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Click hyperlink, go to jail for child porn

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Rainsford

Lifer
Apr 25, 2001
17,520
0
0
Originally posted by: senseamp
Originally posted by: Rainsford
Originally posted by: senseamp
Originally posted by: Rainsford
Ok, guys, do you seriously think the FBI is just automatically arresting everyone who clicks on the link now that it's all over the Internet? Come on, that's just silly.
Are you OK with them having the power to do so?
Well no, but then again, they DON'T have the power to do so. There is no evidence that simply clicking on that link, absent any other supporting evidence, would result in any legal action at all against you.
What do you mean, no evidence. Did you even read the article?
Vosburgh was charged with violating federal law, which criminalizes "attempts" to download child pornography with up to 10 years in prison. Last November, a jury found Vosburgh guilty on that count, and a sentencing hearing is scheduled for April 22, at which point Vosburgh could face three to four years in prison.
If I think the link is "Link for story", as the OP suggested, and I click on it expecting to see the story, that's not "attempting to download child pornography". I'm not a lawyer, but I bet any lawyer who passed the bar could win a case based only on his client clicking on a link that he thought was something else. This Vosburgh person probably didn't find the link on Slashdot, and I would imagine HOW the link was found has a lot to do with the case.
 

senseamp

Lifer
Feb 5, 2006
34,798
4,695
126
Originally posted by: Rainsford
Originally posted by: senseamp
Originally posted by: Rainsford
Originally posted by: senseamp
Originally posted by: Rainsford
Ok, guys, do you seriously think the FBI is just automatically arresting everyone who clicks on the link now that it's all over the Internet? Come on, that's just silly.
Are you OK with them having the power to do so?
Well no, but then again, they DON'T have the power to do so. There is no evidence that simply clicking on that link, absent any other supporting evidence, would result in any legal action at all against you.
What do you mean, no evidence. Did you even read the article?
Vosburgh was charged with violating federal law, which criminalizes "attempts" to download child pornography with up to 10 years in prison. Last November, a jury found Vosburgh guilty on that count, and a sentencing hearing is scheduled for April 22, at which point Vosburgh could face three to four years in prison.
If I think the link is "Link for story", as the OP suggested, and I click on it expecting to see the story, that's not "attempting to download child pornography". I'm not a lawyer, but I bet any lawyer who passed the bar could win a case based only on his client clicking on a link that he thought was something else. This Vosburgh person probably didn't find the link on Slashdot, and I would imagine HOW the link was found has a lot to do with the case.
You would imagine a lot of things, doesn't make them true. A jury is automatically biased against child porn defendands, making them easy prey to the FBI.
 

Rainsford

Lifer
Apr 25, 2001
17,520
0
0
Originally posted by: senseamp
Originally posted by: Rainsford
Originally posted by: senseamp
Originally posted by: Rainsford
Originally posted by: senseamp
Originally posted by: Rainsford
Ok, guys, do you seriously think the FBI is just automatically arresting everyone who clicks on the link now that it's all over the Internet? Come on, that's just silly.
Are you OK with them having the power to do so?
Well no, but then again, they DON'T have the power to do so. There is no evidence that simply clicking on that link, absent any other supporting evidence, would result in any legal action at all against you.
What do you mean, no evidence. Did you even read the article?
Vosburgh was charged with violating federal law, which criminalizes "attempts" to download child pornography with up to 10 years in prison. Last November, a jury found Vosburgh guilty on that count, and a sentencing hearing is scheduled for April 22, at which point Vosburgh could face three to four years in prison.
If I think the link is "Link for story", as the OP suggested, and I click on it expecting to see the story, that's not "attempting to download child pornography". I'm not a lawyer, but I bet any lawyer who passed the bar could win a case based only on his client clicking on a link that he thought was something else. This Vosburgh person probably didn't find the link on Slashdot, and I would imagine HOW the link was found has a lot to do with the case.
You would imagine a lot of things, doesn't make them true. A jury is automatically biased against child porn defendands, making them easy prey to the FBI.
Well sure, but like I said, there is no PROOF that your fears are reasonable based on the facts. Now if people do start getting rounded up for innocently clicking a link they ran across on some above-board forum like AT, I'll admit you might have a point. But until a link, all by itself, starts being the basis for arrests and convictions, I'm not really worried. Unlike a lot of new police state type laws, this isn't a change in the law...it's just a new investigative approach, I'm not sure it will result in any new abuses.
 

