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EFF IN THE NEWS

Are lots of teens 'sexting'? Experts doubt it

March 25, 2009

Seventeen-year-old Natalie Tracey recently adjusted her cell phone plan to accommodate her growing text-messaging addiction. But the Sacramento high school senior had never heard of anyone at her school "sexting" - sending a nude photo via cell phone...

Lee Tien, a senior staff attorney at San Francisco's Electronic Frontier Foundation, said law-enforcement agencies that bring felony charges against minors are misusing the federal child pornography laws, which he said were written to protect children from adult predators.

"We may not want teenagers to engage in this behavior," Tien said, "but police officers and schoolteachers and judges should not feel like they need to bring up criminal charges on these kids.

"It's become a frenzy of people who are trying to out-moralize one another and come out strongly against it," he added. "I'm hoping people will come to their senses and this will result in less sexting but, more importantly, less overreacting by the authorities."

Saturday, March 21, 2009
San Francisco Chronicle
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