August 25, 2006 6:00 AM PDT

Police blotter: Trojan horse leads to porn convictions

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"Police blotter" is a weekly News.com report on the intersection of technology and the law.

What: Alabama man tries again to throw out his conviction instigated by a hacker who broke into his computer and found child pornography.

When: U.S. District Judge W. Harold Albritton rules on Aug. 2.

Outcome: Albritton denies a request for a new trial.

What happened, according to court documents:
In early 2000, a computer hacker who used the now-defunct e-mail address unknownuser1069@hotmail.com seeded a Usenet newsgroup called alt.binaries.pictures.erotica.pre-teen with a clever bit of malicious Windows software.

The Trojan horse program, called SubSeven or Sub7, can look innocuous. But once installed, it installs a backdoor in the victim's computer and can allow files to be extracted and a keystroke logger to be installed.

SubSeven did its job. On July 16, 2000, "1069" sent e-mail to the Montgomery, Ala., Police Department saying, "I found a child molester on the Net." The e-mail included an attached photograph of what looked like a girl no older than 6 being sexually abused.

At the urging of Montgomery Police Capt. Kevin Murphy, "1069" eventually turned over more and more information that led back to a computer owned by Bradley Joseph Steiger, who had worked as an emergency room physician in Alabama. The hacker's finds included information from Steiger's AT&T WorldNet account, records from his checking account, and a list of directories on his computer's hard drive where sexually explicit photographs were stored.

"1069" refused to be identified, saying he was living in Istanbul, Turkey, and did not want to be involved in any court proceedings. During Steiger's trial, the prosecutor said "we have not seen anything to indicate that this person is other than?a citizen of Turkey." That turned out not to be entirely true: The FBI actually had made contact with "1069" through a U.S. phone number. (Click here for PDF.)

A year later, "1069" fingered another man, William Adderson Jarrett, who lived in the Richmond, Va., area. He again contacted Murphy, who started an investigation that led to Jarrett's arrest.

That's when an odd thing happened. Instead of informing "1069" that he was committing federal felonies and should cease immediately, Murphy and the FBI encouraged the hacker to continue. The FBI wrote "1069" in January 2002: "The FACT still stands that you are not a citizen of the United States and are not bound by our laws. Our federal attorneys have expressed NO desire to charge you with any CRIMINAL offense. You have not hacked into any computer at the request of the FBI or other law (enforcement) agency. You have not acted as an agent for the FBI or other law enforcement agency. Therefore, the information you have collected can be used in our criminal trials."

Steiger was convicted of sexual exploitation of children, possession of a computer containing child pornography, and receipt of child pornography. He was sentenced to more than 17 years in prison. In January 2003, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld his conviction, saying that Congress had left a loophole open in federal privacy law that lets hackers like "1069" get away with turning information over to the government and having it used in court. (The 11th Circuit called it a "legislative hiatus in the current laws purporting to protect privacy in electronic communications.")

Jarrett, the Richmond-area man, also went to Club Fed. In May 2004, a federal judge accepted his guilty plea and sentenced him to more than 19 years in prison. That was after the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals rejected his argument that "1069" was effectively acting illegally with the government's blessing. (The judges said that "1069" apparently had that kind of "relationship" with the government "going forward," but not at the time the illegal intrusions took place.)

Since his conviction, Steiger has been trying to overturn it, first with the help of a federal public defender and then by filing legal briefs that he wrote himself. His latest one was filed last month, alleging that FBI agents who testified may have withheld evidence relating to the identity of "1069" and that a new trial is necessary.

Albritton, the U.S. District judge, rejected the request on Aug. 2. Albritton ruled: "There is simply no basis from which to conclude that Unknown User 1069 was acting as an informant of the FBI so as to allow for discovery as to whether the FBI concealed information."

Excerpt from the court's opinion in the Jarrett case:
At some point after sending the e-mail message, Agent Duffy, working with Agent Faulkner, composed a list of questions to ask Unknownuser in the event that Agent Duffy was able to talk with Unknownuser.

A few days after sending the e-mail, Duffy received a phone call in response to the message. The caller had a Turkish accent and identified himself as "Unknownuser." Agent Duffy spoke with Unknownuser and asked him the list of questions he had prepared with Agent Faulkner. Unknownuser responded that he would get back to Agent Duffy with the answers. They also discussed the method by which Unknownuser searched Steiger's computer, with Unknownuser explaining that he used a Subseven Trojan Horse virus and describing his activity as "hacking" into the computer.

Also during the telephone conversation, Agent Duffy thanked Unknownuser for what he had done, stated that he appreciated what Unknownuser had done, and told Unknownuser that he had possibly saved two young girls. Agent Duffy asked Unknownuser to reach out to him because Agent Duffy (wanted) to speak with and meet with Unknownuser. Agent Duffy claims that he did not provide directions to Unknownuser or encourage him to do additional searches. The written evidence in Agent Duffy's e-mails as described herein indicates otherwise, however, and the Court does not give great weight to this assertion by Agent Duffy.

