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Fighting Porn Vs. Ruining Innocent Lives

kdawson posted more than 7 years ago | from the overzealous-is-an-understatement dept.

The Courts 815

After news of the conviction of a substitute teacher for endangering minors — because porn popups, possibly initiated by adware, had appeared on her computer during class — comes the even sadder story of 16-year-old Matt Bandy. His family's life was turned upside-down when he was charged in Arizona with possession of child pornography, even though the family computer was riddled with spyware and Trojans. After the intervention of ABC's 20/20, Matt finally was allowed to plead to a lesser charge (namely, sharing a Playboy magazine with friends) and just barely escaped being labeled a sex offender for the rest of his life.

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815 comments

Sad but true... (1, Informative)

winkydink (650484) | more than 7 years ago | (#17621898)

If you don't keep your security stuff up to date, especially on a Windows machine, you have no idea what it's being used for.

I've seen similar ~3 years ago (5, Interesting)

gerf (532474) | more than 7 years ago | (#17622086)

At my old University, they required everyone to buy a computer through them. So, every numb-nuts had a computer hooked up to the network. There was no default AV or firewall installed, or even Auto-updates, as this was early WinXP days (and Win2k and 98 the years before that).

Well, he of course got infected with ungodly amounts of crap. I ran Adaware on it once, and it came up with 500-600 pieces of garbage, with approximately 50 - 60 of those being actual installed software. As the school had on-campus service, I just told him to bring it to them, and they'd reinstall all the school software for him.

So, he brought it in, and they found "child pornography" on it. Now, this was absolute news to him, and everyone else. As this was at my old Fraternity house (owned by the school, network owned by the school, was run similarly to other school-owned residencies), they threatened everyone at the house, and God knows what else. Eventually they looked around the house, and to their surprise, did not find a projector and child porn laying around. Apparantly this is what they thought they were housing a child porn theater of some sort. Amazingly, they dropped the case right there, and were very nice about it all, considering what was involved.

As for the original poster, was it this student's fault anyway? He was forced to use this computer, was given inadequate software with no training, and was only using the services given to him. I realize he got away cleanly, with no lawyers involved, but can we really expect this to not be a problem? Many in law enforcement do not understand what's involved in these cases, nor do many in the field of law (though this is getting better as the younger generations are entering these fields.)

Re:I've seen similar ~3 years ago (4, Insightful)

49152 (690909) | more than 7 years ago | (#17622158)

Your friend was extremly lucky

Save me from my internets (4, Informative)

fatduck (961824) | more than 7 years ago | (#17621900)

The clueless parent:
"It means that computers are not safe," said Jeannie Bandy. "I don't want to have one in my house. Under even under the strictest rules and the strictest security, your computer is vulnerable."
The "internet expert" isn't much better:
"If you have an Internet connection, high speed, through, let's say, your cable company, or through the phone company, that computer is always on, and basically you have an open doorway to the outside," said Tammi Loehrs. "So the home user has no idea who's coming into their computer."
Or you could secure your wireless router and stop installing Top 100 Mouse Pointers!!!!.jpg.exe.

Oh here's my personal favorite quote from TFA:
...toss innocents into a living hell intended solely for sexual predators.

Admittedly the prosecution's behavior in this case is excessive, especially the part about pleading to an obscenity charge for a Playboy magazine, but it doesn't have to be another excuse to spread FUD about the evil "here there be dragons" internets.

For 90% of the population (1)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 7 years ago | (#17622192)

Their PC is a black (beige) box which gives them an internet. They know nothing more than that.

And we sadists in our wisdom unleash Windows XP as the tool to use. In fact it's a shite solution for that 90%. The Network Computer or similar concept is much better. All they should have to do is plug their tv, a keyboard and mouse into a $30 router and then forget about it.

 

Re:For 90% of the population (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17622452)

Yeah, people don't want WebTV. Tried and failed.

Re:Save me from my internets (1)

melikamp (631205) | more than 7 years ago | (#17622330)

I wonder how he got caught. Anyone has any info on that?

Re:Save me from my internets (4, Informative)

bckrispi (725257) | more than 7 years ago | (#17622364)

The 'bots' on his PC uploaded kiddie porn to a Yahoo Group. Yahoo notified the authorities with his IP address.

Re:Save me from my internets (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17622392)

Actually fuck you, you're an elitist, techie dipshit.

The product, aka, the Computer+Internet is defective. The ISP could filter this shit on request out but they don't. The routers could come locked down unless they are unlocked but they don't. Windows could come locked down and it is beginning to but for the longest time it was completely vulnerable unlocked. Fortune 100 Fucktard Companies like Sony install rootkits on your machine.

Everyone wants to blame the victim because that is best for commerce.

Me? I will just say you are a fuckhead and wish the moderator beat down would apply directly to your forehead.

Re:Save me from my internets (1)

argle2bargle (794789) | more than 7 years ago | (#17622522)

"Admittedly the prosecution's behavior in this case is excessive, especially the part about pleading to an obscenity charge for a Playboy magazine"

True.

