Unit to fight child pornDate: March 30, 2006
No one spoke against the bill before senators approved legislation to add two new positions to what is now a task force and give it more permanent status as the Computer Crimes Unit of the Maine Crime Laboratory.
Making a pitch for passage Tuesday, Sen. Bill Diamond said the existing task force has become overburdened with computer crime cases, the bulk of which involve child pornography. Diamond said children in much of the pornography being transmitted into computers via the Internet are 7 years old, and some are as young as a few months.
Diamond co-chairs the Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee, which recommend the bill's passage. It is also supported by Gov. John Baldacci.
To process cases, police must remove hard drives from computers and download material on them to be used as evidence. Right now, Diamond said, police have a backlog of 112 hard drives. Since 2002, the number of hard drives turned over to the task force has increased steadily, said Sgt. Glenn Lang, director of the task force.
"Without staff we cannot get to these," said Diamond, D-Windham. "The evidence sets literally across from an empty desk. It's something we need to address."
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