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Thread: Re unidentified video sites; For a Dawn FBI Raid On Your Home, Click Here. CNET and DSLreports.com

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    http://www.dslreports.com/shownews/F...ick-Here-92813

    CNET notes that the FBI is using an interesting new investigative technique to crack down on child porn: posting links to gibberish files labeled as child porn, then raiding the homes of anyone who clicked on them. The technique raises obvious questions about entrapment, given that under the same logic, the government could e-mail you links promising you narcotics, then kick your door down without you having actually purchased or consumed any.

    Roderick Vosburgh, a doctoral student at Temple University who also taught history at La Salle University, was raided at home in February 2007 after he allegedly clicked on the FBI's hyperlink. Federal agents knocked on the door around 7 a.m., falsely claiming they wanted to talk to Vosburgh about his car. Once he opened the door, they threw him to the ground outside his house and handcuffed him.

    Vosburgh was charged with violating federal law, which criminalizes "attempts" to download child pornography with up to 10 years in prison. Last November, a jury found Vosburgh guilty on that count, and a sentencing hearing is scheduled for April 22, at which point Vosburgh could face three to four years in prison.
    Lawyers defending Vosburgh have not used entrapment as a defense, given such defenses "usually do not get very far," according to one attorney. In Vosburgh's case he added to his problems by destroying a hard drive and thumb drive just as FBI agents were about to raid his home. He was found to possess a hard drive with two grainy thumbnail images of naked female minors.

    http://www.news.com/8301-13578_3-989...=2547-1_3-0-20

    Screen snapshot: This now-defunct site is reportedly where an FBI undercover agent posted hyperlinks purporting to be illegal videos. Clicking the links brought a raid from the Feds.
    The FBI has recently adopted a novel investigative technique: posting hyperlinks that purport to be illegal videos of minors having sex, and then raiding the homes of anyone willing to click on them.
    Undercover FBI agents used this hyperlink-enticement technique, which directed Internet users to a clandestine government server, to stage armed raids of homes in Pennsylvania, New York, and Nevada last year. The supposed video files actually were gibberish and contained no illegal images.
    A CNET News.com review of legal documents shows that courts have approved of this technique, even though it raises questions about entrapment, the problems of identifying who's using an open wireless connection--and whether anyone who clicks on a FBI link that contains no child pornography should be automatically subject to a dawn raid by federal police.
    Roderick Vosburgh, a doctoral student at Temple University who also taught history at La Salle University, was raided at home in February 2007 after he allegedly clicked on the FBI's hyperlink. Federal agents knocked on the door around 7 a.m., falsely claiming they wanted to talk to Vosburgh about his car. Once he opened the door, they threw him to the ground outside his house and handcuffed him.


    Vosburgh was charged with violating federal law, which criminalizes "attempts" to download child pornography with up to 10 years in prison. Last November, a jury found Vosburgh guilty on that count, and a sentencing hearing is scheduled for April 22, at which point Vosburgh could face three to four years in prison.
    The implications of the FBI's hyperlink-enticement technique are sweeping. Using the same logic and legal arguments, federal agents could send unsolicited e-mail messages to millions of Americans advertising illegal narcotics or child pornography--and raid people who click on the links embedded in the spam messages. The bureau could register the "unlawfulimages.com" domain name and prosecute intentional visitors. And so on.
    "The evidence was insufficient for a reasonable jury to find that Mr. Vosburgh specifically intended to download child pornography, a necessary element of any 'attempt' offense," Vosburgh's attorney, Anna Durbin of Ardmore, Penn., wrote in a court filing that is attempting to overturn the jury verdict before her client is sentenced.
    In a telephone conversation on Wednesday, Durbin added: "I thought it was scary that they could do this. This whole idea that the FBI can put a honeypot out there to attract people is kind of sad. It seems to me that they've brought a lot of cases without having to stoop to this."
    Durbin did not want to be interviewed more extensively about the case because it is still pending; she's waiting for U.S. District Judge Timothy Savage to rule on her motion. Unless he agrees with her and overturns the jury verdict, Vosburgh--who has no prior criminal record--will be required to register as a sex offender for 15 years and will be effectively barred from continuing his work as a college instructor after his prison sentence ends.
    How the hyperlink sting operation worked
    The government's hyperlink sting operation worked like this: FBI Special Agent Wade Luders disseminated links to the supposedly illicit porn on an online discussion forum called Ranchi, which Luders believed was frequented by people who traded underage images. One server allegedly associated with the Ranchi forum was rangate.da.ru, which is now offline with a message attributing the closure to "non-ethical" activity.
    In October 2006, Luders posted a number of links purporting to point to videos of child pornography, and then followed up with a second, supposedly correct link 40 minutes later. All the links pointed to, according to a bureau affidavit, a "covert FBI computer in San Jose, California, and the file located therein was encrypted and non-pornographic."