But what the article doesn't say, and what we can't be sure of, is was this kid looking at pictures of 16 year old girls his own age (child porn) or of 4 year old girls (child porn)

If I was the prosecutor, if the kid was looking at girls his own age, I might let him slide. If he was looking at little kids, I'd throw every charge I could think of at him, including possession of a playboy.

And as an occasional viewer of adult content(not child porn) how in the world can I tell if the girl I am looking at is 19 (legal) or 17 (illegal)

Teh Internets (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17621930)

are the tools of the devils.

Windows Cost Of Ownership (5, Funny)

codepunk (167897) | more than 7 years ago | (#17621946)

Now let's figure ruining your life into into that total cost of ownership.

Sex offender label... (5, Funny)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 7 years ago | (#17622398)

... priceless

Re:Windows Cost Of Ownership (1)

NatasRevol (731260) | more than 7 years ago | (#17622548)

It's a simple equation, really.

Windows = Jail time

And this is just for those playing at home. Imagine something along the lines of a Windows sysadmin

(Windows x 125 users) = crap load of jail time

Coming into your computer?? (4, Funny)

NineNine (235196) | more than 7 years ago | (#17621948)

"If you have an Internet connection, high speed, through, let's say, your cable company, or through the phone company, that computer is always on, and basically you have an open doorway to the outside," said Tammi Loehrs."So the home user has no idea who's coming into their computer."

Call me crazy, but can't this last issue be fixed by locking your door? If you keep your doors locked, then it's really not too hard to figure out who's coming into your computer. Although, I've got to say that coming into one's computer gives new meaning to Intarweb porn. Maybe she should teach her son that there are safer places to come.

Re:Coming into your computer?? (4, Insightful)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 7 years ago | (#17622342)

Call me crazy, but can't this last issue be fixed by locking your door?

Of course! But Windows only comes with a screen door, and very few people realize they need a better door, let alone know how to install one. And even if they did manage to get a better door installed, they wouldn't be able to figure out how to operate the lock!

Re:Coming into your computer?? (1)

Chanc_Gorkon (94133) | more than 7 years ago | (#17622420)

Joe six pack doesn't know how to lock that door! My brother would not be as safe as it is today if I did not give him some pointers on how to setup his network. My Dad definitely would need me to be there when the high speed guy comes (if ever). The issue should be steered back to Microsoft for perpetuating a bad OS....Call me crazy, but Microsoft was the one who got everyone into clicking that big fat OK button. That and the holes big enough for a Mac Truck to go through.

Unproportional (4, Insightful)

linuxci (3530) | more than 7 years ago | (#17621962)

Not very good that when the prosecutors couldn't convict him for the porn they still wanted to stick some conviction on him! What's the idea that someone handing copies of playboy to their friends be convicted of a crime? There's nothing illegal in that magazine. The US have some weird attitudes to tits and nudity (playboy ain't really porn).

As for computers, things like this show why we need better education. Make sure people know to keep things updated. Tell them about Firefox, suggest that they get a Mac next time. They're not going to be 100% safe this way, but at least when you add it together with common sense safety measures then they're going to be significantly safer. Like it or not, the fact is all these people who get computers have been given the impression that it's so easy but they get the least secure system out of the box. People need educating about the dangers plus knowledge of the alternative choices.

Re:Unproportional (3, Insightful)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 7 years ago | (#17622018)

The US have some weird attitudes to tits and nudity (playboy ain't really porn).

Because the religious right and grumpy grannies run our politics.
         

Re:Unproportional (3, Insightful)

kaufmanmoore (930593) | more than 7 years ago | (#17622154)

There's nothing illegal in the magazine, but you have to be 18 to have one. He got thecharge on the same type of laws that make it illegal for minors to possess cigarettes and alcohol.

Re:Unproportional (1)

ralphdaugherty (225648) | more than 7 years ago | (#17622412)

The US have some weird attitudes to tits and nudity (playboy ain't really porn).

      The US was founded by people apparently even too uptight by English standards. There's a good portion of Americans that started out dunking witches, and still at it waterboarding their demons.

      On the other hand, we have some horrendous crimes committed by repeat violent sex offenders that should be locked up, but some young person has to die first before they will.

      If you saw our Dateline investigative tv show showing one guy after another showing up at what he thinks is a young girl's house with booze and condoms, it is absolutely amazing. One guy even showed up at another house a second time while he was out on bond from the first visit.

      But prosecutors that behave like this one with the Playboy thing among boys needs to be given a swift boot out the door.

  rd

Re:Unproportional (3, Informative)

foreverdisillusioned (763799) | more than 7 years ago | (#17622434)

I believe that the catch is, while it's technically not illegal for a minor to read Playboy, it's not legal to GIVE a minor a playboy ("corrupting a minor" or some such nonsense.) Even though the kid was a minor himself, it's still technically illegal for him to give the Playboy to another minor. Similarly, if two 16 year olds have sex, they can both be charged with statutory rape, though typically either they are only threatened with arrest, or only the boy is arrested.

