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Child Porn As a Weapon 774

Posted by Soulskill
from the guilty-until-proven-innocent dept.
VoiceOfDoom writes "Want to get rid of your boss and move up to his position? Put kiddie porn on his computer then call the cops! This was the cunning plan envisaged by handyman Neil Weiner of east London after falling out with school caretaker Edward Thompson too many times. Thankfully, Weiner didn't cover his tracks quite well enough to avoid being found out — earlier boasts about his plan to friends at a BBQ provided the police with enough evidence to arrest him for trying to pervert the course of justice. Frighteningly, however, between being charged with possession of indecent images and being exonerated, innocent (if 'grumpy') Thompson was abused and ostracized for eight months by neighbors and colleagues. With computer forensics for police work often being performed by 'point 'n click'-trained, nearly-retired cops, or languishing in a 6-month queue for private sector firms to attend to it, the uncomfortable question is raised: how easily might this trick have succeeded if Weiner had been a little more intelligent about it?"
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Child Porn As a Weapon

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  • very (Score:4, Informative)

    by Charliemopps (1157495) on Friday August 06, 2010 @11:02AM (#33163126)
    very very easy... every time I here about someones brother or uncle got caught with it on their computer I always try and explain how easy something like this would be and we shouldn't jump to conclusions. But they always do anyway.
  • How easy? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Kirin Fenrir (1001780) on Friday August 06, 2010 @11:11AM (#33163258)
    EXTREMELY easy. I'm surprised it hasn't started happening frequently already. As much as we (as a society) demonize people for even being suspected of this crime, I'd hesitantly say it does happen frequently already.

    It would not be easily discovered as everyone in the chain of justice is quick to assume the defendants are guilty, and may not do as thorough a job as they should looking for evidence of a setup. Easier to parade around your captured "predator" and get good press, then to search for the truth.

    I've seen it firsthand; an old buddy of mine admitted one day that when he was 19, he got drunk at a party and slept with a girl who lied about her age by a single year. She was 17, not 18, which is under the legal age in my state. Today, he is a registered sex offender, cannot vote, has trouble finding work, and cannot live in most communities. He has to inform the communities he is allowed to live in, which makes everyone immediately assume he's some kind of monster after their children.

    Was my friend kind of an idiot at 19? Absolutely. But does he deserve to become a lower class of society for the rest of his life over his (ultimately harmless) mistake?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 06, 2010 @11:12AM (#33163286)

    Did you both miss the part where this guy was a janitor?

  • Re:well... (Score:4, Informative)

    by Nichotin (794369) on Friday August 06, 2010 @11:23AM (#33163462)

    Something like this could even happen by accident. God forbid someone rummage through your cache after you spend an hour browsing /b/. Do you know what was in all of those thumbnails that you scrolled past? Do you even WANT to know? ;)

    In my socialist utopia country Norway, there was actually a court ruling that found a man who had child pornography in his browser cache not guilty. The reason was that he did not download them (but he did in fact confess to have purchased them intentionally) and that regular people should not be expected to know that the browser caches images from the web. In effect, the ruling actually means it is legal to surf child pornography in Norway. I don't have any English links about this, but any norwegians reading this post can check out this DB article: http://www.dagbladet.no/dinside/2003/07/05/372987.html [dagbladet.no]

  • Re:First off... (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 06, 2010 @11:25AM (#33163508)

    I had something similar happen to me. I was a volunteer at a youth center monitoring a computer lab. Each kid was permitted 30 minutes, and there was much fighting about using them. One of the girls didn't like my policy and decided to tell my supivisor that I slapped her on the butt. This accusiation initially only got me suspended, but the local atorney decided to pick the case up. I was forced to get a lawyer to look into the case. After many delay the child was interviewed a total of 3 times over 8 months. Each interview was more scandalous than the last (eventually claiming that I grabbed her breasts). A few days before I was to appear in cort, the atorney decided to look at the case, and simply dropped the case after realizing that the girl was lying. I didn't have the energy to prusue the case any further so I simply accepted the couple thousand dollards of lawyer fees and went on my way. However, when I went to get an internship later, my background had an issue, where the case was still open. It only took a polite visit to the cort house to get it offically closed, but that still delayed when I was going to start work by a month. I did end up going back to my volenteer work for a short while, but things just seemed to be different, an uneasy atomphear; I decided to call it quits a month later.