jjones

Lifer
Oct 9, 2001
15,430
1
0
Originally posted by: Rainsford
Originally posted by: bsobel
Originally posted by: Rainsford
Originally posted by: 3chordcharlie
Originally posted by: ultra laser
Originally posted by: dahunan
Start penalizing anyone who invests in defense stocks or hliburton then also

Child porn is way bad.. but 10 years in prison for someone who viewed it?? nice priorities...
Wrong, not viewed, attempted to view by clicking a link that doesn't actually lead to anything illegal. Horse shit, if you ask me.
Yeah this is a little thought-police-ish.
I don't know...there is a difference between convicting someone for what they are thinking and convicting someone for something they are trying to do. After all, attempted murder is still a crime even if you are prevented from killing anyone. Context would seem to matter a great deal here. I agree that arresting someone just for clicking on a link is silly, but if they clicked on that link after searching through a kiddie porn trading forum, I'm having a little more trouble dismissing it as a "thought crime".

That matches my view. If I could post a link here that caused that effect, that certainly is way passed the line. However, if that link showed up when I searched for certain terms on a p2p network, dunno. They do the same type of thing for 'hitmen', advertise and if someone calls trying to hire them. Seems similar. I guess I dont buy the AT hype that 'just clicking randomly' or you can be rick-rolled to prison with this.
I don't buy the hype either. I think the FBI, for all their faults, isn't populated by complete morons. At the point where these links are being posted on AT, Slashdot, digg and everywhere else on the Internet, their usefulness as an investigative tool pretty much drops to zero. While the image of the FBI going around rounding up people who did nothing more than clicked on a link sounds like a good movie plot, something tells me the FBI in real life isn't really interested in doing that...and that the courts would throw out the case even if the FBI tried it.

I'm not a lawyer, but I think people need to stop and think about this for a second. What possible case could the FBI make if you blindly clicked on a link? It works for the people searching for kiddie porn because they thought that's what the link was. If you thought the link was something else, what case do they possibly have?
I don't think the real problem lies with arrest and prosecution. It lies with having to go through an ordeal (possible arrest, search of the home, confiscation of your computer, answering intrusive, possibly degrading questions about your life) with the FBI to prove that you were the just subject of a prankster abusing their program.

I don't think anyone relishes the idea of being the object of a child porn investigation, even if it does ultimately turn out to be nothing. To say nothing of the fact that if they did indeed try to prosecute (it wouldn't be a first time prosecutorial zeal has overlooked circumstance and/or evidence to the contrary) and then you had to hire a lawyer and go through all of the proceedings of a court case to prove your innocence. Try not being irrationally tagged as a pedo by your neighbors after something like that.

Sure, after the FBI caught on that they had a problem, the tool would no longer be useful, but how would you like to be one of the unfortunates suffering the consequences until they do realize this?
 

kalrith

Diamond Member
Aug 22, 2005
6,630
7
81
I like the title at arstechnica: Rick Rolled to child porn = you're a pedophile, says FBI.

Here's a scary bit of info from it:

The FBI admitted that there was apparently no evidence that Vosburgh had ever accessed the forum where the links were originally planted, according to court documents seen by Ars Technica. Vosburgh's attorney also pointed out that the affidavit that was used to charge Vosburgh provided no probable cause to believe that any criminal activity had taken place, that he was home at the time that the file was allegedly accessed, or even that there was a computer with an Internet connection in Vosburgh's apartment.