    Some of the links, including the supposedly correct one, included the hostname uploader.sytes.net. Sytes.net is hosted by no-ip.com, which provides dynamic domain name service to customers for $15 a year.
    When anyone visited the upload.sytes.net site, the FBI recorded the Internet Protocol address of the remote computer. There's no evidence the referring site was recorded as well, meaning the FBI couldn't tell if the visitor found the links through Ranchi or another source such as an e-mail message.
    With the logs revealing those allegedly incriminating IP addresses in hand, the FBI sent administrative subpoenas to the relevant Internet service provider to learn the identity of the person whose name was on the account--and then obtained search warrants for dawn raids.

    The search warrants authorized FBI agents to seize and remove any "computer-related" equipment, utility bills, telephone bills, any "addressed correspondence" sent through the U.S. mail, video gear, camera equipment, checkbooks, bank statements, and credit card statements.
    While it might seem that merely clicking on a link wouldn't be enough to justify a search warrant, courts have ruled otherwise. On March 6, U.S. District Judge Roger Hunt in Nevada agreed with a magistrate judge that the hyperlink-sting operation constituted sufficient probable cause to justify giving the FBI its search warrant.
    The defendant in that case, Travis Carter, suggested that any of the neighbors could be using his wireless network. (The public defender's office even sent out an investigator who confirmed that dozens of homes were within Wi-Fi range.)
    But the magistrate judge ruled that even the possibilities of spoofing or other users of an open Wi-Fi connection "would not have negated a substantial basis for concluding that there was probable cause to believe that evidence of child pornography would be found on the premises to be searched." Translated, that means the search warrant was valid.
    Entrapment: Not a defense
    So far, at least, attorneys defending the hyperlink-sting cases do not appear to have raised unlawful entrapment as a defense.
    "Claims of entrapment have been made in similar cases, but usually do not get very far," said Stephen Saltzburg, a professor at George Washington University's law school. "The individuals who chose to log into the FBI sites appear to have had no pressure put upon them by the government...It is doubtful that the individuals could claim the government made them do something they weren't predisposed to doing or that the government overreached."
    The outcome may be different, Saltzburg said, if the FBI had tried to encourage people to click on the link by including misleading statements suggesting the videos were legal or approved.
    In the case of Vosburgh, the college instructor who lived in Media, Penn., his attorney has been left to argue that "no reasonable jury could have found beyond a reasonable doubt that Mr. Vosburgh himself attempted to download child pornography."
    Vosburgh faced four charges: clicking on an illegal hyperlink; knowingly destroying a hard drive and a thumb drive by physically damaging them when the FBI agents were outside his home; obstructing an FBI investigation by destroying the devices; and possessing a hard drive with two grainy thumbnail images of naked female minors (the youths weren't having sex, but their genitalia were visible).
    The judge threw out the third count and the jury found him not guilty of the second. But Vosburgh was convicted of the first and last counts, which included clicking on the FBI's illicit hyperlink.
    In a legal brief filed on March 6, his attorney argued that the two thumbnails were in a hidden "thumbs.db" file automatically created by the Windows operating system. The brief said that there was no evidence that Vosburgh ever viewed the full-size images--which were not found on his hard drive--and the thumbnails could have been created by receiving an e-mail message, copying files, or innocently visiting a Web page.
    From the FBI's perspective, clicking on the illicit hyperlink and having a thumbs.db file with illicit images are both serious crimes. Federal prosecutors wrote: "The jury found that defendant knew exactly what he was trying to obtain when he downloaded the hyperlinks on Agent Luder's Ranchi post. At trial, defendant suggested unrealistic, unlikely explanations as to how his computer was linked to the post. The jury saw through the smokes (sic) and mirrors, as should the court."
    And, as for the two thumbnail images, prosecutors argued (note that under federal child pornography law, the definition of "sexually explicit conduct" does not require that sex acts take place):
    The first image depicted a pre-pubescent girl, fully naked, standing on one leg while the other leg was fully extended leaning on a desk, exposing her genitalia... The other image depicted four pre-pubescent fully naked girls sitting on a couch, with their legs spread apart, exposing their genitalia. Viewing this image, the jury could reasonably conclude that the four girls were posed in unnatural positions and the focal point of this picture was on their genitalia.... And, based on all this evidence, the jury found that the images were of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct, and certainly did not require a crystal clear resolution that defendant now claims was necessary, yet lacking.
    Prosecutors also highlighted the fact that Vosburgh visited the "loli-chan" site, which has in the past featured a teenage Webcam girl holding up provocative signs (but without any nudity).
    Civil libertarians warn that anyone who clicks on a hyperlink advertising something illegal--perhaps found while Web browsing or received through e-mail--could face the same fate.
    When asked what would stop the FBI from expanding its hyperlink sting operation, Harvey Silverglate, a longtime criminal defense lawyer in Cambridge, Mass. and author of a forthcoming book on the Justice Department, replied: "Because the courts have been so narrow in their definition of 'entrapment,' and so expansive in their definition of 'probable cause,' there is nothing to stop the Feds from acting as you posit."

