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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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  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 06, 2010 @12:01PM (#33163106)

    Don't f* with the IT guy like at restaurant you don't f* with the people who handle your food!

  • First off... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Pojut (1027544) on Friday August 06, 2010 @12:02PM (#33163114) Homepage

    ...the obligatory Weiner name.

    Moving on.

    The idea of this is sick...it's no different than accusing a teacher you don't like of rape. Even if you are found innocent, there is still a stigma attached to you that will never fully dissipate within your community. People around you will always have this accusation in the back of their minds.

    Whatever happend to using a whoopie cusion, or putting a flaming bag of poo on someone's doorstep?

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

      by Tim C (15259) on Friday August 06, 2010 @12:08PM (#33163224)

      People around you will always have this accusation in the back of their minds.

      Not only that, but quite often while the initial coverage of the case is headline news, by the time the wheels of justice have ground out a verdict of "not guilty" and the false accusation has been proven, coverage is much less prominent.

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

        by WeatherGod (1726770) on Friday August 06, 2010 @12:56PM (#33164016)

        This is so true. Back in my high school days, we had some bomb threats that got called in to the school. Then a couple of students "came forward" and accused another student of calling it in and planning an actual event (this was shortly after Columbine). The student was arrested and everyone in the town heard about this. It was front page news in local newspapers for a few weeks.

        After a few weeks, I hadn't heard anything new and the whole thing slipped from my memory. A few years later, I read in the local paper that the student had committed suicide because of him being constantly ostracized by the town. Turns out that he was cleared of all charges, but this was never announced in the media and most people in my town still thought he did it. When confronted, he would tell people that he was cleared, but most people didn't believe him because his credibility was destroyed by the original media coverage. There was no trial verdict for him to point to since it never went to trial.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by mcgrew (92797) *

      The idea of this is sick

      Yes, but it's nothing new. Anyone could more easily put an ounce of cocaine in his desk and call the cops, no computer expertise needed. What's sickest is someone willing to download, let alone look at, child porn just to get someone in trouble.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by mdarksbane (587589)

        You ever been to a picture board?

        I avoid them like the plague now for the easy "accidental felonies" available when someone posts child porn as a joke, which will then put the illegal material in your browser cache, history, and in the server logs downloading it. Trolls on 4chan do this all the time, and moderators can never be fast enough to catch all of them.

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

        by Joce640k (829181) on Friday August 06, 2010 @12:24PM (#33163484) Homepage

        This is exactly why "possession" (of *anything*) shouldn't be a crime.

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

          by tixxit (1107127) on Friday August 06, 2010 @12:53PM (#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:First off... (Score:5, Informative)

        by MozeeToby (1163751) on Friday August 06, 2010 @12:39PM (#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: (Score:3, Informative)

          by mcgrew (92797) *

          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 fris

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

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 06, 2010 @12:25PM (#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 Philomage (1851668) on Friday August 06, 2010 @01:31PM (#33164664)

        "an uneasy atomphear"

        I'd never heard of that word, but looking at it I could imagine a sense of dread pervading every atom of your being and I thought "what a great word"... why haven't I heard of it before?, so I tried googling it.

        The google suggestion was "atmosphere"... what a let-down. Pfft.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Fjandr (66656)

        I have a friend who works with children who have extreme behavioral issues, and she had a situation similar to this that was just resolved last week. A girl claimed she was touched inappropriately, and my friend was suspended without pay for the last 4 months while the investigation was ongoing. This girl has a long history of fabricating such stories.

        Unfortunately, she's also currently engaged in a nasty custody fight where the allegations (of which she was completely cleared last week) are being used to s

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        The biggest crime here is what you've done to the English language.
    • Re:First off... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by dawich (945673) on Friday August 06, 2010 @12:27PM (#33163528)
      Someone in Wisconsin has emailed child porn to legislators and administrative staff in the state government, apparently to extort votes or political favour. http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5gnAmcYzYG2Ef0BJwTrf9aYQRIrTAD9HBNFR80 [google.com]
    • by msobkow (48369) on Friday August 06, 2010 @12:32PM (#33163624) Homepage Journal

      A friend of mine is a high school teacher, and has been accused of abuse 3 times in 10 years. No truth to the charges, just vindictive kids trying to get revenge for imagined injuries, but each time was extremely stressful for him.

