Why are there NO Journalist doing investigative reporting about Child Porn to keep in check the Child Abuse Industry. Melissa Hamilton: Federal Child Pornography Prosecutions

Melissa Hamilton: Federal Child Pornography Prosecutions

Why are there NO Journalist doing investigative reporting about Child Porn to keep in check the Child Abuse Industry’s Law Enforcement arm as they create Gothic Melodramas, monster stories of child-molesting playing them out on TV news and in newsprint every day. The following is why !!!!
‘I Was Doing Academic Research’ Not an Adequate Defense for Child Porn Possession

James Kent was a professor of public administration at Marist College in New York. Back in 1999, he contemplated writing a book about the legislation of child pornography, and how to differentiate between what is and is not child porn for the purposes of criminal prosecution.
 
To do his research, Kent surfed various sites — including “School Backyard” (Editor’s note: Yuck!) — and downloaded lots of images. He sent a note in July 1999 to a potential collaborator on the book, “Sooner or later someone at this college is going to wonder why I keep looking at porno sites. . . Jim.”
 
In fact, it took a few years for someone at the college to wonder about it. It came to the college’s attention in 2007 during a virus scan. When it did, it led to felony child pornography charges for Kent and a prison sentence…
 
 
About a year after his research began, Kent decided to abandon the book project. He wrote another note to his collaborator in June 2000, “I still don’t think there’s anything in this project. . . So here I am (and I suppose you are, too) with a bunch of disks full of photos, at least some of which are probably illegal. Do you want them or should I wipe them or should I send them to somebody else?”
 
 
Kent decided eventually to delete the images. His final message to his collaborator in July 2000 was:
 
 
Well, this last batch pretty much tears it. While, as somebody’s father, I’m pretty appalled by this stuff, I also don’t want to get arrested for having it. So let’s do this – if this is a legitimate research project, let’s write it up and tell the deans (and preferably also the cops) what we’re doing and why. Otherwise, let’s drop it in the most pronto possible fashion.
 
I don’t even think I can mail the disk to you, or anyone else, without committing a separate crime. So I’ll probably just go ahead and wipe them. You have the URL’s if you want to pursue it.
 
See you sooner or later, no doubt. Kent.
 
Apparently they decided to drop it without alerting the deans or the cops. But seven years later, while running a virus scan, a college IT guy came across a “work” folder on Kent’s computer with images of scantily clad underage girls. The college decided to turn Kent’s hard drive over to the police.
 
The work folder had been deleted but remained in the computer’s unallocated space — where folders you delete from your recycling bin wind up, according to a court opinion. Further investigation yielded thousands of child porn images stored in Mozilla and Internet Explorer cached files. While surfing the pint-sized XXX sites, Kent had inadvertently been collecting and storing these images thanks to his browser’s desire to load web pages more quickly.
 
Kent was found guilty of 130 child porn felonies last year, and sentenced to one to three years in prison. (That seems lenient in comparison to Corey Beantree who I wrote about on Tuesday, who was sentenced to 10 years in Alabama after the Geek Squad found a child porn video on his laptop.)
 
Those messages sent to his collaborator were not used in Kent’s defense. Instead, they were used by the prosecution to prove that Kent knew what he was doing when he downloaded the images.
 
“There is no safe harbor for researching child porn,” says cyberlaw professor Eric Goldman. “This is why I call child porn ‘toxic’–there is no easy way to legally cure even a single download of child porn.”
 
Like TheDataDoc, the courts have little sympathy for those with child porn on their computers, though there are some judges like Jack Weinstein of Brooklyn who think that harsh child porn possession penalties are examples of the “unnecessary cruelty of the law.” (See this New York Times piece for more on that.)
 
An appeal, objecting to the search of Kent’s computer as unconstitutional, was rejected this week; the Supreme Court of the State of New York decided that his computer was college property, so the college had the right to hand it over to police. Kent is currently in prison, and has lost his job at Marist College.
 
I spoke to one of Kent’s attorneys, Nathan Dershowitz, who expressed frustration over his client being prosecuted for images that had been deleted and that he could not access, and others that he had not consciously downloaded. “I wonder what’s on your computer that you can’t get to?” asked Dershowitz.
 
Now might be a good time to clear your cookies and browser cache. Just in case.
 