On November 28, 2000, Unknownuser called Agent Duffy's office a second time, but Agent Duffy missed the call.

Agent Duffy sent another email on Nov. 29, 2000. In this message, titled "Good news," Agent Duffy confirms that the United States authorities do not desire to prosecute Unknownuser and that they would like to interview Unknownuser. Agent Duffy suggests a date to meet at the United States Consulate and asks Unknownuser to "please answer this request." Agent Duffy further states, again, that "(you) will not be arrested--that is a promise. You have helped to save at least two lives in the U.S. and (you) should be proud of that fact."

See more CNET content tagged:
SubSeven, Police Blotter, conviction, Alabama, hacker

108 comments

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Add your comment
SubSeven can be used to install software remotely and copy files
it therefore stands to reason that this individual could have very easily have planted the content. The fact the FBI etc was willing to take the word of an unknown individual who was spreading a trojan and illegally gained access to these computers is somewhat frighting. Does this mean that hackers can now ruin people's lives more than already do, and even cost them their freedom and reputation?
Posted by unknown unknown (1951 comments )
Reply Link Flag
That has always been possible
The majority of users of computers are clueless about security. All you have to do is drive by someone's house who has an open wireless AP and plant all the evidence you want. Before wireless APs, you had to actually figure out what IP address your enemy was using. Now, all you have to do is sit outside their house.

Having said that, I don't think the evidence in this case was planted. I think this guy is guilty as hell and just cannot accept that he was busted by a geek.
Posted by thenet411 (415 comments )
Link Flag
Uh, yeah, uh
And do you think that the unknown user photoshopped the guy into the picture of the 6 year old getting abused? That this unknown user somehow tricked the person they were trying to set up into downloading kiddieporn from that newsgroup so he/she could "plant" the photos?
Posted by DCHA9703 (1 comment )
Link Flag
And that is why comments are good
I must say, I went through that entire article wondering how to choose between the lesser of two evils, and if there was a way to get the best of both worlds to the point where it completely escaped me that maybe he planted the pictures.

One would have to assume that they were able to link the pictures to the men or something. But if this person is American, and wants to frame somebody, how much would they question his evidence after the first two turned out to be legit?
Posted by Brandon Bartelds (42 comments )
Link Flag
A valid defense
You present a valid argument. But, if the files were timestamped before the installation of subseven....
Posted by Seaspray0 (9714 comments )
Link Flag
guilty
did you not read that the second guy, Jarrett, pleaded guilty??
Posted by justwanttocomment (1 comment )
Link Flag
Three things
1) If the hacker planted the kiddie porn, why is the defense "He found it illegally!" and not "He planted it!"?

2) I suspect the FBI performed their own forensic analysis of the hard drives before deciding to hand it over to prosecutors. There's a lot more to a bust for something on a hard drive than "Oh, we found incriminating files." I'd be willing to bet his IE history was full of sites (and you can retrieve that sort of data even after the actual files are deleted).
Posted by VaMinion (2 comments )
Link Flag
yeahh... SURE
shut the hell up. First of all sub seven leaves behind traces. It's a
worthless trojan.. all of the steps this "hacker" took can be traces
and documented. As well for the files on the HD. The FBI aren't
idiots and they surly sent the HD to a forensic lab to verify the
time and date the information was written to the HD.

Stop protecting the guilty and spreading propaganda. The only
thing that should be debated is why he is considered a hacker
and not a white hat.. Cnet needs to get their network security
terminology right its embarrassing.
Posted by Mephux (51 comments )
Link Flag
This is no different
In MO than a member of a drug dealer team, mob or similar informants. They get the information by being on the inside, and then rat their buddies out, usually to save their own azzes, but in this case it sounds like he just wanted to do the right thing. These guys are stupid enough to go into an obviously child porn group, without firewalls, without antivirus (which would quickly hit on the sub-seven), etc...then they deserve what they got.
Posted by jaspercomp (5 comments )
Reply Link Flag
And though I have all faith,
so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing (1 Cor. 13:2)

By no means do I condone child pornography nor do I have any sympathy for those who are responsible for such unforgivable misuse of childhood innocence. But I am an American, and I believe in the principles for which this nation stands. One of those principles is the right to confront ones accusers.

The Congress and the courts have so grotesquely subverted the meaning and the intent of our Constitution that it sickens me almost as much as kiddy porn, itself. And there is no reason to believe that we need the suspension of our freedoms and our rights to ensure that the guilty are punished. In the cases being discussed here, none of the accused was permitted to confront their accusers. The courts have distorted the meanings of certain words and have established that the accuser is not (as in this case unknown user 1069) but rather the agency prosecuting the offense  i.e.: the FBI or the Justice Dept. or whomever. The District Attorney takes on the mantle of the accuser, and the real accusers are deemed only to be instruments of documentation as to the nature and legitimacy of the evidence relied upon.

