back to article FBI let alleged pedo walk free rather than explain how they snared him

In a surprising and worrying move, the FBI has dropped its case against a man accused of downloading child sex abuse images, rather than reveal details about how they caught him. Jay Michaud, a middle school teacher in Vancouver, Washington, was arrested in July last year after visiting the Playpen, a dark web meeting place …

  1. Big-nosed Pengie

    What have they got against foot fetishists?

    1. malle-herbert
      Unhappy

      Because this is about children's feet...

      I'm all for sick jokes... but this is nothing to joke about...

      1. davenewman

        The correct abbreviation is paedo, not pedo. The headline writer got it wrong.

        1. Herbert Meyer
          Headmaster

          depends on which side of the Atlantic

          In the US, it is usually pedo. This is a US case.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: depends on which side of the Atlantic

            And on a related note, the proper legal term in the US is child pornography. Not "child sex abuse images", which is just propaganda. It's entirely possible for an image to be child pornography without depicting any kind of abuse. A certain class of selfies popular with teens these days would be the most obvious example.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: depends on which side of the Atlantic

              "It's entirely possible for an image to be child pornography without depicting any kind of abuse."

              I've heard of cases where people have been done for junk mail in their letter box containing pictures of childrens clothing or fully clothed children, tho how much is urban myth and how much is reality I cannot say. If some of what I have haerd is true images can be considered child porn without even containing children.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: depends on which side of the Atlantic

                I've heard of cases where people have been done for junk mail in their letter box containing pictures of childrens clothing or fully clothed children, tho how much is urban myth and how much is reality I cannot say.

                The UK has laws on this topic that seem to be specifically designed for entrapment.

                The mere fact that you have such images in your possession is enough, so if you send a USB stick to someone and then tip off the police anonymously is enough to have this person arrested as the police is focused on proving guilt, not finding any reasons for innocence.

                People doing this to their business competitors or political rivals stand a good chance of making that work or cause at least a good 2 years of misery for the recipient and family while PC Plod "investigates" and the case makes its way to a date in court (people under investigation are no longer allowed near their own children without 3rd party supervision and are generally barred for any work with children like football clubs etc).

                It's a vile trade, but UK laws seem to be designed to allow 3rd parties to use it to further their own agenda which raises questions about the motivation of having it on the books with so few safeguards against abuse.

                1. Faux Science Slayer

                  "Spies, Lords & Predators" an Australia 60 UK investigation on YouTube

                  "Virginia Roberts Affidavit" a teen diary of Randy Prince Andy at Orgy Island....

                  FBI is less concerned with disclosing methods than discovery of selective enforcement.

                  The power structure is pedo based, "Where is Eric Braverman" series on YouTube....

                2. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: depends on which side of the Atlantic

                  cause at least a good 2 years of misery for the recipient and family while PC Plod "investigates" and the case makes its way to a date in court (people under investigation are no longer allowed near their own children without 3rd party supervision

                  Op ORE is a good example of Plod blackmailing people to plead guilty AND subsequently end their own lives when Plod publicise them despite assurances against it

              2. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: depends on which side of the Atlantic

                It's true. According to the COPINE scale which includes drawings and animation:

                https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/COPINE_scale

              3. bombastic bob Silver badge
                Unhappy

                Re: depends on which side of the Atlantic

                regarding 'entrapment' etc.

                I once received spam mail with an attached photo of a kid and the lower half of a naked male with what appeared to be "something pornographic" on the kid's face, obviously meant to represent something specific, and the kid was fully clothed. Someone online suggested it was probably photoshopped and that they used Pina colada for the 'visual effect', to skirt the child pornography laws. Still, something like that isn't welcome in your e-mail inbox...

                I still submitted it (with headers) to an FBI online 'reporting' web site (probably ifccfbi.gov or similar)

                there have also been frequent-enough cases where an image site gets a brief upload of such material, maybe 5 or 10 minutes before it's taken down. that's when you go to your intarweb cache and purge, purge, purge. can't do much about the need for 'brain bleach' though.

                on a lighter note...

                "the admission that the FBI had been distributing such images and videos online troubled many"

                Sorta like "Fast and Furious" without the guns

            2. Suricou Raven Silver badge

              Re: depends on which side of the Atlantic

              I prefer 'child sex abuse images' because I don't want to taint the image of good adult pornography by association.

            3. patrickstar

              Re: depends on which side of the Atlantic

              Also, in certain jurisdictions, for reason I can't comprehend, even cartoons can be classified as "Child pornography" by the law...

              Anyways, this case will just lead to the Feds applying the good old art of Parallel Construction universally in the future.

              1. bombastic bob Silver badge
                Childcatcher

                Re: depends on which side of the Atlantic

                "Also, in certain jurisdictions, for reason I can't comprehend, even cartoons can be classified as 'Child pornography' by the law..."

                which is assinine, because NOW it's just "moral police" and not protecting actual children from exploitation...

                which, of course, is why child porn is illegal, because actual CHILDREN were victimized in its production. [sane laws would focus on THAT aspect alone, and leave the rest out of it]

          2. Pen-y-gors Silver badge
            Headmaster

            Re: depends on which side of the Atlantic

            Having the misfortune to be born in America does not excuse illiteracy. The word is derived from the greek παῖς • ‎(paîs) m, f ‎(genitive παιδός);, (not to be confused with the Welsh pais=petticoat) and traditionally in real English was spelt pædo-whatever. Pedo-philia sounds like one of those odd Latin/Greek hybrids like tele-vision.

        2. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge
          Headmaster

          The correct abbreviation is paedo, not pedo.

          Well, if you're being pedantic, it's pædo.

          Anyway, where does that leave us walkers with the pedometer on our belt?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Anyway, where does that leave us walkers with the pedometer on our belt?

            Out in the woods?

            :)

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            That makes me wonder

            Does the FBI have pædometers to measure productivity in this department?

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Surely a little joke is ok?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          "A little joke" - I see what you did there.

          1. David 132 Silver badge

            "A little joke" - I see what you did there.

            He was just kidding.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      A foot fetishist is a podophile, or podo.

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  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The old adage goes a little something like this...

    When you live by the Zero-Day, you die by the Zero-Day.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The old adage goes a little something like this...

      Especially if the zero day is not yours and you bought it.

      My (educated) guess would be that they bought the zeroday from Alisa Shevchenko's company or another person/company under an embargo order. Either that or bought it from criminals on the same darknet they were supposed to investigate.

      So revealing the zero-day would result in them being in clear violation of a presidential Embargo order - trading with a prohibited person/company or trading with criminals.

