Guy Gets SWAT Team-ed for Not Securing His Wireless Network

Buffalo, New York:

Lying on his family room floor with assault weapons trained on him, shouts of "pedophile!" and "pornographer!" stinging like his fresh cuts and bruises, the Buffalo homeowner didn't need long to figure out the reason for the early morning wake-up call from a swarm of federal agents.

That new wireless router. He'd gotten fed up trying to set a password. Someone must have used his Internet connection, he thought.

"We know who you are! You downloaded thousands of images at 11:30 last night," the man's lawyer, Barry Covert, recounted the agents saying. They referred to a screen name, "Doldrum."

"No, I didn't," he insisted. "Somebody else could have but I didn't do anything like that."

"You're a creep ... just admit it," they said.

You know where this is going. They got the wrong guy. Someone else had used Covert's wireless connection to download child porn.

Law enforcement officials say the case is a cautionary tale.

It sure is. I can certainly think of some lessons we might draw. One might be: Maybe the cops should check to see if a suspect's wireless network is secure, and therefore that they have the right guy, before they break into his home and point their guns at his head.

Another lesson: Maybe it's not such a good idea to send the SWAT team after someone suspected of downloading—not even manufacturing—child porn in the first place. Are people who download kiddie porn known to be heavily armed?

As you might suspect, these aren't the lessons the police drew from their violent, mistaken raid on Barry Covert. This is:

Their advice: Password-protect your wireless router.

Probably good advice, given that they don't seem particularly concerned about their own mistakes in this case. Not doing so could well get you (or more likely, your dog) killed. 

This one reminds me of one of the more amusing botched raids I've covered: The wrong-IP address, mistaken kiddie porn raid featuring lawman/SWAT officer Shaquille O'Neal.

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  • D-oh||

    OMFG... I gotta get to my 85 year old father's wireless right away! He kept forgetting his password so we just left it open.

  • Hope he doesn't have a dog.||

  • ||

    These are all quotes from Radley Balko concering James O'Keefe from the last 6 months alone. I wonder why he encourages taping police, but not US Senate offices, or NPR?

    •James O’Keefe bars spectators from recording his speech.
    •James O’Keefe reaches new depths of despicableness. Worse, he’s spawning imitators.
    •James O’Keefe bars spectators from recording his speech.
    •There’s so much real investigative journalism conservatives could be doing on government waste, incompetence, accountability, and transparency. It’s pathetic that donors on the right keep handing over money for these moronic “stings”. The right needs 10 more Tim Carneys. Instead, they keep churning out James O’Keefes.
    •Holding Andrew Breitbart to the same standards he holds ACORN. It’s a fair point.
    Joining Me Now To Discuss What James O’Keefe’s Latest Video Means for Obama’s Plan for Libya, Are Democratic Strategist Bob Beckell, and Republican Advisor Dick Morris (Link has babies talking, really funny stuff.

  • Achtung Coma Baby||

    They send SWAT teams?

  • JB||

    SWAT for pictures on a computer.

    This country is over. Buy guns and ammo and get ready to deal with these fools after the collapse.

  • random anagram generator||

    S.W.A.T. = Special Wireless Asshole Team.

  • Achtung Coma Baby||

    Yeah, but seriously. They don't actually SEND SWAT teams, right? I mean...It's technically harmless what I...I mean they do in their own homes. I mean, they didn't MANUFACTURE the material. They're only looking at it. You can't arrest a guy for looking...can you?

  • Xenocles||

    You're kidding, right? You can be arrested just for having it, even without knowing.

  • Achtung Coma Baby||

    Yeah, I'm just kidding. Although, from a libertarian perspective, I do have a hard time with arresting people who merely view child porn.

    Yeah, I know it's wrong...REALLY, REALLY WRONG...but I just can't see how it actually hurts the child in the same way the pornographer did.

  • Achtung Coma Baby||

    Of course, there may be a perspective to this I haven't considered, and I'm deeply interested in what others have to say.