As one reader points out: 1069 was capable of installing executable programs on someone elses P.C.  who is to say the he did not also install the incriminating photos relied on as evidence by the so-called accusers? Moreover, how can a conscientious judge, sworn to uphold our constitutional rights for us, be so cavalier as to dismiss out of hand any assertion that the defendant was denied his right to confront his accusers?

If the defendant is truly guilty (and not just being ramrodded or railroaded by law enforcement agencies), there should be no difficulty in proving as much and the man should be strung up by his  well, you know what I mean. But no matter what  until he has been PROVEN guilty in a court of law, he is entitled to every protection and every benefit of the doubt provided for by the Founding Fathers. As a nation, as a people who believes in the rule of law, we cannot sit idly by and allow our government to set itself above the law in order to fight crime of terrorists. If one person is stripped of his rights and the courts permit this, every man, woman, and child is subject to the same abrogation of freedom and is just as vulnerable to the abuses of power as the most heinous criminal.

Law enforcement is constantly asking for more funding, more manpower, and more power to circumvent the laws of the land  all in the name of the necessity to do their job. Horse manure! What they need is to get off their fat elbows and work at their job with the tools and weapons already at their disposal. Once 1069 has done his dirty work, the way has been paved to legally obtain search warrants  there is no reason to bypass the Constitutionally mandated necessity of petitioning the courts to issue warrants upon an allegation of probable cause. There is no reason to deny the defendant the right to confront those who accuse him. If 1069 insists on remaining unreachable and totally anonymous, then the prosecution does not have a legitimate case and they should abandon any future dealings with 1069. Then they should go after him with the same energy and dedication as they showed in bringing the kiddy porn perps to justice, or with the same conviction to bring him to justice as they once claimed they held to bring Bin Laden to justice.

The 1069s of this world are not champions on white horses; they are disgusting scum who invade the sovereignty of your home through your Personal Computer. The plant malware on your PC that can plague you for months and become unbearable irritations with their constant pop-ups and the way they take over your personal settings. I have sympathy whatsoever for the 1069s in this world. They should be brought to justice just as swiftly as the regurgitated vomit that violate the beauty and innocence of childhood to satisfy their distorted and perverted lusts.

Frankly, law enforcement does a fairly good job of patrolling the web for predators and sickos. What very little is contributed by the 1069s is negligible. Do not be too quick to rush to judgment. Our Savior tells us to love one another and not to judge others lest we be judged ourselves. We are admonished by Him to cast no stone unless we, ourselves, are guiltless. We have an obligation to do all we can to protect our children, but let us not forfeit their future rights while doing so. Thus, when an allegation exists, when it is discovered, or reason surfaces to believe, that someone is engaging in the molestation of innocence, let us proceed with diligence, but with respect for the rights of all men.
Posted by Pluqueric (14 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Other Evidence
I'm sure that there would be further ways to prove these people were guilty, and Pluqueric is right about allowing the violation of rights. If 1069 was able to pick targets based on these chat rooms, why wait for 1069. Have the police go to these rooms, learn where the computers are located and watch them. Don't break people's rights by searching them, but at least come up with some likely suspects, and just observe them legally. People physically hurting children should be catchable some legal way. The police mostly just need to learn more about the web to learn where to find these people.

I know in the city I live in, the bad areas are patrolled by cops more than the good areas, so why not do the same for the web. Take past cases, figure out the sites they go to, then investigate others that are there in a legal manner.
Posted by Brandon Bartelds (42 comments )
Link Flag
Wow - we're all in danger!
As noted, if you have a back door into a system (or a front door), file time stamps don't mean anything and the presence or absence of a file doesn't mean anything.

Heck, I made the unfortunate mistake of annoying my old company's human resources department when I told them that I could not testify in court that an individual's archived email records indeed were received by or even originated from that user.

How could I, when the VMS servers in question had 20-30 people with "god" privileges able to access them, the majority of those people were located off-site, they did not practice either good password control or even basic "don't loan your account out to others" security practices, and themselves left emails scattered around saying things like "I'll do whatever it takes to grow our business within [blank] corporation" (most of them were contractors)?

The forensics of I.T. just aren't good enough if you can't prove single, restricted access to a computer (in my opinion, that would include biometrics, but most definitely NOT fingerprint scanning ("MythBusters" on Discovery Channel successfully demonstrated three [yup, three] methods to defeat them the other day).

If the law applied this precedent across the board, all I'd have to do if I wanted to get away with murder is kill somebody, drag the body into the neighbor's house, and call the cops and say "hey, I saw a body through the window in the neighbor's house".

