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.”

I'm suspected of having downloaded child porn on my computer. What's going to happen to me?

I'm suspected of having downloaded child porn on my computer. What's going to happen to me?

Asked 4 months ago - Bangor, ME
An officier came to my door wanting to speak to me. After some small talk, he asked if I downloaded anything illegal. I downloaded a bunch of movies, music and games already and confessed to that. He then asked if I downloaded anything like child porn. He told me that it's going to go one of two ways, me in cuffs today or not. What happened was that I had downloaded some video files that I didn't know was child porn and once I opened them, I seen what they were and deleted them. I confessed to having done this. He then asked if he could have the computers. Again, he told me that if I stop cooperating this can only go one way. In the end, I signed the computers over to him.

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Licensed in ME


    Lawyer agrees
    Best Answer
    chosen by asker
    Answered 4 months ago. This question raises a bunch of important issues. It sounds like the police conduct may have been improper in they made threats or promised leniency in exchange for your statement or consent to search.

    The action you describe in downloading, recognizing and deleting the files might not be a crime at all. The law requiers that the government prove that you accessed the file with the intent to view it. Accessing it with the belief that it was something else is not a crime. Still, these are very serious felony charges and can be prosecuted as Federal Crimes. You need a lawyer immediately. The police will likely try to contact you to discuss the case further and you should understand that you have the right to talk if you want, to remain silent or to tell them that you want a lawyer. Asking for a lawyer or refusing to talk is not an admission of guilt at all, it is simply you exercising caution and your constitutional rights.

  2. Licensed in ME



    Lawyer agrees
    Answered 4 months ago. Whatever you do, do not speak to the police or Federal agents without an attorney again. They will try to make you feel like you don't need an attorney and that you should talk with them. Don't!

    They will use everything you have said against you. These cases are very serious and the federal authorities are interested. It is a violation of Federal law even to download movies, music or games. Don't give them anymore evidence with which to prosecute you. Get in touch with an attorney today.

Overreach on sex offenders makes Americans’ lives living hell

Around two years ago, six ICE agents entered the home of a 20-year-old man named Adam while he was sleeping. They put a gun to his head and informed him they had a warrant to search his premises for child pornography.
Adam is a musician and was a frequent user of the peer-to-peer file-sharing website Limewire, which he used to download and share music videos.  The search of his computer hard drive yielded 2,331 videos, most of which were music and a small portion of which were adult porn. Two suspect child porn videos featuring girls aged 16-17, and another video apparently featuring a three year-old, had been downloaded and deleted.
Adam claims that the downloads were accidental, and that although he occasionally indulged in adult porn (like many men his age), he has no interest in child pornography (CP), never sought it out and deleted the downloaded items as soon as he realized what they were. The fact that the forensic evidence showed that the items were never viewed and that there was no record of any keyword searches that would indicate he was looking for CP would seem to back up that claim.
But it didn’t matter: Adam was charged with possession of child pornography, and was warned by the prosecutor that if he did not plead guilty, the charge would be upgraded to distribution (as a file-sharing site, Limewire is an automatic distribution tool), so he would then be looking at 15-25 years in a federal penitentiary. Seeing no way out, he took a guilty plea, was sentenced to 30 months in prison, 15 years of probation and a lifetime on the sex offender registry.
As a native of the state of Florida, when Adam is eventually released from prison, he will be subjected to among the most severe registration rules in the country. He will be required to register every time he moves. Failure to register or violation of any of the terms of his probation (attending a family function where children are present, for example, or visiting a friend who has a child) will result in an automatic return to prison for an indefinite period. His voting rights may never be restored. His chances of finding meaningful work, or any kind of work, are slim at best. And it will be next to impossible for him to find a decent place to live.
Residency laws for sex offenders are so restrictive that in many jurisdictions, they cannot live within 2,500 feet of any church, school, daycare center, playground or bus stop. These restrictions have effectively eliminated any eligible housing for sex offenders in many urban areas and, as evidenced in this documentary, have forced hundreds of men to live like lepers in tent dwellings in the Florida swamps, with no running water or electricity.
Sex offender registries date back to the 1940s but they did not become mandatory in all states until the 1990s, when Congress began passing a series of laws such as the Jacob Wetterling Act (1994), Megan’s Law (1996) and the Adam Walsh Act (2006) – all named for children who had been abducted, molested or killed. The registry was intended to prevent other children from falling victim to a similar fate, a desire shared by everyone. But the laws have so drastically expanded what qualifies as a sex offense, there are now over 700,000 Americans on the registry (pdf), many of whom have never harmed a child and are unlikely to ever harm a child, rendering it a self-defeating tool.
In some states, for instance, public urination is enough to get you on the registry, as is mooning, streaking, flashing or visiting a prostitute. A 19-year-old boy who has consensual sex with his 15-year-old girlfriend can be charged with statutory rape; a teenage girl who posts naked pictures of herself on any kind of file-sharing site can be charged as a distributor of child pornography. Anyone who accesses the wrong kind of porn, accidentally or otherwise, as Adam did, will also be branded with the sex offender label. In at least 17 states, that label is for life.
None of these categories of offenders is likely to harm a child. Studies have found that only 1% of men convicted of viewing child pornography have gone on to commit a hands-on sex offense, yet they are among the most severely punished group of offenders.
The money, time, effort and manpower required to keep such broad categories of offenders (and so-called offenders) under surveillance is money, time, effort and manpower that is being diverted from monitoring those who pose a genuine threat. The argument, of course, is that when it comes to protecting children, you cannot take any chances. But there are sophisticated risk assessment tools available, and in use, that are far more effective means of identifying danger than making hundreds of thousands of people’s lives unliveable.
It’s easier, though, and politically more palatable, to declare zero tolerance for sex offenders and to keep passing laws that look good on the books. Never mind if they are actually counter-productive when it comes to actually keeping children safe.
© Guardian News and Media 2012