  • ||

    It doesn't harm the child directly, but it harms the child indirectly by creating demand for child porn.

  • ||

    What if he gets the child porn for free?

  • ||

    Red Herring. It doesn't matter whether currency is exchanged. Demand for videos will bring more videos to the web, and increase the validity of the idea that kiddie porn is ok, subjecting more kids to harm by being features of them.

  • Fal||

    Do you really think that the people making the child porn are concerned about how many people are viewing it for free? Is people looking at pictures for free really an incentive to create it? It's not like they get ad revenue

  • rather ||

    How the hell does it not harm the child directly?

    Can you say the images of the teacher who engaged in legal porn but later changed the direction of her life "did not harm her directly"?

    Those images can harm the victim in ways we can not yet imagine

  • Zeb||

    What you are describing is still indirect harm. There is no harm done to the child simply from one person looking at the image.

    I still think child porn should be illegal, BTW, though I think that the penalties for mere posession/viewing are far too harsh.

  • rather||

    It was absolutely not indirect harm; the woman lost her job because of previous porn career. Put a child in her situation; one without a recollection abuse, and later confronted with those images.

    There are so many possibilities, and yes just looking at these images is fucking horrific

  • LarryA||

    the woman lost her job because of previous porn career

    Bull. The woman lost her job because of overreaction to her porn career.

    There are so many possibilities, and yes just looking at these images is fucking horrific

    The making of child porn is indeed horrific. But one of the worst “possibilities” is the attitude that the victim is ruined for life.

    Another is that a person who has many legal porn images is a socially-dangerous child pornographer because one of the images is of someone who appears to be an adult but is younger than seventeen. Particularly if it was law enforcement who sent the image to him in a sting.

    Another is that sixteen-year-olds are being tried as adult pornographers for sexting each other.

    We’d be a lot better off if attitudes changed.

  • rather||

    I don't give a shit if women, or men engage in porn. I admire the woman who pursued a career in education, and the school failed the children by firing her, and not taking the opportunity to explain that even unhappy choices (it was so for her) should not decelerate your future dreams.

    Children who are sexually abused have a lifetime of rectal/gynecologic/mental health issues-yes they are damaged.

    I have not heard about porn featuring adults as illegal, and it has become socially acceptable for most people. Kids are sexting, and I think that will be less of a big deal too.

  • LarryA||

    Unfortunately we don't have to imagine what kind of harm a SWAT raid can do.

  • B||

    Are you familiar with the belief in some Native American tribes that photography steals the souls of its subjects?

    I believe that's the source for these laws.

    As for child sexuality - whether between two children or a child and an adult - the Rind Report pretty much laid to rest the idea that that causes any psychological harm in the absence of social intervention - but not to worry, the U.S. government had the courage to vote to condemn academic research for the first time in history when that came out.

    If you want to find out what's really going on, follow the money. The child abuse industry, with its psychologists and therapists and police raids and charities to fight sex trafficking that for all intents and purposes doesn't exist - is a multi-billion dollar industry.

  • rather||

    fuck you idiot

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    Jesus Christ.

  • Jesus Christ||

    I'm fucking tired after yesterday; what the fuck do you want?

  • ||

    You only used the word "REALLY" twice, therefor I doubt the sincerity of your statement. If you had used the word three times, I might start to believe.

    What are you trying to hide?

    SWAT will be paying a visit to you shortly.

  • 9/11 Birther-Pornographer ||

    They're after you.

  • Born-Here Barack||

    Yeah, I'm out to get you birfers.

  • ||

    It doesn't harm the child directly, but it harms the child indirectly by creating demand for child porn.

  • Achtung Coma Baby||

    I don't feel that that's not a very libertarian argument. Maybe I'm wrong.

  • B||

    Yup. Possession is the crime. Knowledge of possession is irrelevant. Criminal intent is irrelevant. Innocence is irrelevant.