Vosburgh eventually went to trial and was convicted of clicking on an illegal link and possession of child porn due to two tiny thumbnails that the FBI believes depict underage females?this is despite the testimony from multiple computer experts saying that the cache was created automatically and Vosburgh had no idea how or where to find these thumbnails on his machine. He now faces sentencing on April 22 while his attorney attempts to have the verdict overturned. Vosburgh was caught trying to destroy a hard drive and a flash drive, however, and this surely didn't help his case.
 

blackangst1

Lifer
Feb 23, 2005
20,464
719
126
Originally posted by: jjones
Originally posted by: Rainsford
Originally posted by: bsobel
Originally posted by: Rainsford
Originally posted by: 3chordcharlie
Originally posted by: ultra laser
Originally posted by: dahunan
Start penalizing anyone who invests in defense stocks or hliburton then also

Child porn is way bad.. but 10 years in prison for someone who viewed it?? nice priorities...
Wrong, not viewed, attempted to view by clicking a link that doesn't actually lead to anything illegal. Horse shit, if you ask me.
Yeah this is a little thought-police-ish.
I don't know...there is a difference between convicting someone for what they are thinking and convicting someone for something they are trying to do. After all, attempted murder is still a crime even if you are prevented from killing anyone. Context would seem to matter a great deal here. I agree that arresting someone just for clicking on a link is silly, but if they clicked on that link after searching through a kiddie porn trading forum, I'm having a little more trouble dismissing it as a "thought crime".

That matches my view. If I could post a link here that caused that effect, that certainly is way passed the line. However, if that link showed up when I searched for certain terms on a p2p network, dunno. They do the same type of thing for 'hitmen', advertise and if someone calls trying to hire them. Seems similar. I guess I dont buy the AT hype that 'just clicking randomly' or you can be rick-rolled to prison with this.
I don't buy the hype either. I think the FBI, for all their faults, isn't populated by complete morons. At the point where these links are being posted on AT, Slashdot, digg and everywhere else on the Internet, their usefulness as an investigative tool pretty much drops to zero. While the image of the FBI going around rounding up people who did nothing more than clicked on a link sounds like a good movie plot, something tells me the FBI in real life isn't really interested in doing that...and that the courts would throw out the case even if the FBI tried it.

I'm not a lawyer, but I think people need to stop and think about this for a second. What possible case could the FBI make if you blindly clicked on a link? It works for the people searching for kiddie porn because they thought that's what the link was. If you thought the link was something else, what case do they possibly have?
I don't think the real problem lies with arrest and prosecution. It lies with having to go through an ordeal (possible arrest, search of the home, confiscation of your computer, answering intrusive, possibly degrading questions about your life) with the FBI to prove that you were the just subject of a prankster abusing their program.

I don't think anyone relishes the idea of being the object of a child porn investigation, even if it does ultimately turn out to be nothing. To say nothing of the fact that if they did indeed try to prosecute (it wouldn't be a first time prosecutorial zeal has overlooked circumstance and/or evidence to the contrary) and then you had to hire a lawyer and go through all of the proceedings of a court case to prove your innocence. Try not being irrationally tagged as a pedo by your neighbors after something like that.

Sure, after the FBI caught on that they had a problem, the tool would no longer be useful, but how would you like to be one of the unfortunates suffering the consequences until they do realize this?
Thats all true, but if people would use their right to get an attorney, I bet alot of this would go away. this doesnt fall under the unPatriot Act, therefore requires a judge's sig for a warrant. Also, it's not your job to prove youre innocent-it's their job to prove you guilty. You dont have to answer shit.
 

Arkaign

Lifer
Oct 27, 2006
20,565
1,047
126
Originally posted by: blackangst1
Originally posted by: jjones
Originally posted by: Rainsford
Originally posted by: bsobel
Originally posted by: Rainsford
Originally posted by: 3chordcharlie
Originally posted by: ultra laser
Originally posted by: dahunan
Start penalizing anyone who invests in defense stocks or hliburton then also

Child porn is way bad.. but 10 years in prison for someone who viewed it?? nice priorities...
Wrong, not viewed, attempted to view by clicking a link that doesn't actually lead to anything illegal. Horse shit, if you ask me.
Yeah this is a little thought-police-ish.
I don't know...there is a difference between convicting someone for what they are thinking and convicting someone for something they are trying to do. After all, attempted murder is still a crime even if you are prevented from killing anyone. Context would seem to matter a great deal here. I agree that arresting someone just for clicking on a link is silly, but if they clicked on that link after searching through a kiddie porn trading forum, I'm having a little more trouble dismissing it as a "thought crime".

