Editor's Note added on April 8, 2010 On March 17, 2010, almost 13 months after this article was published, Michael Johnson, one of the individuals quoted in this article, contacted The Register to recant claims he made about Ryan Goldstein. "It was a false and fabricated account, which was created because the pressure from the …
What a fascinating story
Thanks for outlining it here. And yes, I'm not sure the FBI did the right thing - aren't there other ways they could get at the botmasters? We certainly don't need any more kiddy-fiddlers around...
Job well done,
First want to say congrats on the article, sums Digerati up very nicely in my opinion and im sure others would have to agree.
The only thing it dosent really mention is how manipulative he was, and to what extents he would go to achieve his goals, even when hurting people in the process.
With regards to the 13 year old which he 'groomed', Digerati had manipulated and twisted him that much, to the point where he thought he was in love with Ryan (Digerati).
Digerati was without doubt a shady character to have around the scene, and my only regret is that all of this didnt come to light prior the Feds investigation into him, and the charges brought against him.
It's sickening to know that those pedophillia charges wont go on his record, and that even now, if he wanted to, Digerati could work with kids, there would simply be nothing at all to stop that.
They have made a major mistake here, my only hope that Digerati dosent give them the oppertunity to regret it.
Thanks again for the article.
Why not to be a vigilantee
Good example of why vigilanteesm is bad. They have effectively made nearly every piece of evidence against Mr Goldstein inadmissible in court by spoiling it. From there on they should not complain.
Next time prepare a nice, neat well organised file, send it to the FBI with a polite letterhead and cc an exec summary to the local congresscritter.
In any case, as he has gotten away lightly he will reoffend again (and hopefully get caught next time).
so message of the day for peadoes: hack a server or know a botmaster and get off easy should they get you. Got to love the US "justice" system.
Is this someone who loves feet inappropriately?
Look on the bright side
Okay, so he wasn't charged with the child-porn offences. But he didn't actually do anything in real life about those urges- he may have later, he may still do. But he hasn't yet.
Assuming that he stuck to trying to coerce the photos out of kids rather than threatening them, no-one's really been that harmed. And he did help the Feds take down some botnet masters- which helps everyone.
Plus he's on probation, so if he can't control himself he'll get thrown in jail.
I think his sentence was perfectly acceptable UNLESS he was threatening rather than going "awww, go on. Send the photo. I'll be your friend! Oh, you're just mean...". Or if he acted it out IRL- that's a whole different can of worms compared to the privacy and feeling of safety and distance from the target you get from the 'net. Then he's a scumbag 10-years-with-Bubba nonce-crim.
So being an interweb nonce is pure evil: hence wacky jaqui and her type trying to destroy web freedoms, even things so far remote from interweb noncing.
Being a hacker makes you an utter shit bag, screwing up systems, letting loose bottnets, causing people/ businesses losses etc.
But if you combine the two together, do they cancel each other out? Im confused. The kiddy porn and web based grooming of children should be enough to send this twat to prison for a reaaaaaaaalllly long time, but because he is also a hacker he aint so bad?
The deal should have been something like this: Tell us about the bottnets or your prison sentence for being a filthy nonce will be spent in the open population where they really hate kiddie perverts. Not some deal to turn it all into a missdemeanor!
But think of the childen!!
Unless the perp can cough up someone of more direct interest to the proesecutor. In which his victims are collateral damage. For the greater good.
Governments are fond of sending messages. Lets see what sort this case sends.
Make sure you have enough records to drop someone else in it.
As long as you have the evidence on someone else they want more (and a good lawyer) the mountain load of evidence on your computer means nothing.
Clued up co-workers will have a hard time stopping you.
Clueless supervisors dont even know what your doing.
All valuable lessons for someone who seems to have the makings of a long career as a vindicitve sexual predator with a side line in assorted computer misuse.
