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BigSqwert

FBI posts fake hyperlinks to snare child porn suspects

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This is a post from another blog I frequent. Wondered what some of you thought about this.

 

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.

 

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.

 

So basically someone could send you the link in an e-mail and if you click it, not even knowing what it is, you could end up on the FBI's raid list. Yikes.

 

LINK TO FULL STORY

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So someone could insert a hyperlink of a child porn site right here: Free Sox Gear and clicking it would put you on the raid list?

Edited by BigSqwert

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I'm not clicking that link!

Admiral-Ackbar-trap-sm.jpg

:P

 

So if there's no actual child porn, how can one be charge with possession, or is there another law I'm not aware of?

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This makes no sense to me at all. I mean anybody who is willing to click on a child porn link obviously wants to see it, but at the same time if there isn't any child porn within the links, you haven't proven they have looked at anything illegal. Willingness and proof of an actual crime are not the same thing at all.

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QUOTE(BigSqwert @ Mar 25, 2008 -> 03:42 PM)
Seems like entrapment to me.

But not according to the professor quoted in the article:

 

"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."

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I would hope there would be more than just clicking on the link as the article implies for someone to get 'raided.' If it led you to a website and you had to "click here to enter," then I would think that would demonstrate sufficient evidence of intent to view illegal material. For something as vile as child pornography, there won't be much complaining, but could this set a precedent for other activities?

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I don't see this as entrapment as much as I don't get how you can press child pornography charges against somebody who didn't even see child pornography. As the article points out, the offenders who click on the link see gibberish and no illegal images. I would think the burden of proof would have to be higher than that.

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QUOTE(whitesoxfan101 @ Mar 25, 2008 -> 04:52 PM)
I don't see this as entrapment as much as I don't get how you can press child pornography charges against somebody who didn't even see child pornography. As the article points out, the offenders who click on the link see gibberish and no illegal images. I would think the burden of proof would have to be higher than that.

 

Well the idea is that the links are posted on forums known for trading in child porn. If a person clicks the link the FBI then has probable cause to search the person connected to that IP. Logically then, if child porn is found then he can be charged. I imagine that if there is no evidence that the suspect ever visited the forum and has no child porn, then the FBI has no case. Simply clicking the link won't be enough.

Nevertheless, something bothers me about this if the FBI starts using it for other purposes.

 

As for entrapment, I don't see this this as any different than a cop posing as a prostitute.

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QUOTE(G&T @ Mar 26, 2008 -> 03:15 PM)
Well the idea is that the links are posted on forums known for trading in child porn. If a person clicks the link the FBI then has probable cause to search the person connected to that IP. Logically then, if child porn is found then he can be charged. I imagine that if there is no evidence that the suspect ever visited the forum and has no child porn, then the FBI has no case. Simply clicking the link won't be enough.

Nevertheless, something bothers me about this if the FBI starts using it for other purposes.

 

As for entrapment, I don't see this this as any different than a cop posing as a prostitute.

 

That's what I thought at first. If you read the article a little closer, it says that simply the act of attempting to obtain child porn is illegal.

 

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.

 

Relevant law:

http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/18/2252.html

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QUOTE(StrangeSox @ Mar 26, 2008 -> 04:19 PM)
That's what I thought at first. If you read the article a little closer, it says that simply the act of attempting to obtain child porn is illegal.

Relevant law:

http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/18/2252.html

 

Yes, but an attempt is not as simple as clicking on the link. I still think the defendant would have to be shown to be at a child porn forum where this link was clicked.

 

The thing that gets me is, what is an illegal hyperlink?

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:unsure:Good for the FBI. These fake links will be on websites that will have the appearance of fake child porn. You will have some intent when you hit the site.

 

I have a honeynet ( Decoy network ) at my place with fake intellectual property. Hell I even advertised it to the corporation as where our patents sit. Sure enough we caught 4 employees trying to steal that information and send it outside. We used it to target an indentify our risks internally.

 

Hell my network also has a sinkhole router which sees people trying to scan openly. Its meant to catch bots and malware, but we have caught employees with hacker tools.

 

Bad guys use deception all the time, its about time for the good guys to use it to lure some crap into their trap.

 

 

 

 

 

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Isn't it great that there are so few actual criminals that they have to advertise to get more? There is a line that should not get crossed, when the government sets up advertisements with the sole purpose to be so good that people will click on them, they crossed that line. It would be easy to see that absent their advertisements, someone may never have ever attempted to look at porn, etc.

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As long as they leave us old schoolers who still just nab kids at the park alone I have no problem it.

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QUOTE(Texsox @ Mar 31, 2008 -> 06:57 PM)
Isn't it great that there are so few actual criminals that they have to advertise to get more? There is a line that should not get crossed, when the government sets up advertisements with the sole purpose to be so good that people will click on them, they crossed that line. It would be easy to see that absent their advertisements, someone may never have ever attempted to look at porn, etc.

