Legal Issues

by Tim Cushing


Filed Under:
child porn, fbi, honeypots, porn



Courts Pretty Much OK With FBI's Occasional Stints As Child Porn Distributors

from the the-fine-art-of-honeypottery dept

Law enforcement agencies commit criminal acts while conducting criminal investigations. It happens all the time. With the blessing of their handlers, confidential informants routinely engage in criminal activity. Investigators act as co-conspirators in the planning of terrorist attacks and the robbing of imaginary "stash houses."

But many people are taking issue with the FBI's decision to use seized servers loaded with child pornography as honeypots rather than immediately shut them down. For some, this is the one unforgivable criminal act -- the possession and distribution of child porn.

This is something the FBI has done twice (that we know of). The first time was back in 2012, when it seized a server in Bellevue, Nebraska linked to a website called "PedoBook." It ran the site for three weeks while it deployed a Network Investigative Tool to find out more info about its users.

It did it again in 2015. Joseph Cox of Motherboard was the first to cover it, detailing the FBI's two-week stint as the new hosts of "Playpen," another child porn site accessible only to users utilizing the Tor browser. Again, the FBI deployed its NIT to gather information on the site's visitors.

One of those caught in the latest sting is arguing the FBI participated in criminal activity, tainting the evidence it seized.

[T]he Government engaged in illegal conduct by aiding and abetting the distribution of child pornography; and, considering the Fourth Amendment’s core reasonableness requirements and the totality of the circumstances, it obtained an unprecedently overbroad general warrant.
This is one of several arguments Jay Michaud's attorney is raising. It's also being argued that the use of the NIT violated Rule 41, which governs the use of search warrants. Michaud claims the FBI violated Rule 41's territorial limits by using its control of a server in Virginia (where the NIT warrant was issued) to access Michaud's computer in Vancouver, Washington.
The defense has never questioned the Government’s authority to seize “mere evidence,” assuming that other requirements of Rule 41 and the Constitution are complied with. Rather, this case involves the territorial limitations of Rule 41, a matter completely unaffected by the enactment of § 3103(a).

Finally, it is important to note that the Government has not disputed that Rule 41 applies to the NIT warrant or argued that some other law alters or expands the Rule’s requirement. Instead, the Government has argued that the Rule is “flexible,” despite its plain language, and has proposed several novel and unpersuasive interpretations of the Rule that cannot be reconciled with that language.

In sum, nothing in either of these statutes in any way alters or undercuts the territorial limitations of Rule 41 and thus have no relevance when applied to the facts of this case.
The Rule 41 approach was also explored by Joshua Welch, who was swept up in the FBI's 2012 operation. It was of limited success. While the Eighth Circuit Appeals Court found the NIT warrant fell under Rule 41's time limit of notification of search warrant targets (30 days), it was not enough to offset other evidence gathered by the FBI.
We assume, without deciding, that Rule 41 applies to the NIT warrant. The statute authorizing the magistrate judge to delay notice is perfectly clear–the thirty day extension runs from the execution of the warrant. 18 U.S.C. § 3103a(b)(3). This occurred on November 19, 2012, meaning notice was to be provided within thirty days of that date. Moreover, the "notice" provided by the government was insufficient. The government points to a hearing Welch attended in which an agent testified about the NIT and to the entry of the residential search warrant into evidence as notice "provided during the discovery process." But under Rule 41 Welch should have been given a copy of the NIT warrant. Of course it is plainly true that if agents were required to send a copy of the warrant to the subscriber address they obtained before they could search the premises and identify the individual user, Welch would have had ample time to flee prosecution, destroy or tamper with evidence, and otherwise seriously jeopardize the investigation. But these special considerations would have allowed for the magistrate judge to either specify a later date certain, which he did not do, or for the government to return for extensions of time under § 3103a(c), which it did not do. Therefore, the notice given Welch failed to comport with Rule 41.
If the FBI's use of NITs, especially in conjunction with its decision to act as interim administrators for seized child porn websites, is going to be challenged, Rule 41 seems to be the angle to take. The other route -- challenging the FBI's forays into child porn distribution -- seems far less likely to succeed. The courts have granted a lot of leeway to law enforcement agencies who engage in illegal activities during the course of investigations, as USA Today's Brad Heath has been pointing out on Twitter.
The FBI "hired a heroin-addicted prostitute" to become intimate with a suspect and get him to sell drugs. Court: OK.