Note that I'm not DEFENDING this bullshit--just explaining it.

your country is fucked (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17621976)

lesser charge (namely, sharing a Playboy magazine with friends)

Wow. You USAians really live in a fucked up country if you can be charged with showing your mates a playboy.

Re:your country is fucked (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17622250)

If you're going to insult us, at least know we are Americans, not USAians you idiot. That's not even a word. Nobody in the world except self important douchebags ever uses that term.

Re:your country is fucked (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17622396)

USAians is definitely appropriate cause us other "Americans" (those of us in Latin America) or even those in Canada don't want to be included when speaking about your fucked up country.

American == USA citizen (4, Informative)

gvc (167165) | more than 7 years ago | (#17622550)

We Canadians take "American" to mean a citizen of the USA; not of Canada, Mexico, Brazil or Argentina.

Re:your country is fucked (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17622312)

Wow. You USAians really live in a fucked up country if you can be charged with showing your mates a playboy.

Wow. It didn't take long for you Europeans to slam the United States yet again (what, you have a news shortage over there?). For double points, you say "USAians" instead of the preferred "Americans."

Of course, we could call you EUians, though it would sound like we dropped something heavy on our toe.

Re:your country is fucked (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17622458)

I'm not European. I come from the land of Oz (you know, with the wizard and what not). You may prefer American, but as another post pointed out, others that live on the continent America should not be associated with the stupidity of the USA. My intent was not to insult others on the continent.

Re:your country is fucked (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17622496)

For double points, you say "USAians" instead of the preferred "Americans."


Maybe that's because people outside US remember that there (still) exist non-US Americans?

For double points, you baselessly assume that the OP is EU-based. Hint - at the time of his post it was between 00:44am and 02:44am in EU and quite a bit earlier in the Americas, Australia et al.

Congrats, you're the last recipient of the 'narrow-minded nationalist' award on /.

Re:your country is fucked (1, Flamebait)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 7 years ago | (#17622454)

Pretty insightful to insult the US for no reason. Because it's unthinkable that any European nation has any obsolete "Blue Laws" which can be used to prosecute people like in this case.

Re:your country is fucked (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17622534)

Name one European country where a 16 year old kid can get convicted of a sex crime and be labled a sex offender for showing a Playboy magazine to his similarly aged friends! A goddamn Playboy magazine!!. FFS, get your head out of your ass.

Re:your country is fucked (2, Funny)

Moekandu (300763) | more than 7 years ago | (#17622462)

Tell me about it.

Although, I'm starting to think that our District Attorneys here in AZ need a gift subscription to Playboy...

Man, lemme tell you, it's tempting!

Re:your country is fucked (1)

jrockway (229604) | more than 7 years ago | (#17622464)

Better than paying 200% VAT on it. All countries suck, it's not just the US.

No common sense (3, Insightful)

sinistre (59027) | more than 7 years ago | (#17621980)

Seems common sense is abscent.

Re:No common sense (1)

russ1337 (938915) | more than 7 years ago | (#17622542)

>>> "Seems common sense is abscent

I prefer: "Common sense is not common"

they still dont see it (1, Flamebait)

FudRucker (866063) | more than 7 years ago | (#17621984)

popups, spyware, viruses, trojans & worms are all part of the microsoft windows experience...

they blame everything but the vulnerable system that propagate this kludge...

Re:they still dont see it (2, Funny)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 7 years ago | (#17622070)

popups, spyware, viruses, trojans & worms are all part of the microsoft windows experience...

Jail Gates! Jail Gates! Jail Gates!
     

Re:they still dont see it (4, Insightful)

NineNine (235196) | more than 7 years ago | (#17622180)

they blame everything but the vulnerable system that propagate this kludge...

You think that's a good idea? What happens when people start suing Linux developers for bugs and holes in that software? No software is perfect. Unless MS is doing this deliberately, it's not negligent. It's the nature of software.

And you know what... MS didn't do this to these people's machines. The virus/worm/spyware writers did. They're the real criminals, but no law enforcement agencies are smart enough to be able to track these people down.

vengeance versus justice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17621986)

Society no longer cares about ensuring a person is guilty or deserves the punishment prior to punishing them. Because according to what we're told by certain folks .. if you support free trials, then you support criminals.

People have the adopted the nonsensical goat head attitude of "innocent until proven guilty? well what about the victim ..the victim hadn't a trial ..why should the accused!?". Of course, after stating this masterpiece of "irrefutable logic" they decide your response is not worth listening to.

Re:vengeance versus justice (5, Insightful)

sporkme (983186) | more than 7 years ago | (#17622110)

This is not isolated to porn (duh). When a prosecutor has it out for you, there isn't much that can be done. Often there is a willingness to make an example for others, or to appear tough on a specific kind of crime for political benefit.

Chris Soghoian [iu.edu] knows what I mean. It has nothing to do with evidence - all that matters is the nature of the charges. The Duke lacrosse team knows too.