That matches my view. If I could post a link here that caused that effect, that certainly is way passed the line. However, if that link showed up when I searched for certain terms on a p2p network, dunno. They do the same type of thing for 'hitmen', advertise and if someone calls trying to hire them. Seems similar. I guess I dont buy the AT hype that 'just clicking randomly' or you can be rick-rolled to prison with this.
I don't buy the hype either. I think the FBI, for all their faults, isn't populated by complete morons. At the point where these links are being posted on AT, Slashdot, digg and everywhere else on the Internet, their usefulness as an investigative tool pretty much drops to zero. While the image of the FBI going around rounding up people who did nothing more than clicked on a link sounds like a good movie plot, something tells me the FBI in real life isn't really interested in doing that...and that the courts would throw out the case even if the FBI tried it.

I'm not a lawyer, but I think people need to stop and think about this for a second. What possible case could the FBI make if you blindly clicked on a link? It works for the people searching for kiddie porn because they thought that's what the link was. If you thought the link was something else, what case do they possibly have?
I don't think the real problem lies with arrest and prosecution. It lies with having to go through an ordeal (possible arrest, search of the home, confiscation of your computer, answering intrusive, possibly degrading questions about your life) with the FBI to prove that you were the just subject of a prankster abusing their program.

I don't think anyone relishes the idea of being the object of a child porn investigation, even if it does ultimately turn out to be nothing. To say nothing of the fact that if they did indeed try to prosecute (it wouldn't be a first time prosecutorial zeal has overlooked circumstance and/or evidence to the contrary) and then you had to hire a lawyer and go through all of the proceedings of a court case to prove your innocence. Try not being irrationally tagged as a pedo by your neighbors after something like that.

Sure, after the FBI caught on that they had a problem, the tool would no longer be useful, but how would you like to be one of the unfortunates suffering the consequences until they do realize this?
Thats all true, but if people would use their right to get an attorney, I bet alot of this would go away. this doesnt fall under the unPatriot Act, therefore requires a judge's sig for a warrant. Also, it's not your job to prove youre innocent-it's their job to prove you guilty. You dont have to answer shit.
Fuck them. In this situation, you're put through horrendous loss of money, property, time, and reputation, and even getting your case thrown out doesn't fix things. Think they're going to pay your attorney's fees? I hope they try to kick down the doors to more Branch-davidian nutbars, the more of those fucking worthless shits take some 30-06's to the face the better.
 

blackangst1

Lifer
Feb 23, 2005
20,464
719
126
Originally posted by: Arkaign

Fuck them. In this situation, you're put through horrendous loss of money, property, time, and reputation, and even getting your case thrown out doesn't fix things. Think they're going to pay your attorney's fees? I hope they try to kick down the doors to more Branch-davidian nutbars, the more of those fucking worthless shits take some 30-06's to the face the better.
uh..ever heard of a public defender? Also many attorney's, depending on the case, would take it pro bono.
 

Arkaign

Lifer
Oct 27, 2006
20,565
1,047
126
Originally posted by: blackangst1
Originally posted by: Arkaign

Fuck them. In this situation, you're put through horrendous loss of money, property, time, and reputation, and even getting your case thrown out doesn't fix things. Think they're going to pay your attorney's fees? I hope they try to kick down the doors to more Branch-davidian nutbars, the more of those fucking worthless shits take some 30-06's to the face the better.
uh..ever heard of a public defender? Also many attorney's, depending on the case, would take it pro bono.
It's pretty much proven that a public defender is nearly worthless. Having to chance finding a reputable attorney to take the case pro bono is pretty shaky, and what of the lost time, ability to work, property, etc? Can't get that back. Nah, I'll keep hoping they try to fuck with the NRA types.
 