  4. The_Idiot

    'We...

    ... have to let this one go, because if we say how we got him, we might jeapordise future investigations'.

    Time passes.

    Future investigations are, um, investigated.

    'We, um, have to let this one go, because if we say how we got him, we might jeapordise future investigations.'

    What's wrong with this picture? To me, pretty much everything. The Bad People don't get put away, and the Bad Things keep happening. So what if telling folk how you got the evidence _does_ increase the chance the Bad People won't fall for it next time? At least _some_ Bad People get put away.

    Yes, I know. Bigger fish to fry and all that. But if you know you won;t wan t to put your evidence on the table, don;t bother prosecuting. And if you're not in the business of prosecuting? Get off my bloody law-enforcement lawn!

    I know. I'm an Idiot... sigh.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: 'We...

      "So what if telling folk how you got the evidence _does_ increase the chance the Bad People won't fall for it next time?"

      I think the concern in this case - and the stingray cases - is that the evidence was obtained illegally.

      I've been wondering lately - well, actually, for a long time - if the FBI is a criminal enterprise at its core.

      How many scandals with their labs falsifying forensic evidence and committing perjury in court? And agents working with the mob? Its always something.

      Maybe a long overdue housecleaning is on its way....

      Or maybe not.

    2. SteveK

      Re: 'We...

      'We, um, have to let this one go, because if we say how we got him, we might jeapordise future investigations.'

      But surely future investigations are already jeopardised as future defence lawyers now know what they have to ask to get the case quietly dropped?

    3. 2+2=5 Silver badge
      Childcatcher

      Re: 'We...

      > ... have to let this one go, because if we say how we got him, we might jeapordise future investigations'.

      Or 'on-going' investigations. The FBI may have a major investigation underway (not necessarily a paedophile case but something else that uses ToR) and they don't want to take the risk that disclosing the details of the NIT would allow criminals to check their PCs to see if they were under investigation as well.

      It's all a bit what-if though. It's just as likely that the FBI decided that, in this case, he was a 'user' rather than a 'dealer' in paedophilia and there are bigger fish to fry.

      1. james 68

        Re: 'We...

        "It's all a bit what-if though. It's just as likely that the FBI decided that, in this case, he was a 'user' rather than a 'dealer' in paedophilia and there are bigger fish to fry."

        @2+2=5

        I sincerely hope that you're wrong.

        Because if you're right.... that suggests that the FBI is more concerned with those who host the sites and are generally in it for the money (read as FBI wants to "confiscate" the cash to support the next office party) as opposed to the "users" who are an actual real danger to children as they are the ones who are getting their rocks off to pics of underage kids and are likely to try it on for real.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: 'We...

          "that suggests that the FBI is more concerned with those who host the sites and are generally in it for the money (read as FBI wants to "confiscate" the cash to support the next office party) as opposed to the "users" who are an actual real danger to children as they are the ones who are getting their rocks off to pics of underage kids and are likely to try it on for real."

          Gotta ask 2 things. Is there any money in it? Coz I've heard that most of these sites are sharing sites like pirate bay only for even more evil shit.

          And I also gotta ask if these people geting their rocks off are gonna do it? How many times have you watched a movie where lotsa people get killed? How many people have you killed? How many people view rape fantasy sites and other shit like that? How many of these people go on to watch that shit? How many of these guys would have the balls to even approach a kid? Do the images protect our kids after all?

          1. Jonathan Richards 1
            Stop

            Re: 'We...

            > Do the images protect our kids after all?

            One thing is certain. Unless the images are cartoon/CGI then one or more real children have been abused and exploited to make it. Stamping out the incentive to create images like that will protect children other than mine, and that's a fine objective, right there.

            1. Vic

              Re: 'We...

              Unless the images are cartoon/CGI

              Under UK Law, even cartoon porn images are illegal. As are images of people well above the age of consent dressed up as children in a pornographic setting. Yes, we have totally bollocksed laws.

              Stamping out the incentive to create images like that will protect children

              There are two assumptions in that single sentence; that such prosecutions will have any impact whatsoever on the incentive, and that reducing the supply of images will prevent further abuse.

              I don't think we have any data on the first - although it can be shown that, in situations like drug use, a relaxation of the law can show a decrease in use, I don't think that sort of study is applicable here. In short - we can't know.

              But as to the latter - child abuse has been with us for millennia[1], so it's unlikely that we'll actually be able to stop it. There is an argument that says that a paedophile getting his rocks off to an image of an abused child is one that's not actively abusing another child; if this is the case - and I've not looked for studies so I don't know - then reducing the supply of images is actually likely to cause increased future abuse.

              And that's the trouble with getting too emotional over various sorts of crime; although we'd obviously all like child abuse to stop forever, picking remedies because they "feel right" can often make the problem worse rather than better. It's entirely possible that the real solution is public dismemberment of anyone actually caught abusing children[2], but possession of child pornography be permitted to those who have registered themselves as being at risk of committing such an offence.

              Or matbe it's something else entirely. Without objective studies, we'll probably never know.

              Vic.

              [1] My old classics teacher told us that the Ancient Greeks believed women were for procreation, boys for recreation.

              [2] It concerns me significantly that copying an image - by, for example,downloading it from the Internet - is considered "creating an image" under UK law, and so is punished in a similar fashion to actually holding the camera whilst a child is being abused.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: 'We...

        Or 'on-going' investigations. The FBI may have a major investigation underway (not necessarily a paedophile case but something else that uses ToR) and they don't want to take the risk that disclosing the details of the NIT would allow criminals to check their PCs to see if they were under investigation as well.

        Is there a statute of limitations on child-sex crimes? Maybe it's easier to let him apparently go now and keep him under observation while they finish the ongoing investigations, then pick him up & charge him later, rather then risk blowing other cases now?

    4. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: 'We...

      The Bad People don't get put away, and the Bad Things keep happening.

      Actually, they don't have to convict or even really get into the trial. The alleged perp has been convicted in the court of public opinion just by being arrested and charged with the offense. The media grabs it and the next thing one knows is that their name is spread nationwide. Any potential employer who Googles them gets the full story. Friends, neighbors, etc. will shun them.

      So reality is... they don't need to put them away or try them to ruin the alleged crim.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: 'We...

        So reality is... they don't need to put them away or try them to ruin the alleged crim.

        So, a faceless, powerful, non-transparent, poorly accountable organisation should be allowed to do this stuff? If the FBI have got code running on his computer, they could have put the stuff there themselves. Whilst that is unlikley, how much do you trust the FBI and in particular each and every one of its staff?