      It's amazing how many people will believe the worst of someone they don't know just because some a-hole has laid false charges.

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

      by jayme0227 (1558821) on Friday August 06, 2010 @12:41PM (#33163748) Journal

      This [huffingtonpost.com] actually just happened in my home state. Senators were blackmailed with child porn placed on their computer through malicious e-mail attachments, apparently in order to sway their votes on some legislation.

      Child porn is messed up, but the reaction to it, and the effects stemming from those (over)reactions can be equally messed up.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Seumas (6865)

      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 s

  • very (Score:4, Informative)

    by Charliemopps (1157495) on Friday August 06, 2010 @12:02PM (#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.
    • Re: very (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Black Parrot (19622)

      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.

      Given how many compromised computers there are out there, I'm surprised it's possible to convict anyone on the basis of anything on the computer.

      How many of us know what's on our computer? Yours might be serving up kiddie porn, stolen credit card numbers, or trade secrets right now.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Chrononium (925164)

      Is it really so different that the offending items are electronic than if they were physical?

      Consider this scenario:
      (1) Disgruntled person A wants to get person B in trouble by planting child porn in B's work desk.
      (2) A calls the cops on B.
      (3) Cops find the porn in B's work desk.

      Do the cops automatically jump to the conclusion that B owned the child porn? Or do they try to investigate further to establish how the material likely got there? If yes to the latter question, then perhaps the basic problem is tha

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by DrgnDancer (137700)

        One difference is, as pointed out in the summary, physical investigations tend to be much faster than computer investigations. Most of the time, whether the case is "real world" or digital, these frame ups get caught. People who do these things tend to do them on the spur of moment and often aren't very smart about it. Unfortunately, while the finger prints on those photos found in your desk might come back in a couple days. Thus showing that your cube-mate was the only person to actually touch them. Th

  • Devious (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 06, 2010 @12:03PM (#33163140)

    The weapon of the future. The more things we make illegal, the more things we can use as legal weapons. marijuana, kiddie porn, anything that they can outlaw they can also plant it in your house and stick you for it.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Pojut (1027544)

      The weapon of the future. The more things we make illegal, the more things we can use as legal weapons. marijuana, kiddie porn, anything that they can outlaw they can also plant it in your house and stick you for it.

      Frylock: "All right...just don't be suprised if I call the cops on your ass."
      Ignignokt: "Fryman, we have hidden four kilos of cocaine in your room."
      Frylock: "..."

  • I wonder (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Black Parrot (19622) on Friday August 06, 2010 @12:03PM (#33163144)

    how many governments get rid of "undesirables" by planting child porn on their computers.

    Throwing a baggie of pot behind your toaster is just so passé these days...

  • 8 months? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bcmm (768152) on Friday August 06, 2010 @12:03PM (#33163148)
    He's lucky he wasn't murdered while the cops were messing about.

    As for "how easily might this trick have succeeded if Weiner had been a little more intelligent about it?", I'd bet it has succeeded in the past, repeatedly.
  • How do you know... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by The MAZZTer (911996) <megazzt@@@gmail...com> on Friday August 06, 2010 @12:04PM (#33163160) Homepage
    ...people aren't successfully pulling off this "trick" already?
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Firethorn (177587)

      I can guarantee people are pulling this off successfully. I know of a case where it wasn't until the 2nd appeal that they figured out that the computer was infected with a rootkit that was downloading/uploading the stuff.

      My only thought is that, generally speaking, most people can cause 'probable doubt'.

      A benefit is that 'most' people don't know how to get the CP in the first place without leaving tracks. It takes more effort than simply crying 'rape', that most people don't think of it.

    • by CHK6 (583097) on Friday August 06, 2010 @12:25PM (#33163504)
      As a college student I was hired as a co-op. Soon after joining I saw the politics of the group and the team. The team I was on disliked one of their members so much that pornography was "found" on his PC during a routine IT sweep. We all knew the team lead did it, being he was sitting at the trouble maker's PC during the late shift when co-ops were working, but I was happy to have a job after starving in college for so long to say anything. My first ethics dilemma and I failed. After all I couldn't prove that happened, but it was odd to see the team lead on his PC late one night. The trouble maker was fired and nothing else was said. I was happy once that team lead moved on.
  • Uhm, yes... (Score:3, Funny)

    by Black Parrot (19622) on Friday August 06, 2010 @12:06PM (#33163186)

    trying to pervert the course of justice

    No pun intended.

