Man Downloads Child Porn “Accidentally,” Faces Up To 20 Years in Prison

Discussion in 'privacy general' started by caspian, Jan 25, 2010.

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  1. caspian

    caspian Registered Member

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  2. dw426

    dw426 Registered Member

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    This happens quite often actually. Now, I certainly can't say the man is telling the truth, but it does happen pretty often. It's of course no secret to most of us that files, especially on P2P networks are not always what they claim to be. Sometimes it's malware, sometimes, this happens. Criminals also have been known to frequently take over systems and use them as storage for illegal files. It's not news by any means, but, sadly, law enforcement agencies/governments are still woefully "behind the times" when it comes to these sorts of attacks.
     
  3. hierophant

    hierophant Registered Member

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    Unless you limit your online activities to mainstream news and corporate sites, it'd be wise to assume that you have downloaded child porn, and to maintain your computer accordingly. All it might take is the wrong JPG, formatted to display as one square pixel.
     
  4. caspian

    caspian Registered Member

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    Huh? I download all kinds of stuff from rapidshare and I also collect animated gifs. Are you saying that a simple picture could have child porn hidden in it? The above story also sounds like that experiment they did in Florida where they drove up to people's houses and pointed some kind of device toward their router. And that one also involved peer to peer sharing.

    I am still curious about that technique. I think most people will just ignore it because it was used to catch child porn, but what would stop them from exposing anonymous bloggers, whistle blowers....or just about anyone they wanted to find? ~comment removed~ If this technique does not require an IP address, then I would think that it would be a whole new problem for privacy conscious people and political activists. But then maybe I am missing something.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 28, 2010
  5. hierophant

    hierophant Registered Member

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    I was referring to HTML. A page with "<img src="nasty.jpg" width="1" height="1" />" in it would cache nasty.jpg -- but you'd just see a dot.

    One can steganographically embed one image in another. I'm not sure what that implies re animated GIFs.
     
  6. ex_ployt_ed

    ex_ployt_ed Registered Member

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    I just don’t get this.

    First, regardless of whether there was an intentional offense or not in this specific case, the very fact that someone could so easily find themselves in such a situation for an accidental download is nothing short of chilling.

    But the problems and concerns that this story raises go beyond that.

    Consider that at any given moment there are probably thousands of people downloading child pornography, many of whom do so regularly.

    There is no way that law enforcement can go after all of them.

    So, based on the information in the story, why would they single-out this guy?
    Raid his home, seize his computer and charge him for up to 20 years for a one-time download?!

    Wouldn’t that be quite draconinan even if it were intentional ?!
    (Barring additional evidence or factors that would suggest a threat to society, of course.)

    Wouldn’t limited public resources be better spent going after the many who are involved in the production of such material or otherwise pose a real threat to children than on those who merely view images?

    I therfore can only hope that there is much more to this story that hasn’t been reported.

    Another problem is that the term ‘child pornography’ covers the gamut from horrific images of the rape and abuse of infants and young children-- at one end-- to racy images that naughty frolicking teens take of themselves-- at the other. Granted, even the latter are not exactly wholesome or without problems and concerns of their own but they are still a far-cry from the former.
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2010
  7. dw426

    dw426 Registered Member

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    The story as reported I'm sure is leaving out some details, so there very well may be more to it. But yes, in fact a single image can get you that kind of prison term. I am in NO way condoning this sort of thing, but it shows you just how flawed law can be. You're literally much more likely to get away with murder than not spend the majority of the remainder of your life behind bars for an image.

    What COULD have happened in this case is that the guy found himself caught up in one of the many ongoing P2P sting operations law enforcement has going on at any one time. And, as we know with P2P, while a file is downloading, it is also uploading to whomever is connected to you, whether that be in Kad on Emule or in the swarm through Bittorrent.

    People getting caught using P2P, whether that be the RIAA coming after them for music, or, in this case, police coming after them for child porn, are almost ALWAYS going down for the uploading or uploading while downloading of a file. So, if police and prosecutors play the "he was uploading child porn" card, then he's basically done for.

    One thing I disagree with in that article, and that's reporting these files to the police. My advice is to delete the file/files, overwrite it, defrag the hard drive, and hope for the best. In fact, if you are one of the many that use an imaging system, revert to the last image before the file got on your drive. That should help even more.

