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  1. #1
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    Default Sex Offenses on Omegle and Chatroulette

    My question involves criminal law for the state of: DC

    I'm 18 and I think I sex chatted with a 16 or 17 year old once or twice on omegle. Not for more than 5 minutes (not that it would matter I guess). The other thing I'm worried about are all the naked minors on Chatroulette. Can someone actually get caught for viewing child porn on that site?

    I feel so stupid and I'm just so worried that I've ruined my life forever if I get caught. I don't even know why I sex chatted with them. I don't want to do it again. And about chatroulette, what I read was that if anyone would get in trouble it would be the site's owner because he doesn't put up a warning saying you must be 18+ because of graphic material or something like that. And if there are thousands of people on there I can't imagine they would all get prosecuted? I'm just freaking out because the few chats, and the chatroulette viewings, and now posting this question all seem to be adding up, and now I keep thinking the police are watching my every move and are going to knock on my door any second :''''(. I need help!

    EDIT: Also, in the grand scheme of things, is what I did so bad considering there was no solicitation or more drastic stuff like that?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Sex Offenses on Omegle and Chatroulette

    to the chatting: no excuse there. You shouldn't have done it.

    to chatroullette; the website specifically provides a TOS that states such activity is not allowed. The last I heard, they are actually working on a program that would automatically terminate any participant that showed their genitals. Not sure how it would work but I am not a computer programmer either.

    as such, unless you intentionally sought child porn, there was no intent to commit a crime. It is not illegal to see a naked kid running down the street. Just the same, it is not illegal to accidentally view such on chatroullette. Now, if you see it and continue the contact for any length of time, your intent would surely be brought into question and what happens may be very different.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Sex Offenses on Omegle and Chatroulette

    Quote Quoting jk
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    to the chatting: no excuse there. You shouldn't have done it.

    to chatroullette; the website specifically provides a TOS that states such activity is not allowed. The last I heard, they are actually working on a program that would automatically terminate any participant that showed their genitals. Not sure how it would work but I am not a computer programmer either.

    as such, unless you intentionally sought child porn, there was no intent to commit a crime. It is not illegal to see a naked kid running down the street. Just the same, it is not illegal to accidentally view such on chatroullette. Now, if you see it and continue the contact for any length of time, your intent would surely be brought into question and what happens may be very different.
    Yeah I just didn't realize that sex chatting was considered illegal. And if the age of consent is 16, I figured it wouldn't be bad to chat...

    And I thought that even if you don't intend to see it, it's still illegal. I thought seeing a naked kid is different because it's not "porn." Do you think law enforcement has a way of tracking chatroulette conversations?

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Sex Offenses on Omegle and Chatroulette

    Quote Quoting klondike123
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    Do you think law enforcement has a way of tracking chatroulette conversations?
    I have no reason to believe they don't. Anymore, I tend to believe they have access rather than thinking they might not.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Sex Offenses on Omegle and Chatroulette

    Quote Quoting jk
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    I have no reason to believe they don't. Anymore, I tend to believe they have access rather than thinking they might not.
    Yeah, although the servers are in Germany so I don't know how that would work out...

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Sex Offenses on Omegle and Chatroulette

    yes but there are a limited number of network access points that all internet communication passes through. If you observe those points, you can observe all communications on the internet.

    The US government already has been caught using keyword triggered tracking on high level network transfer lines and that was quite a few years ago. Who knows what they are doing now?

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Sex Offenses on Omegle and Chatroulette

    Quote Quoting jk
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    yes but there are a limited number of network access points that all internet communication passes through. If you observe those points, you can observe all communications on the internet.

    The US government already has been caught using keyword triggered tracking on high level network transfer lines and that was quite a few years ago. Who knows what they are doing now?
    Perhaps, but they would have to be watching the conversations as they were happening as opposed to after the conversation ended, I presume... I don't think chatroulette keeps old conversations but I could be wrong.

    And what is keyword triggered tracking?

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Sex Offenses on Omegle and Chatroulette

    Quote Quoting klondike123
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    And what is keyword triggered tracking?
    I can't remember the name of the system the government was using but it was all over the news. Basically, they connect to the internet and the program watches for a particular word or term to be seen. That then activates the program to begin recording that particular data stream. It also is designed to be able to determine the addresses of the sender and receiver so they can then link that data to the users.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Sex Offenses on Omegle and Chatroulette

    Firstly, you have to wonder the likelihood of anyone actually pressing charges. In a case like this, they are minimal at best. It's certainly no greater than your chances of facing charges for similar contact with someone of that age at your school - and of the many thousands of people in the country who have just passed the age of consent and have sexual contact with someone a year or so younger than them, very few ever face charges.