    The important thing to remember is that looking at these photos actually murders souls! I've seen that claim by the child savers, and I believe it! They only have our best interests at heart!

    Looking at photos of nekkid kids magically causes tremendous harm that can only be uncovered with the use of expensive therapists who will need to provide the victim with expensive therapy for the rest of their life!

    This guy is just lucky that no hacker had put any child pornography on one of his computers, because it's well known that at least 50% of computers are infected with malware at any time, and could contain all sorts of data that the owner is not aware of!

    Won't somebody think of the children?

  • Charles Dodgeson||

    Happy Alice Day!

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    Methinks B doth protest too loudly.

  • ||

    Cops are friggin STUPID. Plain and simple. And they wonder why many rejoice everytime some stupid cop gets clipped in the line of duty!

  • ||

    Hello, cop posing as actual commenter.

  • ||

    Agreed, cops are stupid. Dude that bootlegged off the open router is much smarter lol.

    www.complete-privacy.au.tc

  • ||

    Insightful, as always, anon-bot.

  • ||

    Boo, Radley. Boo!

  • ||

    And you know how I know? Because after I made that post I double checked and it wasn't a SWAT team, it was an ICE contingent. Boo again!

  • Hat Shit||

    Here ya go. Enjoy.

  • rather ||

    Too many hat tips give you a fat ass-get back on your machine ;-)

  • Tom||

    How can child porn even justify a no knock warrant that allows the Feds to bash down his door. I suppose the claim is that he can delete the files from the computer. But under what kind of justification SWAT team ever be needed. I am just glad ICE has solved so many of the pressing ills of society that they can go after people sleeping in there own beds.

  • ||

    Shit, for all we know, the guy who was using his router was getting his pics from a DHS developed site.

    And we all just know how good a job DHS does.

  • OUCH!||

  • ||

    Am I missing something? When did ICE change from Immigration and Customs Enforcement, to Internet and Computer Enforcement?

    THIS is what we have to look forward to, when the Feds can regulate the interwebs.

  • Bingo||

    Are customs agents still allowed to search laptops? I can't remember if that was overturned or not. Article from 2008.

  • JD||

  • Hobie Hanson||

    You wouldn't begrudge a Discovery Zone from enforcing the rules of the ball pit that they built. Why wouldn't the federal government have jurisdiction over the Internet that it built?

  • Whorebie Hackson||

    Wow, I hadn't thought of it that way before. THE RAID IS ON!

  • Whorebie Hackson||

    RAID THE WRONG HOUSE NOW, THINK LATER.

  • Whorebie Hackson||

    Al Gore should have the right to check all poodle porn.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Using that logic, why have search warrants? Government built roads, and everyone is on a road at one time or another, so... Commerce Clause, bitches.

    Or something like that.

    But seriously, Hobie... do you know no bounds? Does government have no limitations in Hobieville?

  • An Objectivist||

    The government didn't build the internet. Al Gore didn't invent it. The DoD didn't create it. DARPA didn't fund it.

    This is all revisionist history to try and give credit to the government for something that was actually built privately, by private corporations based on protocols developed at state universities.

  • ||

    They sold it to private companies. Actually, when I signed up for Internet service in 1993 or so, virtually 100% of US Internet traffic was carried over the NSFNet (National Science Foundation Network) backbone, which prohibited commercial traffic, and so Avalon had me sign an NSFNet agreement that I would not transmit commercial traffic. Shortly afterwards, the NSFNet backbone was sold in it's entirety to UUNet.

    Anyway... SWAT teams? What an overreaction.

  • Amakudari||

    I suppose the claim is that he can delete the files from the computer.

    IIRC, records of illegal downloading coupled with a wiped drive is still sufficient evidence to convict someone. Even that justification doesn't work.

  • SFC B||

    And what are the odds that he could so thoroughly delete the files that something of them isn't recoverable? At least in the time he'd have if the police just knocked on his door at 7pm?