Then, while the neighbor was in jail, I could obviously apply the same legal precedent to my other neighbors...although that would probably play hell with my house's resale value.
Posted by missingamerica (6147 comments )
Reply Link Flag
In loco parentis revisited
"In loco Parentis" is a latin phrase meaning, substantially, "in place of the parents."
Courts have determined that in certain circumstances, schools, day care centers, even public officials can act in a child's interests if parents are unwilling or unable to do so, or,when "constructive custody" is given over to say, the school system.
Whistle blowers are encouraged to discover and report illegal acts perpetrated by government or state and local officials and employees to "serve the public interest" in protecting citizens.
So, in spite of the illegal act of "hacking"
A well developed legal construct, developed from common law, is called a
"citizen's arrest," a circumstance when a citizen can effect an arrest "on behalf of the government" when law enforcement personnel are not around and there are "exigent circumstances" which might allow a crime to be committed or a lawbreaker to get away without the intervention of a citizen acting on the government's behalf. I find it telling that we can use this evidence because the hacker was not a US citizen, therefore his hacking could not automatically be excluded from evidence. So, in spite of the illegal act of "hacking" perhaps we can find ways to avoid the definition of "fruits of the poisonous tree," the legal phrase used to prevent evidence obtained illegally from being used to prosecute a lawbreaker.If it weren't so disgusting, I could find irony in the attempts of the convicted lawbreakers to appeal their convictions on the basis of a crime being committed against them.
Oh well, Kafka would be pleased.
Perhaps we could do a lot more prevention and eradication by taking the approach of engaging "citizens" (that's you and me, folks)in the fight against crime by educating them on the "citizen's arrest" concept.
Diogenes
Posted by bdennis410 (175 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Some Lawyers
While it is true that subseven can allow for extractions of files, with a touch of tweaking, it can also allow for the uploading of files to a users hacked comp. If the pedophiles would have been a little smarter, they could have claimed that the files were maliciously installed by the hacker and pertinent info of other identifications could have been altered. First off, they were hacked by an unidentifiable hacker who refused to testify and claims he is from Turkey. Just those circumstances should have denied a search warrant. Don't get me wrong, I can't stand pedophiles as much as the next guy but the governments ways & means are illegal most of the time.
Posted by drpixel2 (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
This sets precedent admissible evidence obtained illegally
Soon you'll have the Department of Homeland Security hack into your computer or pay someone to do it under the pretext of National Security.
One, if the police can't use illegaly obtained evidence in court, none should either.
Two, this will embolden DHS to illegally hack anyone that someone else in the Department mark as a threat.
Posted by rxbudian (7 comments )
Reply Link Flag
DHS soon to hack the planet
"... this will embolden DHS to illegally hack anyone that someone else in the Department mark as a threat."

This would be everyone.

"Beware the open door
of nineteen eighty-four"
Posted by Too Old For IT (351 comments )
Link Flag
very scary
trust no one, not even your own government. i wonder if there is a 1069 or the FBI is just saying there is to obtain private information illegaly. what that man did is sick and wrong, but should be given a lesser prison sentence since the government (inforcers of the law) are conitnually breaking it themselves. i actually hope that man can sue our government.

1069 is not governed by our laws, hes not in amaerica. not true once he hacks into an american computer he is in fact in america and should be placed in prison
Posted by itsallj (19 comments )
Link Flag
Justice Ginsberg: Lower Age of Consent to 12 ...
(... well, at least in 1974 she felt that was the good thing to do. Maybe children have become stupider since.)

Then put the police back to work on real crime rather than making a nake for themselves with high profile, interstate chest thumping.
Posted by Too Old For IT (351 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Justice Ginsberg: Lower Age of Consent to 12 ...
(... well, at least in 1974 she felt that was the good thing to do. Maybe children have become stupider since.)

Then put the police back to work on real crime rather than making a nake for themselves with high profile, interstate chest thumping.
Posted by Too Old For IT (351 comments )
Reply Link Flag
That third thing
Forgot the third.

3) Another possibility, btw: if the perv used Windows to burn the pictures onto a CD, it's likely that the ISO that was created was still on the machine.
Posted by VaMinion (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Slippery Slope
A real dilemma:
Which is more important, an individuals right to privacy (and other basic Constitutional rights), or catching a consumer of child pornography?

There are some astute comments that summarize the unreliability of the evidence, because of the means with which it was gathered.
Apparently the criminals, (victims?) were not aware of the means of their exposure until trial. In all liklihood, they confessed to acquireing the porn, because they did not know how the evidence was gathered.
There are several rights involved here:
Right to Privacy
Right to face one's accuser.
Right to self defense, (sure by the time they went to trial the prosecution HAD to turn over info that the defendants did not have at the time of interrogation).
And then there is the question of reliability of the evidence. Again, it seems like when confronted the defendents confessed. What if they did not? What if they pled innocent, claiming no knowledge of the source of the files? What if "Unkownuser" becomes so pleased with his noteriety that he starts hacking and planting files? Will planted files look any different than downloaded files? The answer is no. The fact that the computers were compromised leads me to believe the justice system has missed an important aspect to the rules of evidence... not just how the evidence was acquired, but how the evidence was placed. It is not uncommon, (look at the OJ case), for evidence to be ruled inadmissable because of "tampering". What better example of tampering than Hacking.
Sorry... Though I believe they were guilty, the evidence should have been kicked out and the defendants set free. Using a Hacked computer as evidence for conviction is like using DNA evidence from a sheet used in an orgy as evidence for rape.
Posted by mpmacal (18 comments )
Reply Link Flag
SUREE....
shut the hell up. First of all sub seven leaves behind traces. It's a
worthless trojan.. all of the steps this "hacker" took can be traces
and documented. As well for the files on the HD. The FBI aren't
idiots and they surly sent the HD to a forensic lab to verify the
time and date the information was written to the HD.