Is a Mac expensive compared to this? (2, Insightful)

hattig (47930) | more than 7 years ago | (#17621988)

If you are an average non-techy person, especially one prone to getting spyware and so on, you simply cannot afford to use Windows. Hell, if it's still too much money, and 2 years of your life, the rumours, the 'no smoke without fire' retardo simpleminded shit, the stress and the upset is still too much to bear then at least do yourself a favour and install Firefox ... if you are going to visit the type of website that gets you overloaded with this type of spyware then you need to give yourself some sort of protection!

Conversely, if you are a fan of kiddy fiddling pictures, you surely must use a Windows machine without any anti-spyware applications. And IE6.

Re:Is a Mac expensive compared to this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17622120)

Now now - let us not open up a monopoly on plausible deniability. There is plenty of room for error on a machine of any type.

Re:Is a Mac expensive compared to this? (1)

p0tat03 (985078) | more than 7 years ago | (#17622276)

If all the laymen of the world start using Macs then we will see this type of software moving towards the Macs. There is simply no stopping a large of number of very determined people from accessing your machine, so long as you leave it on the net. I for one, as a Mac user, hope the majority of the world stays oblivious to the joys of the Mac :P

Re:Is a Mac expensive compared to this? (3, Informative)

Chanc_Gorkon (94133) | more than 7 years ago | (#17622504)

That would be correct, however root exploits are a little harder to achieve on a Mac. Harder, not impossible. The Mac, BY DEFAULT has you type your password every time you want to install software. The Mac, BY DEFAULT has the root login disabled. The Mac, by default has a better infrastructure then Windows....period...and I am not a fan boy. I'll put up Linux, the Mac or any UNIX based system against the swiss cheese that is Windows XP any day. Yes, even Mac OS X and Linux are vulnerable, but the time to patch at least on Linux is very fast compared to Windows XP and the architecture is different and more secure....BY DEFAULT. They are all what Windows should have been.

To quote the parent.... (1, Insightful)

x1n933k (966581) | more than 7 years ago | (#17622002)

"It means that computers are not safe," said Jeannie Bandy. "I don't want to have one in my house. Under even under the strictest rules and the strictest security, your computer is vulnerable."

Ignorance or uneducated? You're son is on the computer in the den collecting child porn. Do you all avoid the Den? Do you not know the simplest ways to check cookies and history files to see whats there or if they are missing?

I mean, I'm 22 now. When I was 16 was able to surf porn but my mom barely knew the keyboard from the mouse. My friend on the other had had a school teacher for a mom who spent time setting up browser and firewall so Jimmy could only play Jedi Knights online and surf a few special sites. Not to mention doing random *jpg searches on the hard drive just to see what shows up.

I feel the Teacher was treated unfairly and the Kid was also not treated fairly. That kid is 16, he knew what he was looking at and doing.

[J]

Re:To quote the parent.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17622220)

It's true. I do belive you can use things like group policy and internet explorer settings to lock down your system...but that would require reading. Reformatting is where the money is at, it just takes a couple clicks and your done... Unless you're using a Raid controller and the Raid drivers are located on a floppy and the only 3 1/2 floppy drive you have is USB and you have an older mother board that doesn't allow the USB to cloak as the floppy drive. Slightly more of pain then but other then that...

-1, Troll (1)

achurch (201270) | more than 7 years ago | (#17622422)

And yet I feed it anyway . . .

Ignorance or uneducated? You're son is on the computer in the den collecting child porn.

Perhaps you missed these paragraph from The Fine Article (emphasis added):

"When they asked me have you ever looked up or uploaded or downloaded erotic images of minors, I was just taken aback and . . . I said, 'No,'" says Matthew.

Nevertheless, Matthew did have an embarrassing confession. He had been sneaking peaks at adult erotic photos on the family computer.
Despite the positive polygraphs and psychiatric exams, the district attorney pressed on. So the Bandys and their attorney tackled the most difficult question on the table. If Matthew didn't put the pictures on the computer, how did they get there?

Kindly refrain from perpetuating the kind of insanity this kid has had to go through.

Welcome to Anarcho-Tyranny Population You. (1, Insightful)

mikelieman (35628) | more than 7 years ago | (#17622006)

But hey, Obedience to The Law is all that matters.*

*Excepting the Bush Administration.

In this case it was an overzelous Prosecutor (5, Interesting)

Bananatree3 (872975) | more than 7 years ago | (#17622010)

It appears, as in most cases like this, the prosecutor was trying to make an example of this boy. The judge actually suggested that the boy's family appeal the decision, as the judge could not believe why the prosecutor wanted to keep the "Sex offender" charge even though he had dropped the child pornography offense. This boy finally cleared his name, but not without horrendous legal wrangling. Sad, very sad.

Re:In this case it was an overzelous Prosecutor (2, Insightful)

Sloppy (14984) | more than 7 years ago | (#17622492)

It appears, as in most cases like this, the prosecutor was trying to make an example of this boy.

And instead, he made an example of Arizona. Applying unjust law, if there's enough press, sheds light on injustice.

