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

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

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  1. El Presidente
    Childcatcher

    He are Anonceymous

    And the internet, Ryan, do not forget.

    Child catcher well, because.

  2. Khaptain Silver badge
    Meh

    The Asperger's Syndrome sufferer

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

    Are the lawyers allowed to use it in Buzzword Bingo ?

    1. a cynic writes...

      Re: The Asperger's Syndrome sufferer

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

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

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

    2. graeme leggett

      Re: The Asperger's Syndrome sufferer

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

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

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

    3. RISC OS

      Re: The Asperger's Syndrome sufferer

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

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

      1. Tom 38 Silver badge

        Re: The Asperger's Syndrome sufferer

        The thing is, the story goes like this:

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

        Hacker's kit confiscated by plod.

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

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

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

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

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The Asperger's Syndrome sufferer

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

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The Asperger's Syndrome sufferer

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

      2. Bleu

        Re: The Asperger's Syndrome sufferer

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

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

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

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The Asperger's Syndrome sufferer

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

  3. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    1. Don Jefe

      Re: False title

      What difference does it really make?

      1. Don Jefe

        Re: False title

        Wow. Someone downvoted my comment. How exceedingly disturbing.

    2. The_Regulator

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

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Really?

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

    seems legit to me

  5. DrXym Silver badge

    Should be minimum sentencing guidelines for this sort of thing

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

    1. Steven Roper
      Mushroom

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

      Define "kiddy porn".

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

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Stop

        @Steven Roper

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

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

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

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

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

        (v)sadism or bestiality.

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

        1. Scorchio!!

          Re: @Steven Roper

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

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

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: @Steven Roper

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

          So that would be with a finger in the mouth.

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

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

      2. DrXym Silver badge

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

        "Define "kiddy porn"."

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

        Stop making excuses for this guy.

        1. Graham Marsden
          Childcatcher

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

          >> "Define "kiddy porn"."

          > I don't need to, the law does

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

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

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

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

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

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Stop

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

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

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

          2. Bleu
            Thumb Up

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

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

            I'm sure people would like to know.

          3. Scorchio!!
            FAIL

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

            ">> "Define "kiddy porn"."

            > I don't need to, the law does

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

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

            1. Graham Marsden
              Boffin

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

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

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

              Fail yourself.

              1. Scorchio!!
                FAIL

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

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

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

                1. Graham Marsden
                  Boffin

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

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

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

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

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

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

      3. Conor Turton

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

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

      4. Scorchio!!
        Stop

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

        "Define "kiddy porn".

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

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

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

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

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

  7. Anonymous Coward 101

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

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

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What a laugh

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

    1. Gordon 10 Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: What a laugh

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

    2. Matt Piechota

      Re: What a laugh

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

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

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

  9. Nothatsnaughty
    Unhappy

    Am I missing something?

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

    1. Jolyon Smith
      Pint

      Re: Am I missing something?

      "such images"

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

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

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

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

      Not defending the guy, just saying.

      1. David Webb

        Re: Am I missing something?

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

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Am I missing something?

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

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

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

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Under UK Law

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

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

    1. Steven Roper

      Re: Under UK Law

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

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

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

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Under UK Law

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

        So not even nuking it from orbit will help?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          @Steven Roper

          Ryan Cleary was also convicted of making images.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: @Steven Roper

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

            IANAL but...

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

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

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

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

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

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Stop

              Re: @Steven Roper

              So why did Ryan plead guilty?

              1. Woodgar

                Re: @Steven Roper

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

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

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

              2. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: @Steven Roper

                A guilty plea carries a lighter sentence.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: @Steven Roper

                  "A guilty plea carries a lighter sentence."

                  There have been cases where people accepted a caution, or pleaded guilty, for ordinary photographs that the prosecution chose to interpret as illegal. Apparently each picture is taken at face value - its innocent context in a larger set is not considered. A naturist family were prosecuted for some holiday pictures in their "rejects" box.

                  In one case the Crown Court judge appeared to apologise to a defendant for the minimum sentence he was obliged to impose for a "guilty" plea. The defendant had been told by his solicitor that if he pleaded guilty to the "technical" offence then he would get a reduced sentence of probation. If he was found guilty by a jury then it would be a prison term.

                  The minimum sentencing rules make it very dicey for an innocent person to fight the charges all the way through a jury trial. It can be done - but the defendant is placing their trust in the jury having a "there but for the grace of God" attitude to the prosecution's interpretation of selected family photographs.

        2. Thomas 4

          Re: Under UK Law

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

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

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

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

        3. Scorchio!!
          Happy

          Re: Under UK Law

          "So not even nuking it from orbit will help?"