Stop protecting the guilty and spreading propaganda. The only
thing that should be debated is why he is considered a hacker
and not a white hat.. Cnet needs to get their network security
terminology right its embarrassing.
Posted by Mephux (51 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Spoken like a true Republican
The most telling word in your post is "surly"(sic} you assume that forensics were used and that they were reliable. Things seem awfully simple when you look at the world in black and white, but when you add grey matter to the equation it can complicate things.
Posted by dwight292000 (1 comment )
Link Flag
Re: SUREE...
I completely agree. Amen.
Posted by Cemarikan (2 comments )
Link Flag
Fruit of the poison tree
All evidence obtained illegally and all evidence that would not have been obtained without the illegal evidence is inadmissable in court. Reguardless of how you feel about the perosn on trial and what they allegedly did, that is the law.

I don't care id its kiddy porn or nuclear terrorism, we do not break the law to catchg "criminals". The FBI agents involved need to be reprimanded and the guy convicted needs to have his verdict overturned. You can not do justice thru injustice.
Posted by PzkwVIb (462 comments )
Reply Link Flag
not really
The idea that all of this evidence would be thrown out is not really true -- there are numerous exceptions for evidence garnered in questionable ways. In any case, the first image sent to the FBI would be admissable - as it was not the product of a government agent operating illeagally - but the product of a private individuals actions.

The issue is really whether or not the 'hacker' became a government agent in subsequent acts.
Posted by sjk303 (2 comments )
Link Flag
Just curious . . .
"1069" turned in 2 people but how many computers did this guy
actually hack into over the course of 1+ years he was trolling?
What else was he downloading from or doing to those
computers? The next time "your" computer gets "owned" via a
malisious trojan put there by some guy from Turkey or Russia or
(insert country here) can their defense be that they were only
trying to catch pedophiles?

I understand the need to stop these guys, but relying on "white
hats" from overseas to back door any computer they feel like is
definately NOT the way to go.
Posted by K.P.C. (227 comments )
Reply Link Flag
isn't technology wonderful?
if you've got a computer and half a brain, DON'T KEEP KIDDIE PORN ON IT!!!!!
damn... these people are beyond sick, they're also incredibly stupid.
Posted by doubtful1 (20 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Missing the Point
I think it's very easy to condem the two suspects here and priase the FBI and the scripty hacker. After all, the vast majority of us find child porn abhorrent. However, if, let's say 1069 didn't find child porn, but (say) hacked divx files- what would we feel then?

The real issue is that when first contacted with the information the FBI had 1) a duty to investigate the charge of posession of child pornography, and 2) investigate the hacking of the the private PC. Instead they essentially turned 1069 into an agent of the federal government by not dissuading him and tacitly seeking further evidence. If the courts allow the FBI to do this then there is nothing to prevent the FBI from encourageing hackers (or companies) outside of the US to hack into personal computers and search for contraband -- or simply data which mave be useful later on.
Posted by sjk303 (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Justice through illegal means is not justice
It is an abuse of our country that nearly rivals that abuse of kiddie porn.

If the rights of a scumbag pedophile are not respected, no one has any rights.

So now anyone can illegally hack into your system, find something illegal or even distasteful and turn you in for it. Wow, why do I not feel safer?

PS. For any of you idiots who think I am into child porn or support it, don't bother replying. You are not worth the 2 seconds to reply to.
Posted by qwerty75 (1164 comments )
Reply Link Flag
NOT Justice?
When the rights of a person who is breaking the law superceed the rights of an innocent victim, as is what happens frequently, because of these federal Judges. Then I call call that " No Justice ".

The Constitution has been misinterpetated by many senile federal Judges. A cop forgets to read some person his rights who has murdered someone or rapes someone, or any other henious crime and he should get off? I THINK NOT. When the constitution was written some 200yrs ago, a pedophile victimizing children or some serial rapist or killer's protection was not what they had in mind.
Please get real. take a look at the whole picture. Or does it take you or a family member to become a victim until you find out that there is " NO Justice ".

