Defense Wins Child Porn Cases, Citing Infected Computers

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With the investigation into the kidnapping of Shawn Hornbeck and Ben Ownby in full swing, federal, state, and local agencies coincidentally held a child endangerment conference in St. Louis, says the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “There are pedophiles online every day in chat rooms, peer-to-peer file sharing and networking Web sites,” said U.S. Attorney Catherine Hanaway. “Pedophiles have always been there, but because they think they have anonymity, they talk online.”

Defense attorneys often are able to win child pornography cases, the conference was told. “The defense is not rolling over and playing dead anymore,” said St. Louis police detective Sgt. Robert Muffler. “There are people out there who are doing forensic examinations for the defense on P.C.s.” Muffler said defendants in child pornography cases often argue their computers were infected with different types of malware, including viruses, worms, Trojan horses, spyware, adware, and browser hijackers. Malware can infect computers with files and programs containing child porn.

Link: http://suburbanjournals.stltoday.com/articles/2007/01/23/news/sj2tn20070123-0124stc_hanaway_1.ii1.txt

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