          "It's the only way to be sure"!

      2. lotus49
        Thumb Down

        Re: Under UK Law

        This is simply untrue. It is NOT an offence to delete material accidentally downloaded and it certainly is not tampering with evidence. This is just scaremongering.

        Section 160 1(c) of the Criminal Justice Act 1988 provides that it is a valid defence "That the photograph or pseudo-photograph was sent to him without any prior request made by him or on his behalf and that he did not keep it for an unreasonable time." Therefore deletion of such material actually strengthens the accused's position.

        We have one of the best and fairest legal systems in the world. It is not perfect, but it comes to the right result in the vast majority of cases.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    >It's therefore entirely possible that many hackers legitimately have Asperger's and have gone undiagnosed

    This was true of the majority of adults who fitted the criteria, Asperger's was only used as a clinical diagnosis between the early 90's and turn of 2011/12..... it became meaningless due to inconsistency of use and was dropped stateside in DSM-V last year - all but a stalwart few in the UK have used ASD with a functional qualification for 2 or 3 years now......

    Using Asperger's as a legal defence makes very little sense, in fact the prosecution could argue the reverse - Asperger's required average or above IQ, so as a whole the group as a whole was smarter. Likewise Asperger's implied a very much better understanding of concrete/formal legal and moral codes than general population.

    1. Scorchio!!

      " it became meaningless due to inconsistency of use and was dropped stateside in DSM-V last year"

      That said, the DSM has been cock and bull stories for some decades now. Not that I'm particularly anti US, I have difficulty seeing why the hell we should follow them in this and many other instances. I tentatively feel the ICD is closer to reality.

      It is worth noting that there is always a problem with the consistency of application in respect of many diagnostic categories; read Rosenhahn 'On being sane in insane places' (I don't take his extreme views mind) and the irrational application of the diagnosis 'schizophrenia'. Then there was the vile 'Munchausen by proxy' diagnosis so beloved of idiots over here, which led to many innocent parents being locked away and/or their kids being carted off by PC social workers and quacks who might benefit from the application of a cattle to the cranium, due to suffering a severe case of recto-cranial inversion.

  13. Mako

    "...and he is banned from using the internet to talk to anyone under 16."

    Hmm. I'm not coming out in his defence here, but that seems a difficult condition to comply with if it's exactly as written. Any open forum could have members that are under 16.

  14. Alan Johnson

    No child porn involved

    You have to be veyr very careful with the COPINE scale, he confessed to accesing at worst level 4 images. This is defined as:

    'deliberately posed pictures of children fully clothed, partially clothed or naked (where the amount, context and organisation suggests sexual interest).'

    You have to get to level 5 for what most people would consider mildly pornographic images. Until then the context of the images is at least as important as the content which should be very disturbing.

    The teacher who accepts a caution and there was a fuss about being alowed to teach was found to have acessesed level 1 images defined as:

    'Non-erotic and non-sexualised pictures showing children in their underwear, swimming costumes from either commercial sources or family albums. Pictures of children playing in normal settings, in which the context or organisation of pictures by the collector indicates inappropriateness.'

    The real worry is that someones life can be destroyed for possessing 'Pictures of children playing in normal settings'. More or less anyone who possesses a computer can be conficted of child sexual offences at the whim of the authorities. Long term this will undermine child protection as accusations and convictions sexual abuse and child pornography will lose any meaning.

    The danger from organisations like CEOP is substantial to both adults and children but our tabloid media continue to drive us in a very dangerous diretcion.

    1. gazthejourno (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: No child porn involved

      I will allow this comment through the filters only so I can point you to the fifth paragraph of the article, which clearly states the UK's SAP scale was used to grade Cleary's collection, as is normal in UK child porn cases.

      You can read for yourself what images graded at level 4 of the SAP scale involve.

      1. Alan Johnson

        Re: No child porn involved

        Fair enough I assumed the Copine scale.

        On the SAP scale this clearly is pornographic and rightly punished as long as knowingly downloaded etc.

        Do you usually filter because a comment is factually wrong?

        1. gazthejourno (Written by Reg staff)

          Re: Re: No child porn involved

          Not normally, but on stories where comments are likely to break the law (tends to be court reports, like this one) we do keep an extra-close eye on them.

          Ultimately, if a commentard says something legally troublesome - which is depressingly easy to do, under English law - El Reg can get dragged into all manner of tiresome legal shenanigans. Far easier for all concerned if we strangle those comments at birth, so to speak.