'Think of the children' then stop
'Think of the children' is a good rallying cry, and doing things so it will protect children always sounds unimpeachable, but in fact nobody (in power. that is) cares about children. The horrendous number of bungled child abuse cases, the fact that child rape (aka to paedos 'loving consensual sex'), prostituting children, disseminating images of their degradation, torture and abuse (aka 'kiddie-porn') and so on continue to go on and on without any serious effort on the part of police and Government to stop it, and tells me all I need to know: that the thought stops at the thought, and that organisations such as the FBI are more concerned with hardware, software, access and processes than they are about the actual safety of children. Which is why any politician etc who prates 'think of the children' is just so much noise.
1 sided story or what
OMg Ban that twat
OMgozor i got banned hack hack hack
Quick tell the Mr police that he looks at kiddie porn !! here upload these !!!
they sustained a relativley long attack against him too.
i dont think its quite as black and white as is made out
at the end of the day the people on tautnet also work on the darkside of the internet !
Idiot benefits from idiocy of other idiots
Nobody comes out of this looking good.
If there is any truth in the sex pest allegations then the idiots who pursued a vendetta against the guy are almost certainly to blame for those charges not being laid, since as others have said they would have rendered most of the evidence inadmissible.
Clearly the guy himself is a twat.
And finally, this is dangerously one-sided reporting from El Reg.
You really do get an *awfully* good view from up on this high horse.
@ AC 08:26, @ Lionel Baden
AC - They tried that way first.
Lionel - Are you an example of what we can expect at half-term ? Darkside of the internet ? Not black & white ? Bah !
tha spellengz onthis comemt thred are totaly shocing
What is it about this type of article that attracts the most incomprehensible commentards?
""Good example of why vigilanteesm is bad. They have effectively made nearly every piece of eidence against Mr Goldstein inadmissible in court by spoiling it. ""
Maybe you should re-read other articles regarding this matter, the only reason the child porn charges werent used was simply because Ryan assisted the FBI in other botnet related cases.
Even when the case went to court the judge had a hard time deciding whether to include them while deciding his sentance or not. Was only with the FBI's assistance, and Ryans 'plea bargin' that he was let off.
They only reported him to the authorities when he stopped them from hanging out in their beloved channel. If he'd left them alone, his grooming activities would have gone on unchecked.
Thanks for the article.
Thanks for this surprisingly in dept article, it's actually left me trying to determine what my own views on this was.. (as opposed to most 'newspaper' articles on such subjects that would either start with 'innocent victim' or 'beast' and save me the trouble of making my mind up about something.
At first I thought good on the FBI for getting to these botnets by being willing to overlook that some schmuch looked at pics of (presumably) underage nudity. Then I read that he had actively contacted underage people online, and I thought: maybe this wasn't such a good idea after all... this guy obviously isn't just guilty of looking at shit online, he actually tried to get in RW contact with underage people (or at least get pictures and/or have cybersex with them).
I guess I would always find it uncomfortable when someone gets off a serious criminal charge for cooperating with the police... no matter what the charge was. I hope that the FBI will keep an eye on him from now on.. should he 'slip' up again and try to revert back to his nude-webcam-with-underage-people ways of old. If he does revert then I doubt that his deal with them covers any future crimes (and hopefully any future crimes would be of the kind that he has already commited, and not a direct escalation to actual abuse). OS hopefully it's prison or some sort of rehabilitation program if he does... and if he never does anything like this again (maybe not that likely) I think we could all learn to live with that.
I don't think I would be very comfortable with this if he had actually commited any sexual abuse (I'm not 100% sure I'm comfortable with it as it is...) but people have gotten immunity despite commiting murder, so I guess he might still have gotten a deal.. depending on how many/big botnets he could squeal about.
John Smith, I think (hope) what message it sends is this: If you create and/or run botnets/spam and/or DDos attacks, we will chase your sorry ass to the four corners of the earth, we will give people who are suspected of child porography immunity to get you. Political and public oppinion can go fuck itself, we will hunt you down like the scum of the earth that you are, there is nowhere to fucking hide.