The footnote pictured in the tweet reads:
E.g., United States v. Esch, 832 F.2d 531 (10th Cir. 1987)
(holding that it was not outrageous government conduct to create a pedophilic organization, advertise for members, and encourage those members to create child pornography).
The latter would seem to be even more reprehensible than simply running an existing child porn site and allowing users to upload and download child porn. In the 1987 case, the FBI actually encouraged the production of child pornography. Yet the court found no reason to question or discourage this behavior.

And there will always be other examples of highly-questionable activity engaged in by law enforcement during criminal investigations. An entire cottage industry of sting operations is predicated on pushing potential suspects towards committing criminal behavior and arresting them before the imaginary scheme can be carried out. In stash house robbery cases, the contents of the house to be robbed are limited only to creativity of the agents participating in the sting. Prison terms are predicated on these nonexistent items, allowing the government to send someone away for decades for almost robbing an empty house.

While it is undoubtedly true the FBI would not have been able to uncover the identities of these child porn site visitors without allowing the site to run, one has to question whether it was all worth it. In the two weeks it participated in the hosting and distribution of child porn, 100,000 visitors were logged. But so far, it has only resulted in 137 arrests and far fewer indictments. Its 2012 investigation led to far less: 25 criminal complaints -- nine of which are still only identified as "Doe."




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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 27 Jan 2016 @ 11:01am

    laws are for the little people, not the high and mighty that have let their power and wealth go to their heads.

    Funny how so many self entitled "elites" never learn from history, what happens when people get fed up with unequal rights and having an unfair share taken from them.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. icon
    Mason Wheeler (profile), 27 Jan 2016 @ 11:21am

    Wow. Joshua Welch. That's a name I haven't heard in a long time. That's the name of a good friend of mine, back when I was in middle school.

    I really hope it's not the same guy!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 27 Jan 2016 @ 11:45am

    Where's the limit?

    What, really, is the limit if they can distribute child porn themselves without consequence? It would be different if they just uploaded malware-infected files to expose the pedophiles, having no control of the server itself, but they had complete access to the server and that makes them distributors.

    Maybe they can start pulling kids off the street and take pictures of them engaged in sex acts if there aren't enough images on the seized website to draw in pedophiles?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 27 Jan 2016 @ 12:07pm

    I am sure the victims in those pictures/videos didnt/wont enjoy the fact that they where victimized even longer because law enforcement cared more about catching people then stopping it.

    I dont think the FBI connects the fact that these are real children, much like the pedos themselves.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 27 Jan 2016 @ 12:28pm

    So I guess it's fair to say that the FBI are in fact a bunch of legally immune pedophiles.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 27 Jan 2016 @ 12:45pm

    web bugs

    They need to implant web bugs in all of those photos.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. icon
    BentFranklin (profile), 27 Jan 2016 @ 12:46pm

    I'm actually okay with their actions. It's probable they did a lot more good than bad.

    I also feel sorry for the law enforcers who have to see that shit every day. They get PTSD.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 27 Jan 2016 @ 12:53pm

    So if the FBI set up a website and sold guns to ISIS members in Syria, the courts would have no issue with that?

