suspects – either pornographers or journalists, i haven’t completely decided. if nothing else, it’s a good reason to avoid P2P software and to use DHCP… if there’s any doubt about your computer, try ShieldsUp which will tell you where the problems are, and make suggestions about what to do to fix them, hopefully before the police show up.
Child porn found on 20,000 computers in Virginia – "Using a national online system that enables them to remotely download incriminating images directly from a suspect’s computer"… waitaminute… somebody, somewhere has a software application that can discern incriminating photos from ones that are not incriminating on any computer, regardless of it’s operating system whether or not it is a server, and whether or not it is protected by a firewall, and that gives them the ability to download those images without leaving a trace in the target computer’s log files?
if they have the ability to download such images from computers regardless of their network presence or operating system, then why don’t they have the capability to replace the images, or shut down the computer, or introduce a virus, or block its network access? i can just see the shocked look on the pornographer’s face when he comes home one afternoon to discover that his entire hard disk has been wiped clean, or all of his pornography has been replaced by pictures of My Little Pony™.
maybe the reason why they are so confident of their numbers is because of the fact that they introduced the incriminating photos themselves. can you imagine a better way to get "potential terrorists" out of the way than to plant child pornography on their computers without their knowledge?
"using the nationwide software system, child pornography can easily be downloaded from the computer hard drives of individuals who utilize peer-to-peer file-sharing" so either they’re using P2P software themselves and have access only to the target hard disk’s "shared folders", or they’re using some "law-enforcement-only" software to access entire disks on P2P networks, not just the “shared folders”. i would think that people who had “incriminating” files on their computer, regardless of whether it was child-pornography, pirated music or plans to blow up the white house, would be smart enough not to put them in a place where they can be downloaded, willy-nilly, by just anyone. those criminals that aren’t that smart deserve what they get.
somehow i doubt that their investigation is actually happening that way, but you’ve got to think that a person whose job it is to write a newspaper article about computers would know enough about them to know.
Child porn found on 20,000 computers in Virginia
FEBRUARY 28 2008
By Gregg MacDonald
Using a national online system that enables them to remotely download incriminating images directly from a suspect’s computer, members of the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force have identified nearly 20,000 computer hard drives in Virginia that they say contain hardcore child pornography.
Virginia Del. Brian Moran (D-Alexandria) reported last week that the Town of Herndon ranked number four in overall Virginia localities behind only Virginia Beach, Norfolk and Richmond in the number of computers known to possess child pornography statewide.
Herndon, which has a population of 23,000, is reported to have more than 1,000 known computers containing images of hardcore child pornography.
According to Virginia State Police, each electronic transaction of child pornography is considered a felony.
Jesse Ferguson, legislative aide for Moran, said that by using the nationwide software system, child pornography can easily be downloaded from the computer hard drives of individuals who utilize peer-to-peer file-sharing networks such as Napster or Limewire.
Flint Waters, Special Agent for the Wyoming Attorney General Division of Criminal Investigation, developed the software system that identified the images on Virginia’s computers.
On Oct. 3, 2007, Waters testified before Congress, explaining how the system works to identify individuals who have downloaded child pornography on their computers.
According to Flint’s congressional testimony, identifying individuals through their computers is fairly simple.
Investigators initiate downloads and then identify Internet protocol (IP) addresses. Law enforcement officials can then obtain physical addresses from Internet service providers.
“Once an offending computer has been identified in the local jurisdiction, the investigator may download child pornography directly from the suspect computer,” Flint’s congressional testimony reads. “Once criminal conduct is confirmed, the investigator sends process to the [service provider]. This request will attempt to identify the physical address associated with the IP address.”
When all the evidence has been collected and reviewed, and a physical address has been identified, local authorities can then decide to apply for a search warrant to search the property in question and seize the offending computer.
“Approximately 30 percent of people who possess child pornography also victimize children,” said Moran’s office, citing a statistic from the U.S. Department of Justice.
Moran is currently working on a legislative initiative to obtain more funding for additional investigators and analysts in Virginia’s two Internet Crimes Against Children task forces.
The legislation is called Alicia’s Law, named after Alicia Kozakiewicz, who in 2002 was abducted and sexually abused at the age of 13 in the basement of a Herndon man’s residence before being discovered by police.