  • ||

    to use or not use SWAT during a warrant should be based on specific articulable facts. that's how my agency decides. on every warrant, we complete a "risk matrix". a warrant needs to get a certain score for SWAT to be warranted (no pun intended).

    unless there were specific reasons to believe SWAT was justified in this case, it shouldn't have been used. a "soft entry" should have.

  • Police Commissioner||

    Note to self: This Dunphy fellow appears to be knowledgeable and competent. He must be fired immediately. Find out who he is.

  • Amakudari||

    Depends. If he's clicking the files and hitting delete, they're easily recoverable. If he's using disk-wiping software (which can be done quickly, like via a boot disk), correctly wiped data can't be recovered.

    Either way, that fear seems hardly legitimate to justify a raid like the one in the article.

  • robc||

    correctly wiped data can't be recovered cheaply

    FTFY.

  • Amakudari||

    Nah, that's a misconception. It's definitely possible -- and easy -- to wipe drives such that any data is irrecoverable even through advanced methods. Security agencies/banks/etc. will do it when they get rid of computers, and I helped my dad do it when he was recycling his old work computer. It was a ways back, but I think I used DBAN, which is free.

    Wiki:

    Daniel Feenberg, an economist at the private National Bureau of Economic Research, claims that the chances of overwritten data being recovered from a modern hard drive amount to "urban legend". He also points to the "18½ minute gap" Rose Mary Woods created on a tape of Richard Nixon discussing the Watergate break-in. Erased information in the gap has not been recovered, and Feenberg claims doing so would be an easy task compared to recovery of a modern high density digital signal. ...

    According to the 2006 NIST Special Publication 800-88 (p. 7): "Studies have shown that most of today’s media can be effectively cleared by one overwrite" and "for ATA disk drives manufactured after 2001 (over 15 GB) the terms clearing and purging have converged." An analysis by Wright et al. of recovery techniques, including magnetic force microscopy, also concludes that a single wipe is all that is required for modern drives.

    Even if you know exactly what you're looking for on a wiped drive, you may be unable to find it. Companies and agencies may have stricter protocols like nuking the HD from orbit, but that doesn't mean recovery methods exist for lesser methods.

  • Big Bubba||

    Attempting to recover data from a wiped drive = attempting to plant incriminating evidence

  • ||

    This is correct. On a modern drive (i.e. anything over about 100MB -- that is MB not GB) writing zeros over data erases it, period. The drive won't mistrack or leave residuals or whatever, if it did it would be unreliable at storing your data to begin with. The older drives, to be sure, the procedure is just to write 0s, write random data, then write 0s again. DBAN is excellent for this purpose, I worked at a University surplus where we automated DBAN (so there was no "press a key to continue" type business) that disposed of over 10,000 drives this way, we had close to a dozen machines dedicated just to three-pass erasing hard drives. But, there is software that will securely delete individual files as well.

    Where this falls flat is when especially Internet Explorer, you can tell it to download something, it'll actually download it to "Temporary Internet Files", or perhaps somewhere in the browser cache, THEN copy it to the location you told it to download to to begin with. THEN, if you securely delete what you downloaded there is still that second copy sitting elsewhere on the disk. THIS is what happens when some perv thinks they've cleaned up after themselves, only to find out their disk was still chock full of illegal pornography.

    If the cops are at the door, can a few files be securely deleted? Sure. Can it be done for a lot of files, or a whole hard disk? Not a chance, it takes too long.

  • Confederal_Republic_by_2030||

    God-awful, gut-wrenchingly disgusting abuse of state police power. The next victim should empty a dozen magazines into the cops that break down his door, if somehow he could be ready with his weapon and achieve that. Fucking despots.

  • Lawyer||

    Just give the police a bribe and they'll let you keep your kiddie porn.

  • Bingo||

    Wait, ICE raided him? Talk about mission creep...

  • ||

    Law enforcement officials say the case is a cautionary tale.

    Cuz you know, stupid pigs are...well stupid. And these pigs don't care about collateral damage.

