Here in Sarasota there has been an explosion of child pornography investigations and arrests.
All of them involve peer to peer file sharing applications like Bit Torrent, U torrent and Shareaza.
I have suspected for months that local law enforcement is putting up links in adult porn sites encouraging people to download particular file sharing programs to view adult porn.
Most people do not know or understand how these programs work. If you download a file sharing program to your computer, it appears that law enforcement can come into your computer without your knowledge and extract files. This is because most of the peer to peer file sharing programs default to “share” and allow law enforcement to secretly access your computer. They can do this at the exact moment you are viewing something on your computer. No one should view child porn intentionally. The danger is that child porn files and videos are not necessarily identifiable until you click on the thumbnail or the file title. You can accidently view a child porn video by simply clicking on it to find out what it is. If at that moment, the exact time, you are out of curiosity trying to find out what it is, it is possible for the Sarasota Sheriff’s detective to download it from your computer and charge you with “transmission of child pornography”, even though you neither intentionally viewed it or “transmitted” it. Even if you delete it once you find out what it is, it is too late. Once in your computer, a video is difficult if not impossible for a non-computer savvy person to completely delete short of wiping clean the entire hard drive.
Do not get charged with possession of child pornography by accidently accessing it.
The simple answer is “Do not use peer to peer (ptp) programs like Bit Torrent for anything. Peer to Peer file sharing is dangerous. Here is the real danger. Once someone can come into your computer, they can change your “settings” and plant something on your hard drive. In the perfect world, the police would never plant evidence. We do not live in a perfect world. All too often we hear about police planting guns on suspects or planting drugs.
The truth is, child pornography can be “planted”.
A jealous spouse, an ex- girlfriend or anyone who has access to your IP address or your computer can set you up and get you arrested for child pornography.
The Internet is a dangerous place and getting more dangerous with every day that passes.