  15. lotus49
    WTF?

    What's the matter with you lot?

    I completely fail to understand why so many of you are making excuses for someone who had images of "penetrative sexual activity between children and adults" on his computer.

    Given the rest of the story it is reasonable to assume that these were not planted on his computer. That being the case, I have no sympathy with him at all.

    How would your opinion change if your young son or daughter had been sexually abused in order to create images for paedophiles or don't any of you actually have children?

    1. Risky
      Unhappy

      Re: What's the matter with you lot?

      Indeed.

      I you were already banged up for hacking would really you be willing to plead guilty to a child porn offence to reduce the sentance if you weren't actually guilty of it?

    2. Bleu
      Paris Hilton

      Re: What's the matter with you lot?

      As an earlier poster pointed out, there is some chance they were simply cartoons with the law as it stands.

      Enquiring minds want to know.

      Paris, 'cos she's the only one with a question mark.

      1. Scorchio!!

        Re: What's the matter with you lot?

        As the reports of the legal process appear to indicate (you can follow up the DM link can't you? [ http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2340144/LulzSec-hacker-caught-child-porn-images-freed-immediately-judge-rules-spent-time-prison-cyber-attacks.html ]) there were some 50 grade 4 (the second highest category of images) images; these are not cartoons. The facts are what matter; that should be enough for you, surely?

    3. Ben Tasker Silver badge
      Stop

      Re: What's the matter with you lot?

      @lotus

      How would your opinion change if your young son or daughter had been sexually abused in order to create images for paedophile

      The problem is, that argument has been used to bring in all sorts of things. The Cartoons amendment is just plain ridiculous given that it has the potential to be a viable outlet without harming anyone. Let me turn the question around for you

      How would your opinion change if your young son or daughter had been sexually abused in order to create images for paedophile because he'd still have been risking the same punishment if he'd just drawn a cartoon instead

      I completely agree Cleary shouldn't have had those pictures on his machine at all (as others have noted, it's possible he was planning on planting them on someone elses machine, which is even worse), but resorting to emotional arguments doesn't make for a good debate - "The TSA want to rectally examine every passenger? Well how would you feel if your kid was blown up by a terrorist?".

      I'm a parent, and frankly I'd be devastated if my littlun ever fell victim, but I also recognise that society functions best when governed by logically considered rules and not the emotional kneejerk responses we see all too much of. That begins when we start using emotional arguments instead of rational debate and can only end when society as a whole won't let the media and politicians use it as their only arguement.

      We've a lot of work to do, but I suggest we start now!

    4. Scorchio!!

      Re: What's the matter with you lot?

      "I completely fail to understand why so many of you are making excuses for someone who had images of "penetrative sexual activity between children and adults" on his computer."

      It seems to me that a number of prevailing attitudes and beliefs underlie this; for one thing it seems to be a hangover from the 'starts online stays online' attitude from 20 years ago. For another, to some the new heroes are the digitally literate folk who do things claiming to be doing it for our 'good', and these people cannot be tainted with conventional laws. Thus there is a claimed impassable gulf, not unlike that between spiritual and material, the digital and RL. The problem with that kind of nonsense is that an offender is an offender, irrespective of the medium in which the offence is committed, and the digital medium is not immune to laws thus a fortiori behaviour in the digital medium.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What's the matter with you lot?

      If I had a son or daughter who has been sexually sexually abused in order to create images for paedophiles, Ryan Cleary would have fuck-all to do with it. Statistically speaking, I—her parent—would most likely be the guilty party. I know it's politically correct to blame people who look at child porn for every bad thing that happens to kids, but I prefer to save the blame for the abusers themselves.

  16. Bleu
    Trollface

    Ryan's other major achievement

    Hasn't come up on the Reg. AFAIK, but an interesting point about Mr. Cleary is that he was central to recovering most of Encyclopaedia Dramatica and the launch of the new or continuing site.

    What you think of that has to depend on what you think of Encyclopaedia Dramatica. I thought he did a good job there (resuscitating most of it), site has a lot of crap, but also a lot of good material.

    Given the kiddy porn and gigantic botnet, I think he got off very lightly, I'd guess the former was due to a combination of stupidity and too much /b/ from too young an age, lord I hope he had no prurient interest, but courts are insanely inconsistent on sentences re. offences in that area, he seems to have escaped pretty lightly.

    The botnet on the other hand ... Wonder what else it was used for (outside Anonymous and Lulzsec stunts)? He had a *hell of a lot* of machines corraled before Anonymous was much into DDOS, and well before the Lulzsec entertainment/fiasco.

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