        For the FBI as an institution it would be a very good way of silencing whistleblowers, wouldn't it? And for employees, a great way of abusing their position to exact revenge?

        1. Mark 85 Silver badge

          Re: 'We...

          Trust the FBI? Right... about as far as I can toss them. J. Edgar didn't do their reputation any favors with many of the stunts he pulled but he did set the precedent. LEA's have been pulling this kind of stuff for a long time... and getting away with it. The War on Drugs is a good example also. where the cops planted evidence because they knew the person they planted it on was a bad person.

          It's more than a bit scary.

      2. This post has been deleted by its author

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: 'We...

        "So reality is... they don't need to put them away or try them to ruin the alleged crim."

        So true. there's no coming back from even a weak accusation. Look at McMartin trials in the us and how long they had to fight for and how many believe they're guilty even now. All the proof of your innocence in the world doesn't heal the damage of one accusation.

      4. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: 'We...

        "So reality is... they don't need to put them away or try them to ruin the alleged crim."

        "Alleged" is a key word here. No conviction so in the eyes of the law he's innocent. I think we can expect the lawsuit to follow PDQ.

        Investigation of crimes should be properly conducted so that the prosecution are able and willing to stand over their evidence.

        1. Vic

          Re: 'We...

          "Alleged" is a key word here. No conviction so in the eyes of the law he's innocent.

          Sure. But if all his friends and neighbours have been told of the investigation, are they going to think he's an innocent man, or are they going to decide that he;s a filthy paedo that got off on a technicality? That's not a sentence that is likely to end, either.

          I think we can expect the lawsuit to follow PDQ.

          That will probably be good for all of us - but is unlikely to help the defendant in question.

          Vic.

    5. P. Lee
      Childcatcher

      Re: 'We...

      >if you're not in the business of prosecuting? Get off my bloody law-enforcement lawn!

      My guess would be that this is strategy, either hoping to get a judge to nod it through without them having to reveal or as a drip, drip, drip effect that they can use when they get around to asking to be officially allowed to not reveal the evidence. "See how many paedophiles we would have put away if it weren't for this pesky law saying we have to disclose the evidence!"

      Hard cases make bad law.

      1. dan1980

        Re: 'We...

        Sure, on the face of it, the FBI dropping this case would seem to imply they would need to drop the 'future cases' they are trying to protect.

        There are two likely explanations.

        One is that they don't want to divulge the code as it would allow protections against vulnerabilities they are actively exploiting in a 'bigger' case. Therefore, they wouldn't be protecting themselves from scrutiny by refusing to release the code. (IF that's how it is . . . )

        The other is that they are expecting to have laws made that prevent them having to disclose this information in the future - potentially using this case as a springboard: "unless we can circumvent due process, paedophiles will go free!".

        Actually, whether the former is true or not, the latter is almost certainly on the cards. They've already got a nice bill waved through that allows them the 'right' to circumvent some of that due process - so far as warrants go.

  5. CanadianMacFan

    Fighting Child Porn Like Fighting Drugs

    Police everywhere seem to be fighting child porn and the distribution of images in the same manner as they do the distribution of drugs. In the case of the images they appear to concentrate their efforts on those who download the pictures for viewing. It's the same as going after the casual drug users. What they really need to be doing is going after the people who are creating the images. They are the ones truly hurting the children.

    The FBI had control of a server and they go after the people who downloaded images. There was the opportunity to find out who uploaded them. Get those people and work up the chain until you find out who shot the photos. Then you lock them away for life. Make them fear for their freedom if they create child sex abuse images. They certainly don't feel that way now.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Fighting Child Porn Like Fighting Drugs

      "Then you lock them away for life. Make them fear for their freedom if they create child sex abuse images. They certainly don't feel that way now."

      Many places have long sentences or death penalty for murder. Many people still murder. Most people think they'll never be caught.

      We need a better approach which treats the root cause of this and fixes them before they fuck up someones life, not after. And we need to make it so they're not afraid to come forward and get help before they do anything bad. I know if I felt that way towards kids I'd wanna hide it real deep coz no fucking way would I dare admit that in todays society!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Fighting Child Porn Like Fighting Drugs

        I remember reading a BBC article about a German program (Project Dunkelfeld) that uses behavioral therapy to stop paedophiles from offending or re-offending.

        (Found it: http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-33464970)

        It remarks that in German there is patient confidentiality, but in the UK therapists must report admission of abuse. So in the UK, there'd be a smaller pool. Forget prison, I'd expect they'd be most afraid of ending up on the sex offenders' register.

      2. bombastic bob Silver badge
        Megaphone

        Re: Fighting Child Porn Like Fighting Drugs

        "We need a better approach which treats the root cause of this and fixes them before they fuck up someones life, not after."

        only a 'feel' solution is likely to come out of this line of thinking, which means more gummint, stupidER laws, and a whole lot of emotion and getting NOTHING accomplished. no thanks.

        How about this: you punish criminals as HARD as you can, keep them out of peaceful society for as LONG as you can, and actually _ENFORCE_ death penalties without decades of "appeals" dragging it on indefinitely?

        There is actual _EVIL_ in the world. There are people who will go out of their way to do criminal act to get money or pleasure [or whatever], even if their skills and intelligence could otherwise get them employed, eventually making MORE money than they'd get doing illegal crap, or else they have enough money to do LEGAL things rather than ILLEGAL ones.

        I've known a couple of these *kinds* of people: an uncle, and a friend's brother. Both are dead, and you COULD say their own evil/selfish lifestyle contributed to a short lifespan, as well as outright victimizing others (or society in general) from time to time.

        It's not society's fault, their parents' fault, or anybody ELSE's fault but their own. They, by their VERY NATURE, seek to do evil things without giving a crap about how much it hurts others (or society in general). Sometimes people call them 'sociopaths', or even 'psychopaths', but I have a better term: CRIMINALS. And you PUNISH criminals, get them away from the peaceful and orderly people, by INCARCERATING them for as LONG as you can legally do so.

        Fixing the root cause of THAT can only be done by eliminating the aberrations (criminally-minded people) from the bell curve of human nature. Or, you can just lock them up and keep them away from potential victims, which generally works every time it's tried...

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Fighting Child Porn Like Fighting Drugs

          Dunno what statistics you used here,

          But a quick google will show the re-offence rate on people given the death penalty is well within tolerance levels for paedo whatevers

    2. MR J

      Re: Fighting Child Porn Like Fighting Drugs

      The problem is that a lot of these images could be hanging around now for 50 years or more. That would mean that the "creator" would probably be well past their 70's.

