back to article Jailed LulzSec hacker Cleary coughs to child porn images, will be freed soon

Jailed Lulzsec hacker Ryan Cleary is due to be released within three weeks, but his access to the internet will be severely restricted after he was convicted of possessing child abuse images – at least some of which featured infants as young as six months old. Cleary, 21, of Wickford, Essex, has already served more than half the …

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Childcatcher

He are Anonceymous

And the internet, Ryan, do not forget.

Child catcher well, because.

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Meh

The Asperger's Syndrome sufferer

Are there any hackers that don't suffer from this problem ? Kind of strange how often we see this come up in relation to hackers, or at least the ones that got caught.

Are the lawyers allowed to use it in Buzzword Bingo ?

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Re: The Asperger's Syndrome sufferer

Funnily enough the same question came up almost 2 years ago when they nicked the lad. I think I can quote from a post I made then:

"The guy's had "issues" since he was small. Diagnosis of the sort of disorders we talking about is a bit hit and miss (see last week's New Scientist article "Bipolar Kids") and we could reasonably argue about what label to pin on him but you don't end up at an EBD school if you're playing with a full deck. Unless you all think he was planning his future defence aged 5."

I should have said at the time EBD = Emotional & Behavioral Difficulties

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Re: The Asperger's Syndrome sufferer

to give these people the benefit of the doubt, they have probably exhibited the symptoms - eg insular leading to lack of social life, obsessiveness etc - for a long while but its been put down to them being (stereotypically) more brains than social skills, or a bit odd.

It's only once they've been arrested for some alleged offence that they actually get examined by a trick-cyclist who marks them down as actually fitting into a pyschological category.

I can see why you're suspicious, is it a case that Aspergers etc end up doing these things or are the legal team looking for a mitigating defence that fits the image of their client.

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Re: The Asperger's Syndrome sufferer

My stepson has aspergers, lawyers should stop using it as a reason for crime... especially pedos.

Are there any hackers who don't have child porn on their computers? He's not the first.... strange that you didn't mention that.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: The Asperger's Syndrome sufferer

I'm in my 30s, when I was at school there was no such thing as Asperger's, so many people around my age aren't diagnosed. One guy I went to school with was, but he was on the edge of being able to function "normally" in society. So, it's entirely probable that 30something people go undiagnosed because once you're out of school no-one is looking for it. Now, I have a bit of experience with people with Asperger's, as mentioned, I went to school with one, I have worked with a few people diagnosed with Asperger's and a few who are older, obviously have Asperger's, but are not diagnosed. The older people tend to be less severely affected. I have a couple of friends who have an Asperger's son in his 20s and up until they told me, I would never have guessed. It's therefore entirely possible that many hackers legitimately have Asperger's and have gone undiagnosed. The problem I have here is that, although Asperger's can lead people to get fixated on particular subjects or behaviors, every single person I have ever met with Asperger's has known right from wrong. They have known that you don't go around hacking for the lulz and you don't keep child porn on your computer. It seems to be that Asperger's is being blamed for behaviors and used to excuse them rather than used by way of an explanation of a tiny contributing factor.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: The Asperger's Syndrome sufferer

Who else could be arsed putting that kind ofmeffort into hacking ? Normal guy spends all his time trying tp pull

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Anonymous Coward

Re: The Asperger's Syndrome sufferer

"...known right from wrong." Yeah, right. We've been telling the kids there is no right and wrong for years now - even I'm confused.

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Re: The Asperger's Syndrome sufferer

The thing is, the story goes like this:

Hacker picked up for shenanigans (DDoS, botnets, dodgy friends).

Hacker's kit confiscated by plod.

Oh my, plod find such a small quantity of CP that it could fit on a novelty sized CD.

Hacker reputation ruined, already in jail for shenanigans, pleads guilty to CP in order to reduce eventual sentence and not be placed in gen pop.

I'm not saying in this case that Cleary was set up, just that each time a hacker gets double slammed with CP after they tried everything else, it just seems strange.

PS: I'm a hacker, although not like Mr Cleary, I write my own software and investigate my own hardware. I don't have any CP, and have no intention of getting any.