In the Name of the Children: Stealing Our Freedom One Amendment at a Time

 
In the Name of the Children: Stealing Our Freedom One Amendment at a Time
Written by: Mike Privacy

“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”
 
The above words are ones that all Americans should know by heart. They are the body and the text of the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution, from the Bill of Rights. These are the fundamental protections that we were all given more than 200 years ago by a group of extraordinary men from an extraordinary time, men who were able to rise above their own limitations and the partisan disputes of the day to craft a set of supplementary principles that made the original Constitution even stronger in its protection of our liberties. One of the primary reasons why the founding fathers found it necessary to add these additional guarantees was their fear that demagogic politicians might try to twist and manipulate any gaps or ambiguities in the Constitution to serve their own self-serving nefarious purposes.
 
Unfortunately, the founding fathers, in all of their wisdom, clearly underestimated the cleverness of the demagogues. Just this summer, a law emerged from committee in the House of Representatives that, if passed, will basically turn the Fourth Amendment into a quaint catch phrase with no relevance to life in a post-Constitutional twenty-first-century America.
 
 
Spinning the Spider Web
 
 
 
In a modern context, the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects certainly applies to online activities. The Internet is recognized by everyone as a private world where people have the right to protect their personal information, communications, and choices of reading material from prying eyes. This is the reason why there are passwords and anonymous usernames wherever we go, because it is a given that people do not want others to know what they have been doing when they are navigating through the virtual world from the privacy of their own computer in the sanctity of their own home.
 
But Congress, using the excuse that police departments and federal law investigative agencies need more access to the records of people’s Internet activity in order to effectively fight crime, is now trying to pass a new law that would force Internet providers to collect and preserve the personal information and web browsing history of every single man, woman, and child who uses the Internet for a period of one full year. The type of information that IPs would be required to save would include:
Names
Phone numbers
Addresses
Credit card numbers
Bank account numbers
Temporary IP addresses
 
The point of preserving all of this information would be so that law enforcement agencies could have access to it at any time of their choosing. Ostensibly, a person would have to be under investigation for a crime before such a demand could be legally made with respect to their personal Internet records. But it would take little more than a simple declaration from a law enforcement agency stating that someone was indeed under investigation to legitimize the seizing of personal information from an IP. Police departments and the FBI actually would not have to prove to anyone that a particular individual really was connected to something illegal. They only have to claim that this is the case, and the entire online history from the past year of the person they are allegedly investigating would automatically be made available for their scrutiny and perusal.
 
In an astonishing bit of chutzpah, the House sponsors of the bill have labeled it the “Protecting Children from Internet Pornographers Act of 2011.” It cannot be strongly enough emphasized, however, that this law is not aimed at individuals who are suspected of purchasing child pornography or of being involved somehow in that industry. Local, federal, and state officials would be able to seize all information retaining to the web activities of anyone identified as a person of interest in any criminal investigation, regardless of the crime involved. In fact, based on how broadly the law has been written and conceptualized, it appears that even attorneys litigating civil disputes involving “crimes” such as divorce or insurance fraud may be able to get access to this information.
 
Helping the Police?
 
Some might claim that searches and seizures of Internet records are not unreasonable when a person is suspected of criminal involvement. But there are already two laws on the books that help police investigating wrongdoers digitally: the Electronic Communication Transactional Act of 1996 and the Protect Our Children Act of 2008. The former requires IP’s to retain Internet records for up to ninety days when requested to do so by the authorities, while the latter makes it obligatory for Internet providers themselves to report any information they have that would suggest that one of their customers may have been visiting a site connected to child pornography.
 
With this new law, everyone will be subject to an invasion of his or her privacy based on the speculation that maybe someday all of us will commit some kind of crime. No one can guarantee that this information will be kept private when it is being preserved, nor can it be guaranteed that law enforcement agencies will always act responsibly when requesting access. Many critics of government and society have been subjected to police harassment in the past, and a law that is as broadly conceived as this one will make this kind of action much easier to get away with.
 
Protecting Our Children from State Despotism
 
The Fourth Amendment was added to the Bill of Rights because the founders wanted to make sure that the privacy of citizens could be protected from authorities who might be willing to sanction a trampling of people’s rights if they believed they were serving some “greater good.” Those who are behind the Protecting Children from Internet Pornography Act should be ashamed of themselves for hiding behind such an incendiary name that is clearly designed to manipulate emotions and intimidate civil libertarians who oppose this bill. But most importantly, their attempt to trash the spirit and the intent of the Fourth Amendment should be rejected and rejected forcefully. If this law is passed, it would give the government permission to violate our rights of privacy indirectly by allowing them to use Internet providers as unwilling proxies in their cynical and unconstitutional attempt to turn the United States into a society where Big Brother is always watching.
 
©2011 Off the Grid News
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