  • dont get caught (Score:5, Insightful)

    by digitalsushi (137809) <slashdot@digitalsushi.com> on Friday August 06, 2010 @12:09PM (#33163228) Journal

    In most states, you'll be a registered sex offender for taking a leak in public -- i.e. down a dark alley after a few too many pints. Should it be illegal? Yeah probably. Should it be ambiguous whether you raped a kid or couldn't hold your bladder? I dunno, I don't write laws so I shouldn't have an opinion. Maybe the slashlawer can opine on why these are similar things.

    • Re:dont get caught (Score:4, Insightful)

      by bsDaemon (87307) on Friday August 06, 2010 @12:19PM (#33163398)

      Public urination involves a level of "indecent exposure." It's more like flashing, but without the same intent (probably). Should being a flasher get you a "sex offender" rap? I guess, if we're going to have the term "sex offender," a flasher would be one.

      Basically, I think that if there is no intent to commit a crime, then that should be taken into consideration in sentencing, if the jury doesn't realize what an asinine state of affairs they've been roped into and acquit. Peeing down an alley beyond a dumpster, making a good-faith effort not to be seen and having the un-luck of a cop coming down just before you zip up is completely different from exposing yourself to kids on the playground humming 'aqua lung' to yourself.

    • by VoiceOfDoom (875772) on Friday August 06, 2010 @12:29PM (#33163584)

      According to The Independent [independent.co.uk], the judge has added Weiner to the Sex Offenders Register for the specific purpose of causing the general prison population to identify him as a pervert and make him suffer, even though there is no indication that Weiner possessed this material for any purpose other than to screw up Thomson's life.

      I think Weiner is a scumbag who deserves to go to prison, but he is *not* a sex offender and does not need to be kept away from children's playgrounds when he is released. I certainly don't agree with this tactic by the judge - surely placing people who are not sex offenders on a list of sex offenders renders the list meaningless for any monitoring or preventative purpose? And since when was justice about eye-for-eye revenge in this civilised society?!

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by mrFur (413277)

      I don't write laws so I shouldn't have an opinion.

      Are you kidding me! This is where we need better civics lessons - you should absolutely have an opinion and voice it to your elected representatives - and encouraging other too as well! It's called democracy.

  • well... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by AxemRed (755470) on Friday August 06, 2010 @12:09PM (#33163230)
    First off, it sounds like his "trick" DID succeed. The guy's life was hell for 8 months...

    It's scary to think about, but it wouldn't be all that difficult to frame someone like this. You wouldn't even have to get access to their computer. I imagine it would be as easy as getting an anonymous pay-per-use cell phone, texting someone illegal pictures for a few days, and then reporting them to the police. Maybe they wouldn't get convicted, but their life would still be ruined by the allegations.

    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? ;)
    • Re:well... (Score:4, Interesting)

      by MightyMartian (840721) on Friday August 06, 2010 @12:22PM (#33163452) Journal

      It doesn't even take any particular malicious action. Operation Ore in the UK fingered all sorts of people, including The Who's Pete Townshend, who were in fact innocent and victims of online credit card fraud. Once you get the name "kiddie porn lover" it's very hard to get rid of.

      The problem here is that the cops and the media have created a mad child porn frenzy completely out of proportion to the problem. Innocent people are railroaded through a system that cares more about showing large numbers of accused flowing through than about quality of evidence.

      The fact is your average cop doesn't have the know how to analyze forensic evidence. Any competent IT forensics expert is first going to check to see if the computer has been rootkitted, is going to check to see if the credit card has been stolen, etc. and so forth, but between the missionary's zeal to stamp out all child porn and incompetence you don't get that. Operation Ore was a good example of how things can go terribly wrong, and shines a light on how innocent people can even be manipulated into admitting guilt if they are given the choice between jail time and a lesser sentence.