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Re: The Asperger's Syndrome sufferer

AC, I read your comment 'The Asperger's Syndrome sufferer' during a meal break, then checked Webster's Third International (anything but Wikipedia, and Webster's was at hand), the term is from 1980, named for a Swiss shrink. Just about anyone with an interest in psych. knew of the term by '90. I called bullshit the first time I heard it, just sounded like another case of PC language, 'Hey, why not just say autistic!'

Sure, at the nearly full autistic end of the scale, it might have some value (almost socially non-functional, but not completely in a shell). On the light end (as in light cases of "Asperger's"), it seems to act as a tool for pathologizing talented people who would previously have been considered normal, with a particular focus on males, especially those who happen to be talented at mathematics, programming, and so on, but a little lacking in social skills.

The explosion in use of the term came some years after the 'net was opened to morons, profiteers, and trick cyclists, I'd say in the late '90s, and was common currency by about 2002/3.

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Re: False title

What difference does it really make?

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Does it really matter? Either way, hacking mehh child porn wtf sick...

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Re: False title

Wow. Someone downvoted my comment. How exceedingly disturbing.

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Anonymous Coward

Really?

admit you have dodgy pictures to make all hackers look like bad bad people and we won't extradite you?

seems legit to me

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Should be minimum sentencing guidelines for this sort of thing

If you're caught with kiddy porn it should be a mandatory minimum sentence of 5 years. And slap another few years on top for the "Asperger's syndrome" defence that every hacker pulls to justify their antisocial behaviour.

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Mushroom

Re: Should be minimum sentencing guidelines for this sort of thing

Define "kiddy porn".

Because thanks to knee-jerking witch-burners like you, "kiddy porn" could be anything from an innocent photo of one's infant daughter playing in the bath, to a drawing of two stick figures, one larger than the other, standing too close together for comfort with a line in the wrong place.

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@Steven Roper

As to the material, pornographic images were to be categorised by the following levels of seriousness:

(i)images depicting erotic posing with no sexual activity;

(ii)sexual activity between children, or solo masturbation by a child;

(iii)non-penetrative sexual activity between adults and children;

(iv)penetrative sexual activity between children and adults, and

(v)sadism or bestiality.

So Cleary possessed 58 images that depicted ' penetrative sexual activity between children and adults' .

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Re: Should be minimum sentencing guidelines for this sort of thing

"Define "kiddy porn"."

I don't need to, the law does. And if you possess it and the prosecution can prove you intended to possess it (i.e. not some trojan or malicious spouse planting it) then you should go down for it.

Stop making excuses for this guy.

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Re: Should be minimum sentencing guidelines for this sort of thing

Well in his case, over 40 images were of an adult having penetrative sex with a child, another considerable number a non-penetrative sex act with a child so yes that is kiddy porn.

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Childcatcher

@DrXym - Re: Should be minimum sentencing guidelines for this sort of thing

>> "Define "kiddy porn"."

> I don't need to, the law does

Yes, like the law that gave use the "Dangerous Cartoons Act"

"From April 6th 2010 it will be illegal to possess ‘non-photographic visual depictions of child sexual abuse’ in England and Wales. Thousands of fans of Japanese anime, hentai and graphic novels face a maximum three years imprisonment and a place on the Sex Offenders Register for possessing sexually themed cartoons."

http://www.backlash-uk.org.uk/wp/?page_id=547

NB This is *not* talking about how paedophiles used to trace over photographs of child abuse and then dispose of the original photo, thus claiming they were "only drawings" because that loophole was closed in the Sexual Offences Act 2003.

This is talking about entirely artificial and fictitious images, eg drawn or created with 3D modelling programs, which have never featured a real child or any actual abuse, but which are now illegal because "well it looks like a child and that's good enough for us".

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Re: @DrXym - Should be minimum sentencing guidelines for this sort of thing

It doesn't sound like Cleary was charged with possession of ‘non-photographic visual depictions of child sexual abuse’. I would have thought that for a judge to say 'These images were such as would make any right-minded person concerned at you viewing such images.' the images were a bit more than Japanese cartoons.