      I would guess that content creation is quite low these days, so it is much easier to fight against those who consume this type of stuff and HOPE that someone who might be considering making content or even viewing it thinks to themselves "I am going to get caught".

      It would be like taking down a drug baron. If you take down one guy that runs 20% of the US snort powder... The news can report about 1 guy... So if your a user you think, my chances of being that 1 guy is impossible - use away. See the thinking here?...

      Honestly this type of honeytrap that was set up by them is wrong, as they become the dealers. Saying that, they have proof of who did visit so the guy should not be let off.

    3. Crazy Operations Guy Silver badge

      Re: Fighting Child Porn Like Fighting Drugs

      Indeed, I have always thought the FBI should run the Child Porn website themselves and just watch the uploads, then they may actually have the ability to stop child abuse in progress, rather than months or years after the fact.

      I would also like to see the laws changed so that people can seek treatment for a predilection towards children without risking being thrown in jail. I've seen many reports and interviews with people convicted of sexual abuse of a minor where most of them state that there was no where for them to go to get treatment, so resorted to going onto underground forums where they were told it was perfectly natural, rather than being able to get treatment.

      The reason why no one does anything logical is because we as a society have this weird fetish of preferring to see people punished for what we see as crimes, rather than try and work towards preventing those crimes. Doesn't help that showing any sense of sympathy or understanding towards a demonized group instantly puts you deep within that particular group... Like saying "Karl Marx did bring up a few rational points" and suddenly everyone sees you as the re-incarnation of Stalin.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      WTF?

      Re: Fighting Child Porn Like Fighting Drugs

      In the case of the images they appear to concentrate their efforts on those who download the pictures for viewing. ....What they really need to be doing is going after the people who are creating the images. They are the ones truly hurting the children.

      And you base that on what? Facts? Thought not.

      The first thing they do is try try and identify the perpetrator AND the victim, as well as the uploaders and down loaders. A 2 second search may of even given you some examples of how they do this.

      https://www.interpol.int/en/News-and-media/News/2017/N2017-001

      http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2256775/Operation-Sunflower-Over-100-children-rescued-pedophiles-clutches-America-massive-raid.html

      http://news.sky.com/story/huckle-tried-to-cash-in-on-child-abuse-pics-10301319

      http://www.stcatharinesstandard.ca/2016/08/10/six-children-saved-six-adults-charged-in-online-sex-crime-case-dubbed-project-iceberg

  6. Marketing Hack Silver badge
    Stop

    Scumbag Olympics...

    Using the population segments ID'd in this article as available dataset.

    A) Gold Medal: People who ogle and molest kids

    B) Silver Medal: Law enforcement who plant malware on computers, but would rather hide their sources and methods and evasion of due process than convicting A) so that they can't victimize or reward the victimization of more kids.

    (And no, just because B) is better than A) doesn't make excusing B) an option.)

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Scumbag Olympics...

      There is no suggestion that he molested anyone - just that he had pictures supplied by the government.

      Possession of a copy of Das Boot does not make you a war criminal

      1. Crazy Operations Guy Silver badge

        Re: Scumbag Olympics...

        I've always thought of it along the lines of possessing a video from military drone while ti fires a missile. You may have it because you were the one controlling the drone, or you might have it if it was released into the public. The context of why you possess such things is very important.

        With Child Pornography, the context in which the person possess the material should be an important factor in determining proper punishment / rehabilitation. If they created the images, throw them in jail and throw away the key; If they are watching because they intend to abuse a child themselves, mandatory treatment in a psychiatric facility until they are no longer a threat; possession because they are curious and have no intention of offending, require them to undergo out-patient psychiatric help, maybe remove them from situations where they'd be alone with a child; and so on.

        The law is far too draconian to properly prevent child abuse. With a fair and just law on the book, you'd end up with situations where a consumer turns in a creator because the creator is abusing their own children or the abuse is particularly heinous in which case the police could arrest the creator after the first case of abuse, rather than after a pro-longed train of abuse like what happens now.

        I do find the whole ting highly repugnant, but isn't the goal supposed to be preventing children from being abused and not just retribution against those that do? Isn't it better to prevent a crime than to punish someone who committed it?

        1. bombastic bob Silver badge

          Re: Scumbag Olympics...

          "Isn't it better to prevent a crime than to punish someone who committed it?"

          every cop would LOVE to catch criminals in the act. unfortunately, MOST of the time, all they can do is investigate (i.e. draw a chalk-line) and arrest, and THEN hand the evidence to prosecution to convict and incarcerate. Yeah not a lot of 'caught in the act' going on, here.

          this is where the concept of "citizen's arrest", as well as reporting crimes [identifying yourself so you can be called as a witness] can be extremely helpful. And 'concealed carry' laws. Because there aren't enough cops to stop every crime, but there are a lot of honest citizens that can really really make a difference.

    2. Suricou Raven Silver badge

      Re: Scumbag Olympics...

      Law enforcement knows they have a free pass here: It doesn't matter how much they ignore due process and violate the rights of child molesters, no politician is ever doing to dare to hold them accountable.

  7. Paul Hovnanian Silver badge

    The FBI has forgotten its job

    Which is to build a prosecutable case against the suspect. Not to play James Bond or George Smiley.

  8. Sampler

    School Teacher

    So a School Teacher who had illicit child images is walking free when they found a massive stash of these images on his computer, that no one is refuting are there or that he didn't freely acquire them of his on volition?

    This is why I hate legal technicalities, I mean, I understand it's to stop the like of the FBI from being even bigger dicks and ignoring their own laws which inevitably will lead to false accusations and innocents arrested, but this, this still seems wrong to me.

    Though I'm sure they'll be the follow up lawsuit of wrongful whatever so he can claims millions off the Feds, so long as he can dodge mob mentality long enough to live to see the payout..

    1. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

      Re: School Teacher

      The ferals do not like when they have to play the rules. I am not real thrilled about a variety of aspects about this case given that somewhere real child abuse occurred. But if the ferals want the peasants to trust them they need to stop using dodgy and illegal tactics to gain a conviction. There is an adage by an English jurist that notes it is better to let one guilty go free than to falsely convict ten innocent. In this case a possible guilty person is going free to protect the innocent in the future.

    2. RIBrsiq
      Boffin

      Re: School Teacher

      Another way to look at it is that a school teacher has had his life and livelihood completely ruined based on inadmissible evidence.

