Monday, December 31, 2012

Dangers of P2P File Sharing and Illegal Downloading

Dangers of P2P File Sharing and Illegal Downloading

March 20th, 2012 by cbello What Is P2P?
P2P stands for Peer-to-Peer which means the sharing of files between two or more users on the Internet. The concept behind P2P networking is powered by a peer-to-peer application such as Gnutella, KaZaA, Napster, iMesh, LimeWire, Morpheus, SwapNut, WinMX, AudioGalaxy, Blubster, eDonkey and BearShare. The P2P application takes a piece of allotted data or sometimes whole directories from your hard drive and allows other users to freely download this content, and vice versa. Content downloaded via P2P applications can be potentially laced with a computer virus or be legally protected copyright data. P2P programs are most often used to share music and videos over the Internet. Although sharing, by passing around a CD or DVD is not illegal; sharing by creating multiple copies of a copyrighted work is illegal.
How P2P Works
Much of the P2P activity is automatic and its use is unmonitored. Computers running this software will be busy exchanging files whenever the machine is turned on. Some of the P2P programs themselves contain “spyware” that allows the author of the program, and other network users, to see what you’re doing, where you’re going on the Internet, and even use your computer’s resources without your knowledge. Once installed, these applications are hard to remove. In some cases a user has to know which files to remove, which registry entries to edit, and which configuration files need modification. Since the computers running the P2P programs are usually connected to a network, they can be used to spread malware, share private documents, or use your file server for store-and-forward where data transmitted from one device to another passes through a message center which is used by the message service to store the transmitted message only until the receiving device can be located and then forwards the data transmitted to the intended recipient. Various types of illegal files can be downloaded and re-shared over these P2P networks by mistake. This includes child pornography, which can bring the owner of the computer and network under severe criminal penalties.
Risks from P2P Programs
Some P2P programs will share everything on your computer with anyone by default. Searches done so far revealed patent applications, medical information, financial and other personal and corporate information. Viruses, Worms and Trojans are being distributed at a fast rate.
Cybercriminals these days are using a modified version of the Zeusbot/SpyEye malware, which is using a peer-to-peer network, rather than a simple bot to command-and-control (C&C) server system, making the botnet much harder to take down. Also, P2P network enables the botnet to stay alive and gather information, even if portions of the network are shut down making it even more dangerous to use P2P software.
ZeuS is very popular in the cybercriminal world because it’s capable of stealing a wide variety of information, documents and login credentials from infected systems. Both ZeuS and SpyEye can be best described as cybercrime toolkits that are used for the creation of customized banking Trojans. The code base of the two former rivals was merged last year that led to the creation of strains designed to target mobile banking customers. Basically, if the control messages are handled by P2P networks, it is almost impossible to track the criminals behind it.
Consequences of Copyright Infringement
Downloading and sharing files which contain copyrighted material is against the law. The responsibility to restrict sharing and monitor the legality of your downloads lies solely with you. This is what can happen to you:
  • Disciplinary action. Your name may be forwarded to the Dean of Students Office for disciplinary action. Sanctions include fines, termination of university network access and/o university probation.
  • Legal consequences. Copyright holders may offer a legal settlement option (a.k.a. Early Settlement Letter) or pursue legal action against you.
  • Financial implications. If a copyright holder chooses to pursue legal action, the minimum damage for sharing copyrighted material is $750 per file (in addition to legal and court fees). Some students who settled their cases outside of court were forced to pay substantial amounts. There is no way to predict how much you may be required to pay in settlement costs.
The Federal statute, titles 17 and 18 of the U.S. Code, provide criminal penalties for infringing on copyrighted material. In the worst case infringements can be punishable by up to five years in prison and $250,000 in fines. Repeat offenders can be imprisoned for up to 10 years. Violators can also be held civilly liable for actual damages, lost profits, or statutory damages up to $150,000 per infringement, as attorney’s fees and costs.
The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) makes it a crime to create software that helps distribute copyrighted materials. It also limits an Internet Service Provider’s (ISP) liability if the ISP notifies the alleged infringer and suspends access to illegal copies of copyrighted materials. As an ISP, Loyola is required to comply with the DMCA.
What to Do About P2P
  • 1)  Remove any copies that are running on any computers. This may take some time, and require some professional assistance.
  • 2)  Do not allow P2P software Internet access. This may mean: Disable NAT – Network Address Translation; Block access to/from the common P2P ports; Use a packet-reassembly firewall that can examine streams of data in-context for possible P2P misuse.
  • 3)  Delete any files on any machines which may have been obtained over a P2P network.
Legal Alternatives for Downloading
Some of the sites listed here, provide some or all content at no charge. They are funded by advertising or represent artists who want their material distributed for free. This list is not exhaustive of all content that is legally available. However, it will give you some legal options.