Mind you it does seem to be a constant feature of these forums somebody gets done for hacking and out come the excuses............

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Re: @DrXym - Should be minimum sentencing guidelines for this sort of thing

God, I forgot about that, all of the images may well have been cartoon characters (I doubt it, but as you say, the ridiculous law makes it possible).

I'm sure people would like to know.

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Re: Should be minimum sentencing guidelines for this sort of thing

"Define "kiddy porn".

Because thanks to knee-jerking witch-burners like you, "kiddy porn" could be anything from an innocent photo of one's infant daughter playing in the bath, to a drawing of two stick figures, one larger than the other, standing too close together for comfort with a line in the wrong place."

Possibly so (though you don't cite any data to support your claims), but "more than 50 were at level four, the second highest level of seriousness".

It should come as no suprise. Offenders tend to do more than one type of crime other than the index offence, and I think that there may now be just a glimmering to suggest that IT offenders may tend to commit sexual offences. Watch this space for more on that story.

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Re: @Steven Roper

"So Cleary possessed 58 images that depicted ' penetrative sexual activity between children and adults' ."

The truth has seldom been allowed to taint thoughts from the Lulzec/anonymous/Assange group of camp followers. Expect down votes from flocks of supporters, parked right now on the telegraph lines.

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Re: @DrXym - Should be minimum sentencing guidelines for this sort of thing

">> "Define "kiddy porn"."

> I don't need to, the law does

Yes, like the law that gave use the "Dangerous Cartoons Act""

Had had images of penetrative sex on his HD. Your inability to accept this does not surprise me much though.

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Boffin

@Scorchio!! Re: @DrXym - Should be minimum sentencing guidelines for this sort of thing

I did not say that he didn't have images of penetrative sex, but if you'd actually bothered to *read* what had been written, instead of just letting your knee jerk, you'd have seen that I was responding to DrXym when he said "If you're caught with kiddy porn it should be a mandatory minimum sentence of 5 years."

I pointed out that *drawings* were also classed as "kiddy porn" which, even though they are completely ficitious, would mean that someone who has such an image (or possibly even of the London Olympics 2012 logo which we all know shows Lisa Simpson giving Bart a blowjob!) would get his "mandatory minimum sentence of 5 years".

Fail yourself.

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Re: @Scorchio!! @DrXym - Should be minimum sentencing guidelines for this sort of thing

The difficulty with your screed is that these sorts of images are a part of a cycle in the ordinary life of a sex offender, and you can absolutely not have one law for SOs and one for non SOs. You may want to say that a non incarceration SOTP programme would be more appropriate, but it does not change the fact that people with these sorts of images on their HDs are a threat to the target population about whom these images are, drawn or photographed. So you fail on grounds of not taking into account the mental state of these offenders, that they cannot in the long term confine themselves to the drawn image. The literature on paedophilia is very suggestive, the averages concerning this kind of activity and offending behaviour are a matter of concern, and YMLT take a look at it. I have worked with them. I have a lot of experience of them, and I have seen the way that they move from one type of offence to another, from one type of literature to another, indeed from one internet forum to another; Usenet to chat, FTP, and so on. It's merely a matter of dodging detection, or dodging the law by absorbing themselves in another pornographic medium and claiming it is not illegal. Paedophiles tend to be like that; they are manipulative, team splitting and devious. One even set me up for assault one day, because I'd enforced hospital rules in respect of his behaviour.

I am sure that you would like to know better because, as we increasingly see in Reg posts, an IT offender/suspected offender is to be excused for offences of which they have been convicted or are under investigation. That I find disturbing; there is always an answer, always a way to excuse such people, always a way to wriggle out of the matter. Until an offence is committed and, even then when legal proceedings are under way or (as is the current case) finished with a successful conviction, there is always a matter of doubt amongst the barrack room lawyers, who would have the legislation changed this way or that.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: @Steven Roper

(iv)penetrative sexual activity between children and adults, and

So that would be with a finger in the mouth.