    I mean, sure, innocent people would get killed; but hey, at least they got information out of it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9. identicon
    Prudence, 27 Jan 2016 @ 1:03pm

    Anarchy in the alphabet agencies and the halls of justice

    Are we not a nation of laws. Apparently, no we are not.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 27 Jan 2016 @ 1:03pm

    Re:

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 27 Jan 2016 @ 1:54pm

    Re: Re:

    Nothing "ok" about this, considering many of these FBI employees are nothing more than pedophiles themselves using the job as a source for new wank material.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12. icon
    Robert Beckman (profile), 27 Jan 2016 @ 1:55pm

    18 U.S.C. § 2259

    This is only good if 18 U.S.C. § 2259 is also enforced against the FBI, forcing the Agents to pay total damages for images of anyone they served up on the site while it was under their control. This might actually work, as the LE exceptions in the statute don't explicitly apply to this situation, and qualified immunity might not apply as well.

    Then at least the victims would be made whole, legally speaking.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13. identicon
    Mark Wing, 27 Jan 2016 @ 1:56pm

    "Show me on the dolly where the FBI agent touched you."

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 27 Jan 2016 @ 1:59pm

    Re:

    I also feel sorry for the law enforcers who have to see that shit every day. They get PTSD.

    The ones who do it usually volunteer for the assignment. They want to do it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 27 Jan 2016 @ 2:15pm

    Distributing child pornography is legal absolutely nowhere on this planet.

    And the fact the FBI and Judge thinks it's "okay," doesn't change the fact it isn't.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16. icon
    nasch (profile), 27 Jan 2016 @ 4:12pm

    Double standard?

    Prison terms are predicated on these nonexistent items, allowing the government to send someone away for decades for almost robbing an empty house.

    So we can be sentenced to long prison terms for planning to do something we couldn't have actually accomplished because it was all fake. But on the other hand, if the government fires you because it mistakenly believes you engaged in speech it disagrees with, that's no problem.

    http://www.npr.org/2016/01/19/463495547/an-employee-mistakenly-steps-into-politics-can-the-g overnment-retaliate

    It seems like either the intentions of the "bad actor" should be controlling, or not. If someone can be convicted for wishing he could be a terrorist even if he really wasn't, the government should also be penalized for trying to curtail constitutionally protected freedoms even though it failed to do so. Or, if the government gets a free pass because the speech it thought was happening really didn't exist, the conspirators should go free because there was no actual crime.

    Am I off base on this?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17. icon
    nasch (profile), 27 Jan 2016 @ 4:12pm

    Re: Where's the limit?

    What, really, is the limit if they can distribute child porn themselves without consequence?

    What makes you think there is a limit?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18. icon
    DocGerbil100 (profile), 27 Jan 2016 @ 4:17pm

    Oh, really...?

    Last time I looked, both the FBI and the US courts were US organisations. The internet, by contrast, is worldwide. I don't recall the rest of the entire fucking planet granting either of them the right to supply child porn to it's citizens.

    I doubt it will actually happen, but by the strict letter of law, I suspect rather a lot of important people in the US should rightly be facing extradition hearings and criminal charges in dozens of countries.

    Given what they've done, I doubt too many people in the US would miss them, either.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19. icon
    nasch (profile), 27 Jan 2016 @ 4:19pm

    Re:

    So if the FBI set up a website and sold guns to ISIS members in Syria, the courts would have no issue with that?

    The ATF did pretty much that with Mexican drug cartels.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ATF_gunwalking_scandal

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20. icon
    nasch (profile), 27 Jan 2016 @ 4:19pm

    Re: 18 U.S.C. § 2259

    This is only good if 18 U.S.C. § 2259 is also enforced against the FBI,

    And who would be in charge of enforcing that? The DOJ, right? So, never gonna happen.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21. identicon
    Rekrul, 27 Jan 2016 @ 5:30pm

    Re: Double standard?

    The entire government is corrupt to the core.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22. identicon
    anonymous, 27 Jan 2016 @ 5:48pm

    anonymous

    Although I'm fully in favor of legalizing the viewing of CP, seeing as magical revictimization isn't real, and all of the propaganda related to the matter is equivalent to the war on drugs propaganda, and legalizing the viewing of CP actually reduces child sex abuse rates (pedophiles use it instead of molesting children), and the supplydemand argument has been empirically disproved by the research of Milton Diamond (published in Springer and peer reviewed), and the entire thing is just mass hysteria to the nth degree....