Peer-to-Peer Networking and Pornography Charges

   TOMS RIVER, NJ, May 21, 2012 /24-7PressRelease/ -- A major pornography sweep by New Jersey law enforcement recently resulted in the arrest of 27 people throughout the state. They face charges of owning and sharing child pornography by downloading material through peer-to-peer networks. New Jersey's attorney general, Jeffrey Chiesa, reported that more than 100 law enforcement officers were involved in the sting, nicknamed "Operation Watchdog."

Court Ruling Equates File Sharing With Distribution

The state is developing its case based in part on a 2010 New Jersey appellate court decision that determined that placing child porn in an online folder that others can retrieve constitutes distribution. This typically occurs through a peer-to-peer network (also known as P2P), which allows all computers in a network access to files on other computers in the network. It allows users to share print, audio, video and images without the need for a central server. Users are considered responsible for the content they download or place in their shared folders and people have faced criminal charges in New Jersey and beyond based on the items they simply possessed or made available to others.

Why File Sharing Via P2P Networks Exposes Users to Legal Jeopardy

While there are several advantages to P2P networks, including being easy to set up and inexpensive to administer, they also have inherent weaknesses that make it easy to expose children to pornography or to accidentally download pornographic material. Many P2P networks automatically share material that is downloaded; an individual user must change the default setting to prevent this. This means that an individual P2P user might find unwanted material on his or her computer - items with misleading file names that were copied, viruses that were downloaded or pornographic images that were included along with other images with the same or similar file names.

How users access the P2P file-sharing network can make a difference - the software program Limewire has been implicated in numerous pornography file-sharing cases as well as some copyright violation cases. In fact, Limewire has been under an injunction since October 2010 to stop distributing its program. Not all versions of the Limewire software are covered by the court order, however, and some users have modified the program to allow it to continue functioning as a file-sharing program.

Other Types of Material Can Be Downloaded

Accidental access to child porn is not the only type of material that has drawn attention to P2P networks and their weaknesses. A few years ago, sharing and downloading music files created significant controversy. Pirated videos and other visual content are frequently distributed via P2P networks. Moreover, the networks can be used as tools by computer hackers, who can encrypt viruses in files that are then downloaded throughout the network.

Legal Implications of Downloading Pornography

Possessing pornography is not usually a crime, but possessing or distributing child pornography is a criminal act in almost all circumstances. Unfortunately, people sharing pornography over a P2P network are sometimes unaware that these files may contain both illegal and legal images.

What will happen to the defendants in New Jersey? They could face up to five to 10 years in prison if convicted on distribution of child pornography. However, there are several defenses against these charges - defenses that require a knowledgeable attorney to develop and present.

Numerous constitutional issues arise from cases involving P2P file sharing, and it is important to have knowledgeable legal counsel in such matters. For example, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit ruled that law enforcement does not need to obtain a warrant to view files shared on P2P networks. However, some defendants have successfully used the argument that a warrantless search is a violation of the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution.

Issues such as these make it critical to have a knowledgeable attorney well-versed in the constitutional aspects of porn-downloading charges. A lawyer at The Law Office of David T. Schlendorf in Toms River, New Jersey, can advise you if you have been charged with possession or distribution of child pornography.