blackangst1

Lifer
Feb 23, 2005
20,464
719
126
Originally posted by: Arkaign
Originally posted by: blackangst1
Originally posted by: Arkaign

Fuck them. In this situation, you're put through horrendous loss of money, property, time, and reputation, and even getting your case thrown out doesn't fix things. Think they're going to pay your attorney's fees? I hope they try to kick down the doors to more Branch-davidian nutbars, the more of those fucking worthless shits take some 30-06's to the face the better.
uh..ever heard of a public defender? Also many attorney's, depending on the case, would take it pro bono.
It's pretty much proven that a public defender is nearly worthless. Having to chance finding a reputable attorney to take the case pro bono is pretty shaky, and what of the lost time, ability to work, property, etc? Can't get that back. Nah, I'll keep hoping they try to fuck with the NRA types.
Well, we all have our opinion of how the world works. And we all think we're right.
 

StageLeft

No Lifer
Sep 29, 2000
70,214
2
0
Looks like BS to me.
So, if someone clicks it meaning to see if it's real so they can report it to authorities, and when it isn't they don't report it, they go to jail. I think this sets the bar too low for conviction.

Also, the merely 'curious' are vulnerable. Can they mail a box to your house that says 'heroin inside' and convict you for opening it? I know it's a hard crime to investigate, but that's not justification.
Good points.
 

RightIsWrong

Diamond Member
Apr 29, 2005
5,650
0
0
What if you have a 15 year old son that is searching for 15 year old girls?

Can a child be convicted of child pornography if he/she is looking for others their own age? Would this child be held accountable for normal curiosity of the opposite or even same sex and be branded for life and have to register as a sexual predator? Or would they automatically just blame the parent/guardian who "owns" the pc or the internet connection?
 

Arkaign

Lifer
Oct 27, 2006
20,565
1,047
126
Originally posted by: RightIsWrong
What if you have a 15 year old son that is searching for 15 year old girls?

Can a child be convicted of child pornography if he/she is looking for others their own age? Would this child be held accountable for normal curiosity of the opposite or even same sex and be branded for life and have to register as a sexual predator? Or would they automatically just blame the parent/guardian who "owns" the pc or the internet connection?
Well look how well things have worked for those looking for music downloaders. IIRC, there were people who didn't even have computers getting sued.
 

Robor

Elite Member
Oct 9, 1999
16,991
0
0
I don't see how this would stick. Wasn't there a thread a few days ago about a cop who got caught with like 8K+ pics of child pr0n who got off?
 

blackangst1

Lifer
Feb 23, 2005
20,464
719
126
Originally posted by: RightIsWrong
What if you have a 15 year old son that is searching for 15 year old girls?

Can a child be convicted of child pornography if he/she is looking for others their own age? Would this child be held accountable for normal curiosity of the opposite or even same sex and be branded for life and have to register as a sexual predator? Or would they automatically just blame the parent/guardian who "owns" the pc or the internet connection?
"Looking for others their own age" is not CP. Neither is signing on to facebook or any other site hosting underage people and browsing profiles (which would be "looking"??). CP would be the production and/or distribution of sexually explicit images, either real or cartoon, of minors. And yes. He/she could be prosecuted. There was a case last year where a 14 year old girl was prosecuted for distribution because she took naked pics of herself for her BF.
 

Socio

Golden Member
May 19, 2002
1,726
2
81
So what happens when some wiseass finds a couple of these links makes them in to pop-up links then hacks and embeds these in innocent high traffic sites? Or hijacks something like Microsoft.com and creates re-direct links to these dummy child porn sites instead of Microsoft?s site?
 

RichardE

Banned
Dec 31, 2005
10,247
2
0
Reading through the article, this guy just didn't click a "link" He clicked 5 links, on differents sites, alll part of a .rar file that were named 4yo_suck (where 4yo = 4 year old). Sorry, but the "click a link go to jail" is bullshit, more "click 5 links all named rar, rar1, rar2 to form a movie named 4yo_suck" go to jail sounds more like what happened.

Also, the 5 links were spread across different sites, so he actively had to go to each one to download parts of the movie file to form the entire movie.
 