    I'm very glad people are pissed off at the FBI.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23. identicon
    anonymous, 27 Jan 2016 @ 5:53pm

    anonymous

    The FBI of course also realizes that the entire thing is bullshit. That is why they are fine with distributing CP, they know that the children suffer no real harm from it (they don't even know anyone looked at it! there is no magical link between the CP and the children in it), they know that the demand for CP from the server they are hosting isn't going to magically lead to more children being abused (why would it?), and they are merely interested in catching pedophiles.

    CP is illegal because people are under the false presumption that only child molesters look at it, but even though the US prison industry propaganda says 80% of people who look at CP are contact offending pedophiles, more objective research from the government of Switzerland puts it at 1%, which is lower than the rate of contact offending pedophiles in the population of US male university students.

    The entire thing is a sham, and I'm glad the FBI finally admitted to such. They would not rape children to infiltrate a sex trafficking ring, because it is actually wrong. However, they have no problem to distribute CP to catch pedophiles, because they realize people looking at CP doesn't actually cause any harm to anyone at all.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  24. identicon
    anonymous, 27 Jan 2016 @ 5:55pm

    anonymous

    Also a friend of mine went to playpen while it was under FBI control, but he had a secure system that wasn't penetrated by the FBI. He wants to from the bottom of his heart thank the FBI for all the hot underage teenage porn they distributed to him :).

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  25. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 27 Jan 2016 @ 5:56pm

    But your honor, the Supreme Court has already condoned this type of behavior by an office of the Federal Government, we move for dismissal.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  26. identicon
    anonymous, 27 Jan 2016 @ 6:14pm

    disgusting

    disgusting behavior by the FBI

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  27. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 27 Jan 2016 @ 6:36pm

    The courts would be perfectly fine with the FBI actively producing additional child porn if they felt like it would benefit the bureaucracy in some way.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  28. icon
    nasch (profile), 27 Jan 2016 @ 7:37pm

    Re: anonymous

    The entire thing is a sham, and I'm glad the FBI finally admitted to such.

    Where did they admit that, in a court case?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  29. icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), 27 Jan 2016 @ 9:04pm

    So what if kids were raped, we managed to nail a few more guys by keeping the site going for a while so we could have a better case.

    When getting a "slam dunk" win trumps the logical thought of if we do this more kids are harmed, the system needs to have someone examine their perverse motivations.

    It is becoming clear that the courts no longer wish to push back against anything that might generate a bad soundbite against them, even as what they are allowing severely damages the rule of law.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  30. icon
    nasch (profile), 27 Jan 2016 @ 9:20pm

    Re:

    So what if kids were raped, we managed to nail a few more guys by keeping the site going for a while so we could have a better case.

    The web site raped kids?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  31. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 27 Jan 2016 @ 10:01pm

    Re: Re:

    You must be new to the CP hysteria. People have it to various degrees. It's similar to the drug propaganda. You know, some people think smoking marijuana will cause you to listen to jazz music and the african americans to rape the white women, and that it is the devils herb, and then at the other end you have people who cite research papers from the prison industry, it's a full spectrum.

    Thus it is with CP. At the more fundamentalist level people literally believe that every time someone looks at CP it's like the child in the image is raped all over again. This is called revictimization, and you can see people discussing it merely by searching for something like 'child porn revictimization all over again' or 'over and over'.

    Then you have people who cite research from the prison industry, etc. It's really a mountain of propaganda and the spitting image of the war on drugs.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  32. identicon
    Mark Wing, 27 Jan 2016 @ 10:06pm

    It's just a matter of time before the FBI starts foiling its own terrorist pedophile plots. J. Edgar Hoover would be proud!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  33. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 27 Jan 2016 @ 11:42pm

    Re:

    would you still be okay with it, if it was your family members photos being used? or if you are a parent your children being exploited "for the greater good" since their rights and your rights apparently do not matter as long as it does more good than bad.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  34. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 27 Jan 2016 @ 11:45pm

    Re:

    Benghazi was a front for gun running to terrorist groups. This is a criminally corrupt government currently in charge.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  35. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 27 Jan 2016 @ 11:47pm

    Re: Double standard?

