Legal Issues

by Mike Masnick




Julie Amero Gets More Time To Explain To Judge How Porn Popup Trojans Work

from the a-break-in-the-action dept

Back in January, there was a story about a substitute teacher, Julie Amero, facing 40 years in prison for apparently exposing children in her classroom to pornographic pictures on the classroom computer. Over the last month and a half, as more details have come out, it's becoming abundantly clear that the jury and the police involved are quite confused about what actually happened. The details certainly suggest that there was some kind of spyware that caused a series of pornographic pop ups to show up on the screen. The teacher claims she was told not to turn off the computer and didn't even know how to do so. However, she did try to shield the computer from the children, which was facing away from the children already. However, the local newspaper reports and the police involved insist that she's absolutely guilty despite plenty of evidence suggesting that she's the unfortunate victim of some nasty malware on a computer and plenty of ignorance about how computers work among those accusing her of doing something wrong. As the case has received more and more attention, Amero has added a new lawyer and received a ton of support (especially from the computer security community).

In that link above, the police detective working on the case insisted that the transcripts would show that all of the supporters of Amero were barking up the wrong tree -- but those transcripts are now available and they only seem to support the ignorance of those condemning Amero -- insisting that she must have looked at the porn intentionally, when there's plenty to suggest that's not true at all. The prosecution also keeps shifting what it's trying to prove, from her intentionally surfing porn in front of kids to the idea that because she didn't unplug the computer (which she had been forbidden from doing) she is guilty and deserves 40 years in prison. Either way, neither the local newspaper reporters nor the detective on the case seem willing to admit that they may have made a mistake in condemning this woman. However, the good news coming out recently (sent in by John) is that, at least, the judge has agreed to delay the sentencing for a month to give the new lawyer some time to get up to date on the details of the case.

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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 29 Jan 2008 @ 8:55am

    I had an ICT class (yeah ICT, worthless, I know) in school once, back when I was 14-15 or so. I fell into a porn trap while following a link from wikipedia (I think the domain must've been re-registered or something). Porn popups abound, opening up more as I closed them etc...

    Teacher came over and asked wtf was going on, I told her that I wasn't looking at porn, I just fell prey to some pop-ups.

    She just laughed it off, told me to restart the computer, and be more careful in the future.

    I know the UK views sex/censorship of sex a lot differently to the US (in legal terms at least), but is it really *that* different? I'm only 19 so this was like, 5 years ago tops.

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