Suppose you were hiring someone to take care of your kid. You found a candidate for the job, but you learned they were a convicted sex offender against minors. "Oohh, I guess that rules out this per-- oh wait, they were convicted in Arizona, where "child molester" doesn't actually mean anything. Ok, you're hired."

Arizona just undermined itself. Be ridiculous with labels, and you end up only labeling yourself.

The American legal system (2, Informative)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 7 years ago | (#17622036)

has become nothing more than part of the Prison-industrial complex [wikipedia.org] . The concept of justice is no longer in the picture and just gets in the way of the profits.

The forensics are tough (5, Interesting)

spywhere (824072) | more than 7 years ago | (#17622046)

WHen a Windows machine gets really infested with spyware, it's tough to sort out the chickens from the eggs.
Did a user to to a porn site that downloaded spyware that brought down kiddie porn, or did somebody intentionally go to a kiddie porn site?

I've never found pictures of kids on a customer's PC (thank God), but I have done some investigations on "porned" and infested PCs: it's hard enough for an IT pro to figure out which came first. When the cops are doing the investigating, I expect they'll come to whatever conclusion makes the suspect look guilty.

This has affirmed my aversion to windows (0, Flamebait)

greg_barton (5551) | more than 7 years ago | (#17622048)

Are my kids EVER going to use windows?

Hell. No.

I'm not going to allow such uncontrolled events as described in the post to happen, if I can help it. The only way I can help it is to have an OS running in my home that can be secured. That means MacOS or Linux. That and a hefty firewall. :)

Re:This has affirmed my aversion to windows (1)

DesertBlade (741219) | more than 7 years ago | (#17622472)

Remember that the average person can barely keep windows going, how in the hell are the going to install Linux?

No matter how great an OS and if Linux is installed on every PC, there will still be people installing SSH (because it is Secure!) and having root passwords like 12345.

Linux boxes get hacked all the time. They become another bot. Windows bots are nicely bundled with spyware.

Microsoft needs to bundle in a anti-spyware,anti-virus and a real firewall with Windows. Wait, they tried and third party software developers threatened to sue. Don't want them to have a monopoly on tools that can secure their OS.

Re:This has affirmed my aversion to windows (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17622538)

You better teach them how to properly flip a burger too, because you just destroyed any chance any of them have of getting a good office job.

Way to go douchebag.

This is just... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17622054)

... as smokers are treated by the righteous witch hunters.

Let's go help Matt Bandy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17622056)

Our support goes out to Matt Bandy, a fellow /.er.

Don't wanna be labeled. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17622058)

Definitely would be bad to be labeled a sex offender. I recall something on the news recently where locals used the sex offenders' database to hunt down sex offenders and rub them out. Also, I think in jail it's considered better to have killed another man then to have sexually assaulted a child or woman.

I think spyware/malware should be considered - the punishment is literally exile.

With proper forensic procedures and analysis... (4, Insightful)

Crudely_Indecent (739699) | more than 7 years ago | (#17622080)

this wouldn't be an issue. There are ways to determine (using system logs, install logs, and the vast information available in the system registry) when content arrived and by what method. When it was determined that the system was being remote-controlled, the boy was spared a lifetime of embarrassment.

It' sad to think that the prosecutor was more interested in the conviction than the truth.

As a forensic computer examiner, I'm not always given the opportunity to come to the correct conclusions based on evidence because that's not what I'm asked to do (and if I go beyond what I was asked to do, the client just won't pay for the extra work.) The legal system in this country rewards those who win, who are not always those who tell the truth.

At this point there are 2 evils (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17622082)

Those dealing in kiddie porn and those using it as an excuse to persecute innocent people, I hope society can rid itself of both.

As for the playboy conviction; the guy needs to appeal, get that conviction overturned and then sue for costs.

Funny.. (5, Insightful)

moehoward (668736) | more than 7 years ago | (#17622084)


Funny, but noboby gets labeled a "murderer" for life. Murderers are released from prison every day. In fact, hundreds of them. They serve their sentence and move on. No reporting themselves to their neighbors. No exclusion zones. No "registered murderer" lists.

I'd actually rather live next door to sex offenders rather than next to convicted drunk drivers. Why am I not notified when a convicted drunk driver moves in next door? Probably a lot more dangerous to me and my kids. Right?

The really weird thing is that neither side of the political spectrum dare oppose the whole "sex offender" legal agenda thing. Its a bit like global warming. Groupthink.

"Think of the children!!" Wait, I didn't mean it THAT way.

Re:Funny.. (2, Funny)

fatduck (961824) | more than 7 years ago | (#17622140)

That's because sex offenders are unholy merchants of sin, corrupting our children with the devil's ways. Next you'll want notification when a priest moves into your neighborhood.

Re:Funny.. (1)

kaufmanmoore (930593) | more than 7 years ago | (#17622198)

Its goes on your record, try getting a good job with a felony on your record. If you are concerned you are living next door to an ex-con look up his records

Re:Funny.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17622334)

Every parent wants to believe that their child is cute enough to be the target of a sexual predator. But in most cases it just isn't true.