    It's why the american revolution happened. people got fed up with being treated as second class citizens at best and serfs at worst, when everyone was supposed to be equal under brittish law.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  36. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 27 Jan 2016 @ 11:49pm

    Re: anonymous

    Just like they would not torture people to get information.

    Or would not create fake terrorism plots to support anti freedom laws being passed, right?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  37. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 27 Jan 2016 @ 11:51pm

    Re: Re:

    the pictures they used.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  38. identicon
    David, 28 Jan 2016 @ 12:52am

    Re: Anarchy in the alphabet agencies and the halls of justice

    Yes we are a nation of laws, but in emergency states like the U.S. has been in for the last 50 years, there is a curfew and laws must not be seen in the streets after dark or assemble in groups of more than three.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  39. identicon
    David, 28 Jan 2016 @ 1:00am

    Re: Re: Double standard?

    Which is a surprise to nobody, really. There is a reason a Bill of Rights was added to the U.S. Constitution pretty much from the start.

    The point of capitalism, a free market, a constitutional republic is to channel greed, avarice, power lust into outlets that result in a thriving of the general good.

    It's just that the channels created by the Founding Fathers for funneling greed and power lust of government members into beneficial activities have eroded over time.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  40. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 28 Jan 2016 @ 5:33am

    Re: Oh, really...?

    I don't recall the rest of the entire fucking planet granting either of them the right to supply child porn to it's citizens.

    The US, and by extension the FBI, believes it's authority extends worldwide.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  41. identicon
    Wendy Cockcroft, 28 Jan 2016 @ 5:51am

    Re: Re:

    While I usually bash tinfoil-hattery, after all I've learned about this stuff I wouldn't be surprised if this were true. Where are the good guys?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  42. identicon
    Wendy Cockcroft, 28 Jan 2016 @ 5:55am

    Re: Re: Re: Double standard?

    And the point of the opposing philosophies is exactly the same. The only differences is in who is on the receiving end of the "general good."

    The channels you mentioned have eroded over time not because of time but because We The People took our hands off the wheel and stopped being as willing to hold these people to account as we formerly were. Result: petty partisanship and arguments and culture wars while everything else goes to hell.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  43. identicon
    Wendy Cockcroft, 28 Jan 2016 @ 5:56am

    Re: Re: Oh, really...?

    See the Dotcom case for details.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  44. identicon
    Wendy Cockcroft, 28 Jan 2016 @ 5:59am

    Re: anonymous

    None of that is true; the allure of CP is a power trip plus forbidden fruit. Paedos progress from viewing to touching.

    As for "magical revictimisation" you're forgetting the torment of the victim finding out years after the fact that these images are STILL being distributed and people he or she knows have seen them.

    I'm not seeing much compassion for the poor kids here.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  45. identicon
    Wendy Cockcroft, 28 Jan 2016 @ 6:05am

    Re: anonymous

    there is no magical link between the CP and the children in it

    According to the article there was actual sexual activity between adults and children. There is no way you can justify CP or the people who view or make it.

    I have every sympathy for anyone who seeks treatment to prevent him or herself from getting involved in such activities but none at all for anyone who actively seeks out such filth. One or two images is never enough to satisfy their vile lusts, they always want more. That's why, when they are caught, they usually have multiple images on their computers. And pictures aren't enough, they want video. And cartoons or drawings aren't enough, it's got to be real.

    If paedo desires could be satisfied with drawings or something I wouldn't be bothered about it but it seems that they are not. And that's a problem. Real people are abused to create those photos and films and no amount of trivialising their suffering is going to make that go away.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  46. identicon
    Wendy Cockcroft, 28 Jan 2016 @ 6:06am

    Re: Re:

    Kids were raped to provide images and video for the pervs to enjoy, nasch. You can't make an omelette without breaking eggs, and all that.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  47. icon
    nasch (profile), 28 Jan 2016 @ 6:43am

    Re: Re: anonymous

    Real people are abused to create those photos and films and no amount of trivialising their suffering is going to make that go away.