@Look on the bright side
Err, you are taking the piss right? Although I'm not a shrink I'm pretty sure that someone engaging in active solicitation/interactive behaviour is very much more the person that goes on to fiddle/photograph/video than the passive piccy downloader etc which is why the US statue is designed to crack down on these types.
WTF was the prosecutor thinking? I'd rather have the botnets running on numpties' PCs than this diddler getting off so light. His power crazed tendencies (re the DDoS attacks) don't bode particularly well either. Power crazed, diddle-pic viewing, get-it-out-on-camera wannabe-paedo gets 3 months. Lovely.
Hopefully he'll be introduced to the rest of the population in clink and have a life-changing experience.
Flames? Hope he burns in hell.
Lionel - Are you an example of what we can expect at half-term ? Darkside of the internet ? Not black & white ? Bah !
that actually made me lol
Ok probably not phrased in the most mature manner, but then again we dont have the most mature people here
Basically my point is
I found the story very heavily one sided
"Around the same time, the group also hacked into the university's internal email system and siphoned thousands of emails in an attempt to learn more about Digerati."
If the accusers are capable of this it is quite possible they planted the material, or just created bullshit reports to his grooming.
Are they part of a anti gay group and felt somewhat offended by getting flashed? this was their rebuttal ???
How many people here can fix logs to suit them ??
Can i have a show of hands please
p.s. no flame intended
flame because im contradictory
I'm glad for him
Its not often that pedophiles get the treatment they deserve. The dark side of pedophilia is VASTLY over hyped.
"Levy also says the sentence, which calls for Goldstein to be on probation for five years, will prevent the student from carrying out any illegal activity online since a probation officer will be closely monitoring his computer usage."
And in 5 years we learn he has raped a couple of kids because the probabition office was understaffed and the officer was overworked.
What planet is this Levy guy living on?
And did the group get charged for hacking into the Universities files? Mmm? If a crime's a crime, then they should be charged with hacking offenses.
In fact, this is probably why he wasn't charged with other offenses, 'cos the evidence was recovered illegally.
Looks like Ice_Dragon, Archangel and Frankie have all gone public with this.
But what I dont understand is why Cognitive got singled out with the whole Digerpenis thing. The whole leaked zip with the emails and the pics only had pics of Cog and some other kid in there.
Cog has left the internet scene now because of all this.
On the upside...
It does at least look like there's a fair chance that some prospective employer (or partner) Googling him in the future will end up hitting one of the various articles about him.
@ Plea Bargaining
I'll say 'yay' to your 'CLUNK' as long as you agree to apply that same, mob-handed idiot 'justice' of yours to drink-drivers, rapists, suicide bombers, corporate fraudsters, wife-beaters, warmongers and corrupt politicians (I may have missed a few undesirables here - feel free to add any you can think of).
Because, as we both know, some guy who tries to talk a boy into dropping his pants online just HAS to be MORE dangerous and harmful to society than any/all of the above, right?
Well deserved I'm sure, it doesn't become a problem until then next person comes along.. you know, the one that actually abused a kid, and was a member of a larger network...
Police Officer: you're going down for 20 years for this pal, but if you point us in the direction of some of your 'friends' and allow us to save 20 maybe 30 kids from abuse we'll lower it to 10, followed by supervision for life, whaddya say?
Suspect: FU, I know what happened to that Digerati guy, I know you follow BLoad's policy on plea bargains now, there's no reason for me to tell you anything.
As the number of dead/abused kids mount over the years due to Bload's poor judgement on setting policy on pleabargains (that punishing the guilty is more important than reducing the victims), he/she finaly decides to kill him/herself rather than face up and admit to the consequenses of their actions. OR, possibly BLoad cares nothing for the victims, but gets off on punishing the guilty.
There are no simple solutions, only simple people.
And yes, I know, this example is also guilty of it. I guess we all love simple solutions.
yeah coz hacking is worse then child abuse.
