The Internet Vigilante

from the catching-criminals-from-the-home-office dept

An article in the LA Times talks about a woman who spends an awful lot of time every day trying to catch online pedophiles. She has quite a track record of success, and law enforcement professionals respect her work. However, it does bring up some questions about how legal what she does is (though, she says she talks to law enforcement people all the time to make sure she doesn’t cross the line). The article also talks about a number of other such “vigilantes” who have caused more problems than they’ve solved. Many have been arrested for downloading child porn, even if they claim it was for part of effort to catch someone.

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Brian Weaver (user link) says:

The Internet Vigilante

It’s interesting that while people are arrested for downloading child porn, no one, at least I have not seen it, has discussed the idea of what do they think that the cache in IE or NS is doing to the images that they happen to see, perhaps after being taken to a site automatically. I suppose that one might argue, for the sake of it, that such a “download” is involuntary, except in the case that one might be aware of what the cache is doing. What proportion of folks using their browsers are even aware of the existence of cache? My experience leads me to believe that they might be surprised if they took a look at the cach of Uncle Neds machine. I always thought he was such a nice man too! Even if he never actually pushed a button to download anything, yet the browser did it for him. Should he be arrested?

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