What? You say, people are convicted/released on technicalities? Yes, there is no other kind. Murder is 'technically' a crime.

Clearly, they weren't able to show that he had ever looked at the pictures, or even knew they were there, because that would have been different charges, rather than the hapless 'possession' charge.

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Boffin

Re: @Scorchio!! @DrXym - Should be minimum sentencing guidelines for this sort of thing

Presuming that answer above was addressed to me, the problem with your "screed" is that you are arguing that *everyone* should be treated as a potential sexual offender and considered guilty unless they can prove their innocence. Therefore you fail by reversing the principles of Justice in this country and on the grounds of using the Precautionary Principle to demand that the government control what others can see based on the (alleged) threat posed by a tiny minority.

I note, by the way, the weasel words in your comments "The literature on paedophilia is very suggestive". So you fail on that as well because this is not conclusive, nor scientifically proven. And you also fail by appearing to assert the "gateway theory" that seeing this sort of thing will make them "move from one type of offence to another" with the implication that it causes people to abuse children. How many children have been abused by people who have *not* looked at child abuse images, let alone drawings from Manga etc? For that matter, how many people have seen the (now illegal) drawings which have been classed as "child pornography" and have *not* gone on to abuse children?

As for your anecdote about "one even set me up for assault", so what? Was that simply because he was a paedophile and didn't like you enforcing the rules? Is that sort of behaviour *exclusive* to paedophiles? I don't think so.

Finally you again use weasel words such as "excuse", "wriggle out", "barrack room lawyers" when you go back to your argument of Presumed Guilty by saying "there is always a matter of doubt amongst the barrack room lawyers". Well, yes, that's because that matter of doubt is the foundation of our entire Legal System, apart from child porn, it seems where an accusation is enough to cause people like you to assume guilt!

Yes, people who abuse children should be prosecuted. Yes, people who take photos or own photos of that abuse should be prosecuted. But we should *not* fall for the mentality that our Tabloid Media's agenda pushes whereby anything that looks even *vaguely* suspect in their entirely subjective opinion should be considered prima facie evidence that the possessor is a potential child abuser and therefore anything they don't like (even if it's an entirely fictional drawing) needs to be banned.

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Anonymous Coward

Downloaded in one session. This is quite interesting, it would not surprise me if he had plans to plant them on others or some such activity. I have seen these people chatting on IRC with that exact topic. He has been tarred now though and will be suitable ashamed I would think. This will hang with him forever, and his family. A month left to serve, in open prison I assume? Open prison and media publicity about child porn images will not go down well... Or is he banged up in the downstairs unit of Wandsworth?

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"Ryan deeply regrets his involvement in these matters and is keen to move forward with his life and put this case behind him," said Karen Todner, of Kaim Todner solicitors.

That will no longer be possible, Ms. Todner. 'Convicted paedophile' until the day he dies...

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Anonymous Coward

What a laugh

The only thing Assnonymous and Lulsec members regret is getting caught. I hope when the bleeding hearts in the judicial system wake up, these perverted perps get much longer sentences and end up paying big punistive damages in addition to treble damages.

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Trollface

Re: What a laugh

I dont know what punistive damages are sir but can I have some?

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Re: What a laugh

"The only thing Assnonymous and Lulsec members regret is getting caught."

I hope you're not implying you never did anything in your teens that you regretted later. Kid makes stupid mistake, pays his dues in jail. I think he's allowed to regret it.

(I don't much about this particular case, just folks that get up on their high horse)

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Unhappy

Am I missing something?

Why oh why is thisguy getting off with barely a slap after possessing such images? Is it because of his 'Aspergers' ,does the download of them on 'one session' mean that he pretty much just walk away from this?

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Pint

Re: Am I missing something?

"such images"

Who here as seen the actual alleged images ? All we have to go on is the reporting of the case.

It could be that the reporting of the case is exaggerating the severity of the offending. That would explain the apparent light handed-ness of the sentence vs the supposed seriousness of the offence (if that seriousness was being sensationally exaggerated for a prurient readership. In the British press? Surely not <cough>).