@ Lionel Baden
""If the accusers are capable of this it is quite possible they planted the material, or just created bullshit reports to his grooming.""
that made me lol
Yea and maybe they hacked his brain with their sooper dooper haxx0ring skills and made him download kiddie porn and perpetrate DDOS attacks! See? He's not responsible at all!
Please reread, these actions were AFTER the FEDs had already closed in on Digerati and were actively investigating him and enjoying his cooperation. Not that this fact makes it "right", but certainly does not indicate that Ryan himself was hacked and evidence planted on his own computer.
Remember, the evidence in question is not his grooming of kids or his chatting activities, the evidence was pedo pictures of children, on his own computer that was confiscated by the Feds. This is what was dropped by the prosecutors. there would have been more charges had the online activities been actively investigated.
This is the hard evidence that the Feds alone found, thats possession, which is a totally different charge, so the activities of the group did not affect that investigation at all.
Twice during his "cooperation" He deliberately tried to quash some of the evidence against him hxxp://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/10/22/child_abuse_charges/ (and was caught yet again)
That doesn't sound like someone getting framed to me, sounds more like someone trying to cover their tracks.
We live is a sad world when people think its more important to save the dollar than it is to save kids from these predators.
Sad sign of the times
It seems as of late, at least in the last 10 years or so that if you are wealthy and/or useful if stopping crimes that cost major corps. major bucks the just-us system bend over to make sure you suffer the least discomfort.
Current examples include the mockery of jail time given to celebutards like Paris or major thieves like Madoff, with his penthouse arrest.
Maybe it's time to bring back the guillotine?
"yeah coz hacking is worse then child abuse."
I agree with you completely, anything less serious than child abuse should be automatically dismissed... and since this Digerati guy didn't actually abuse anyone (depending on your definition of abuse) I guess he should be free to go.
I'm waiting with anticipation on your next contribution... a table of behaviours and actions separated into worse or less worse than child abuse perhaps? what about child murder? should we list that as worse or less worse?
I'm thinking you should be the next PM :D
I'm glad for him By Lord Zedd
You are one sick individual!! The darker side is anything but over hyped, you obviously class torture, rape , murder and kidnapping as a minor nuisnace issue for those involved! I really can't say anymore than that because you sicken me beyond belief!
>> ""Good example of why vigilanteesm is bad. They have effectively made nearly every piece of eidence against Mr Goldstein inadmissible in court by spoiling it. ""
>> Maybe you should re-read other articles regarding this matter, the only reason the child porn charges werent used was simply because Ryan assisted the FBI in other botnet related cases.
AC2, I came away with the exact same impression as AC1, after reading the article. Perhaps there are issues that were published in other articles which we aren't aware of. However, this article gives the impression that they either had legitimate control of, or hacked into, the various servers where the evidence was located - which would make it very difficult for it to be used in a court of law. If they had access to the evidence then there is the possibility they could have tampered with the evidence - at the very least they may have introduced reasonable doubt by opening the argument that they might have tampered with the evidence.
BTW, why are you suggesting that he "re-read other articles", when there is nothing to say he read them in the first place? If you want to use other articles to backup what you are saying, then why don't you quote and reference them.
@ac 9:34 > Assuming that he stuck to trying to coerce the photos out of kids rather than threatening them, no-one's really been that harmed. And he did help the Feds take down some botnet masters- which helps everyone.
I think you are rather unaware of what is involved in "grooming", if you think that no one was harmed - there may not be any physical or sexual assault, but there can still be mental trauma. However, you do have a point about helping the Feds, it is possible that his assistance led to the capture and successful prosecution of people who were even more dangerous.
plea bargining is a useful tool
Basically the system is step so that as soon as someone gets arrested they are scrambling to turn in as many fellow criminals as possible to reduce their sentence. Some of those they turn in are then going to turn around and do the same thing.
It seems like this guy spent a lot of time on the internet engaged in illegal activities and he also seemed status hungry which means that he was probably well placed in any group he was involved with. He probably had multiple identities even within the same group.