The Law Office of David T. Schlendorf
1108 Hooper Ave
Toms River NJ 08753
Toll Free: 866-895-9668
Fax: 732-557-5110

C H I L D S E X U A Volume 6, Number 1, 2012 L E X P L O I TAT I O N P R O G R AM

New tools to investigate, prosecute child pornography work

New tools to investigate, prosecute child pornography work

Posted 11/26/2012 Email story   Print story


by 5 AF/JA

11/26/2012 - YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan (AFNS) -- A few years ago, individuals who viewed and downloaded child pornography were rarely discovered - but that's changed.

New technology and assistance from the Department of Justice, law enforcement agencies within the Department of Defense in cooperation with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Department of Homeland Security, Defense Criminal Forensic Lab and National Center for Missing and Exploited Children can successfully detect and prosecute more offenders.

The production, viewing, downloading, or dissemination of images of child pornography on computers, smartphones, or in any form is a violation of federal law under Title 18, United States Code, Section 2256.
Viewing child pornography is not a "victimless crime." It can involve infant rape and equally horrific acts. No matter the type, it is the demand for child porn that drives its production. Child victims suffer life-long psychological harm, being "re-victimized" each time the images are viewed. One victim recounts:

"I want you to know...the effects of random men looking at pictures of my sex abuse as a child ... I still have nightmares that come from knowing that pictures of me are spread around the Internet by people with perverted interests in my pain."

Servicemembers who download, receive, or view pornographic images of minors (under the age of 18) face significant sanctions, including a dishonorable discharge and ten years confinement for each violation. Civilian employees and dependents may be transferred to U.S. jurisdiction for prosecution, or prosecuted under Japanese law. Offenders are registered felons subject to sexual offender registration requirements and face other sanctions, including limited employment opportunities, the loss of VA benefits, the ability to vote, and the ability to possess firearms.

Because of these severe sanctions, adult pornography sites usually exercise great caution in the materials they post on-line, making "accidental" child porn downloads unlikely. Child pornography is often disseminated illicitly from third countries, using multiple servers to try to disguise the source. Multi-national law enforcement authorities are cooperating in cracking down on those sites. Similarly, federal and military law enforcement authorities have developed new tools to track individuals who access child pornography.

According to Special Agent (SA) Michael Saenz, Air Force Office of Special Investigations (AFOSI) Detachment 621, Yokota AB, "Every internet 'hit' on a child porn site is quickly traced to the individual IP address of the user. We can see the html address, file names, dates, user names and more. It doesn't take very long before we seize the media. And even if an offender deletes the files, we're still able to recover information - even if its several years old."

Across the Air Force, the results of the new tools have been immediate. Prosecutions led to more convictions with sentences of lengthy confinement and punitive discharges. SA Saenz added, "The sexual exploitation of children is a terrible crime and remains a global problem, but with increased vigilance, reporting and these new tools, we can better track and prosecute offenders. In the long run, hopefully, we'll have fewer offenders and cases."

For more information, see and To anonymously report potential crimes, visit

SUU football player charged with possessing child pornography He says if there are illegal pics, he accidentally downloaded them with his adult porn batch.

SUU football player charged with possessing child pornography
He says if there are illegal pics, he accidentally downloaded them with his adult porn batch.
First Published Nov 14 2012 12:10 pm • Last Updated Nov 15 2012 07:22 am
A Southern Utah University football player has been charged with allegedly downloading child pornography in 2010.
Cameron Anthony Morgan, 22, was charged in 5th District Court with 10 counts of sexual exploitation of a minor.
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Prosecutors allege that Morgan had 10 files of child pornography on his laptop.
But according to court documents, Morgan, a senior wide receiver from Texas, told investigators that the child porn was accidentally downloaded in a larger batch of adult pornography he obtained through LimeWire, a peer-to-peer file sharing site.
"Morgan said that in using LimeWire to search for pornography, he would come across child pornography," an investigator wrote in court documents. "He said that if he did download child pornography, it was not on purpose."
During a search of Morgan’s laptop, investigators found nine images and one video that contained depictions of children age 8 to 12 years old involved in sexual acts.
Prosecutors from the Utah Attorney General’s Office were unable to comment about the specifics of the case, including why it took two years for charges to be filed against Morgan.
This season, which SUU completed with a 5-6 record, Morgan played in five games. He had four receptions for 71 yards and a touchdown. The touchdown was a one-handed catch of a Hail Mary pass at the end of the first half at Cal, which became a YouTube sensation. He has been a member of the SUU football team since 2009.
— Salt Lake Tribune reporter Steve Luhm contributed to this article.