Re:Funny.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17622500)

part of me wants to laugh, the rest of me hopes you don't live anywhere near me.

Re:Funny.. (3, Insightful)

Guuge (719028) | more than 7 years ago | (#17622400)

The really weird thing is that neither side of the political spectrum dare oppose the whole "sex offender" legal agenda thing. Its a bit like global warming. Groupthink.

You got it backward. Global warming is contested by politicians, but accepted by the brains in the field. Sex offender registries are contested by the brains but generally accepted by politicians.

Furthermore, you don't seem to know what 'groupthink [reference.com] ' means. I don't mean to pick on you personally, but it had to be said.

sounds like... (1, Funny)

Geekboy(Wizard) (87906) | more than 7 years ago | (#17622090)

is 'fighting porn' aka 'mud wrestling'?

Esc (1)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 7 years ago | (#17622100)

You know, maybe the Omish are on to something.
     

Re:Esc (2, Funny)

Gryle (933382) | more than 7 years ago | (#17622518)

Oh, for crying out loud, it's Amish, not Omish! If you were trying to make a joke about impedence (which I hope you would resist) that would be spelled "Ohmish".

What do you expect Prosecutors to do? (1)

toupsie (88295) | more than 7 years ago | (#17622104)

Come on folks, now that White Collar Crime, Terrorism, Murder and Political Corruption have been virtually eliminated from America, what do you expect Prosecutors to spend their time on?

I might be missing something (4, Insightful)

A beautiful mind (821714) | more than 7 years ago | (#17622112)

But is it plausible to convict a 16y old for child pornography?

Next they'll be prosecuting young mothers breastfeeding their kids on sexual molestation charges...

Re:I might be missing something (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17622302)

When you are 16, you can have sex with a 16 year old, but you can't take pictures.

Strange place we live in.

Re:I might be missing something (1)

IL-CSIXTY4 (801087) | more than 7 years ago | (#17622388)

Nope. Under most states' laws, both 16 year olds are guilty of statutory rape.

Re:I might be missing something (4, Interesting)

Mr2001 (90979) | more than 7 years ago | (#17622482)

No... in most states (that is, more than half), the age of consent is 16 or lower, so neither one is guilty. Many of the remaining states have exceptions to cover the case of two minors, or a minor and an adult who are both very close to the limit.

You are correct about a few states, though - particularly California, where the AOC is 18, and two 17 year olds who have sex with each other are both "sex offenders". Kinda puts this whole outrage over sex offenders into perspective, doesn't it? Everyone wants the real child molestors to go to jail, but the language they use ends up also covering kids who really haven't done anything wrong, other than being born in the wrong state.

Re:I might be missing something (2, Interesting)

Chrax (782154) | more than 7 years ago | (#17622428)

I would say it should depend on the sort of pictures. Are the pictures likely within a year or two of himself? If so, then he's displaying fairly normal sexual attractions, and there seems little reason to consider him a threat to children. If the images are clearly of prepubescents, or if he's still looking at ~14-16 year olds when he's 21, then he displays deviant sexual attractions.

Whether it's convictable, I don't know. Under current laws, I would have to say if the pictures are of prepubescents (a 16 year old is a man, if not in the sight of the law), he's convictable.

However, I would note there's a big difference between leeching some images and actually abusing children or paying money for images of minors, providing a demand for the continued abuse of children. As disgusting as we may find it, nobody is harmed if someone gets off on underage pictures. There are arguments about likelihood to commit a crime (I am here excluding "victimless" crimes, which I believe includes leeching child pornography), but we convict people for criminal acts, not likelihood to commit criminal acts.

Re:I might be missing something (4, Informative)

Cadallin (863437) | more than 7 years ago | (#17622450)

Yes, Absolutely! In fact, according to one study cited on Wikipedia, the age group most charged for Child Pornography offenses is young males aged 15-20. Note that the law makes absolutely no distinction between pictures depicting an 8 year old, and pictures depicting a 16 year old. Both are "Child" Porn, both get you convictions resulting in registered sex offender list for life. Which, yes indeed, means that two 16 year olds (who may very well be consenting depending on jurisdiction) can have sex with each other, and thats fine, but if they videotape it, or take pictures, they can end up with felony Child pornography convictions.

Re:I might be missing something (1)

Carnildo (712617) | more than 7 years ago | (#17622554)

Next they'll be prosecuting young mothers breastfeeding their kids on sexual molestation charges...


It's happened. There was a case about 15 years back where a woman asked her doctor if it was normal to get sexually aroused while breastfeeding, and after misinterpretation of the question by a secretary, was hauled up on charges of child molestation.

(The answer, incidentally, is "yes".)

Sharing a playboy magazine an offence (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17622128)

Wow. It turns out that 16 year old boys like to look at playboy. I guess every heterosexual male on the planet should be charged. I know I never looked at playboy when I was 16. I'm sure the prosecutor didn't either. This hurts my brain.