      In other words, cops are often moronic bastards, and anyone accused of anything, or taken in for questioning on anything should not say a goddamned thing to them and refuse any co-operation until a lawyer is present.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by binkzz (779594)

        The problem here is that the cops and the media have created a mad child porn frenzy completely out of proportion to the problem

        Actually, it's the government that did it. Terrorism and kiddie porn are the two best persuaders to get questionable laws through.

    • Re:well... (Score:4, Informative)

      by Nichotin (794369) on Friday August 06, 2010 @12:23PM (#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]

  • How easy? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Kirin Fenrir (1001780) on Friday August 06, 2010 @12:11PM (#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 Grumbleduke (789126) on Friday August 06, 2010 @12:15PM (#33163328) Journal

    Recently there was a big stir caused here over proposed plans to make the defendants in rape cases anonymous [bbc.co.uk]. For some reason it was decided that this would be terrible, as anyone accused of rape is obviously guilty and so deserves no protections... Something about this strikes me as simply wrong - and it applies in this case as well.

    The way our society is geared up we don't just have trial by court, but trial by media; if the media decides someone is guilty, then it doesn't matter what the court decides, the defendant is screwed. In my opinion, defendants should have the right to anonymity especially in "socially disgusting" cases such as most sex-based crimes.

    Of course, these days child porn over here could consist of stick figures, so the actual laws themselves could do with a serious overhaul - remind me again why mere viewing of material should be illegal?

  • by gurps_npc (621217) on Friday August 06, 2010 @12:15PM (#33163338) Homepage
    This kind of stuff is exactly why we need to care about privacy even "if you have nothing to hide". The law is not perfect. We need to build in safeguards to prevent it being abused, not just to catch the criminals.
  • by elucido (870205) * on Friday August 06, 2010 @12:23PM (#33163454)

    Remember email bombing? Thousands of anonymous emails with gibberish. How about spam? Now we have kiddie bombing.

    It's time we treat child porn as an internet virus and create antivirus scanners which detect child porn and automatically delete, wipe, and report any image saved in the backround with limited user interaction. I don't want to and should not have to risk being prosecuted for possession of something which was sent to me by mistake, uploaded to me, or otherwise infiltrated by trickery, hacking, or anything of that sort.

    If we treated child porn as a virus then the only people left who would have large collections of child porn would be the individuals who actually like child porn.

  • If you know what you are doing, all bets are off. You can finger anyone with kiddie porn and leave no obvious trail behind. All you need is physical access to the computer. Unless the hard drives are encrypted, they are open and vulnerable. And even if they are encrypted, they are still vulnerable if the computer is left running unattended.

    This is primarily why it should not be illegal just to possess a certain set of bits and bytes on your machine. You can make it so you can fool the best of forensics experts. And most law enforcement who does the analysis simply use lame-brain software to scan for the kiddie porn files.

    It would be easy, for instance, to write a virus that would spread to your machine, download kiddie porn, create fake tracks that would fool forensics, and then delete itself without a trace. Can you imagine if something like that got out and infected millions of computers with kiddie porn?

    Well, for one, it would probably end this nonsense of destroying people's lives simply because they had the "wrong" files on their computer!

    Not to mention nailing people for files on their computer does NOTHING to stop the production of kiddie porn. As always, law enforcement is focusing on the wrong end of the problem. They should be going after the guys who pervert children in making the kiddie porn. Why don't they do this? Oh, I get it -- too much work. Poor kids. Too much bother for Law Enforcement to go after the REAL perverts. Sorry, kiddies.

  • My Experience (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 06, 2010 @12:33PM (#33163648)
    I work in private sector digital forensics, I'd say about 30% of the criminal work I see, in regards to child pornography, was probably planted or probably not belonging to the suspect but because I can't objectively prove it I can't say that when I act as an expert witness. Technology incompetence of all parties (defense, prosecution, the defendant etc.) prevents the right questions from being asked and answered. It's stuff like that which makes me lose faith in the adversarial court system.
  • by selven (1556643) on Friday August 06, 2010 @12:38PM (#33163718)

    Not for drugs, not for explosives, not for child porn. Sorry, but it's just too easy to exploit (and there's the slight moral problem that possession is technically harmless). Distribution, sure. That would actually have a slight chance of working, and it's a lot harder to frame someone for it. But not possession.

