Software Used to Stop Child Pornography is Being Questioned
One of the most villainized sets of people are those who have been accused of possessing or distributing child pornography. Rightfully so, the laws to punish those who are truly guilty of these crimes is harsh and it has lifelong consequences. However, we are discovering that the methods that law enforcement personnel are using to find those who may be viewing child pornography are being questioned.
If you or a loved one have been charged with a crime related to child pornography in Arizona, or any other sex crime, you need to seek legal assistance as soon as possible. It is hard to get ahead of these charges by yourself because prosecutors will use all of their resources against you, including the media. A skilled defense attorney will have your back and work vigorously to clear your name.
What This Software Does
Much of the dissemination of child pornography is done through what are called peer-to-peer networks. Do you remember Napster from the late 90s and early 2000s? That was a peer-to-peer network. All kinds of files can be traded on these networks. Investigators can use specialized software to trace explicit child pornography to those who download or upload these files, usually by tracing a distinct IP address.
However, we are learning that the software being used may be overstepping what it is allowed by law to do by accessing certain parts of a person’s computer that it is not allowed to access.
Investigators say they need software to track down people who download these files. It has been discovered that there have been dozens of cases dismissed since 2011 either because of suspects challenging the software’s findings or the refusal of the government to share the computer programs with defense attorneys.
Defense attorneys attest that the government keeps secrets about how their software works and what it is allowed to access on a private internet device.
- In one case, the software traced offensive images to a man’s IP address but the images were not found on his computer.
- In another case, law enforcement brought charges against a man after using information the software gained by going into an area of the computer it is not allowed to enter.
Is the government use of this software to conduct illegal searches and seizures?
These Are Serious Charges
Child pornography charges in Arizona have serious consequences attached. In this state, you can be charged with sexual exploitation of a minor if you create, distribute, or possess child pornography.
- If found guilty, there is a 10-year minimum prison sentence for each violation. This can be 10 years for each image of child pornography.
If convicted, you will also be required to register as a sex offender for the rest of your life. Registered sex offenders have their personal information plastered online. Anyone can access your address, photo, list of charges, where you work, and more.
Most sex offenders struggle to find a job and have limitations on where they can reside.
What You Need To Do
Not everyone charged with sexual exploitation of a minor is guilty.
- There are times when a person is set up by a former partner or spouse.
- Sometimes people download illegal files without realizing it. With current download speeds, people can download thousands of files in minutes.
- The government may use illegal search and seizure methods to obtain evidence.
Please seek help from an Arizona criminal defense attorney immediately if you or a loved one have been charged with possessing, distributing, or manufacturing child pornography. Your reputation and your future are on the line.
Click here for information on how Arizona criminal justice reform goes nowhere.