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    But... "think of the children!"

    Stuff like this makes me want to throw up.

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    Too many laws to even know about.

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    I don't pity these people one bit. If you click on a link to view child pornography, you deserve to rot in prison.

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    expvideo wrote:
    I don't pity these people one bit. If you click on a link to view child pornography, you deserve to rot in prison.
    Though I have never stumbled onto kiddie porn, I have found myself in places on the internet that I did not mean to go to. I have also had strangers use my wi-fi. Probable cause from an IP address is quite a stretch.


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    expvideo wrote:
    I don't pity these people one bit. If you click on a link to view child pornography, you deserve to rot in prison.
    This is a safe link, click it.

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    Tomahawk wrote:
    expvideo wrote:
    I don't pity these people one bit. If you click on a link to view child pornography, you deserve to rot in prison.
    This is a safe link, click it.
    ROFL!!

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    Tomahawk wrote:
    expvideo wrote:
    I don't pity these people one bit. If you click on a link to view child pornography, you deserve to rot in prison.
    This is a safe link, click it.
    That's not what they're doing. The people are going to the website that claims to be a child porn site, and then clicking on the link to view a video. This isn't for when people google search something and end up accidentally clicking on a porn site. This is a link within the fake site.

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    expvideo wrote:
    Tomahawk wrote:
    expvideo wrote:
    I don't pity these people one bit. If you click on a link to view child pornography, you deserve to rot in prison.
    This is a safe link, click it.
    That's not what they're doing. The people are going to the website that claims to be a child porn site, and then clicking on the link to view a video. This isn't for when people google search something and end up accidentally clicking on a porn site. This is a link within the fake site.
    How would you know? Hmmmm?

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    expvideo wrote:
    Tomahawk wrote:
    expvideo wrote:
    I don't pity these people one bit. If you click on a link to view child pornography, you deserve to rot in prison.
    This is a safe link, click it.
    That's not what they're doing. The people are going to the website that claims to be a child porn site, and then clicking on the link to view a video. This isn't for when people google search something and end up accidentally clicking on a porn site. This is a link within the fake site.
    I attended a talk given by an FBI agent on the dangers of the Internet and child pornography. His advice was that if you ever come across something purporting to be or to take you to child porn, don't touch the keyboard or mouse, just turn the monitor off and call the police. Don't turn it back on, or touch the computer again until the cops come and gather evidence. He said many people click the link not because they want to see child porn, but because they want to see if it really is child porn, in order to report it. Unfortunately, by clicking that link they've set themselves up for prosecution, especially if the site is fake.

