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Discussion : Man forced to plead guilty to possessing child porn

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2005-09-17 19:05:45 -
Thank you very much!


2004-12-24 04:05:16 -
This is article

12/23/2004
Redirected to jail?
By: , K. Shelby Skrhak

Malicious software, or malware, can steal credit card information, record sensitive password information and redirect you to Web sites you never intended to visit.

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But can it send you to jail?

That's what one man claims, after compromising images of children were found on his work computer by an employer, who then reported him to law enforcement authorities.

"I was forced to confess for possession of child porn," said Fima Fimovich, who came to the United States from the former Soviet Union as a political refugee. "I got browser hijacked while browsing the Web. I was redirected to illegal sites against my will."

He contacted The Colony Courier Leader after the paper reported that a local man, 39, was arrested after Dallas police and FBI agents discovered dozens of pornographic images of children on his home computer.

Jim Willingham, a felony investigator for the Denton County District Attorney's Office, spends hours in front of computers daily as a computer forensic examiner.

He said he's aware of the effects that malware and browser hijackers have taken on computers, but he's seen little evidence to link it with a criminal indictment.

The first step he'll take in investigating a suspect's computer is searching for Trojan horses, or viruses that would redirect one's browser to such sites.

If a computer did have a presence of viruses or malware, Willingham said it would be hard to prove that the suspect "knowingly possessed it."

"Especially if those images were in the temporary files and that's the only place we found those types of files," he said.

He can also detect a suspect's intentions by seeing if one stayed on the child porn site, or accidentally navigated to the site and then backed out immediately.

If no malware exists on a suspect's computer, Willingham takes the next step - a thorough sector-by-sector search of one's images and documents.

More thorough than any technicians' search, Willingham can view what a suspect has been searching on search engines and documents that have been erased more than six months ago.

"I'm searching down to the 0's and 1's" he said, referring to the computer's code or "DNA."

There are three elements that Willingham has to meet in order to secure an indictment: first, the pornography has to be a child. In many instances, it's not difficult to decipher whether a victim is a child because he or she is usually younger than 12 years old, Willingham said.



As for Fimovich, his story has been widely reported on ZDnet, Washington Times and Wired News. Because he claims he was forced to plead guilty, he says it is difficult to acquire a new trial without an appropriate attorney.

He said he will continue to fight the system, although many do not understand his plight

Contact staff writer K. Shelby Skrhak at 972-538-2104 or skrhaks@scntx.com.


ęStar Community Newspapers 2004


2004-12-24 04:01:19 -
There was publication in Dallas Newspaper
http://www.zwire.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=13614767&BRD=1426&PAG=461&dept_id=528214&rfi=6
There is expert from DA opinion about handling these kind cases


2004-10-17 00:09:11 -
Article in ZDnet
http://zdnet.com.com/2100-1105_2-5344831.html


2004-07-27 00:35:08 -
Only question to Preston L. Farley: what if browser cash was deleted manually, or automatically, because of overflow. Then there will not be any files names or dates of files creations/download, and files possible to find in unallocated clusters. Also on some flash pages possible to find a lot of pictures, not too small. In my case there were no any experts. I have computer certifications and have worked in Technical Service and Support Department as Service Engineer, so I probably can understand something. We have huge hysteria in US. If somebody call on you to police from your job, police care about nothing. In companies computers usually are not locked, and there are no doors. If somebody hate somebody, why not to set up him by putting CP in computer.
Richard Rahn in Wachington Times wrote:

"Everyone is at risk from personal enemies and unscrupulous law enforcement authorities who will find it relatively easy, if they so choose, to place compromising material on our computers.
Evidence tampering and salting has always been a problem – remember the Los Angeles police scandals a decade ago? The difference now is false evidence can be planted on anyone by a scalawag anyplace on Earth who has access to the Internet."




2004-07-26 15:18:36 -
As a federal cyber-investigator for the U.S. since 2000, I have analysed hundreds of personal computers for allegations of pornography, both child and adult. I have reviewed numerous spyware, trojan and browser hi-jacking software programs in the course of this work. In all of these investigations, I am aware of only one browser hi-jacker that placed a single child pornographic image on a user's computer without their knowledge. And review of the web-site revealed how and when this occured. While many would redirect the user to child pornographic sites, they went no deeper than the splash page. Some would redirect the browser to pop-up pages which could number in the dozens, but analysis of the browser cache clearly shows that no user intervention occured in these instances. I have spoken to other computer crime investigators who have lost cases to "The Trojan Defense" and there are ALWAYS overt actions of a user to obtain pornography, in addition to the hi-jacked browser going to porn sites. Am I naive enough to beleive that someone in the world hasn't been buffalowed into a false confession, of course not. But I can state unequivocally that anyone using the Internet for non-pornographic centered browsing will have a better chance of winning the lottery than being prosecuted for viewing child pornography that they didn't want to, at least at the Federal level.

PLF


2004-07-22 19:29:14 -
Thank you for your article. I really understand I have a very little chance to overturn my case. But if everybody will be silent, then we will have terrible situation in the future. Lawmakers in US do not understand what they are doing. It is possible to protect children without this hysteria. In modern situation better not to have computer. Nobody knows what is on his or her hard drive. Chances to defend yourself in court are zero. This is a huge problem in modern law, I think, and nobody pays attention. I never could image to be in such stupid situation. I came from Russia 7 years ago, and in Russia porn laws were never used. Even communists never used this law. I know Russian police now fighting against real criminals, not agains computer clickers. And Russia still is not democratic country? I recently sent a message to my congressman, asking to deliver this message to sponsors of anti spyware law. I hope lawmakers in US understand something have to be done.

Fima





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