If you are an innocent victim your rights should superceed that of any criminal. After all you were following the rules/laws of society I understand that false arrest imprisonment and illegal seizure are important. However no system is foolproof. I hope they catch each sicko out there who is harming our most vunerable " CHILDREN ".
Posted by ladybluecpd (7 comments )
Link Flag
fine line...
See this is one of those gray areas of morality. In this gray area there is a fine line between what is morally wrong and right. On one side of the line, you continue to do nothing allowing these terrible people to continue to hurt our children only because you are restricted by the same rules that allow you to have freedoms. On the other side of the line, you open up a whole other Pandoras box about infringing on rights and possible corruption of the system. I happen to believe we've surrendered enough of our liberties in recent times. I however would like to point out that even by legal means we don't have justice in the United States. In TN there was a man convicted of raping a 12 year old and he was let loose on 10 years probation because he was too small and it would be dangerous to send him to jail. What justice is that for the 12-year-old girl? For the rest of her life she will be living with what happened to her and the person who did it is free. If that is going to be the case, I'm going to make it a point to receive justice by any means necessary. So tread lightly that fine line of morality and justice.
Posted by liketofight (3 comments )
Link Flag
Results matter too.
Does anybody here think that the Government was really
concerned about back taxes when they arrested Al Capone? They
were interested in locking him up because they knew he was
guilty of murder, so they got him on tax charges and he died in
prison. The important thing is, he was guilty AND they got him.
Justice was done. Same goes for these pedophiles.

You can't claim to have a justice system without fair trials, and
you can't have fair trials unless they result in the guilty going to
prison and in the innocent going free. In both the case of Al
Capone and these pedophiles, the guilty went to prison. The
only real question is, could the same methods result in an
innocent person being convicted, and the answer is no. There is
no claim that 1069 falsified any of the evidence, so only some
one with child pornography on their computer could be caught.

Furthermore, if a person leaves their doors and windows open,
they should expect that some one might look inside and see
their pictures hanging on the wall. There is no expectation of
privacy. As has been demonstrated time and again, Windows in
it's default configuration is wide open. It is lucky for us that
these pedophiles didn't see fit to close their systems to the
outside world and some one looked in.
Posted by Macsaresafer (802 comments )
Link Flag
Boondock Saints
Ever seen The Boondock Saints? This is the same thing. Someone's doing something about these sick bastards who rape and photograph helpless underage girls. In the movie, two Irish brothers go around and start cleaning up Manhattan. They take out mob leaders, gang leaders, big time drug dealers, murderers, rapists, etc. because the Police wouldn't do it. The moral is: it's just as bad or worse to stand by and do nothing than it is to actually commit the crime.

Finally, someone's stepping up to the plate instead of pussyfooting around constantly changing laws.
Posted by Wal-Mart Security (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
Actually
hey bud, boondocksaints were in MA, not NY. Just some info.
Posted by liketofight (3 comments )
Link Flag
what?
So commiting crimes is ok if it is done against criminals?

What a sad person you are.
Posted by qwerty75 (1164 comments )
Link Flag
My, full circle
One of the main reasons we broke away from England involved our mail. We felt the king had no right to open and read our private mail.

I knew our country was in trouble, but I didn't know we had come this far. An obsession with crime and punishment is a sure sign of what type of government? Anyone? Our only hope is to dump all the republicans and get democrats in there. It will take the democrats at least 2 years to get us bent over in the position they want us - them boom we elect another republican president  its a freaking plan Even though Im a republican since Reagan, I got to admit  we cant run a country worth crap.

But know this, you will never get a lost civil liberty back, the price of gas will never be $1.79 again. By allowing this injustice to stand we destroy everything. They have used pedophiles to take away right after right and come on people, dont be suckers  there are not that many genuine mad dog pedophiles running around. As for this guy saving 2 lives, gimme a freaking break.

Sally Stuthers voice: "Everyday in America Pedophiles kill hundreds of little girls. Wont you send the price of a cup of coffee to buy a pedophile a computer and stop the killing?

Moms kill 10 times more little girls then pedos on meth could if they worked shifts, so lets outlaw moms.

Im just disgusted, all the things I have always been so proud off, the way we treat prisoners, the way we shield civilians (er not counting the Tokyo firebombing which was left out of my textbooks  the same textbooks that taught me Malcolm X was a rabid baby eating radical.) the way our legal system allowed for a fair and speedy trial. But now they send you to prison for 10 years for looking at pictures, even cartoon pictures. Am I the only one who sees the absurdity of this? This now bears the courtroom slang thought crime.

What is a hate crime, isn't that a thought crime?? If you can sussesfully imprison a man for looking at animated children engaged in sex, but there are no actual children involved this is being punished for your thoughts. (this just happened just a few months ago, but the man was a known pedophile and they had him on real CP and they tacked the anime/hentai/lolicon charge on him to set a precedent.

We are so screwed.
Posted by andocrates (10 comments )
Reply Link Flag
My, full circle
One of the main reasons we broke away from England involved our mail. We felt the king had no right to open and read our private mail.

I knew our country was in trouble, but I didn't know we had come this far. An obsession with crime and punishment is a sure sign of what type of government? Anyone? Our only hope is to dump all the republicans and get democrats in there. It will take the democrats at least 2 years to get us bent over in the position they want us - them boom we elect another republican president  its a freaking plan Even though Im a republican since Reagan, I got to admit  we cant run a country worth crap.

