Man forced to plead guilty to possessing child pornDate: July 22, 2004
Source: Computer Crime Research Center
Have you ever heard of browser hijackers?
Browser hijackers are software programs that are doing more than just changing homepages settings in your browsers. They are also changing some peoples' lives for the worse. Browser hijackers are malicious programs that change browser settings, usually altering designated default start and search pages. But some, such as CWS, also produce pop-up ads for pornography, add dozens of bookmarks -- some for extremely hard-core pornography websites -- to Internet Explorer's Favorites folder, and can redirect users to porn websites when they mistype URLs.
"I could not defend myself, because I did not have enough money for computer expert. Now I have computer expert company willing to work on Pro bono basis. They are defeating 75% cases. This case may become high profile case.
I was forced to confess for possession of child porn. I got browser hijackers while browsing the web. I was redirected to illegal sites against my will. Some illegal pictures were found on my hard drive only after recovering in unallocated clusters, without dates of files creation/download. I do not know how can courts press widely on people to convict them, while whole Internet is a mess."
These are the words of a man who was forced to confess for possession of child porn.
A widely reported case in the United States involves an eastern European immigrant, identified only as "Jack," whose work computer was found to contain evidence of child pornography. He now has a criminal record . He is still fighting to have the charges overturned, claiming he was the victim of a browser hijacker.
"The police raided my house on Sept. 17, 2002," said "Jack," who came to the United States from the former Soviet Union as a political refugee, and has requested that his name not be published. "Nobody gave me a chance to explain. I was told by judge and prosecutor that I will get years in prison if I go to trial. After negotiations through my lawyer I got 180 days in an adult correctional facility. I was imprisoned for 20 days and then released under the Electronic Home Monitoring scheme. I now have a felony sex-criminal record, and the court ordered me to register as a predatory sex offender for 10 years."
The problem for law enforcement, the courts and even the press is that "traditional requirements of reliability" for pictorial, electronic and documentary evidence are no longer sufficient because of the new digital technologies. Relying on old standards will cause too many innocent people to be wrongly accused or convicted.
The solution is for those in the legal system, as well as the public at large, to demand collaborating evidence before coming to conclusions based on digital evidence alone.
The story and the subject involved can be also seen in Wired news, The Register, The Washington Times, The Globe and Mail, Inquisition 21st century.
Add comment Email to a Friend