts to commit unnatural offences
  • S180 – Carnal knowledge of a girl under the age of 14 years of age; attempts; alternative convictions of other offences
  • S181(1) – Unlawful carnal knowledge of a girl between 14 and 16 years of age; attempts
  • S182A(1) – Sexual exploitation of a young person (14 years of age)
  • S182B(1) – Sexual exploitation of a young person by a person in a position of trust
  • S184(1) – Procuration ; attempts (woman or girl)
  • S185(1) – Procuring unlawful carnal connection of woman or girl by threats or fraud of by administering drugs; attempts
  • S187(1) – Exercising control of woman or girl with a view to her prostitution
  • S188(1) – Abduction of girl under eighteen with intent to have carnal knowledge
  • S189 – Conspiring to induce permission to have carnal knowledge

S182F<

Making, distributing, etc. of child abusive material or child pornographyThis includes importing or exporting material

S182G

Possession of child abusive material or child pornographyHere possession is limited to possession for the purpose of making it available to, showing it to, or for viewing by other persons

S182H

Accessing child abusive material or child pornographyYou must knowingly access the material

S182J

Offence by Director and OfficerOffence by body corporateIf a S182F or S182G offence is committed by a body corporate and this was done with the acquiescence, consent or connivance of a director etc., that person and the company are guilty of offences

The sentences in the Criminal Code Amendment Act 2007 are in keeping with sentences for sexual offences involving minors in the general Criminal Code (as recently amended by amendments to the Criminal Code, 2006). The penalties are:

Section

Offence

Summary
Imprisonment / Fine

Indictment
Imprisonment / Fine

S182C

Showing child abusive material, child pornography or offensive material to a child

5

10

S182D

Use of children in the production of child abusive material or child pornography

5

10

S182E

Luring

5

10

S182F

Making, distributing, etc. of child abusive material or child pornography

5

10

S182G

Possession of child abusive material or child pornography

3

5

S182H

Accessing child abusive material or child pornography

5

10

S182J

Offence by Director and Officer
Offence by body corporate

5

$20,000

10

$1,000,000

The present legislation makes it a crime to possess child pornography with the intention of circulating the images, whether for profit or not.

The legislation requires that you “knowingly” access child abusive material or child pornography. This is a question of the individual’s state of mind. Anyone who sees such material should recognize that they are witnessing a crime scene and if appropriate, action should be taken to report this to the relevant authorities.
No. But if you discover such material on any computer that you have bought you should immediately report this to law enforcement. Failure to do so may give rise to an offence.
People convicted of these crimes may be placed on a sex offender’s register.
Policing the Internet is a very difficult task. The Bermuda Police Department is working with INTERPOL and foreign law enforcement agencies to ensure that offenders are brought to justice.

Yes, through Improper use of public electronic communications services. The Act specifies:-

68 (1) Any person commits an offence triable either way if he—

a. sends, by means of a public electronic communications service, a message or other matter that is grossly offensive or of an indecent, obscene or menacing character;

b. sends by those means, for the purpose of causing annoyance, inconvenience or needless anxiety to another, a message that he knows to be false or persistently makes use for that purpose of a public electroniccommunications service;

c. by means of the telephone—
i. makes any comment, request, suggestion or proposal which is obscene, lewd, lascivious, filthy, or indecent;

ii. makes multiple telephone calls, whether or not conversation ensues, without disclosing his identity and with intent to annoy, abuse, threaten, or harass any person at the called number;

iii. makes or causes the telephone of another repeatedly or continuously to ring, with intent to harass any person at the called number; or

iv. makes repeated telephone calls, during which conversation ensues, solely to harass any person at the dialled number; or

d. knowingly permits any electronic communications apparatus under his control to be used for any purpose prohibited by this subsection
and is liable on conviction to imprisonment for one year or a fine of $25,000, or both.

(2) Any person who by means of a public electronic communications service—

a. obtains information from a computer which he is not authorized by the owner of the computer or the owner of the information to possess; or

b. without the authority of the owner of the computer or the owner of the information changes information stored in a computer or in any way interferes with the programme,
commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to imprisonment for one year or a fine of $20,000 or both or, on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for two years or a fine of $50,000 or both.

