back to article Open Wi-Fi proves no defence in child porn case

A man has been found guilty of possessing child pornography despite arguing that his open wireless internet network meant the case against him could not be proved. The case was triggered by an explicit image of a child which was sent over Yahoo!'s instant messaging network. The internet protocol (IP) address was traced to …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm with the G-men

    So the guy thinks that an open access point means there can be no reasonable cause to seach the owner's premises ?

    Not just a perv but a stupid perv.

    Justice served. Let's hope he ends up as some slab-of-meat's bitch.

  2. Peter Kay

    Well, it might be a defense if he hadn't burnt it onto CD...

    It's one thing to claim that people hijack open wifi connections (and it does happen), but it's quite another to suggest someone also burnt it to CD and stashed it in your room..

  3. Ash

    Another slant to this "open networks" defense...

    Let's say you're a file sharer and you open your network with a view to prevent prosecution, saying that "I had an open network and didn't know that people were using it."

    Is this not the same as running a brothel, leaving the front door open so people can go as they please, but staying in the living room and claiming "I didn't know what was going on, so it's not my fault!"

    At the end of the day, it's your house, your phone line, your modem, and your wireless network, so it's your responsibility to keep it that way. Giving access to someone else doesn't make them responsible for how they use it.

  4. Andy Bright

    Sort of no

    An open wifi network is not excuse enough to explain why you're computer is infested with child porn.

    If someone else did it through your network, your computer wouldn't be the one with the dodgy pictures, theirs would.

    Mostly they wouldn't store it on your computer to incriminate you, because you would more than likely notice, and you would more than likely cut off their access. I suppose it is possible, but it doesn't make a lot of sense. It's not a particularly good way of convincing a jury there's reasonable doubt to your guilt.

    Now if you're claiming they used your wifi connection to download porn, and your computer as a spambot to distribute it, then you would presumably have some sort of evidence to back that up.

    Like buying an antivirus program, scanning your computer and printing out the logs.

    No? Well you're stuffed then.

    And of course, as someone else has already pointed out - it's a bit of stretch to say you conveniently had a writable CD in your burner and they conveniently decided to make a copy for you, without your knowledge - then after thinking about it, snuck in your house and hid it.

    Sounds like the jury and the cops did their job and a twisted bit of work is safely locked up - where he'll enjoy a new kind of pornography with himself playing the starring role.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    re: Well, it might be a defense if he hadn't burnt it onto CD...

    From a common sense POV you are right, but from a legal POV you have missed the point.

    He never said that the CDs weren't his, and the never said they weren't evidence of child porn. The argument was that the search warrant was issued based on an instant message that may not have come from him; therefore the search warrant was illigal.

    Under the american justice system if a search warrant is invalid then all the evidence collected under that warrant has to be disregarded. Therefore if this warrant was proved invalid the jury would have to disregard the CDs - even though they proved his guilt. It's a legal loophole which is often used by criminals to get off, fortunately in this case the judge closed the loophole and the guy was sent down.

    (BTW i an NOT defending him here, just explaining the article, he deserves what he got)

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