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Russian Court Sentences 23-Year-Old Woman to 2 Years for Torrenting Porn

The dangerous game of RuNet porn. Edited by Kevin Rothrock.

The dangerous game of RuNet porn. Edited by Kevin Rothrock.

A court in Russia has convicted a 23-year-old woman of illegally disseminating pornography on the Internet, handing down a two-year suspended sentence.

The woman, whose name has not been released to the public, lives in Kemerovo, more than 2,000 miles east of Moscow, not far from Novosibirsk. A judge ruled that she violated Article 242 of Russia’s criminal code, which bans “illegal distribution of pornographic materials” over the Internet, when she downloaded and shared three pornographic films in November 2012, using the popular peer-to-peer BitTorrent protocol. The conviction does not involve copyright issues.

In court, the accused denied that she knew she was also sharing pornographic content while she downloaded the films, but Kemerovo prosecutors say she admitted this knowledge when they initially seized her computer during their investigation.

A cursory search of “porno torrent” activity on the Russian Internet shows that tens of thousands of RuNet users regularly download and share pornographic films using peer-to-peer technology. Russian websites like “porn-uptracker” and “toptracker,” for example, document that over 100,000 users have viewed the most popular “torrent trackers” for pornographic movies.

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