Remember the name Andrew Thomas (1, Offtopic)

Associate (317603) | more than 7 years ago | (#17622146)

This zealot has an agenda and ambition that will stop at nothing. I only hope that Andrew Thomas, Maricopa County district attorney, won't seek any higher public office or any office for that matter.

BiTch (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17622172)

then Jordan Hubbard it. Do not share I'm discussing Come on baby...and Let's keep to Were nullified by code sharing ass of them aal, Cycle; taKe a Software lawyers the developer JOIN THE GNAA!! prima donnas to fastest-growing GAY

The real problem here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17622174)

This is a total waste of government funds. Why should I have to give up MY hard-earned money just so no one masturbates to YOUR kid?

NO IE! (1)

lordvalrole (886029) | more than 7 years ago | (#17622200)

How about not using Internet Explorer. Fixes just about everything dealing with spyware or adware. It is simple and loads better than IE.

Or we can prosecute companies that hijack your computer and then want you to buy their software to remove their crap.

BTW for the sub who got into trouble...that was really weak. Anyways, a lot of kids know about sexual stuff in junior high or even below. They may not understand completely but they know about it.

Rather than posting a comment. (4, Insightful)

superwiz (655733) | more than 7 years ago | (#17622212)

I'll just let my signature speak for me.

Re:Rather than posting a comment. (1)

fatduck (961824) | more than 7 years ago | (#17622238)

How many civilizations have you used to standardize your test?

Re:Rather than posting a comment. (2, Insightful)

superwiz (655733) | more than 7 years ago | (#17622486)

That's why it's a test -- not the test.

The 20/20 article doesn't say much (1)

taxman_10m (41083) | more than 7 years ago | (#17622258)

200 infected files doesn't mean much to me. My father has McAfee Privacy Something on his computer and it lists every cookie as a "malicious program" or some such thing. Is that what this computer forensic expert for the defense did? Just run some commercial anti-spyware app and testify to the results?

It's great this kid passed a polygraph, but as is mentioned on Slashdot everytime polygraphs come up, they are bunk. I don't see any reason to think that this kid didn't download something illegal.

Really? (2, Informative)

elzurawka (671029) | more than 7 years ago | (#17622286)

"when he was charged in Arizona with possession of child pornography, even though the family computer was riddled with spy-ware and Trojans."

I am currently taking a Data Forensics Course at Sheridan Institute, and the teacher of the course is a Peel Region Data Forensics officer. He told us in the last 5 years of him being there he has not once come across a machine where child porn was put on the machine by a popup, or spyware. He Said this does not happen, as it would be easily traced back to the company that advertised it. This is not a valid deference in child pornography cases

Re:Really? (1)

rezac (733345) | more than 7 years ago | (#17622448)

Wow, did he also tell you that the first amendment didn't apply to the states too?

Re:Really? (4, Informative)

wjeff (161644) | more than 7 years ago | (#17622544)

You don't read very well do you, it wasn't spyware and/or popups, it was trojans and/or rootkits.

From the Article:
[For that answer, they turned to computer forensic expert Tammi Loehrs. ...

Loehrs went into the Bandys' computer and what she found could frighten any parent -- more than 200 infected files, so-called backdoors that allowed hackers to access the family computer from remote locations, no where near Matthew's house.]

With the proliferation of rootkits, and lack security on most home computers, I wouldn't be the least suprised if most perverts use hacked computers to access child porn these days.

I seem to remember there was a case in Texas similar to this about 8 months ago, where a man was arrested and charged with possessing child porn on his computer. Luckily for him, the local police department's computer forensics people were actually clueful and found the rootkit used to control the computer.

Not to mention the well documented use of open wireless networks to access illegal content.

The problem with computer security these days, is that it requires to far too much expertise and vigilance to keep your computer secure, even if you are an experienced professional, much less the proverbial hapless grandma.

When you have to spend hundreds of dollars a year, and 5 hours a week keeping your computer clean and updated, and then never open emails the look like they came from your grandkids, or from your quilting circle web-ring. All the supposed productivity benefits of using a computer rapidly disappear.

Re:Really? (1)

neonmonk (467567) | more than 7 years ago | (#17622560)

Sure. What is more likely though is that his computer was being controlled by someone else. Someone else who was using his computer to share Kiddy Porn.

Not as unlikely.

The reall attack is on porn (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17622288)

The Republicans (the pedophile protectors of virtue) are trying to make all porn illegal. After all, censorship is becoming America's favorite past-time. The US gov't (and their corporate friends), already detain protesters, ban books like "America Deceived" America Deceived (book) [iuniverse.com] from Amazon and Wikipedia, and fire 21-year tenured, BYU physics professor Steven Jones because he proved explosives, thermite in particular, took down the WTC buildings.

Even if it WAS intentional.. (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17622290)

Would it still be that wrong? Why would a sixteen-year-old find a forty-year-old-woman attractive? At that age, you still develop an attraction to other 16 and 15 year old girls. But anyone featured in pornography under the age of 18 is considered child porn.