But know this, you will never get a lost civil liberty back, the price of gas will never be $1.79 again. By allowing this injustice to stand we destroy everything. They have used pedophiles to take away right after right and come on people, dont be suckers  there are not that many genuine mad dog pedophiles running around. As for this guy saving 2 lives, gimme a freaking break.

Sally Stuthers voice: "Everyday in America Pedophiles kill hundreds of little girls. Wont you send the price of a cup of coffee to buy a pedophile a computer and stop the killing?

Moms kill 10 times more little girls then pedos on meth could if they worked shifts, so lets outlaw moms.

Im just disgusted, all the things I have always been so proud off, the way we treat prisoners, the way we shield civilians (er not counting the Tokyo firebombing which was left out of my textbooks  the same textbooks that taught me Malcolm X was a rabid baby eating radical.) the way our legal system allowed for a fair and speedy trial. But now they send you to prison for 10 years for looking at pictures, even cartoon pictures. Am I the only one who sees the absurdity of this? This now bears the courtroom slang thought crime.

What is a hate crime, isn't that a thought crime?? If you can sussesfully imprison a man for looking at animated children engaged in sex, but there are no actual children involved this is being punished for your thoughts. (this just happened just a few months ago, but the man was a known pedophile and they had him on real CP and they tacked the anime/hentai/lolicon charge on him to set a precedent.

We are so screwed.
Posted by andocrates (10 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Reply: My, full circle
andocrates and others,

I've read most comments related to this story and I must say I too am suprised that these agents even thought about actually using it as evidence.
The fallacy "To protect your children we will need to cut your rights, You understand that, right?" is horrible but I find "If you have got nothing to hide, so why be bothered by people searching your possesions" similar to the stupidity of following beefcatle hurd and truly almost an excuse for the first thought.

But I am not an American citicen therefore I think we, the "not Americans" can help.
The loophole needs to be fixed. So what 'we' as bad non Americans should do is hack into congressional members'computers and find curious stuff and turn that evidence over to the feds who, ofcourse waiting for their next promotion, are very happy with the evidence. Trouble is, that would be illegal in my country.

We may expect a Southpark episode on this soon.

Hmmm.. headline of tomorrow: "anonymous proxy usage banned in US to protect the children" It has a nice ring to it, doesn't it?
Also in that category: "restrictions to usenet usage to protect the children" and ofcourse "freenet technology forbidden to protect the children"
Oh and, andocrates.. Thanks for this one: "Moms kill 10 times more little girls then pedos on meth could if they worked shifts, so lets outlaw moms."
Posted by teukels (1 comment )
Link Flag
Trojan Horse
Nice work!
Posted by pjester (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
Nothing to hide
I have no sympathy for these scumbags. It's the same as the feds listening to phone calls. If you are not engaged in anything illegal, then whats to worry about?? The individuals have got to learn one way or another. I don't care how the information is procurred, if it's against the law, then you are guilty and should be prosecuted and tossed in jail. I am a law abiding citizen and have nothing to hide. Let them look and listen, it's the only way we have to protect ourselves, our nation and the liberties we enjoy. If you violate that trust then you deserve what you get.
Posted by mjd420nova (91 comments )
Reply Link Flag
What's illegal?
I have no sympathy for them either, but these things don't apply
to just the 'guilty.' The worry is that people using these tactics to
go after real criminals like pedophiles might use the same
tactics to go after people whose politics they don't agree with.
That's a valid concern, but as I've said in a previous post, results
are what matter.

When a defendant doesn't dispute the validity of the evidence,
but only whether or not it was legally obtained, we all lose if
they're able to have it excluded. I don't want to give law
enforcement a free ride, but the primary responsibility of any
justice system is to set the innocent free and convict the guilty,
and our system isn't doing that.

If a defendant doesn't at least make a reasonable claim that
evidence is inaccurate or false, it should be considered. The
penalties for civil rights violations by police shouldn't be paid by
society. They should be paid by the police. Most professionals
have to maintain Errors and Omissions Insurance, I don't see
why the police should be any different.
Posted by Macsaresafer (802 comments )
Link Flag
Emotional...
You are reacting to this emotionally. The point is not, what do
you have to hide... What is more important, the law or the
results? I would like to be free from unreasonable searches. I
don't want anyone listening to my phone calls or looking into my
windows. I don't want to have to answer for my actions at the
WHIM of anyone. If you have reasonable suspicion that's one
thing. If you have a mere hunch, don't try to force me to do
anything. If you have probable cause, then arrest me.

Also, you are advocating an end to privacy. That is definitely
"unamerican". Ben Franklin once said that anyone who would
trade security for freedom doesn't deserve either. (loose quote)
The values and ideas of our country are more important than
anyone's life. Either you respect the Constitution or you believe
that the ends justify the means. I believe in law and due process.
I don't believe in a wild west mentality. If we don't have rules and
law we don't have a society, or rather, a civilized society.