    I took his well-meaning advice for what it was, and I appreciated it, but at the same time it really disturbed me that the FBI is so aggressive that it would prosecute someone who was trying to be a good citizen.

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    Those stings where guy X comes to the house of a 14-year-old while her parents are gone, I'm all for them. You know who the guy is, you know what the intent is, and there is no mistaking anything.

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    This is getting dangerously close to prosecution for 'thought' crime.

    That's not to say that if the guy IS a true perv that he doesn't deserve the title, but the methods are scary.


    What if ...

    The 'authorities' painted out the windows of a storefront all except for a 2" diameter 'peephole.' Beneath the peephole they put a sign "Inside, Naked Children Playing!"

    Could they legally arrest and charge anyone who attempted to look through the peephole for attempting to participate in an illegal act?


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    Tomahawk wrote:
    expvideo wrote:
    Tomahawk wrote:
    expvideo wrote:
    I don't pity these people one bit. If you click on a link to view child pornography, you deserve to rot in prison.
    This is a safe link, click it.
    That's not what they're doing. The people are going to the website that claims to be a child porn site, and then clicking on the link to view a video. This isn't for when people google search something and end up accidentally clicking on a porn site. This is a link within the fake site.
    How would you know? Hmmmm?
    I read the article. Give it a shot.

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    Thundar wrote:
    Probable cause from an IP address is quite a stretch.
    From a legal perspective, this is my concern as well ... especially in the age of Wi-Fi and zombie-bots.



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    TheEggman wrote:
    This is getting dangerously close to prosecution for 'thought' crime.

    The movie Minority Report comes to mind...
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    TheEggman wrote:
    This is getting dangerously close to prosecution for 'thought' crime.

    That's not to say that if the guy IS a true perv that he doesn't deserve the title, but the methods are scary.


    What if ...

    The 'authorities' painted out the windows of a storefront all except for a 2" diameter 'peephole.' Beneath the peephole they put a sign "Inside, Naked Children Playing!"

    Could they legally arrest and charge anyone who attempted to look through the peephole for attempting to participate in an illegal act?

    Yes. Absolutely. Why, do you think it would be ok to look through a peep hole labeled "Inside, Naked Children Playing!"?! It's not! In fact I think that is a perfect example of a good, clean arrest.

    Downloading child porn is not a "thought-crime". It's a horrific crime that isn't taken seriously enough. I hope this man is prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. His computer didn't click the link for him, and he wasn't tricked. He tried to download child porn. That is a crime. Not only is it against the law, it's also unspeakably evil and massively unappreciated as the seriously evil actthat it is.

    I feel absolutely no pity for these people.

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    Pointman wrote:
    Swillden: Part of the problem is you now can't use your computer until the police show up. A report gets filed, your name is on it, and your police department gets frustrated, since that's an FBI thing and not a local thing. If you call the FBI, expect to have your computer confiscated as evidence.
    Agreed, but the other part of the problem is that a significant percentage of child porn sites, apparently, are actually fake sites put up by the FBI and other law enforcement agencies. So by the time you realize what you're potentially looking at, they have your IP and can easily use that to track you down and arrest you for looking at child porn -- and then they'll confiscate your computer and track up your home.

    If anything that looks like or claims to be kiddie porn shows up on your screen, you're just screwed. Calling the police is your safest option, but you're in for some trouble either way.

    My brother had a roommate at the Defense Language Institute who used his laptop without his knowledge to surf porn and apparently either came across some child porn or was looking for it (my brother never got a clear answer on that). My brother's brand new laptop was taken as evidence and held for almost six months, not to mention that he had a very rough couple of days until he managed to prove that the child porn had been downloaded and viewed while he was in class. He said it was clearly a case of guilty-until-proved-innocent. He had to buy a new computer because it wasn't clear if they were ever going to give his back.

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    I think I have to agree with the feds (:what on this one. He clicked on it. He destroyed evidence while they were outside his house. He had an obvious propensity towards that kind of stuff.

    He needs to be taken out to theback forty like any other sick animal and be put out of his misery.

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    This is an odd one for me.

    For a time I avoided this thread as it causes painful memories to come back to me.