      Due process is there for good reason, you know. As is the presumption of innocence.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: School Teacher

        This guy was clearly guilty (given the other vids and photos found) but the courts will set him free because the FBI failed to do their jobs properly and even furthered his perversion by provideing him with additional sick images on a server they controlled, Yet an innocent person of colour can be executed by the state police and the same justice system takes no action against the state killers or their supporters / employers / state system etc, effectively justifying their actions.

        The US system is deeply fundamentally flawed if they think this is acceptable behaviour in the developed world.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: School Teacher

          "This guy was clearly guilty (given the other vids and photos found"

          But was he guilty? If I were into that shit I'd want to find anothe rplace to hide my stash. If I could hack someone's computer and use up some of their spare disk space that'd mean the stuff not at home. If I can set up a vpn on their systyem then everything traces back to them. I can bet if I cna think of this some nasty bastard has already done it.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: School Teacher

            But was he guilty? If I were into that shit I'd want to find anothe rplace to hide my stash.

            I'd also have a good look at the chain of evidence. Given the rather staggering lack of transparency in how they work, "helping" their case with adding a bit of data would not be hard to do. Any government agency that fights so hard to avoid transparency is suggesting to me it has something to hide.

            He is a simple principle: if your techniques are not open to scrutiny you should not use them because whatever you discover is not usable for a conviction, nor does it form a legally valid basis to start an investigation. Oversight is vital.

    3. Voland's right hand Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: School Teacher

      This is USA - its constitution prohibits searches without a due cause and its precedent base disqualifies any evidence obtained in a search without a reasonable cause from court (variation of the poison fruit doctrine). FBI refused to produce evidence that its search was reasonable and compliant with the warrant they were working on. Case closed.

      The guy would have been convicted in the UK where fruit of the poison tree does not apply. UK is one of the only two countries in the world without a written constitution and where evidence obtained by illegal means is admissible in court. The other one is Saudi Arabia.

      Elsewhere - not so much. There, the laws on searches and evidence in court all have some form of the poison fruit doctrine.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: School Teacher

        UK is one of the only two countries in the world without a written constitution and where evidence obtained by illegal means is admissible in court. The other one is Saudi Arabia.

        Nope, Germany too. That was shown during the events with data stolen from non-German banks such as Liechtenstein and Switzerland - the data was admissible despite obtained through illegal means.

        In Switzerland, however, this is not legal, so cross-judicial requests for assistance based on stolen data were denied, and Switzerland even went as far as issuing arrest warrants for the tax officials handling such stolen data (which was IMHO a daring and very amusing move).

        1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

          Re: School Teacher

          UK is one of the only two countries in the world without a written constitution

          That's Internet myth. The UK does have a written constitution, it just isn't all written down on one sheet of paper headed "Ye Olde Conftitution". It's made up of centuries of written Acts of Parliament.

          The US constitution and the Bill of Rights is heavily based on the English Bill of Rights from 1689, which is still part of UK constitutional law.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: School Teacher

            The US constitution and the Bill of Rights is heavily based on the English Bill of Rights from 1689, which is still part of UK constitutional law.

            First of all, Have you read it? I have. Which part of it is part of UK constitutional law? It has been gutted courtesy of the "Parliament is sovereign and shall not be bound" to an extend that there are maybe a few lines of it left on the statute books. Everything else is repealed one way or another.

            Second, constitution has a fundamental difference compared to "statute books" - it has special status which makes it extra difficult to repeal and amend. This is why it is written down. UK DOES NOT HAVE A CONSTITUTION PERIOD - because it does not have any laws which are in any way special and the parliament cannot amend as it sees fit with no additional supermajority requirements. The Bill of Rights and how little of it remains is a stellar example of this.

            1. Malcolm Weir Silver badge

              Re: School Teacher

              Per the High Court, there is exactly one law that is special, in that it devolves power to an organization that is not subject to Parliament's sovereignty.

              It is the European Communities Act (1972).

              It doesn't take much thought to recognize that the Brexiteers (nee Eurosceptics) are in no small part motivated by the power grab aspect: if/when the UK leaves the EU, they'll have unfettered power... even more so if they can drag us out of the ECHR too.

              Personally, my level of confidence in the wisdom and moral courage of Westminster is such that I think this is a suboptimal idea.

        2. Voland's right hand Silver badge
          Devil

          Re: School Teacher

          Nope, Germany too

          For the cases which you are quoting the crime of data theft and/or violation of various secrecy laws were committed _OUTSIDE_ Germany. After that the data was given to the German tax office within German law and used as a basis for a suspicion for a search warrant to be served on the local German bank which in turn resulted in data for the prosecution.

          So, while dubious and involving theft early on by a 3rd party outside Germany, it does not involve the German police doing something outright illegal like stealing the data themselves or trading with the mob to buy zero days or exploit toolkits to install on hijacked servers. That sort of hijinks is pretty much unique to the FBI. No other law enforcement agency around the world does it on such industrial scales.

    4. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

      Re: School Teacher

      As he has been named and probably done the 'perp walk' in front of the TV Cameras, his life as he knew it is over. He'll be lucky to get a job in clearing turds in a sewage plant after this.

      Don't you just love the US Legal System where in some places even having a pee behind a dumpster after a few too many beers could get you tried as a sex offender. After all you exposed your thing in public.

      Won't someone think of the kiddies!

    5. Vic

      Re: School Teacher

      a massive stash of these images on his computer, that no one is refuting are there or that he didn't freely acquire them of his on volition?

      Can you prove that?

      We know that the FBI put executable code on his computer. We know that the same FBI was distributing child pornography.

      The defendant's lawyer has asked to check the code that was put on his client's computer to ensure that the FBI didn't use it as a channel to put the pornography there as well - and the FBI has dismissed its own case rather than accede to that.

      Far-fetched? Which bit? That the FBI would put something on someone else's computer? Or that they were distributing child pornography?

      This guy might or might not be a scumbag - but he has been convicted of the same number of child pornography offences as you have. Are we still playing "innocent unless proven guilty"?

      Vic.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: School Teacher

        Are we still playing "innocent unless proven guilty"?

        Depends where. In USA - yes. In UK - no.

        Presumption of innocence is not enshrined in any way in UK statute books and as a matter of fact, there is a number of laws which revert it to guilty until proven innocent for specific "crimes". Health and Safety act, some of the safeguarding regs for working with children and vulnerable people, etc are examples of the latter. According to those you are always guilty until proven otherwise.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "police raid on his home revealed a substantial hoard of pictures and video of child sex abuse on computer"

    This proves this wasn't false positive. Making news by removing charge could be a new trick of FBI to justify it's long habit of violating warrents, using public sentiment.