 

How could you be against something that can lure a child molester. This is not like a normal person is going to stumble across this. They are hitting newsgroups and chat groups that cater to this type of traffic. This is no different than sending a decoy who acts as if they are underage to meet someone they chatted with online. Normal people are not looking a children f***ing. As someone who has spent some time in law enforcement, and who has helped police setup sting operations with these types of filth. You need every bit of help you can to nab the bad guys. I was in a class that I got invited to a few years ago that was put on by the FBI on Child predators. During the class we put up a profile of a 13 year old girl. Within a half an hour, someone visited the URL, IM'd us repeatedly, and setup a video chat. The 14 year old boy that was on the other side, was a 44 year old overweight man who was wearing garters, stockings and nothing else. He propositioned the online identity, told us how to get around our parents, and where to meet us. Well he met something alright. A quick field trip from the class took care of the freak. But please, lets worry about finding some actual criminals because you have some worry that by mysteriously clicking on a link you will be entrapped some how. They are not just sending out a mass email to the world saying click here. Its targeted.

 

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QUOTE(southsideirish71 @ Apr 1, 2008 -> 09:49 AM)
How could you be against something that can lure .

 

To stop (fill in the blank) the government is going to promote it. They are creating a crime scene and convincing someone to commit the crime.

 

They cannot arrest them in the websites and forums they are visiting, because those, at the present time, are legal. So they convince them to commit a crime. That's dangerous territory there. It could be argues that if the FBI was not there with that site these people may never have committed a crime.

 

I don't believe the government should be working out ways to get people to commit crimes. This is successful if they make it so enticing that people decide to commit child pornography.

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QUOTE(Texsox @ Apr 1, 2008 -> 09:57 AM)
To stop (fill in the blank) the government is going to promote it. They are creating a crime scene and convincing someone to commit the crime.

 

They cannot arrest them in the websites and forums they are visiting, because those, at the present time, are legal. So they convince them to commit a crime. That's dangerous territory there. It could be argues that if the FBI was not there with that site these people may never have committed a crime.

 

I don't believe the government should be working out ways to get people to commit crimes. This is successful if they make it so enticing that people decide to commit child pornography.

 

These are no average Joes searching through a websites and poof Child Porn pops on their system. These are people who actively look to exploit children, and are running around on "illegal" forms and websites. All that the FBI is doing, is advertising their site on those forums. If you are on there, you are a pervert sicko that should be put away. Its not like they are hitting soxtalk.com with a banner ad. They are hitting all sorts of sicko sites with that. When one knowingly is in that forum, and in that area of the internet and knowingly clicks on a website where they expect naked kids then I hope they enjoy their time in jail. If you happen to be on some child exploitation site, and you get lured into it. Then all I have to say is good for the FBI. This entrapment crap always comes up on undercover ops, or sting operations. The person was not told to look for child porn, and no one forced them to click on the link.

 

When did child exploitation or websites and forums that work on that become legal? Decoys have been used in police work for all sorts of crimes, why not electronic. No one entices a person to look at child pornography. You make an active choice to look at it.

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QUOTE(southsideirish71 @ Apr 1, 2008 -> 11:15 AM)
When did child exploitation or websites and forums that work on that become legal? Decoys have been used in police work for all sorts of crimes, why not electronic. No one entices a person to look at child pornography. You make an active choice to look at it.

 

So why not arrest them for being on the illegal websites?

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You walk into a neighborhood and there are drug dealers, hookers, bookies, and child pornographers, does crime go up or down? Now what if they all are cops?

 

When cops commit crimes we should be very wary. No matter who they are trying to arrest. There are enough people committing crimes to arrest without creating a few more.

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What is to prevent someone from taking the hotlink and using tinyurl or something and placing it on a message board like Soxtalk? The person clicking it would have no idea what it was until they got there.

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QUOTE(Texsox @ Apr 1, 2008 -> 11:29 AM)
So why not arrest them for being on the illegal websites?

 

How exactly do we know that X person is on a Prague IRC server trading child porn. We may know of the servers existence, but you may not have country law enforcement assistance. You realize that these child porn servers are not exactly hosted at a co-location facility in the US. They are all over, and they move quite a bit. To make things easier, just have them come to you. You don't have to deal with a foreign ISP and other countries laws.

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QUOTE(Alpha Dog @ Apr 1, 2008 -> 11:54 AM)
What is to prevent someone from taking the hotlink and using tinyurl or something and placing it on a message board like Soxtalk? The person clicking it would have no idea what it was until they got there.

Like this?

 

4 Free Sox Tickets!!!

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I know he'll steal from the company, so I'm going to leave $50 by his desk. And if that doesn't work, I'll leave $1,000. And if that doesn't work, I'll leave $50,000, but dammit, I'm going to prove he's a criminal.

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Maybe the movie Minority Report will come to fruition some day?

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