    The real problem with cases like this is that the law varies in significant ways from state to state. I'm not familiar with the law in DC, and am by no means an expert on criminal law, but I know that some states take into account the difference in age between the two parties, even if one is below the age of consent.
    From what I understand of your post, although you weren't entirely clear on it, your problem is that these people were over the age of consent in your state, but presumably under the age of consent in theirs. The question raised by that and my previous point being, which laws would apply in such a case? I admit that I don't actually know the answer to that.

    Another thing to remember is that a charge is by no means a guarantee of a conviction; my personal opinion is that even the best prosecutor in the state would have great difficulty convincing a jury that a sexually oriented chat between persons over the age for giving informed consent to sexual activity (in that state) constituted a sexual offense.

    Child pornography laws are not applicable to chatroulette because there is no way for chatroulette to actually store any images on your hard drive. Even if it were argued that it is technically a crime, for which there is a strong argument, it would not be enforceable because no amount of forensic analysis of your computer could show that you are in possession of illegal content.
    On the other hand, public indecency and solicitation laws still apply.

    The police have limited resources, and I would wager that they are more concerned with trying to find cases of child abuse (mainly coercion, both from chat participants and unseen parties on the other side, which I would imagine is fairly common), and going after the people who are forcing or coercing children into exposing themselves on that service.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Sex Offenses on Omegle and Chatroulette

    Quote Quoting Libran
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    Firstly, you have to wonder the likelihood of anyone actually pressing charges. In a case like this, they are minimal at best. It's certainly no greater than your chances of facing charges for similar contact with someone of that age at your school - and of the many thousands of people in the country who have just passed the age of consent and have sexual contact with someone a year or so younger than them, very few ever face charges.

    The real problem with cases like this is that the law varies in significant ways from state to state. I'm not familiar with the law in DC, and am by no means an expert on criminal law, but I know that some states take into account the difference in age between the two parties, even if one is below the age of consent.
    From what I understand of your post, although you weren't entirely clear on it, your problem is that these people were over the age of consent in your state, but presumably under the age of consent in theirs. The question raised by that and my previous point being, which laws would apply in such a case? I admit that I don't actually know the answer to that.

    Another thing to remember is that a charge is by no means a guarantee of a conviction; my personal opinion is that even the best prosecutor in the state would have great difficulty convincing a jury that a sexually oriented chat between persons over the age for giving informed consent to sexual activity (in that state) constituted a sexual offense.

    Child pornography laws are not applicable to chatroulette because there is no way for chatroulette to actually store any images on your hard drive. Even if it were argued that it is technically a crime, for which there is a strong argument, it would not be enforceable because no amount of forensic analysis of your computer could show that you are in possession of illegal content.
    On the other hand, public indecency and solicitation laws still apply.

    The police have limited resources, and I would wager that they are more concerned with trying to find cases of child abuse (mainly coercion, both from chat participants and unseen parties on the other side, which I would imagine is fairly common), and going after the people who are forcing or coercing children into exposing themselves on that service.
    Wow thanks for that post. It makes me feel better.

    But about pressing charges. I thought when law enforcement goes and raids people for solicitating a minor or whatever other sexual offense, it's not because someone pressed charges but because what they did was simply illegal...

    And I don't know which states they were from. I just wasn't sure if chatting sexually at or above the age of consent was illegal or not.

    So basically with chatroulette it comes down to there not being enough evidence? Because a copy of the videos and chat log would have to be kept somehow and if chatroulette itself doesn't do it, then its highly unlikely the police have a copy right? And is possession of CP the real issue, not just viewing? (I swear I'm only asking because of what happened, NOT because I want to view it - I would never want to watch that stuff)

    Anyway, I don't think I'm ever going to go to that site again. I can't stop thinking about the past and now I keep thinking the cops are coming after me... I think I just started freaking out because I read about a girl who sent naked pictures of herself when she was 17 and she was charged with being a child pornographer. I don't understand how they caught her so I was trying to figure out if it was possible on chatroulette as well...

    EDIT: I was thinking the police have more important things to deal with too, but when they caught that 17 year old girl... Like of all the things you could be doing with your time? You pick the girl who just didn't know better?

    Also, just wondering, since many people go on that site looking to have girls flash them etc... is asking a minor to expose themselves (and assuming they do it) considered coercion?

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