  • by Lunix Nutcase (1092239) on Friday August 06, 2010 @11:27AM (#33163542)

    Groucho Marx and The Three Stooges used the line long before that show ever existed. Though it's speculated to be a pretty old vaudeville joke.

  • by Firethorn (177587) on Friday August 06, 2010 @11:33AM (#33163654) Homepage Journal

    So the guy was killed for taking a leak outside.

    There was another man who was killed because the previous occupant of the apartment was a registered sex offender and had moved out six months earlier. The killers didn't check that hard.

    I understand they're now very sorry that they aren't around to protect their children anymore...

    Personally, I think sex offender lists are a bad thing - if they're still dangerous, don't release them. As has been mentioned before, most offenders that target children go after kids whose parent's know and trust them.

    You also get the problem that the list is contaminated - bad addresses, drunk pissers, slightly too-young girlfriends, non-pedophiles, etc...

  • Re:First off... (Score:5, Informative)

    by MozeeToby (1163751) on Friday August 06, 2010 @11:39AM (#33163736)

    First, to get cocaine one would have to get in contact with a seller, buy it, store it, bring it to work with me, etc. Every step of the way entails real legal and in some cases physical risk. There are, of course, risks associated with getting child porn too, but I'm willing to bet that someone who knows what they're doing would have near zero chance of getting caught downloading child porn once; most of the people that get caught are members of 'communities' of people who trade images back and forth.

    Second, drugs don't have anywhere near the stigma that child porn does in our society. Someone finds a baggie of crack in your desk and you deny it's yours and are eventually found innocent, people will believe you. Someone finds child porn on you computer and you are instantly and forever labeled as the most disgusting form of human being imaginable. There was an article online a few months ago about a guy who was accused of having child porn, except that the pornstar in question showed up at his trial and testified that she was 25 (25 for christ sake!) at the time the movie was made. People in the comments section of the article were universally of the opinion that he got off on a technicality.

  • Re:First off... (Score:1, Informative)

    by ElectricTurtle (1171201) on Friday August 06, 2010 @11:43AM (#33163782)
    I carry guns into banks all the time as I live in one of few states that allows the unlicensed open carry of firearms. Possession in and of itself is absolutely harmless (even of bombs and the like), it's how you use a thing that is important. I trust people with lethal force (regardless of type), from private citizens to government employees of various stripes, so long as they don't try to use it without cause and due consideration of collateral damage.
  • by Lunix Nutcase (1092239) on Friday August 06, 2010 @11:48AM (#33163860)

    But there is a huge difference between taking a picture of little Sally in the bathtub for the home photo album than there is posting that same picture on your open-to-everyone Facebook page.

    In what way? Apparently many people disagree with you as I've seen exactly such pictures on people's Facebook pages.

  • Re:First off... (Score:5, Informative)

    by tixxit (1107127) on Friday August 06, 2010 @11:53AM (#33163962)
    I think there was a story here a short while back where a Canadian judge ruled that just having the picture in your cache doesn't make you a criminal. I think the reasoning was that a cached photo was not enough to prove intent, which is a big part of most charges.
  • Re:Bloody USians. (Score:5, Informative)

    by AndersOSU (873247) on Friday August 06, 2010 @11:59AM (#33164094)

    When you sent your damn puritans over here.