    It's a case of pedo vs pervert.

    1. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

      Not proven

      Finding pictures proves that pictures got there somehow. It does not prove the accused was detected by a NIT downloading them from the Playpen via Tor. Even producing code for a working NIT does not prove the accused downloaded anything. Was the NIT output was faked? Was the NIT deployed on the accused's favourite hidden bottle cap picture exchange site?

      I would like the burden of proof set high: abusing a child or buying/bartering the resulting pictures. If you get accused because someone else copies child porn to your computer, how much evidence should be required for your conviction?

      I would like to keep the world's paedos in doors wanking to pictures or drawings, and not have them out in the real world desperate for a shag. Unfortunately evidence based policy is too difficult for our current politicians.

      1. Jonathan Richards 1
        WTF?

        Re: Not proven

        > I would like to keep the world's paedos in doors wanking to pictures ...

        Would you like to volunteer your own children to take part in the photoshoot for those pictures, perhaps?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Not proven

          Would you like to volunteer your own children to take part in the photoshoot for those pictures, perhaps?

          Could easily be CGI. No need to take photos of actual children.

          1. Paul

            Re: Not proven

            Even cartoons can be considered, legally, to be child porn

  10. Old Handle
    Big Brother

    I think the FBI has been very naughty. So much so, apparently, that what the defendant was accused of pales in comparison. I don't buy the explanation that the exploit itself is too valuable to reveal. More likely than not it was something already fixed in Firefox but not yet patched in the Tor Browser. That's what they used on Freedom Hosting IIRC. So when they say "endanger future investigations" it sounds more like "endanger future convictions" (because judges might balk if they knew what was really going on).

  11. DougS Silver badge

    I treat this as an admission that the FBI violated his rights

    After all, don't they always tell us "if you have nothing to hide you have nothing to fear"?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I treat this as an admission that the FBI violated his rights

      Slightly broader questions: if someone not in the US used this site and the FBI downloaded spy ware, who is legally liable if the users jurisdiction makes that unauthorised download an offence in Itself? What if any other material that person downloaded is not illegal in that person's jurisdiction?

      Or what would have happened if the Federal govt had opened a pub during Prohibition?

      1. Crazy Operations Guy Silver badge

        Re: I treat this as an admission that the FBI violated his rights

        Opening a pub during prohibition would be a clear case of entrapment. This web site, could also be considered as such.

        As far as your other questions go, the foreign government could very well force the US government to hand over the persons responsible (The US government seems to love forcing other countries to extradite its citizens to the US for simple hacking charge, why couldn't another country do it right back?). At the very least, foreign victims of the FBI's actions can sue the US government for damages since the US Government passed that bill last year to allow the families of the victims of the Sept 11th attacks sue the UAE, and thus threw out Sovereign Immunity.

        1. Sampler

          Re: I treat this as an admission that the FBI violated his rights

          I think it'd be hard to class a dark web site as entrapment.

          A standard site, with ads pointing to it and a high google PR so it even comes in on unrelated searches, sure, something you could possibly come across unintentionally and with models aged 17 years and eleven months who all look older than they're, all getting you on a technicality.

          But the dark web? Something you have to go hunting for, generally only able to access with referrals from other members, dealing in a very specific niche that's very raison d'être is why it's off the normal web - I'd find that a hard logical argument to support.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Cyber mines all over the place.

  13. x 7

    Whats the betting that in the next weeks there's going to be an example of vigilante justice.......?

  14. Paul

    Why is it that a man who's not been convicted of a crime now has all his details plastered over the internet?

    I'm all for prosecuting people who do horrible things, but the due process of the law is innocent until proven guilty.. and not trial by media.

    1. Hoe

      This is a very valid and worrying point, you can bet he'll be public enemy number 1 now with many yet as you say he has been proven of nothing.

      Trial my media is BS in my opinion, CONVICTION BY MEDIA would be much more accurate, when was the last time you read a "Guys didn't do anything" story?! They don't exist, it's only guy \ woman suspected of XYZ stories!

      His name was not required for this article to be printable, it should have been removed, I just hope in this case he is guilty as then I have zero sympathy for him!

  15. Doc Ock
    Big Brother

    Well Tor is an American Gov funded project, so perhaps it deliberately has weaknesses designed in and it's real purpose all along is to make people think they are secure but in actual fact it's a honey pot.

    1. Hoe

      Perhaps?!

      Sorry but I think this is a given, they have requested back doors in every OS, every Encryption Tool and Encrypted Messaging Service, they even want a back door for standard SSL stuff, there is nobody to request it from with TOR they can just do it.

      You still think it's a perhaps?!

      If they haven't got a backdoor in TOR then my name is President Hillary George Obama Trump!

    2. Mark 85 Silver badge

      That is possible since the TLA's had a large hand it designing it. Originally, it was to provide secure comms for the government. If I were a tin-foil hat wearer, I'd believe that there's two TOR's... the one everyone uses and another that the government uses.

  16. Hoe
    WTF?

    FBI don't want to admit breaking the law or they won't reveal the Back Door they have?

    One of the two surely?!

    1. Malcolm Weir Silver badge

      To be honest, there is a third: that they believe that there is a good chance that the argument that their warrant was defective will prevail, so that disclosing the details of the NIT would release information and they'd still lose the case (because of the warrant's problems). So if they believe that the warrant-was-not-sound argument is likely to be granted, then they'd lose anyway, so why go all "open kimono"?

      Don't forget that law enforcement has good lawyers too... and those lawyers can very easily evaluate the flaws in the government's case without the "help" of defense attorneys!

      Yeah, I know this is less exciting than the "our stuff is so secret that we'd walk from a prosecution rather than tell anyone about it" motif, but it seems to me to be more likely.

      [ So why bring the case in the first place? It's very possible that the prosecutor knew all about the issues, but was hoping that he could coerce a plea bargain from the defendant without having to follow through on the discovery process; if so, then the defense attorney called his bluff... which is itself quite rare. ]

  17. veti Silver badge

    So let's get this straight...

    The guy hasn't been tried, much less convicted, but it's OK to publicly identify him as a paedophile? Did he upload anything? Not stated. How was he identified? Also not stated.

    And who, specifically, signed off on the FBI running a child porn hub?

  18. doug_bostrom

    Repulsive though the problem of paedophilia is, this is supportive of the notion that the FBI and others exploit the emotional power of the problem to further an agenda not necessarily to do with protecting children from offenders. By this incident we're left to conclude that children rate somewhat down the scale of priorities, for the FBI.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What am I missing here?