I accidentally downloaded child porn?

I accidentally downloaded child porn?

I was on omegle and a random person gave me a link. I went to the link and wasn't really paying attention. It was clear the content on the website was porn, but I didn't notice it was child porn until it finished downloading and started playing. I deleted the video and reported the site online, but I realized I went back to the site to get the URL and the site might have my IP address. Am I going to get into trouble? Is there some way the police or FBI can track my computer even though I deleted the video?

Additional Details

one more thing, is there some way i can delete it from my hard drive? While i was looking for an answer to this about an hour ago, i read that it is possible to get back the video even if it is deleted trhough your hard drive or something similar to that. does a system restore (restoring the computer to the state it was to the past, maybe a day ago, deleteing any files after the save point) delete it from my hard drive? i don't want any kind of CP on my computer because when I was looking for an answer to this, i saw news articles about this and its kind of freaking me out.
8 months ago

Best Answer - Chosen by Voters

Just delete it and report it to:;js…

Thats the link for the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
Then go on with life as usual and quit clicking links from random people and use some common sense.
Doing a HD wipe and reinstalling your OS wont do much other then waste an afternoon. Unless youre involved in a ring of kiddie porn or youre ip address keeps popping up on their radar then you really have nothing to worry about.


FBI when I reported some kiddie porn on an image site.
100% 1 Vote

Other Answers (2)

Of course they can. It is easy to follow a link to child porn sites. But it is not that easy to download anything. So the act of downloading does put you at risk of prosecution. Learn from this, do NOT follow links people send you blindly.

Trapped in a nightmare: Dad who accidentally downloaded child porn is told not to be alone with his daughter

Nigel Robinson says he was trying to load an album by rocker Slash on to his laptop when he inadvertently opened depraved pictures of young girls
Dismay: Nigel Robinson with his wife Liz
Dismay: Nigel Robinson with his wife Liz
A dad who accidentally ­downloaded child porn is devastated after being told not to be alone with his young daughter.
Nigel Robinson says he was trying to load an album by rocker Slash on to his laptop from a music sharing website when he inadvertently opened depraved pictures of young girls.
The 43-year-old told wife Liz, 33, and the couple called police.
An officer arrived, took a statement and the computer was sent for examination.
Social ­services also turned up and asked Nigel not to spend time alone with his eight-year-old girl until the investigation has concluded, which may not be until November.
Scaffolder Nigel said: “I cannot take my daughter to the park, swimming or anything. It has been a nightmare.”
He added: “When I tried to download the album I realised all the files had girls’ names. I opened some and I was shocked to see pictures of young girls.
“I was disgusted and appalled. And I was really panicking.”
Nigel said: “I half expected to get arrested for downloading the music but I felt it was important to tell police because someone was uploading this filth.
"There will be nothing inappropriate on my computer other than the files I told the police about.
“I now wish I had binned the laptop. Whoever was uploading this will be miles away by now yet I’m under suspicion.”
The couple are being helped by relatives as they cope with the logistical problem of Nigel not being alone with their girl but say it has put a strain on their relationship.
Liz, a carer at a nursing home, said her daughter is now a victim too because she is missing out on spending time with her dad.
The mum added: “She is so quiet now – it has knocked her off her feet.
“It is hard explaining to an eight-year-old the reason she can’t be with her dad. Nigel is a brilliant father yet it feels like he is being treated as guilty until proven innocent.”
The PC was confiscated in November and the couple, of Keyingham, East Yorks, say they cannot understand why the inquiry is taking so long.
Humberside police says it is just following procedure and added that officers have no control over the time the laptop will be held for.
East Riding of Yorkshire council said: “Our social care team considers that, on the information it has about this case, it is a proportionate response to request that Mr Robinson should not have unsupervised access with his or other children.”