    There's a reason I say this, and it's not to give people ideas on how to hide. It's because you, as this case shows quite clearly, cannot expect anyone to believe you had no intention of looking for/sharing such things, that it truly WAS an accident. Child porn is one of those certain crimes that stack the odds against people. There are VERY few cases of proven accidents and even fewer cases of some amount of leniency no matter what the circumstances.
     
  8. caspian

    caspian Registered Member

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  9. dw426

    dw426 Registered Member

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    This case goes even further to what I said earlier. That's one lucky kid. It also shows that computers and the Internet, both so taken for granted and, unfortunately, so necessary can at once be your best friend and your worst enemy if you're not constantly on your toes and do your best to secure yourself.
     
  10. ex_ployt_ed

    ex_ployt_ed Registered Member

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    Insane. Unconscionable. Counterproductive.

    Tears, disbelief, indignation.

    Really does sound like it’s not about justice and protecting society but politics and power. Ambitious prosecutors looking to make a name for themselves. Ignorance. Reflexive, irrational reactions at the mere mention of the words ‘child’ and ‘pornography’ in close proximity.

    (By all means, do the utmost to protect children from any actual harm but it's hard to see how what’s described in these stories do that and don’t, instead, actually drain and divert limited resources away from areas where they are truly needed)

    “Young girls in suggestive poses” is quite vague and highly relative and subjective; the only thing we can safely deduce from it is that the girls were under eighteen.

    Even if he unquestionably had done any of that...

    ‘Minors’ could mean five, just as easily as it could mean fifteen

    If the images were of young teenage girls, then simply a good talk covering the problems and concerns such images pose and the proper respect for girls and women-- that they’re more than mere sex-objects-- should be all that is in order. Perhaps greater supervision, too. At most, a penalty such as temporary loss of computer privileges.

    After all, would anyone actually claim that there is anything perverted or unhealthy about a sixteen-year old boy being drawn to erotic or nude images of girls around his age?

    If the images were of much younger, pre-pubescent girls then, at worst it would suggest that the boy needs psychiatric attention- not prison (which could actually turn him into an actual sex offender by way of what would likely be done to him behind bars).

    And even then, it could be nothing worse than curiosity and the thrill of the forbidden. (As anyone familiar with adolescent development will tell you, sixteen is often still an age of sexual exploration/ discovery/ confusion and certainly one of rebellion and mischief.)

    Scandalous.

    Would that “Playboy-like images" be the worst that teens these days see...

    Now this is just too much.

    Sure this wasn’t actually some spoof? Like a gag from The Onion or something?

    (And that interview with the prosecutor sounded like something from Saturday Night Live. What a jackass! )

    Give the boys a talk about proper respect for women and some disciplinary action. Show them a film or have them read a book about the indignities and horrors of the sex industry and the various problems that pornography poses.

    The only thing here that rises to the level of criminal is charging this boy with a crime.

    (And how many guys can’t recall such a sneak ‘show and tell’ at school from well before they were sixteen?)

    They must really have very little crime in Arizona that they have the resources to spare on witch hunts like this...

    Unlike that boy some years back who was put on a sex-offender registry merely for mooning some girls as a prank and found the humiliation so great that he committed suicide.
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2010
  11. hierophant

    hierophant Registered Member

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    Just google sexting, and you'll find mucho. Young girls are being prosecuted as child pornographers for sending revealing images of themselves to friends.

    Also, if you're ever arrested for anything that involves a search warrant, they will almost certainly search your computer for child porn. Just FYI.
     
  12. arran

    arran Registered Member

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    Yes
    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/28679588/

    The Law is flawed and full of ~ Snipped as per TOS ~ in a lot of ways.

    The Law says they are too young to consent to sex but at the same time they are old enough to face child pornography charges.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 1, 2010
  13. hierophant

    hierophant Registered Member

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    Hey, at least they're not arresting kids for looking at themselves in mirrors (yet, anyway, AFAIK).
     
  14. RejZoR

    RejZoR Registered Member

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    Even though i've got pr0n instead movie or something else few times i never got child porn. Images also don't get downloaded with something else accidentally. I don't think these sort of images float around the web openly.
    Regular pr0n, yes. Child porn, i really doubt it. Usually close group of freaks share such stuff in private areas to prevent police from getting to them too fast. At least that's what i learned from Law and Order series on TV. Makes sense if you think about it. Same as for warez scene. It works in a similar way.
     
  15. ex_ployt_ed

    ex_ployt_ed Registered Member

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    Steganographic Images/ Trojan DATA Files

    Is there, then, any way to be certain that any given image file (whether .jpg, .gif , .png , etc.) on one's computer is what it appears to be and nothing more?