My guess is that they are using this guys to make a lot of cases, and we only know about a few.
I am also guessing that due to his close cooperation they are monitoring his activities far closer than usual for someone on probation. They are probably also holding a few charges in reserve to ensure his future cooperation.
I, unlike most people in taunet and ssg, actually knew Digi quite well. I used to spend a lot of time talking to him about computer security. You might even say that he was somewhat of a mentor to me.
Digerati wasn't a pedophile or a gay, he wasn't even a security enthusiast like myself. He was simply a loner.
I got the impression that he, like most people in taunet, didn't fit into the 'real world' quite like most people do, and he turned his attention to the alternative, the cult, the non-mainstream. He only felt that he belonged amongst those who also wanted to belong.
He was always very friendly, very kind to new comers - he was just a nice and slightly childish kinda guy. I bet all this involvment with the law scared him shitless.
He asked for my photo once when he was probably around 17, (he's only a few months older than me, I know because he applied to Uni when I was 18). I sent him one and that was that. A webcam shot of me sitting at my computer - fully dressed obviously - and that was that. He never asked to see me naked or anything. I think he just wanted to know what sort of person I was.
You have to remember a few things here with this story:
The adverage age of the backdoor scene (where he came from) is early to late teens. Every one is 13-20.
If he was gay, I certainly don't think he was a pedo.
Secondly, he was a loner in real life. If you where gay he would probibly say he was too just to be your friend.
All teenage boys like talking about sex... so he made #diggerpenis for people to do that.
Basically, when your in the world of teenage hackers, no source of information is reliable. Most accusations will be an attempt to gain scene respect/notoriety, and personally I still think that this is what it's all been about. Just as soon as someone says pedophile people actually start listening.
The price is wrong
So basically, this guys sells out his connections to avoid getting his junk chopped off in the slammer, which he rightfully deserved?
'Think of the children' then stop
My point exactly.
But still a popular justification for mounting surveillance.
And it helped make his prosecutors target for the month.
"Whats that. No I prosecute Cybercrimes. Grooming, kiddie porn and baby raping's down the hall. Take it there. Have a nice day. Goodbye"
"Cog has left the internet scene now because of all this"
So why do think that was?
If six teens in Pennsylvania can be done for possession, distribution and possession of kiddie porn (As they were when some girls photographed themselves on their phones and sent them to their bf's). Ryans befriending and photographing of a total stranger would appear to warrant something more than a slap on the wrist.
@AC11:54 GMT. I sense someone who may have had to clean up the results of one (or more ) of these. Botnets are a PITA. If the scams they proliferate work they could bag a persons whole ID. However the message you think it sends is the one the prosecutor would like to think he sent to the criminals. I think my version is more likely to be the way it will be read. Although it might make the herders check who they deal with a bit more closely. They should know if they're an active member of the KDF club their new friend is likely to rat them out as the lesser of too evils.
However it seems that the one truly iron clad law that is *never* broken is the one on plea bargaining.
This might be because over time the it would hurt the prosecutors more than the criminals.
No more of the "perfect" conviction rates which are so useful in running for elected office in the US.
Rather more of the "f%*k you. My lawyer will b^&*h slap you into next week when we get to trial. I can be bailed in a day and since my trial date is at least six months away with the backlog how many of those so-called witnesses will still be around for that given how dangerous life in the big city can be?"
But perhaps I'm being cynical here.
Should Ryan decide to go legit I think I have just the company. You might think a vindictive, manipulative predator who seeks power to more effectively victimize people while covering his tracks and spreading false trails might be hard to place.
I doubt it. Provided he can change his name while on probation he can well on his way to a degree (or possibly Masters) in IT with a minor in Marketing. And then its off to the Pacific Midwest. I'm told Seattle is lovely in the Summer.
Mine's the one with the Windows 8 feature list in the side pocket.