    I have daughters who were abused by a pedifile....May he burn for ever in Hell...and yes I have peed on his grave.



    In my mind there is a huge difference between men who abduct, molest and exploit children and those sick SOB's who read about or look at images of them destroying those children's lives.

    I understand the concept that the viewers of this filth are injuring the child by providing a market for the crap, but in many instances that child is long dead or grown before the "crime" of looking at their image is committed.

    The end does not always justify the means....as in bombing abortion clinics.

    I have a problem with the method, and not with putting perverts away.

    I hope the Feds are working harder to find those who are out theremaking this crap than they are in looking for those who are buying or viewing it.

    The ones that are making this stuffare the ones who are actively destroying the lives of children and when you stop them, you may still be able to save some of those kids.

    In my mind the Feds putting those images out there...grainey they may be...is still wrong. There has to be a better way.

    I hate child abuse and itsofspring... pornography in all its forms and not a day goes by but what I deal with its aftermath, in the lives of my family members.

    Child abuse, in all its forms and manifestations,is like a great tree and it seems that to many spend to much time trying to kill that tree by plucking off its leaves, when they need to attack its trunk with an ax to make it fall.



    End of Rant

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    As odd as I feel about saying this, I do not side with the Feds on this. While I'm all for punishing pervs, there are too many ambiguities here for me.

    I leave my wireless connection open on purpose to benefit a neighbor who can't afford it. This is now a very dangerous move.

    What if I was really angry at someone, renamed the English name of this URL, and sent them this link in email? I could make my nemesis go to Federal prison for 10 years for clicking on a free trip to Disneyland.

    Perhaps instead of an automatic warrant and arrest this could provide a basis for further and more specific investigation.

    It is better that ten guilty escape than one innocent suffer.
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    Sa45auto wrote:
    This is an odd one for me.

    For a time I avoided this thread as it causes painful memories to come back to me.

    I have daughters who were abused by a pedifile....May he burn for ever in Hell...and yes I have peed on his grave.



    In my mind there is a huge difference between men who abduct, molest and exploit children and those sick SOB's who read about or look at images of them destroying those children's lives.

    I understand the concept that the viewers of this filth are injuring the child by providing a market for the crap, but in many instances that child is long dead or grown before the "crime" of looking at their image is committed.

    The end does not always justify the means....as in bombing abortion clinics.

    I have a problem with the method, and not with putting perverts away.

    I hope the Feds are working harder to find those who are out theremaking this crap than they are in looking for those who are buying or viewing it.

    The ones that are making this stuffare the ones who are actively destroying the lives of children and when you stop them, you may still be able to save some of those kids.

    In my mind the Feds putting those images out there...grainey they may be...is still wrong. There has to be a better way.

    I hate child abuse and itsofspring... pornography in all its forms and not a day goes by but what I deal with its aftermath, in the lives of my family members.

    Child abuse, in all its forms and manifestations,is like a great tree and it seems that to many spend to much time trying to kill that tree by plucking off its leaves, when they need to attack its trunk with an ax to make it fall.




    End of Rant
    I pretty much agree entirely with that rant. It sickens me that LE will sooner go after the easy prosecutions of those who view child porn rather than do the difficult work of tracking down those who produce it. What sickens me even more is when I see another case of a prosecution of someone for "child porn" for having 2 or 3 images on his computer and other storage devices, even after the FBI does all its nifty stuff with computer forensics. Either these guys are really good and can disguise their collections from a thorough examination of their hard drives... or they aren't quite as guilty as Big Brother paints them to be. Find the guys (and girls) with 500 images of child porn, and I think it's safe to say that they have a problem.


    There's also the grey area no one has brought up of what constitutes "child porn". Many legal sites with participants aged 18 and older advertise as "teen" sites. Yet as we all know, "teen" can refer to those aged 13-17 as well as those 18-19. If there's a link to "young girls", that could refer to porn involving those 7-10 years old, 13-14 years old, 18-20 years old, or 22-25 years old, and the latter two groups are the vast majority. Most people looking for the latter, but accidentally finding the former, will just go "ick" and close the window. And there is also the rule of thumb in locating any porn on the Internet that 99.9% of the time, the file name does not actually describe what is in the file. Quite simply, there's no way to tell the intent of someone clicking on a link to so-called "child" porn, even though the MSM would like us to believe that anyone who ends up with a single image of child porn on their computer is a loner who abducts little girls and tortures them in his basement.