These things should be looked at with relativity. And some lawyers and politicians need to remember that they were kids once. Rediculous, "possession of a playboy." I can understand cigarettes or alcohol, but it's illegal to be curious now?

Re:Even if it WAS intentional.. (1)

dosius (230542) | more than 7 years ago | (#17622414)

At 15 I was attracted to women in their 30s and 40s, it's not impossible...

-uso.

US Justice sodomizing US Citizens illegal? (0, Offtopic)

Maddog787 (1021593) | more than 7 years ago | (#17622314)

Yes, but they are the biggest rape artist! They rape people of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness any time any way. Now that's an artist.

Technology Terrorism (3, Insightful)

sauge (930823) | more than 7 years ago | (#17622320)

Just think of what terrorists could do with this sort of reaction?

Key people could be coerced or exploited simply out of fear of what the American judicial system would do should they be reported about stuff they don't even know about. I will readily admit in the gigabytes and gigabytes of data on my hard drives(s) there are some directories I have never been in - and I am a friggin programmer.

Huge swaths of people could be put through the grinder by so many "save the children" politician prosecutors that finally it would reach a point where people either ignore child porn or become disillusioned with the judicial system distressing innocents. Either way it is hard to support and trust such a government.

The idea of "don't help the man, all he will do is fuck you over for some shit you didn't do" and "so much for good intentions" will build up year over year throughout the population. Already there is an incredible distrust in government regarding taxes and intelligence gathering. What happens to our society when we begin to distrust law enforcement and the judicial system - become like east L.A.?

This kind of nonsense with unfriendly people in other countries could in quite a quiet manner - damage the society and fabric of the United States.

No Accountability (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17622332)

You simply cannot hold someone responsible for what is on their computer, especialy their browser cache. It's simple to defend most cases. When it comes time to defend a porn on computer case:

1) Wipe a computer, overwriting the HD several times.
2) Install a new OS - it could be Windows, Mac, Linux.
3) Ask the prosecutor to have it inspected by his forensics experts.
4) Get the computer back from the prosecutor with a clean bill of health - only have it handled at that point by the court with a clear chain of custody.
5) Have the computer delivered to the trial.
6) Have the judge or prosecutor go to an "innocent" website that's been crafted to defend the case.
7) On that website display some innocent content - maybe a news article on the case with some embedded links.
8) On that very same site, place hardcore porn images in 1x1 images - define this image size in the HTML as 1x1 but leave the image the regular size so they don't show on the page but hit the browser cache.
9) Also create some on-mouse over actions that load hidden frames on the page which go to hardcore sites - the sites with the images in the page.
10) After the judge or prosecutor finishes loading the page and mousing over a few links ask the court to hand the computer over to the prosecutors forensics experts.
11) They will find porn on the computer and proof that the judge or prosecutor liked a few of the images because they loaded them multiple times.

This works in all browsers! Linux aint going to save anyone from this. Of course this same stunt could be used for evil, say to frame neighbors, co-workers, police officers, etc. The problem is, every computing environment is too open. All computers, even those locked behind multiple firewalls, anti-spyware, and anti-virus programs should be considered public terminals in the eye of the law. Unless there's video-tape of the perp in action or a confession no one can be held accountable for what's on the HD- it's just that simple!

Lower the bar far enough.... (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 7 years ago | (#17622480)

and everyone becomes a criminal. Criminals have fewer rights then 'citizens', and are easier to monitor and control.

Remember Kids (3, Insightful)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 7 years ago | (#17622512)

Nudity and sex are Evil, but blowing someone up because they live near someone we think is bad is Good.

All research on the subject says quite clearly that seeing sex and nudity isn't harmful to kids. Until very very recently, most children were conceived while their siblings were in the same room. The vast majority of children in the world see their first female breast within about 5 minutes of birth. Kids don't make a big deal about it, it's adults for whom its a big deal. Laws against showing porn to minors are really to protect adults from the idea that their kids might understand sex, not to protect kids.

The problem is that lots of people who understand these things, but no one has the balls to stand up and say in a political campaign that they're fine with children seeing adults and other children naked.

Interview with the District Attorney in the case (5, Interesting)

GnomeCarousel (981149) | more than 7 years ago | (#17622520)

Here http://abcnews.go.com/2020/story?id=2791529&page=1 [go.com] is an interview with the DA of this case.
Very interesting read.

Quote:

"JIM AVILA: So there was a huge amount of evidence that in fact, this kid was not involved in a sex crime. And yet, your office and
you yourself continue to believe and put him through two years of hell, because you continue to believe despite lie detector
tests, court psychiatrist reports, a report from the computer expert who said it could have come from anywhere...you
continue to say..."

NDREW THOMAS: (Overlap) Well...

JIM AVILA: ...that he did it.

ANDREW THOMAS: Well, I...again, I...I'm not sure that that's totally right. But you gotta...

JIM AVILA: (Overlap) Halfway right?
"

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