@Why not to be a vigilantee
I believe that your post is based upon a misunderstanding of the Exclusionary Rule in the US, by means of which illegally gathered material can be excluded from evidence which is to be used in a prosecution (disclaimer: IANAL and this is not legal advice, so if this discussion is of more than hypothetical importance to you get an actual lawyer to tell you what is what). If you google "Exclusionary Rule" you will find that evidence gathered by private persons who are not acting as agents of the police does not fall under the rubric of the Exclusionary Rule, so if hackers bring illegally acquired information to the police, they are allowed to use it.
That this should be so makes sense considering the purpose of the rule: to provide the police with a disincentive to "accidentally" (on purpose) violate a suspect's rights against unlawful searches and seizures. If the police know such evidence will just be excluded from trial if they do this, why would they bother. Hence, while TV dramas may make it seem that the purpose of the Exclusionary Rule is to provide an out for guilty defendants, the real purpose is to make the police actually follow the Constitution and its guarantee of rights for the accused. Excluding evidence which is not the result of misconduct on the part of the police does nothing to increase this incentive and, unsurprisingly, is not something that the Exclusionary Rule requires.
Not that I'm defending Digerati in any way at all, but I think its interesting that the channel is going along the line of child safety being more important than computer damage, when they waited a year before reporting it.
"Over the next year, Digerati's online opponents would resort to a variety of tactics to get the hacker off their backs, but none of them worked. When diplomacy failed, they reported his repeated online liaisons with boys to university officials and then to the FBI."
ding ding ding
"the idiots who pursued a vendetta against the guy are almost certainly to blame for those charges not being laid, since as others have said they would have rendered most of the evidence inadmissible"
Thank you, Greg, for such an informative and calm post on why statements such as the above are misleading. I think some people are confusing admissibility of evidence, state and non-state actors, contempt of court during a trial, and stuff half-remembered from Law & Order.
More generally - yes, it seems a little unfair that people can inform and plea-bargain their way to a shorter sentence. But on the other hand, it frees up the investigative/prosecutorial agencies to pursue other as-yet-unidentified criminals, and generates fresh leads on other criminals. That's completely normal in the US across most types of crime. And seeing as (unsurprisingly) El Reg doesn't have any information on what/whether the convicted person actually produced, then we can't come to a view about whether it was a worthwhile exercise or not.
Both he and the group appear to be guilty of cracking / hacking so why no level playing field on those charges? He should have been charged as a sexual deviant and made to share a cell with Abu Hamza: fisting the night away.
"Not that I'm defending Digerati in any way at all, but I think its interesting that the channel is going along the line of child safety being more important than computer damage, when they waited a year before reporting it."
What if it wasnt until a year later that we could actually prove it?
@ The guy saying Dig was not a pedo:
Re-read the article, they found 1000's of child porn related images on his computer system, dig was and is a proven pedo.
As for you saying most of the people in and around Taunet / SSgroup didnt know digerati very well, well i'd talk to him for hours on end about.. just about everything including computer security. I would talk to him after his arrest while awaiting court etc etc, and was likely one of the last to speak to him prior his arrest.
awareness, the interwebz need it
Correction again, it was reported up the chain of command so to speak, and the three reports weren't after a year, they were more of DURING the course of that year, first to the local authorities then to the internet providors and the the uni and finally to the FBI.
This person was a very dangerous individual. He was very calculating and determined. The damage that these predators inflict on their victims is mostly out of sight and out of mind. This mindset allows these people to continue thier activities and inflict more damage.
It is surprising and sickening at the same time how many people feel like this activity is ok. with statements trying to defend him and even still put off like this is one huge conspiracy, all perpetrated against Mr Goldstein.
""I, unlike most people in taunet and ssg, actually knew Digi quite well. I used to spend a lot of time talking to him about computer security. You might even say that he was somewhat of a mentor to me.""
I'm sorry but you don't seem familiar at all, you might have been more of a tuanet member than an SSGroup one I think.
Seems that you don't know him as well as you thought....