    The question is, is criminalizing the possession of child porn the most effective way to stop the abuse?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  48. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 28 Jan 2016 @ 8:18am

    Re:

    There would probably be some issues there, but only because the FBI is a domestic law enforcement agency, and Syria is clearly not domestic.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  49. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 28 Jan 2016 @ 11:08am

    FBI: do as we say, not as we do.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  50. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 28 Jan 2016 @ 12:24pm

    Re: Re: anonymous

    Pedophiles rarely progress from viewing to touching, maybe you should actually look at the research on the topic instead of mindlessly repeating propaganda.

    Look up the study by Milton Diamond on how legalizing child pornography viewing has led to decreases in contact offending in every single country that has done it. Pedophiles use CP as an alternative to contact offending, and it reduces child sex abuse rates, and this is the only thing supported by the actual statistical analysis, unlike your claims which are empty words people mindlessly repeat without any evidence supporting them.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  51. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 28 Jan 2016 @ 12:26pm

    Re: Re: Re: anonymous

    Research has conclusively demonstrated that in every single country to ever legalize CP possession, a statistically significant decrease in child sexual abuse followed immediately afterwards.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  52. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 28 Jan 2016 @ 12:28pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    And ISIS beheaded people for the ISIS beheading videos to exist, but nobody seems to care about revictimizing those people by watching those videos! If you can't apply your logic about CP to all other forms of media, you need to ask yourself what is magical about CP to make it special? You don't apply your logic about CP to anything else, which is called having a disintegrated belief system, and is similar to people who believe in false religions, they are otherwise logical people, but when it comes to a very specific topic they have an extreme disconnect with reality that they are incapable of even realizing.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  53. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 28 Jan 2016 @ 1:47pm

    Re: Re: anonymous

    Paedos progress from viewing to touching.

    Absolutely! Just like violent video game players progress from play killing to real killing.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  54. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 28 Jan 2016 @ 1:55pm

    Re: Re: anonymous

    One or two images is never enough to satisfy their vile lusts, they always want more.

    Exactly. It's the same with violence too. Violent video games are nothing more than murder simulators teaching how to kill. One or two simulated shootings is never enough, they always want more.

    ...it's got to be real.

    Yes, they eventually progress to the real thing. That's how mass murderers are made.

    Ban violent video games. Ban violent movies. Stop the violence now!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  55. icon
    JP Jones (profile), 1 Feb 2016 @ 2:22am

    Re: Re: anonymous

    Another angle to consider (and it's hard to do objectively, which is why we must consider it objectively) is that child porn is technically evidence of a crime.

    For example, what if viewing a photograph of a murderer standing over a dead body were a crime? Not actually committing the murder, but just viewing or possessing it? What do you think the chances of someone reporting that image to the authorities becomes?

    Pretty much zero. Child porn is awful, but it's not the image that caused the abuse, it's the offender in the image. That's the crime we should be focused on. If we encouraged people to report images rather than delete or hide them, how many more actual child abusers would we catch? I mean, come on, you have an actual image of the perpetrator (maybe not the face, but there's still identifying features), the victim, and their environment, along with any digital metadata we can extract.

    In my opinion the FBI should have, at the very least, an "amnesty box" for child porn that people can submit stuff they find to (along with where they found it), and there should be programs to help people who find themselves sexually attracted to children before they become child abusers, just as we have programs for other psychiatric disorders. It's counter-productive to disincentivize criminal reporting and seeking help; that only makes it harder to find child abusers and encourages the creation of new ones.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  56. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 19 Feb 2016 @ 7:06pm

    Re: Re: Re: anonymous

    Do all heteros rape women? No, we call those assholes "rapists" and we send them to jail for their vile acts. Similarly, not all pedos molest children.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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