(3) Any person, be he a participant or not, in the act or acts penalized in subsection (2) who knowingly possesses any tape record, wire record, disk record or any other record of any information secured in the manner prohibited by subsection (2), or replays the same to any person or communicates the contents thereof whether complete or partial either verbally or in writing or in any other manner to any other person commits an offence and is liable—

a. on summary conviction, to imprisonment for one year or a fine of $20,000 or both; or

b. on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for two years or a fine of $50,000 or both.

(4) For the purposes of subsection (2) "computer" means a programmable electronic device that can store and process data and from which data can be retrieved.

If you correspond with someone under the age of 16 years with the intent to ‘groom’ or ‘lure’ that child (as described in the Act) you will be liable for prosecution. When dealing in an anonymous environment for the purposes of establishing a personal relationship (such as chat rooms; social networking areas etc.), every person has a duty to ensure that the other person with whom they are communicating is not a child. You should be aware that there are other offences in the Criminal Code outside the Criminal Code Amendment Act 2007 that may apply if you have a relationship with someone under the age of 18 years.
It is possible an offence could be committed in this manner. If the victim is under the age of 16 years and the photograph or video constitutes child abusive material or child pornography then an offence could be committed.
Under no circumstances should you forward this material to anyone. Doing so would be an offence under the Act and could have serious repercussions. You should promptly report this activity to the Police.
You should not allow young children to watch adult oriented material. If you do so knowing that the material was unsuitable you may have committed an offence under the Act.
The legislation does not cover photographs taken of children unless they fall within the definitions “child abusive material” or “child pornography”.
The legislation covers acts that are harmful to children and not the normal course of behaviour in a family environment. E-mailing baby pictures will not result in an offence unless the intent is of a criminal or sexually abusive nature. In order to ensure that these types of cases do not end up in Court unnecessarily a caveat is included that the Director of Public Prosecutions has to consent before the prosecution of these crimes.
Persons who care for children should always have their best interests in mind. On this basis no additional responsibilities should arise. However, such individuals should now be aware that the Criminal Code Amendment Act 2007 creates offences for those persons who have custody, charge or care of a child if that child is used in the production of child abusive material or child pornography.
At a general level it is very unlikely that showing an adult film (containing strong sexual content or violence) to a child would be in the child’s best interests. Anyone considering this should note that it may now be an offence under the Criminal Code Amendment Act 2007. The Act states that any person who knowingly shows child abusive material, child pornography or offensive material to a child is guilty of an offence. An adult film may well fall within the definition of offensive material. Other material that may fall within these definitions could be violent computer games; magazines promoting drug misuse; pictures of executions etc. The purpose of this provision is to capture child predators who ‘groom’ children (by de-sensitizing them) in anticipation of committing an offence.

Talk to your kids about social networking Web sites such Facebook, and others. If your children are under the recommended age for these sites (usually 13 and over), do not let them use the sites.

Talk to your kids about responsible, ethical, online behavior. They should not be using the Internet to spread gossip, bully, or make threats against others.

As a publisher you are covered by the provisions of the Act. If an offence is committed then the company, its directors, officers or any person purporting to act as such may all be charged as having acquiesced, consented or connived in the activity. The question will be whether the material falls within the definition of child abusive material or child pornography and if so whether the defence of it being for the public good on the ground that it is “in the interest of science, literature, art or learning” applies.
A company, its directors, officers or any person purporting to act as such may all be guilty of an offence if they acquiesced, consented or connived in such activity. Some knowledge is therefore required. The company should immediately report any abuses by its employees or the company and its directors could be guilty of an offence.
Any artist should first consider the definitions used in the Act as they are very broad. It is possible that works of art created using models over the legal age for consent may fall within these definitions if the average person believed that the representation was that of a child. If the depiction is that of a ‘child’ its context must then fall within the relevant proscriptions for an offence to arise (pornographic; victim of cruelty or abuse etc.). The Act provides a defence where the material is justified as being for the public good on the ground that it is “in the interest of science, literature, art or learning”. It is for the Courts to decide the extent of this defence.

Saltus Video

IWF Bda Portal poster

 

Gangs



Did you know that gangs are also prolific users of...

COM_CONTENT_READ_MORE_TITLE
Internet Safety

If your children use the Internet at home, you...

COM_CONTENT_READ_MORE_TITLE
Mobile Devices

Today’s cellphones and smartphones are literally...

COM_CONTENT_READ_MORE_TITLE