  • Re:First off... (Score:3, Informative)

    by Seumas (6865) on Friday August 06, 2010 @12:10PM (#33164298)

    Sick, but very common. You hear reports of false rape accusations all the time. There was the Duke Lacrosse case. There were the two women recently who claimed a guy raped them, when they were really just upset that the sex they had with him wasn't very good. There are cases where people are not only dragged through reputation-assassination in the public, but spend days, months, or years in prison for it. And of course, the best part of any sort of false accusation like this is that you can't question the supposed victims, because you'll be blamed for "blaming the victim". In fact, because of "rape-shield" laws, the public is almost always given the identity of the accused, but the accuser is protected from being identified. In a lot of cases, they remain protected and unidentified even after they have been found guilty of making up the rape accusation!

    Here's a representative news article from a few months ago, where a 27 year old woman accused a man of rape and he SPENT FOUR YEARS IN PRISON for it before they discovered that he was innocent. In return, they sentenced her for "up to" three years. That's right, she'll spend fewer years imprisoned for an actual crime than the real victim spend for doing absolutely nothing.

    Why did she accuse him of rape? Because she was hanging out with her girlfriends one night when she decided to head off with the guy in his car. When she came back to her friends, they were angry at her for ditching them. So she made up the rape story.

    http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/bronx/justice_happened_things_system_solomon_JyyLFVitMM4bx63gpD1ouI [nypost.com]

    Crying "rape" has become the modern "sorry, I'm late - traffic was hell!".

  • Re:First off... (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 06, 2010 @12:44PM (#33164906)

    Don't browsers include spell checkers by default now?

    "supivisor", "accusiation", "atorney", "cort", "prusue", "dollards", "offically", "volenteer", and last, but certainly not least: "atomphear".

  • Re:First off... (Score:3, Informative)

    by mcgrew (92797) * on Friday August 06, 2010 @12:48PM (#33164990) Homepage Journal

    First, to get cocaine one would have to get in contact with a seller, buy it, store it, bring it to work with me, etc. Every step of the way entails real legal and in some cases physical risk.

    I drink at a tavern in a bad part of town, and walking home I'm almost always approached by hookers and dope dealers trying to sell me their wares. A large city would be even easier. The guy's not going to remember who he sold the dope to. Once it's in your posession, well, how many times have you been stopped and frisked by the cops? Almost zero risk. Downloading porn leaves traces that can be recreated in the right lab; deleting your cache and defragging your drive isn't going to be enough. If I found porn on my computer I'd disassemble the hard drive and sand off the oxide, that's the only way to be sure of completely destroying it. With cocaine, once it's out of your posession it's gone and you're in the clear.

    Planting dope on someone would be way safer and easier.

    Someone finds a baggie of crack in your desk and you deny it's yours and are eventually found innocent

    If it's in your desk it's in your posession; an open and shut case. You're not going to be found innocent, especially if it's enough crack to prove intent to sell.

  • by ElKry (1544795) on Friday August 06, 2010 @01:03PM (#33165288)
    You mods are wiped anyway, it just doesn't tell you.
  • by linzeal (197905) on Friday August 06, 2010 @01:10PM (#33165422) Homepage Journal
    CP laws are pretty messed up with the mandatory sentencing in some states being greater than for the actual rape of an adult. Last month here we had two cases come up with police being involved in crimes, one was for CP, and he got 8 years, and one was for rape, and he got 5. I think something is definitely amiss.
  • by compro01 (777531) on Friday August 06, 2010 @02:20PM (#33166694)

    If you just check the anonymous box, yeah, but not if you log out.

  • Re:First off... (Score:3, Informative)

    by commodore64_love (1445365) on Friday August 06, 2010 @04:04PM (#33168338) Journal

    The Motel 6 manager claimed I yelled at his maids, and had sex with a clerk. Now either these things happened, or they did not. I can tell you they did not.

  • Re:First off... (Score:3, Informative)

    by Tranzistors (1180307) on Friday August 06, 2010 @04:59PM (#33169066)

    If fraction per capita of gunfire crime is good, then bad would be one or more gun crimes per capita? Still a lot in my book.

    And about Switzerland - http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/rise-in-gun-crime-forces-swiss-to-reconsider-right-to-bear-arms-446946.html [independent.co.uk]

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