Feb 24, 2001
14,551
4
81
Originally posted by: Robor
I don't see how this would stick. Wasn't there a thread a few days ago about a cop who got caught with like 8K+ pics of child pr0n who got off?
Don't see how it would stick? He's been found guilty, already stuck.

And think regular folks get the same thin blue line treatment as police?
 

Robor

Elite Member
Oct 9, 1999
16,991
0
0
Originally posted by: BrunoPuntzJones
Originally posted by: Robor
I don't see how this would stick. Wasn't there a thread a few days ago about a cop who got caught with like 8K+ pics of child pr0n who got off?
Don't see how it would stick? He's been found guilty, already stuck.

And think regular folks get the same thin blue line treatment as police?
I mean the part about simply clicking a hyperlink = jail for child pr0n.

No, I do not think regular folks get the same treatment as cops but if 8K pics aren't proof what is?
 

jjones

Lifer
Oct 9, 2001
15,430
1
0
Originally posted by: blackangst1
Thats all true, but if people would use their right to get an attorney, I bet alot of this would go away. this doesnt fall under the unPatriot Act, therefore requires a judge's sig for a warrant. Also, it's not your job to prove youre innocent-it's their job to prove you guilty. You dont have to answer shit.
An attorney arrives after the problem has arrived, and if the problem has arrived it's not so easily going to go away. The warrant is there for the asking, the article makes it clear that getting a warrant is not an issue. And yes, they do have to prove you guilty, but your friends, neighbors and work associates don't; they can just assume you are and if you don't go to jail then you must have gotten away with it. Something like this could destroy a person's career and his home life.

I just can't swallow the idea that it's such a small matter, something to be viewed as an easily overcome inconvenience, to be under investigation by the FBI for child pornography, regardless of how far they decide to take it. And to have something as easily misused as getting someone to click a hyperlink viewed as sufficient evidence to begin an investigation just doesn't sit well with me at all. Sure it might be cleared up rather quickly, but not quickly enough that you're not going to be feeling some ramifications of having been investigated by the FBI for child pronography.

They have no way of determining where the click originated and this is what you can look forward to:

dawn raid by federal police
thrown to the ground outside house and handcuffed
seize and remove any "computer-related" equipment, utility bills, telephone bills, any "addressed correspondence" sent through the U.S. mail, video gear, camera equipment, checkbooks, bank statements, credit card statements

Follow that with being detained and questioned for many hours, then going home and cleaning up the mess. Oh, and don't forget to explain to your boss where you have been the whole day. The neighbors will be curious as well about why you we're taken off in handcuffs and your house raided. And good luck trying to get your computer or any other equipment back.

Oh, and one more thing. God forbid you're having a rocky patch in your marriage at the time. This would be just enough to ask that lawyer you hired to get you out of this mess to recommend you one for your upcoming divorce.
 

blackangst1

Lifer
Feb 23, 2005
20,464
719
126
Originally posted by: RichardE
Reading through the article, this guy just didn't click a "link" He clicked 5 links, on differents sites, alll part of a .rar file that were named 4yo_suck (where 4yo = 4 year old). Sorry, but the "click a link go to jail" is bullshit, more "click 5 links all named rar, rar1, rar2 to form a movie named 4yo_suck" go to jail sounds more like what happened.

Also, the 5 links were spread across different sites, so he actively had to go to each one to download parts of the movie file to form the entire movie.
/nod

Lots of tin foil in this thread. As usual.
 

blackangst1

Lifer
Feb 23, 2005
20,464
719
126
Originally posted by: BrunoPuntzJones
Originally posted by: Robor
I don't see how this would stick. Wasn't there a thread a few days ago about a cop who got caught with like 8K+ pics of child pr0n who got off?
Don't see how it would stick? He's been found guilty, already stuck.

And think regular folks get the same thin blue line treatment as police?
1. Unless I missed it, the article didnt specify what charges he was specifically found guilty for. The indictment would list fed code, so we're assuming.

2. For CP? Its the other way around. This isnt the catholic church. The is no thin blue line with CP.
 

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