Point taken. But here's the thing. If this becomes ok, some schmuck will start a website offering big $$ to young girls who submit pictures they take of themselves. Even bigger $$ for pictures they take themselves getting busy. As long as they just send it to "friends" that's ok right?
Now I can sympathize with kids being young and stupid. They're just doing this for fun, they're not trying to break any laws, etc etc. If a girl snaps a picture of her ta-tas on her cell phone, what's the big deal? If she sends it to her boyfriend, what's the problem? He sends it to some friends, all in good fun right? Whole school has it, still ok? Now kids from other schools get it and it's online, how we looking? At some point, is it a crime for someone to have this naked picture of a minor? Or are we throwing that law out entirely? Kiddie porn is ok if they do it to themselves? What's so different of a friend helps take the pictures? Seriously, do we draw a line anywhere? Well, you can bet if one of those kids cell phones got stolen they're going to play the child porn card to keep their pics from being distributed.
I don't see how we change the current laws at all. Sexually oriented pictures of a minor = child porn = jail time. And I hear that's one crime even criminals aren't keen on. Possession of said materials has to remain a crime with a pretty high price tag.
The argument that "government needs to step in and clearly overreach here because there could be a slippery slope" is an overused one. It's the same logic that says gays shouldn't be allowed to get married because "well, if we say that's OK then the next thing you know polygamy will be legal, or bestiality or necrophilia or whatever." Which seems like an equally absurd argument.
No, if an adult had naked pictures on their phone or their computer of children, it's a crime. If a child has naked pictures of another child on their phone or computer it may be a crime, depending on intent. If a child has naked pictures that of one of their friends that the friend sent to them, it's clearly, absolutely not a crime.
Cops tend to ignore "intent" when trying to steamroll people because they are worried about that faulty logical leap of "slippery slope". No, it isn't a slippery slope. It's a pretty clear line.
By the way, everyone who realizes this is foolish and likes to keep track of other abuses of power should check out Radley Balko's (of Reason.com) blog http://www.theagitator.com/. I don't know if he posted about this story, but it wouldn't surprise me.