    What about other data files?

    Haven't there been cases where evidence other than that for which a search warrant was issued was ruled inadmissible?
     
  16. hierophant

    hierophant Registered Member

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    Re: Steganographic Images/ Trojan DATA Files

    That's hard. It's best to treat them all as suspect, IMHO.

    That's less risky. Modifying non-image files without corrupting them is harder, I believe.

    I'm sure there have. And the authorities get very weird re child porn.
     
  17. caspian

    caspian Registered Member

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    "Yet" is the operative word. Using the same logic that they use to arrest children for creating child pornographer, over a silly picture sent on a cell phone, they could similarly arrest a boy for child molestation if he is caught touching himself.

    I don't know who is more dangerous....the child pornographers, or these freaks that are using the legal system to abuse children, scarring them for life.
     
  18. dw426

    dw426 Registered Member

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    Re: Steganographic Images/ Trojan DATA Files

    Yes, in the U.S search warrants must be related to the crime with which the person is suspected of. They are NOT going to just go in a house and say to themselves "I wonder if he/she has kiddie porn? Let's check while we're here". I don't know where that idea came from, but it's nonsense.
     
  19. dw426

    dw426 Registered Member

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    Lol, guys, look, I know the judicial system is getting crazier by the year it seems, but let's back up a bit from the wild ideas. Sexting causes a problem because it's an image/video shared with someone else. Plus, there's a big problem (at least in the U.S, very religious countries could be quite different) with your idea of a boy getting arrested for masturbation...you can't molest yourself, and masturbation isn't illegal.
     
  20. ex_ployt_ed

    ex_ployt_ed Registered Member

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    No, not 'openly' but steganographically- that's the whole point here. (See previous posts)

    Even sites like YouTube, Flickr, Yahoo! Groups, etc. get CP posted to them.

    Television is not exactly known for accurate, realistic, representative portrayals of life and society...
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2010
  21. dw426

    dw426 Registered Member

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    I have to disagree with this stuff being posted on the websites you mention.

    1. Youtube: It just simply won't happen due to the MASSIVE use of it by the world. That's the most dangerous place in the world to post that. IF, IF it got through Google's filters, thousands of users would find it.

    2. Yahoo Groups/Flickr: Not anymore. Yahoo is WELL known to provide law enforcement access to accounts/services. This stuff used to show up a LOT in private groups, but Yahoo cleaned house and are extremely quick to pounce on groups that they even THINK MIGHT contain illegal images. Any time the words "young", "high school", "lolita" or any of those types of that kind of "suspicious" language shows up in the title or description of a group, sirens go off and they start looking.

    You honestly don't "run across" this stuff anymore unless, as the cases above show, it's mixed in with other files found on P2P networks and/or mislabeled. Gone are the days when you could Google BBS boards and the like for it. Google and other search engines did a very good job at getting rid of links to them.
     
  22. caspian

    caspian Registered Member

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    Obviously I am being somewhat facetious in an attempt to illustrate just how asinine it is to charge a child as being both the victim and perpetrator, at the same time, of such a hideous crime, ...one that many would consider to be worse than murder. The effects of course would be far worse to these children than what you would see in many actually molestation cases. They would be charged and branded as child predators (in the same category), registering as sex offenders, at a time when they are still developing emotionally and sexually, and are themselves still children. The rest of their lives will be tarnished and tainted from this abuse, which *IS* itself the sexual abuse of a child. It is unconscionable and these freaks have no business being in a position that will enable them to abuse others, especially children.
     
  23. hierophant

    hierophant Registered Member

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    Re: Steganographic Images/ Trojan DATA Files

    Some years ago, a friend was busted for dealing weed. They searched his computer for contacts, and found child porn. :eek:
     
  24. ronjor

    ronjor Global Moderator

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    Just a reminder that the subject material being discussed here is borderline for these forums.

    Security and privacy are important to all computer users however, descriptions of what constitutes pornography and all the different scenarios are not necessary here.
     
  25. dw426

    dw426 Registered Member

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    Re: Steganographic Images/ Trojan DATA Files

    The search was related to the crime. If they had reason to believe or some amount of evidence that names or material relevant to the crime were stored on the unit, then yes, the search of the computer was legal. There has to be a reason/probable cause to search anything (for how much longer probable cause is respected, there's no telling).

    Anyway, I think this entire thread can be summed up by saying watch what you download and keep your system locked down and updated.
     
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