The SAP Scale also has sentencing recommendations and if the reporting of the nature of the material is accurate then a minimum custodial sentence of 18 months to 3 years would seem to be appropriate, not a community service order.

Something doesn't quite stack up. But there could be any number of reasons for that apparent discrepancy. A light handed judge is only one possible explanation.

Not defending the guy, just saying.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Am I missing something?

I don't know, are you? Lets start from the other side. Is the a particular reason you think he does deserve an(other) long stay in jail for downloading one batch of indecent images?

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Re: Am I missing something?

It's because of time served (if I read the article correctly). He's already been locked up for a while so when it comes down to it they take that into account rather than adding it on to the end so he doesn't serve X months for the hacking and Y months for the child abuse images

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Anonymous Coward

Given the very loose classification of "child porn" in law, one wonders whether these were even pictures of real children or just a bunch of cartoons.

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Anonymous Coward

Under UK Law

Downloading- or even owning a computer which has downloaded to it- child porn is classed as 'creating' it. So his single charge, as no-one elaborated on that point, is likely just the charge of having downloaded the images, with the 'possession' charges because he didn't get rid of them.

I'm not defending him- he should have gotten rid of the images immediately if he didn't know what they were when downloading them or not downloaded them if he did know- but that's the fucked up ruleset we have to live by.

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Re: Under UK Law

" he should have gotten rid of the images immediately if he didn't know what they were when downloading them"

The problem there is that when they seize your computer on suspicion of kiddy porn, they do forensic recovery on the hard drive. So if you do suddenly spot that what you thought was an episode of Game of Thrones turns out to be a masked rar of naked children, go "oh shit!" and delete it, you'll likely get done for tampering with evidence and impeding a police investigation for the act of doing so.

The sad fact is, the moment that shit ends up on your computer, intentionally or not, you're damned if you do and damned if you don't.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Under UK Law

"he sad fact is, the moment that shit ends up on your computer, intentionally or not, you're damned if you do and damned if you don't."

So not even nuking it from orbit will help?

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@Steven Roper

Ryan Cleary was also convicted of making images.

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Re: Under UK Law

"Your Honour, the prosecution wishes to submit Exhibit A as evidence against the defendant on child pornography charges."

"But that's just a hard disk that's been set on fire."

"But why would the defendant set fire to it if there *wasn't* sick filthy child porn on it?"

"GUILTY! Lock the little bastard up for life."

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Anonymous Coward

Re: @Steven Roper

@Titus Technophobe "Ryan Cleary was also convicted of making images."

IANAL but...

...in the legal sense the "making" of images has been deemed to be the act of a binary file being copied to a storage medium. In other words anything downloaded is automatically classed as "making" a copy.

It seems to have become a legal definition creep - as "possession" and "making" are apparently different offences - but for computer files they are apparently taken to be one and the same thing.

For non-computer material they are two separate offences - and "possession" does not automatically include the more serious "making".

The laws do seem to have been applied ambiguously in response to the political panic about the internet and computers. Apparently some images from books - freely available though high street bookshops - are only classed as illegal content if they are in digitised form on a computer.

For a book sold in the UK - if an image is later judged illegal - then it is the publisher/distributor who is prosecuted - not any buyers. Such prosecutions are apparently rare - otherwise Amazon.co.uk would be guilty of selling many books, new or used, that should fall foul of the generic broad classifications.

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Re: @Steven Roper

So why did Ryan plead guilty?

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Re: @Steven Roper

Why did he plead guilty? Simply because he was guilty.

As was pointed out by AC above, the very act of unzipping an archive file means you are guilty of making an indecent image. Further, if you then view the files you've just unzipped, you end up creating a new image in your PC's graphics memory, which again means you are guilty of creating an indecent image.

The whole possessing and creating laws were originally to do with physical items, such as photographs, where there is a clear physical distinction between possessing a photo that someone else made, and going out and taking your own photos. The extension to digital media makes little sense, but does have the "bonus" effect of making the act of possession sound as bad as the act of creation of original material.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: @Steven Roper

A guilty plea carries a lighter sentence.

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