Remember (Previous poster John especially) that regardless of your impressions of him during your chats, he was still caught with the child sex images on his computer, he was still caught paying someone to attack various sites and servers, he was a shady character, that hes admitted himself in open court under oath.
Those are facts and go a lot further than the glowing (although completely inaccurate) review you leave for him. He is well known to post comments on the articles that are about him on the internet and try to paint himself in a good light.
Remember, as long as we don't take a stand against these filthy child molesters, they will be able to continue, and next time if might be somebody that you care about that gets victimized.
ps Mr Goodin, congratulations on the article it is a very good recollection of the events surrounding this whole exchange. I know you worked very hard to verify the information you gatherd and took you a few months to get it all together. thank you for helping shed some light on a subject that affects the whole of the internet and not just some "hacking" corners.
just goes to show, "haxxorz" are socially retarded freaks, who have no trouble betraying their friends to save their own asses ...... and engage in mind bogglingly boring crap all day, just to deface a website no one visits with inspired words such as "U got Ownwd by leet haxxorz"
They're not really letting him go...
After final hearings and sentencing, once the plea agreement is final, they are going to give his computer back to him, unchanged. Then they will immediately arrest him for possession of child pornography. The plea agreement doesn't protect him from crimes committed after the deal was made, right?
Let him think he got off, wait until he starts to get off again, then bust the door down and jerk him off to jail.
Mines the one with the child pedo flyer in the pocket.
"What is it about this type of article that attracts the most incomprehensible commentards?"
Maybe it's the shocking spelling in the article title. I too was expecting an insightful article about foot fetishism.
@Alex King @Patrick Clark
"Maybe it's the shocking spelling in the article title. I too was expecting an insightful article about foot fetishism."
Cute, but reality is that for 305 million Americans, "pedophile" is the preferred spelling. Geez, and people accuse us yanks of living in a cocoon.
There are plenty of other possible reasons why we're hearing that he had underage pictures on his computer...
We all knew Digi was a big supporter of Tor. If a forensic team take a look his hard drive they're going to find a whole bunch of stuff in swap which wasn't 'his'.
Perhaps he was somewhat of a porn horder. 1000 pictures when you've got several terrabytes of data off usenet isn't suprizing. Perhaps the ratio of porn involving minors to people of age would be more useful.
Maybe his machine was hacked, and this whole thing (the porn, him offering beta backdoors for op, etc etc) was set up by the people who wanted him gone.
The most important question really is where did El Reg get this info from? Because it seems to mimic the leaked zip file version of events and structure exactly.
This zip file was 'leaked' by the admins of Taunet... so not exactly a credable source you would think.
I'm not siding for or against Digi at the end of the day. All I'm saying is I would take everything said here with a pinch of salt. It all stems back to bickering teenagers.
No proof of porn
Neither the DOJ press release nor the indictment (which was later downgraded to an information) mention a word about child pornography. In fact, there are no government documents that say anything about it.
Interestingly, the only information about child porn comes from a single Philadelphia Inquirer reporter (her article was picked up by the AP, ...). It's strange that the only source for this article is other (probably rival) hackers, who have a clear interest in disparaging Ryan however they can.
The lack of proof of these activities and the very dubious sources make one wonder the true motivations behind this article.
@John Smith Posted Friday 20th February 2009 21:09 GMT
It depends upon definition of "CP" under US law. I have seen a lot of images on my travels around the tubes that are layered on both definitions of Child Pornography.
The "preteen modeling" sites mostly originating from Eastern Europe (Russia/Ukraine) are classed as CP sites under US law. How do we know the severity of the images found on his HDD.
Also back down to the planting of it all. We all know that his box was backdoored no matter how much he actually denied it. I had backdoors on my box from VARIOUS SSG members and from Diggles himself *Looks at webcam light blinking*
The whole #digerpenis thing wasn't a "grooming channel". If anything that channel was dead.
Me, DK, Cognitive and other members where all OP in that channel. If anything. EVERYONE who joined was made op at some point.
(I have kinda forgot where I was going with this comment)
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