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    imperialism2024 wrote:
    I pretty much agree entirely with that rant. It sickens me that LE will sooner go after the easy prosecutions of those who view child porn rather than do the difficult work of tracking down those who produce it. What sickens me even more is when I see another case of a prosecution of someone for "child porn" for having 2 or 3 images on his computer and other storage devices, even after the FBI does all its nifty stuff with computer forensics. Either these guys are really good and can disguise their collections from a thorough examination of their hard drives... or they aren't quite as guilty as Big Brother paints them to be. Find the guys (and girls) with 500 images of child porn, and I think it's safe to say that they have a problem.


    There's also the grey area no one has brought up of what constitutes "child porn". Many legal sites with participants aged 18 and older advertise as "teen" sites. Yet as we all know, "teen" can refer to those aged 13-17 as well as those 18-19. If there's a link to "young girls", that could refer to porn involving those 7-10 years old, 13-14 years old, 18-20 years old, or 22-25 years old, and the latter two groups are the vast majority. Most people looking for the latter, but accidentally finding the former, will just go "ick" and close the window. And there is also the rule of thumb in locating any porn on the Internet that 99.9% of the time, the file name does not actually describe what is in the file. Quite simply, there's no way to tell the intent of someone clicking on a link to so-called "child" porn, even though the MSM would like us to believe that anyone who ends up with a single image of child porn on their computer is a loner who abducts little girls and tortures them in his basement.
    You have to take the prosecutions you canget. The big fish that make it are not so easy to find. The child porn network is sophisticated and hard to get access to. It is easier said than done.

    There is always the chance that while surfing for adult sites they can have a link to send you to a prohibited site. Now going there may raise some suspicions... but they can also tell how many times you have visited and how long you stayed.

    They have hundreds of thousands of hits each day. They are not going to worry about one joker that stumbled on the site never to return again. They are going to see who is returning and staying... and go after them.

    There are so many people in violation that they have to be very selective and make it worth it. They will go for the sure thing so if you punch in your credit card on your first visit.. your busted!! It shows clear intent that you wanted kiddie porn!

    So do not get too bent out of shape...

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    Jim675 wrote:
    I leave my wireless connection open on purpose to benefit a neighbor who can't afford it. This is now a very dangerous move.
    By all means use a simple 64 bit WEP key (10 digits) such as a phone number. Unsecure wireless is a open invitation to issues.

    back to the OP:
    Its one thing to click a link, its another to destroy evidence.... this guy knew what he was doing.

  24. #24
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    M1Gunr wrote:
    Jim675 wrote:
    I leave my wireless connection open on purpose to benefit a neighbor who can't afford it. This is now a very dangerous move.
    By all means use a simple 64 bit WEP key (10 digits) such as a phone number. Unsecure wireless is a open invitation to issues.

    back to the OP:
    Its one thing to click a link, its another to destroy evidence.... this guy knew what he was doing.
    So if he had stuffed the drive in his pants before shredding them it would have been ok. Seems that was the standard for clinton staffers. Oh thats right, he had top security clearence and knew the law, so breaking it was ok.

    Point of interest also......
    There are databases that catalog all web pages on the net automaticaly.
    What if one of them catalogs the sting page? Is the owner of machine (MIT)
    responsible, or the writer of the software that downloads it? Or as more likely
    since it is an IP6 number the feds let it slide.
    this is the same govenment that didn't notice 30 terabytes being downloaded
    from pentagon computers. That much traffic should flag the heck out of IT security.
    But they probably figured it was just domestic identity thief stealing SSN again.


    Anyone know the end result of #2 homeland security chief who picked up underage girl. Physical child molestation, and will probably get less that this poor fellow, because he has an inside to the gov.


    More gov logic......
    If you download music you are stealing, and causing the auther to loose money.
    With this logic wouldn't downloading these pics cause the molester to lose money
    also, and that would put him out of buisness? Unless the FBI makes you pay for them.


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