  • Colonel_Angus||

    What is up with the rescheduling of the nutpunch? Monday morning to Sunday night?

  • Trespassers W||

    By surprising you on a Sunday night, it becomes a highly effective combination super-sucker-nut punch.

  • Bob||

    Legalize the Constitution so we can put an end to these sorts of SWAT shennanigans.

  • Nunya||

    On the other hand though, I see the other hand. What is stopping an actual pedophile setting up an unsecured wireless network- on purpose- to give himself an out?

    I mean, it could only work once, but it seems like a 100% perfect way to get away with that crime.

    While I certainly don't want SWAT teams bursting through doors to catch these kinds of criminals, I also don't want criminals like this to get away so easily.

  • Nephilium||

    The actual pedophile will have the images on some kind of storage device in their house. A regular search warrant would work to grab an image of any hard drives, a copy of any USB drives, and any optical disks in the house. That seems a more open and shut case then trying to prove that a machine with IP address of x.x.x.x may have downloaded an image with name y.z from a specific server.

  • ||

    correct. and a search warrant is a way, with probable cause to get access to the hard drives etc. to determine if in fact there WAS child porn or was NOT child porn on those computers in the house.

    search warrants aren't saying "he's guilty". they say "there is probable cause, thus the police can seize evidence" and see if it's in fact exculpatory or incriminating.

    the question is - does the fact that child porn was downloaded on a wireless network = probable cause (note: PROBABLE ***NOT*** certain) that it was downloaded by a computer in the household that owns the wireless network.

    assume arguendo, you realize the network is not secure. is there a way to do due dilegence and find out if it was or wasn't downloaded into that household before executing the warrant? could you execute a warrant to the internet provider (i've written at least a dozen warrants to various internet sources btw) and determine if it was or wasn't the case.

    probable cause is not a requirement for perfect action. however, when executing a warrant in a household, that has the highest expectation of privacy there should be due diligence.

  • ||

    Of course, seizing the drives won't do much good if they are well-encrypted and you haven't already captured his key.

  • ||

    there is case law about getting court orders that force a computer owner to provide passwords. as i understand it , it wasn't a miranda issue (compelled to testify against oneself violation) since it was a direct, not testimonial evidence thang. case law has said miranda applies to testimonial evidence

  • prolefeed||

    You have to prove that the person charged with the crime actually committed it, not that a computer he owned was used to commit a crime.

    Would you be OK if someone stole your car and killed someone while drunk driving, and you went to prison because hey, a car you owned was used to commit the crime, so let's throw the most probable user of that vehicle into jail without proving who actually did it? Are you going to argue that having to get that proof would make it harder to convict other drunk drivers who kill someone else, so no need for the state to go to the trouble of proving their case?

  • ||

    Well that enters into the whole reasonable doubt calculation. It's like a murder that was committed with a revolver registered to you and with your fingerprints on it.

  • ||

    that is correct. i had a hit and run the other day. the RO of the car told somebody who told somebody else that he was "in an accident" and he caused substantial damage and injury

    was that PC (let alone enough to convict) for hit and run? of course not.

    the victim could certainly sue of course, but i didn't even have PC to arrest, since i couldn't put him behind the wheel.

    that's life. law enforcement, like poker, is a game dealing with limited information

  • ||

    you do realize that in order to CONVICT you need proof beyond a reasonable doubt. in order to ARREST or search you need probable cause, a much lower standard.

    but yes, you cannot arrest somebody for a crime committed by somebody in car X, merely because they are the registered owner. duh. we deal with that all the time. it's all about "totality of the circs" as to whether there is PC.

    can somebody identify the driver (pull him out of a lineup ) for instance?

    just remember that search warrants are issued on PC ***NOT*** on "proof beyond a reasonable doubt"

  • ||

    FYI -- general interest, no specific point, SWAT teams and reasonable searches and seizures. (scroll down)

  • Hugh Akston||

    Every time Tulpa gets snubbed for a hat tip, an angel gets its wings.