Lastly... you can't enjoy liberties if you give them up for
protection. It doesn't work that way.
Posted by CeeAyy (24 comments )
Link Flag
Ironic
We have to take away liberties because it is "the only way we have to protect ourselves, our nation and the liberties we enjoy." ???????

Exhibt A on the failure of the american education system: mjd420nova

If a scumbag has no rights, you have no rights.
Posted by qwerty75 (1164 comments )
Link Flag
You Must Trust Everyone
The issue is with a regular person (not a higher authority) looking at this information. By your assumption, either you truely have nothing to hide, including credit card number, or banking information, or you are forgetting that there are a lot of criminals out there. You are going to allow laws permitting hackers to access your computer in hopes that they are only going to scan for illegal activities of another nature?

I have mentioned before...I think if you submit something to AOL and they release it, i'm sorry, but you searched it, it's public. But things that I keep to myself such as financial information, I'll share with my bank because they have promised to keep it secret, heck, i have nothing to hide and i'll share all information on my computer with a government of police authority, but I would never permit a regular citizen that I did not know, to go onto my computer to ease their minds of my innocence.

Every hacker out there would claim they were searching for kiddie porn if they got busted. It would become as ridiculous as the insanity plea.
Posted by Brandon Bartelds (42 comments )
Link Flag
How is this legal
How can the court make the distinction that because this guy is outside the US the rules don't apply. The evidence, and where it was obtained were all inside the US. Regardless, of whether it was in the US or not, it was tried in US courts. I want child molestors and child porn purveyors dealt with as much as the next guy, but not at the cost of the Constitution. ***?
Posted by bemenaker (438 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Simple, really.
The reason for a presumption of innocence is that the state has,
in theory, unlimited resources to bring to bear against a
defendant. If it were acceptable for the police to collect evidence
using the techniques used by 1069, that would be unacceptable
because we don't want the police going on fishing expeditions,
where they might ensare innocent people along with the guilty.
Individual people how ever, don't have infinite resources, and so
when they present evidence to the police, however obtained, this
provides probable cause to begin an investigation.

If an individual breaks into a home to rob it, but finds evidence
that the owner committed a murder, shouldn't the police be free
to use that evidence if the individual provides it to them? We can
all agree that the burglar should be held responsible for his/her
crime, but why not the murderer too? In this case, the alleged
burglar is outside US jurisdiction, so there's nothing they could
do, even if they believed 1069 had stolen from the pedophile.
Since it is illegal to own child pornography, it can't be stolen
from you. You have to have the legal right to possess something
for that to happen. Just try to have someone arrested for
stealing crack from you. You'd both end up in jail for
possession, not theft!
Posted by Macsaresafer (802 comments )
Link Flag
Crime is a cash machine for lawyers and politicians.
If you feel criminals have too many rights, just follow the money is the golden rule.

Our revolving crime is because there is no sincere desire of ending it. They just want to keep it profitable, can't grow to become anarchy but plenty to sell alarm systems, to ask for larger police budgets, more salary and benefits, job security for judges. When was the last time you saw a judge laid off at the EDD unemployment line?.
Many of the expensive Mercedes and BMW are diven at the expense of victims tears, I mean you and me.

It make sense to protect the criminals, if we were to run out of them, all this lavish and sofisticated legal system that we proudly claim the best in the universe, it is just average.

New York or Los Angeles are not safer than Mexico City. Montreal is as safe as Albuquerque. We are richer true not safer thanks to our legal system, that is very selective when it comes to enforcement, we have law in the books that are just pure decoration.

The images given by Hollywood like Perry Mason etc are just pure fiction. Fresh are still in my mind the debacle of 1992 when Los Angeles, Chief of Police Daryl Gates and Mayor Tom Bradley failed to potect the city and caused misery and destruction. This is the real face of my side of the country a burning city.

After 14 years still a mess, we have a Mayor that looks like one of the Los Bandidos de Rio Frio
( Classical Mexican Novel The Bandits of Cold River ). I am a latino, but pray the Lord to protect you if you are in the hands of a hispanic politician and it gets ugly if it is from the left.
Still a very nice place but if we were to love the country a little more, and ourselves a little less if not perfect could be a little to closer heaven.
Posted by gerardogerardo80 (28 comments )
Reply Link Flag
why should you worry if you have nothing to hide...
At the end of the day if this guy isnt taking anyones money or revealing details to anyone else why should he not carry on his tirade against peado's... my personal opinion is that every convicted peadophile who has been either caught in the act or knowingly had "relations" with a child under the age of 10 should be spaid (have genitals chopped off didnt know if you use this word in america) between 10 and 16 it can become confusing because young girls especially look older and older everyday... Yes this "Hack" could be used to make him alot of money but this is an entirely different matter... i think police should be able to do this and i believe it is done thru out europe except for the states and the UK... we have had peadophilia related convictions soar and something needs to be done this guy maybe something of a batman doing the right thing the wrong way....
Posted by ap21986 (1 comment )
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