ISU police link porn to student computer
By STACI HUPP
Source: DesMoinesRegister.com NEWS
Date: October 14, 2003
Ames, Ia. - An Iowa State University student was arrested Monday for allegedly using the school's computer network to view photographs of children under age 10 having sex or showing their genitals.
ISU freshman Nicholas Burch, 19, is the sixth student in two years to be accused of using the university network to look at or distribute child pornography, despite warnings against computer crime.
Burch, an engineering student from Woodbury, Minn., turned himself in to ISU police Monday morning.
The images included photographs of young girls, court records show. ISU police estimated their ages at 10 years or younger.
File-sharing applications allow users of a certain network to search other computer files on the network.
University officials don't monitor the computer network, but campus police use specific keywords for random searches.
ISU police officers plugged in "Lola," a common word used by viewers who search the Internet for child pornography, to search the university network last month. The search flagged items on Burch's laptop computer.
"Any sort of monitoring that we do . . . is generally targeted to particular issues," said Capt. Gene Deisinger of the ISU police department.
ISU police last month took a laptop computer, several compact discs, a videotape and a half-empty bottle of cherry vodka from Burch's dormitory room.
Child pornography has been found at hundreds of universities nationwide, but few campus police departments have computer crime training.
ISU last month opened a computer forensics labora- tory that helps law enforcement agencies in Iowa.
"It takes a lot of effort on the law enforcement's part, it takes equipment, and it takes special expertise," said Doug Jacobson, an ISU engineering professor who testified before U.S. senators last month about computer file-sharing networks.
Burch is charged with three counts of sexual exploitation of a minor.
He faces six years in prison and fines.
Burch avoided felony charges because officials didn't believe he intended to share the images with others.
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