    Quote: "Unbeknown to him at the time, the FBI were, for about a fortnight, running the site after taking over its servers, and managed to install a network investigative technique (NIT) on his computer to get his real public IP address and MAC address. The Playpen was hidden in the Tor anonymizing network, and the spyware was needed to unmask suspects – about 1,300 public IP addresses were collected by agents during the operation."

    I thought that a main point of using TOR was that each TOR server (except the entry point) has no knowledge of the originating IP address. So this quote would seem to imply a couple of things:

    -- that the FBI embedded malware in content returned to the originator of a TOR query

    -- the malware embedded information in subsequent TOR queries which identified the source

    So...if the FBI is operating many TOR sites, perhaps TOR is much less anonymous than advertised. Ditto GCHQ, Russian bad actors, Chinese bad actors, and so on.

    What am I missing here?

    1. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

      Re: What am I missing here?

      "that the FBI embedded malware in content returned to the originator of a TOR query"

      Yeah, if you click through to previous stories, this is most likely the case. It also says it in the article.

      C.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: What am I missing here?

        I would suspect that when the site was taken over any logs were analysed to identify popular files and then those files (probably along with any vulnerable new files that were uploaded) were replaced with malware laden versions (thinking similar previous vulnerabilities in .jpg here).

        Rather than force download anything to the machine (and risk accusations of files being planted etc) I would take the approach of trying to use some other form of marker on the computer system.

        One method that springs to mind would be to change the NTP server that the computer can use to sync it's clock and enable periodic resyncs (I would think that such an action is unlikely to be picked up as malware by software and would probably not be spotted by the user) then make a note of all ip addresses that sync from "totally-a-genuine-ntp-server.fbi.gov"

    2. patrickstar

      Re: What am I missing here?

      One of these "NIT" gizmos from the FBI was recently caught in the wild exploiting a 0day Firefox vulnerability. What it does is basically that it pwns you, but instead of installing ransomware or sending your banking details to Russia it simply connects to a server under FBI control (without using TOR, so it exposes your real IP address) and then sends some information about the system.

      See:

      https://lists.torproject.org/pipermail/tor-talk/2016-November/042639.html

      https://blog.gdatasoftware.com/2016/11/29346-firefox-0-day-targeting-tor-users

      This is actually a pretty darn good "grade" for the anonymity offered by TOR - that the most feasible way for the FBI to unmask a user is to compromise the user and not the network. It's essentially the best outcome you can hope for when it comes to anonymizing technology.

      (The wisdom of the Tor Browser Bundle can be discussed, however)

  20. tiggity Silver badge

    Euphemisms

    NIT (Network Investigative Technique) - or as it would be called if done by Joe Public hacking attack / malware install. etc. At least it was more appropriately called malware later in the article.

    The same playpen that the Feds improved performance of for the couple of weeks they kept it running, so more kiddie porn could be served faster - I leave the reader to think about the ethics of that.

    But as malware could allow all sorts of things (including deployment of content on someones PC) then defence request was valid... and the not showing code response could be interpreted in a variety of ways, one possible interpretation being that malware / playpen setup did have ability to "silently" deploy files. Without code access the malware possibilities are many, and it becomes guesswork as to the exact capabilities of the malware

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "perverts used to swap mountains of vile underage porn."

    Thanks for the picture you paint, but can you keep the moralizing out long enough to just report the story? Most folks already consider kiddie fiddlers to be pervs and probably consider underage porn to be bad (maybe even vile)... Underage and what is considered porn varies around the world.

  22. Mahhn

    Someone in the FBI needs

    Someone in the FBI needs to go to jail for this:

    "the admission that the FBI had been distributing such images and videos "

    WTF!

  23. Kiwi Silver badge
    Boffin

    "We need a better approach which treats the root cause of this and fixes them before they fuck up someones life, not after."

    only a 'feel' solution is likely to come out of this line of thinking, which means more gummint, stupidER laws, and a whole lot of emotion and getting NOTHING accomplished. no thanks.

    Yes, because the current system works so well. The one that takes a teen with a few issues and turns them into criminals, denies them chances to get help and so on. I've worked with troubled teens. I've seen a high success rate. Kids who would've been dead or in prison in their late teens instead are hard working members of society with a good family of their own by their mid 20s.

    But hey, lets just act like a bunch of retards and keep chucking people in prison and coming up with idiotic laws to further restrict freedoms and create even more criminals. You do know a common definition of insanity is "doing the same thing expecting different results", right? Doesn't that make society somewhat insane if we use the same idiotic methods in hopes of somehow improving this world?

    Punishment instead of rehabilitation is and always will be a failure, and the worst criminals of the lot are the scum who willingly promote such things (I don't mean housewives who read Daily Mail etc who haven't given this sort of thing any thought, but people who claim intelligence who promote this stuff - if anyone should have a life sentence without parole it is them)

    I'm not after whatever a "feel" solution is. I'm after an effective solution. It takes hard work, but the results are worth it, and in the long term cost society far less than what you promote.

    How about this: you punish criminals as HARD as you can, keep them out of peaceful society for as LONG as you can ?

    Tell me, with all the stuff your president elect appears to have done/promoted/has been accused of, what should be done with him? How long do you think should he be inside for?

    As to supporting the death penalty, well.. Only the most hate-filled people can promote or support such things.

    How can what you promote ever be part of "peaceful society"? Revenge breeds revenge, peace breeds peace, hate breeds hate, love breeds love. Revenge and hate are quick, easy, and feel good at the time, but the overall results are more revenge, hate, and pain. Peace and love however, while they take work to achieve and maintain, have better results long-term, and the overall quality of life for everyone is improved.

    There is actual _EVIL_ in the world.

    Yes, that's obvious just from your post.

    There are people who will go out of their way to do criminal act to get money or pleasure [or whatever], even if their skills and intelligence could otherwise get them employed,

    Not everyone who commits a crime is like that. Some don't know better, and have a chance to be educated. But the stupid idea of locking up people for longer only promotes crime, and more violent crime at that. If stealing a loaf of bread gets you 20 years, you might as well kill any witnesses as well.

    The vast majority of people who commit crimes would rather not. They'd rather be educated and have good jobs. They'd rather be straight than on drugs or booze (try getting them away from peers who lead them that way and put them with peers who promote getting out and having a good time through sports/other social activities where you don't substances to give you a "high", the changes and rapidity of those changes will astound you!)

    I've known a couple of these *kinds* of people: an uncle, and a friend's brother. Both are dead, and you COULD say their own evil/selfish lifestyle contributed to a short lifespan, as well as outright victimizing others (or society in general) from time to time.

