Virtual Nudism

FOR DOWNLOAD MORE GALLERY Let's face it, there are a lot more people out there that are nudists at heart than are nudists in practice. Some people are content to be nude in their own personal spaces, others like to be nude in social situations. And in this digital age, many others like to be nude on the Internet.

But can posting a nude photo of one's self on the Internet for all the world to see be an act of indecent exposure? Is cyberspace just a virtual version of real life, or is it art?

In its relatively short life span, the Internet has gone from being an academic tool to becoming a commercial and personal necessity, and it is now rapidly approaching a point where what happens in cyberspace is getting the attention of law enforcement.

The Washington Post reports that police in Belgium are investigating a virtual rape that took place on the web site Second Life in order to determine if an actual crime was committed.
Philip Rosedale, the founder and chief executive of Linden Labs, said in an interview that Second Life activities should be governed by real-life laws for the time being. He recounted, for example, that his company has called in the FBI several times, most recently this spring to ensure that Second Life's virtual casinos complied with U.S. law. Federal investigators created their own avatars and toured the site, he said.

In coming months, his company plans to disperse tens of thousands of computer servers from California and Texas to countries around the world in order to improve the site's performance. Also, he said, this will make activities on those servers subject to laws of the host countries.

Rosedale said he hopes participants in Second Life eventually develop their own virtual legal code and justice system.
So the next time you decide to post a full-frontal nude photo of yourself or of others on the Internet, keep in mind that someone somewhere might be looking at such activity as indecent exposure, even though it really isn't. And if someone somewhere is offended or traumatized by such photos, or if a child happens to see them, is the posting of nude photos a virtual "creating a disturbance", or "child abuse"?

"Our virtues are most often but our vices disguised." — Fran├žois duc de la Rochefoucauld, French memoirist and philosopher (1613-1680)

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