Raw Story (

The Dangers of Peer-to-Peer Sharing

The Dangers of Peer-to-Peer Sharing: How Innocent Users Can Be Arrested for Illegal Child Pornography

Article provided by A. Patrick Roberts of Roberts Law Group PLLC
Matthew White admits he was surfing the Internet for pornography two years ago - not a crime for a then-20-year-old American male. However, CBS reports that White downloaded child pornography onto his computer; he says he did so accidentally while looking for college aged women on LimeWire. LimeWire is a peer-to-peer (P2P) sharing network that allows users to share files, including music, movies, games and pictures, with one another.
White claims that when he discovered the files he had accidentally downloaded, he quickly erased them, saying that the child pornography did not appeal to him. About one year later, FBI agents were able to recover the deleted images from his hard drive when his family allowed the agents to examine his computer.

Peer-to-Peer Sharing Networks

According to, tens of millions of people use P2P sharing networks and LimeWire alone boasts 50 million monthly users. The LimeWire program grants access to the Gnutella file-sharing network, which is the actual P2P network. It is comprised of many users and, because there is no central server for the files, LimeWire does not review or control the material in the Gnutella network. While LimeWire does attempt to filter out certain illegal or objectionable content via user requests, users are responsible for the content they place on or download from the network.
P2P networks have long been used to allow access to images or music, whether or not copyright protected. The Federal Trade Commission warns that file sharing may result in unknowingly allowing others to copy private files or accidental virus download or involuntary pornography download. LimeWire allows users to activate a Family Filter or set filters based on keywords, file type or IP address. It says of the Family Filter, that any such feature is "imperfect at best" and that not all content will contain the necessary details or information to allow filtering.
The default setting on the Gnutella file-sharing network is for documents downloaded from the network to continue to be shared on the network. Users must disable this default in order to have files downloaded off the network remain private.
The U.S. General Accounting Office was requested to determine the ease of access to child pornography over P2P networks and the risk of inadvertent exposure to pornography, including child pornography, of juvenile P2P users. It found that child pornography is both easily found and downloaded from P2P networks. Using 12 keywords known to be associated with child pornography in one search, the GAO identified 1,286 titles and file names; 543, or roughly 42 percent, were associated with child pornography images. In another search using three keywords, a Customs analyst downloaded 341 images, of which 149, about 44 percent, contained child pornography.
The study found a significant risk of inadvertent exposure of juvenile users to pornography, including child pornography. Even innocuous keywords likely to be used by juveniles, such as cartoon character or celebrity names, retrieved images that included child erotica (7 percent) and child pornography (1 percent).

Privacy Protections and Constitutionality Concerns

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has ruled that a warrant is not required for the authorities to view and download files traded on P2P networks. The court said that the defendant was clearly aware that LimeWire is a file-sharing program that allows the public at large to access files in his shared folder unless he took steps to avoid it. Because a warrant is only required if a search violates a reasonable expectation of privacy, the court found that no warrant was required. says that an FBI agent logged into LimeWire and performed a search using the keyword, "Lolitaguy," which the court said was known to be associated with child pornography. With a proprietary software program that identifies and flags known images of child pornography, the agent used one of LimeWire's features to download seven of 240 files being shared on the defendant's IP address, four of which turned out to be child pornography.
Defendant Charles Borowy claimed the agents violated his Fourth Amendment rights, saying he had a reasonable expectation of privacy because the thought he had turned off the share feature. However, he pled guilty to the child pornography charges and was sentenced to 45 months in prison. The deal allowed him to seek appeal whether the search and seizure of his computer files was unlawful.
A conviction for possession of child pornography can carry up to a 20 year prison sentence. Upon the advice of his public defender, White is pleading guilty in the hopes of getting a three and a half year sentence. In addition, he would serve 10 years of probation and would be required to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.
The FBI could not comment on White's case but reportedly said that users who download child pornography accidentally need to call the authorities immediately. CBS says that Internet searches reveal a large number of complaints from people who say they have accidentally downloaded child pornography through LimeWire.
Anyone believing they have mistakenly or accidentally downloaded illegal material should contact a lawyer immediately for advice on their rights, obligations and how to proceed.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: A. Patrick Roberts, Roberts Law Group, PLLC.
Roberts Law Group, PLLC has earned a reputation for integrity, and Mr. Roberts' years of experience have made the difference for hundreds of clients charged with crimes throughout North Carolina. Attorney Patrick Roberts has served as an Assistant District Attorney in three North Carolina counties. He is a graduate of Duke University School of Law. Mr. Roberts has extensive criminal trial experience in North Carolina. He knows his way around the courtroom and knows how to effectively represent people accused of crimes. Before entering private practice, Mr. Roberts trained new prosecutors as part of his ongoing responsibilities.