    Everything you do leads to the moment of your death. Many good people die young (eg a teenager who dies trying to save someone else from drowning vs many nasty people die old and rich (how many mob leaders, empires built on the back of drug victims and other victims of violent crimes, die old and filthy rich?).

    I've also known a number of "these kinds" of people (whatever that is supposed to mean). I know from past volunteer work, and the friends I've had in more recent times who've made some significant mistakes, what it takes to cause someone to take a different track in life. A bad track is usually from an aberration that can be dealt with given appropriate "treatment" and resources. A change to a good track is the rewarding result of taking the time to find out what they need, then meeting that need.

    It's not society's fault, their parents' fault, or anybody ELSE's fault but their own.

    You don't see the hypocrisy in what you're saying here? You want to deprive people of their freedoms for as long as possible due to the mistakes they make, and you somehow think you are better than them? How messed up is your thinking?

    Everyone who has input into your life has a hand in how you turn out. Not all have a totally causative effect, but there are a lot of factors. Most criminals for example come from poorer backgrounds and broken homes - lots of childhood stress which can have a significant detrimental impact on young brains and minds. Yet there are many children from extreme poverty who do well. It doesn't mean the parents of those who commit crimes are directly at fault, but there may be some fault in that they didn't find a way to reach the person who broke the law. Of course, those who bring their kids up around crime or drug/alcohol abuse are pretty directly responsible.

    Changing the mindset, while they're still young, changes the outcome. But you have to have the resources and willingness to reach them, and you have to have them willing to come to you without fear of further problems. IOW, seeking help needs to lead to a life of freedom and health, not prison and pain. If people are afraid to get help for a problem before they commit a crime, then they'll not seek help.

    There are several areas where society has a say in the outcome of a person's life. Example, I grew up gay, even though in NZ it became legal in my teens. In other parts of the world I believe it is (or at least was back then) a capital crime. Yes, people like you would be baying for my execution. There are those, even reading this now, who would want my death and eternity in hell for being gay. I was driven to suicide (one thing I proudly say I was a failure at!) by the efforts of some who thought they were decent people; vile trash who rated themselves so high and moral, yet they nearly succeeded in destroying the life of several teens. Some did. I was lucky, I managed to find a way out through my faith and into a better life. I still made mistakes, but I built a life I can be proud of. Not everyone I knew was so lucky, and some made choices that got them imprisoned, and a few took their lives over how society treated them. Can you imagine what it is like for a parent who loses a kid to suicide? How about a parent whose child is the most gentle loving soul you can imagine, but who has something they feel is so wrong they cannot live, be it homosexuality in decades past or other sexual fantasies or unusual thinking today? Can you imagine what that does to their siblings and friends? But that is, ultimately, what you promote. A life without hope of change, only to be punished by society.

    I was headed towards some very violent crime. I hated everyone, and I wanted to punish everyone for the pain inflicted on me. The right person took a chance, and my life was turned around, and here I am. I can be proud of my life and achievements.

    How society views certain things can make them worse for the person who experiences them. Since we're on a topic relating to sexual abuse.. If we were to lighten up on the views on such things to some degree, in regard to how we treat victims of such abuse, we would see a lowering of crime from them. Society does a lot to make the victims of abuse feel bad about themselves, and even worse than that we strongly and openly promote the views that they're more likely to become abusers or to commit other serious crimes. We heap so much bad upon their shoulders, over and above what they experienced, that we basically program them to become criminals.

    Proverbs says "As a man thinks in his heart, so he is", and that is what we do to people. Over and over, constantly building and reinforcing this teaching that "because X happened you, you'll likely do Y and Z, and probably some V as well". The ones who don't fail are the ones who manage to change their thinking - but that can take a lot of work.

    Neuroscience also agrees with this, and shows that if you continue to reinforce a habit/pattern, then it becomes more and more ingrained. If, however, you can break that pattern, then thinking and therefore actions can be changed. I've seen it happen with and without Christ, and although I obviously prefer "with Christ" I'll take anything that changes a person's life and stops them being a criminal. Anything intelligent and effective that is.

    Fixing the root cause of THAT can only be done by eliminating the aberrations (criminally-minded people) from the bell curve of human nature.

    If the death penalty works to prevent crimes, then why is the murder rate in the US so high? If incarceration works, why is the US (almost?) the country with the greatest number (%) of people in prison in the western world, yet also the country with the highest crime rate. If what you propose works so well, the US should be a country with very low crime.

    It isn't. Clearly such practices are a complete failure and need to be abandoned.

    (Post edited for El Reg 10kchar limit - and what's with the captcha?)

  24. Tiglath

    I sure hope and pray none of the commenters have any enemies willing to give an anonymous TIP to Law Enforcement formally know as police officers saying they are looking. CP which is law enforcement's Objective Correlative because of the emotional response it elicits; just read the comments of individuals that have never seen the images in question but project their angst nevertheless. They are led to believe the media stories are posited as fact even though the media has never seen the images either. These sensationalist media reports are "Gothic Melodramas" Law Enforcement spout which stimulates and develops curiosity. Law Enforcement has learned from the social sciences on how to cultivate that curiosity. CP is the ultimate indictment where constitutional rights are eliminated, and NO defense is allowed; it can be used for everything and every purpose sic (Amy Adler).

    Heroin-related overdose deaths of CHILDREN have quadrupled since 2002 into the thousands so what is our law enforcement organizations doing to curb this devastation ?? They are going after child porn (CP) of course !! How many children have died from taking pictures of themselves naked which today just happen to be the majority of CP online? 0.

    David Finkelhor, a sociologist and director of the Crimes Against Children Research Center at the University of New Hampshire says he sees the moral weight of CP law, but not the empirical proof stating, “The evidence doesn’t yet tell us to what extent the experience of being a pornography victim aggravates the experience of the sexual abuse itself. How do you separate it out?”. What the law says is equivalent to saying voodoo is real. No one has to commit a crime they just have a look at an image or have a thought, and they are guilty of the crime. A person that observes a digital image that has no form or life is then through legal osmosis they are given those images or objects are given a legal force, power, is practicing voodoo. Before long, the people are ensnared by the compulsion to give power to a thing of their definition. Trump is right about one thing, we have become a nation of VICTIMS!

  25. poopoo

    FBI - Nonces

    If the FBI distribute child porn that makes then nonces in my book.

  26. j0nnyf1v3

    I see they are taking a play right out of the #OpDarkNet playbook... Oops...But yay!

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