  • by davidwr (791652) on Friday August 06, 2010 @12:41PM (#33163760) Homepage Journal

    Calling your enemy a witch or whatever and making it stick has always been a way to ruin his life.

    In the 1990s calling your spouse a child- or wife-beater or a child molester was a too-common* ploy in divorce cases.

    1600s and earlier, and today in some 3rd world areas - witch
    1950s - gay or commie
    1980s and later - pedophile
    2001 and later - terrorist
    Throughout history - traitor

    *I don't mean to imply that it was numerically common or anywhere a close to a majority of the divorce child-custody cases, only that there was a spike during that time.

  • by dhickman (958529) on Friday August 06, 2010 @01:27PM (#33164596)
    If any of you seen what is required to be a law enforcement forensics investigator in the US, you would be pissed.

    In most departments the forensics investigator is the poor bastard who has some computer skills.

    He gets selected to take a couple of encase or ftk classes and then they use a confiscated computer, add a write block to it and there you go.

    Now lets say you get a CS degree, work for a while and decided that you want to do forensics. The odds of you getting a job is next to impossible.

    In fact you will be specifically told that they do not want you around. There is a hatred of "nerds" in the law enforcement community.

    Not only will you have to go back to school to get an associates in criminal justice, you will have to go through the police academy
    and then work as a beat officer for several years before you will even get a chance to touch a computer.

    Now lets look at requirements for other kinds of forensics. All of the other forensics fields have lab type people who are specifically trained in their field of expertise. for example, an dna specialist will have at least a masters in biology, a forensic pathologist, has an MD, a ballistics specialist usually has a degree in physics, or engineering. But a computer forensics specialist usually has a high school degree, maybe an associates degree in CJS, and must meet all of the active physical requirements as a patrol officer.

    Note. I work in infosec and perform forensic investigations for private, defense cases, and the university level.

    Every time I go to a continuing education class, encase/ftk, or other. There will be several leos in there that have no clue on even the basics on how a computer works. As a result the majority of the training is "point and click" as mentioned in the article.
    In the days when everyone ran dos, this was doable.

    At these classes I will point out the above issues and ask why computer forensics is differnet than any other forensics field.

    I will point out that computers have gotten much more complex and standard procedure for most law enforcement agencies if they run into anything but a standard unencrypted windows computer is hand the case to the state police, or the feds, since they lack the skills to even process a linux box running reiserfs. Hell, what am I saying, most of them can not process a macintosh since the tools out there are windoze based and have very limited mac capability. So in order to investigate a mac, one must have core unix skills and treat the case as they would treat any other unix system. Yes there are newer tools to macs, but they suck. So be prepared to go through plists and file system attributes.

    Their usual comment, you have to pay your dues son.
  • True Story (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Locke2005 (849178) on Friday August 06, 2010 @02:00PM (#33165244)
    I was working at HP as a consultant. One of the machines in my cubicle was running the officially approved HP Linux distro, which was set up to cycle through all the available screen savers, one of which put up quotes from the fortune files, one of which was the Zippy the Pinhead fortune file which contained the quote "I want to kill everyone here with a cute colorful Hydrogen Bomb!" I never saw it on my machine, but months later, a security guard walking through at 3am sees this come up, immediately goes on point, and reports me as a terrorist. I'm called into a meeting, told "It was on YOUR machine, so it's obviously YOUR responsibility!" and suspended from work (with pay, which is stupid for a contractor). A week later, I'm called back in; due to my coworkers efforts, they have finally discovered that ALL the Linux machines were configured to do that. No apology offered, but I'm allowed to come back to work, and my project that I was on the critical path for is behind a week. Of course, I spent that week off applying for other positions, and a month later I got an offer for a better job closer to home, and said "bye-bye!" to HP.

    The point is, shit can show up on your computer completely by accident through no fault of your own. Telling people "It's on your computer, therefore it's your fault!" is a pretty naive reaction.
  • by BobSutan (467781) on Friday August 06, 2010 @03:00PM (#33166332)

    This is exactly why sex-crime suspects need to have their identities shielded until convicted. Even if exonerated tons of damage can and usually does get inflicted by public perception, of which the lingering effects can be extremely destructive.

    Glenn Sacks talked about this subject just this morning:

    http://glennsacks.com/blog/?p=4954 [glennsacks.com]

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