Child porn download case is obscene

Child porn download case is obscene

By Jim Longworth
There are currently more than 1.3 million pornographic websites on the internet, most of which are geared to adults who want to get their jollies watching videos or looking at photos of other adults engaged in provocative acts. But according to the US Customs Service, 100,000 of those websites also offer illegal child pornography. In fact, according to the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, more than 20,000 images of child porn are posted online each week.
And it’s a booming business. According to Internet Filter Review, child porn is a $3 billion dollar a year industry here in America.
The real problem, though, isn’t so much the kiddie porn itself, but rather the adults who view it, then act upon it. Internet Filter Review reports that over 10 percent of Americans admit to having addictions to internet sex. Meanwhile a Focus on the Family poll found that 47 percent of all families said pornography is a problem in their home. And the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers say that internet porn is a factor in two out of every three divorces. Worst of all, the US Justice department tells us that one in every five children receives unwanted sexual solicitations online, and that two in every five abductions of underaged children (ages 15-17) are due to internet contact.
It’s no wonder, then, that law enforcement both here and abroad is cracking down on predators. Last week, for example, Europol arrested 115 alleged child-sex offenders in a massive, 19-country raid which specifically targeted adults who prey on kids using the internet. Closer to home in Guilford county, Sheriff BJ Barnes and his team have done a great job of identifying and arresting these same kinds of scumbags. The problem is that internet sex offenders aren’t necessarily deterred by the threat of prison. Even if we hung a sex offender in the town square once a week, it wouldn’t, per se, “cure” or dissuade other mental defectives. On the other hand, the stiff sentencing laws we have in place cast a broad net, and can sometimes unjustly catch and punish unintended targets. That’s what happened to Matthew White.
Two years ago, the 22-year-old Sacramento resident did an online search in hopes of being able to download a “College Girls Gone Wild” video. The site he landed on was, but instead of opening up images of topless coeds, young Matthew found himself staring at naked children in sexual poses. White immediately deleted the site, but that’s when his troubles began. A full year later, FBI agents came to White’s home and accused him of trafficking in child porn.
At first glance, the agents could find no evidence of Matthew’s alleged crime, but then they used special software to retrieve all of White’s deleted files from his hard drive. Bingo! The site appeared, and so did the child porn which the young man says he had only momentarily viewed a year earlier. Though the FBI admitted that Matthew would have been unable to retrieve the porn which they found, and despite his explanation of his brief and innocent encounter with illegal porn, the bureau arrested him.
Prosecutors then told White that he faced a 20-year prison sentence unless he pleaded guilty, in which case, he would only do three and a half years, with 10 years probation. Under the plea agreement, White would also be registered as a sex offender once he leaves prison. White, still professing his innocence, took the deal. In the meantime the CBS TV affiliate in Sacramento and had launched their own investigation of the matter, and found numerous complaints against for disguising illegal child porn sites as something else, so they could lure law abiding adults into downloading something they didn’t intend to. Confronted with this information, the FBI stated that any time someone accidentally views child porn, they should immediately report it to authorities, or else face the same fate as Matthew White.
There is so much wrong with this case, I scarcely know where to begin. First of all, I want to know how the FBI knew that a 22-year-old man with no criminal record and no history of sex offenses accidentally clicked onto a child-porn site for less than 30 seconds. Next I want to know why they waited a full year after the incident to invade White’s home. I also have a problem with the FBI’s so called “policy” of immediately reporting an accidental child-porn viewing. Given that they didn’t believe Matthew White’s story, why would anyone voluntarily turn himself into police and risk false imprisonment. It goes without saying that the sentence and plea agreement in White’s case were grossly unfair. Beyond that, the FBI has no business snooping on an American citizen unless their target has a history of offenses or complaints against him.
Congress should launch an immediate investigation of the Matthew White case, and get answers to some of the concerns stated above. Inherent in that investigation should be a probe into, and a debate about right to privacy. I realize that the child-porn industry is fueling the addictions and crimes of sex offenders, but we cannot deny any one’s right to view sexual material in the privacy of their own home, so long as the viewer doesn’t then make advances toward children, either via the internet or in person.
No doubt kiddie porn is a bad thing, and we must prosecute sex offenders to the fullest limit of the law. But arresting someone for accidentally downloading child pornography is, in itself, an obscene act. Speaking of which, I am reminded of the late Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart who, when asked to describe obscenity, responded, “I know it when I see it.” The problem is that now, the government can put you in jail for not knowing it when you see it.
In other words, the Feds are doing to us the very thing we’re not supposed to be watching. Ironic, isn’t it?
Jim Longworth is the host of “Triad Today,” airing on Fridays at 6:30 a.m. on ABC 45 (cable channel 7) and Sundays at 10 p.m. on WMYV (cable channel 15).