  • Bobby Abreu||

    ...the fuck are these things?

  • ||

    Sheesh, how many wingless angels are left anyway?

  • Albie Pearson||

    I have mine.

  • ||

    ...
    [blink]
    ...

  • ||

    See, shit like this is the reason for me not moving across the Atlantic. In many ways, Sweden seems to actually be more libertarian than the US of A.

    Also: Won't somebody please think of the children?!

  • Cytotoxic||

    But your country still has very harsh drug laws and anti-prostitute laws, so you still lose. You can't have a hope of freedom without economic freedom.

  • Trespassers W||

    No kidding? I just assumed Sweden was pretty cool about whores. Does that make me racist?

  • ||

    I am told Sweden is the Saudi Arabia of feminist driven laws. See the wikileaks guy as an example.

  • rather||

    You're right; Swedish law prohibits the purchase of sexual services
    http://www.amptoons.com/blog/f....._johns.pdf

  • ||

    But not selling sexual services! Because according to radical feminist logic, that makes sense somehow. Women are apparently weak, irrational things who can't make decisions about their own bodies.

    What about male prostitutes selling sex to female buyers, you ask? I believe the government's official stance on that is "Lalalalala can't hear you!"

  • rather||

    I address the conflict of unintended legislation with the french proposal here

  • ||

    I think it would be more correct to say that we all lose.

  • ||

    you clearly no nothing of sweden if you believe that.

  • ||

    or maybe even KNOW nothing. geeeez

  • ||

    I think I know enough about Sweden, but maybe I don't know enough about the US. However, the way I see it, I may live in an overbearing nanny welfare state that demands unreasonable amounts of my money to fund several hysterical wars against drugs, prostitution and anything that goes against what is currently considered politically correct while its labour laws are choking the life out of... wait, where was I going with this?

    Oh right: Well, at least we have school vouchers!

  • B||

    Also, IIRC, you have limitations on prison sentences - and you are not too far from the relatively free country of Russia if you need to run.

    Seriously, there's a guy in Florida who had some friends over at his house, and one 14 year old boy thought it would be funny to moon the guy's video camera. Poor guy didn't even know the footage was in his camera, but the police in Florida were upset about some things he had been saying so they raided his house and found the camera. He got something like 135 years for that, and spent over 6 years in solitary confinement. He's still in jail.

    As Rev. Wright says, God Damn America!

  • Bingo||

    Off topic but goddamn this is irritating: Sarah Palin as economist virtuoso who uniquely foresaw the negative consequences of quantitative easing... in 2010.

    Hello? Does no one listen to libertarians? What the hell have we been bitching about since TARP I? Not even the Republicans will give credit where it's due.

  • Reality||

    Libertarianism means always being a modern-day Cassandra... minus the whole getting eaten by a kraken thing.

  • Jason||

    Andromeda was offered to a ketos and rescued by Perseus.

    Cassandra was Trojan who was seized by Agamemnon and taken as a concubine. Agamemnon and Cassandra were killed by Agamemnon's wife and her lover on their return to Mycenae.

  • ||

    Aw, go back to your Argonauts and shut the fuck up.

  • ||

    You betchya. That Palin is a real trailblazer. She first addressed the issue during a speech given in Phoenix, AZ, on November 8th. I can't think of a single person addressing QE, before Palin the prognosticator blessed us with her wisdom.

  • .||

    Maybe she reads Reason or Hit and Run.
    :-)

  • Donald Trump||

    Surprise twist. Tonight I fire Lil' Jon because he will not vote for me. My dimwitted son with the habsburg chin will be advising in the board room.

  • ||

    I've only stayed in a luxury hotel once and puked all over the suite that time. They do have hella-good housekeepers at those places.

  • ||

    I'm with Star. MORE KLEAVAG!!!

  • Jason Kidd||

    that's what I say every night

  • Lil Jon||

    YEAH!!!!

  • ihavenonametogive||

    There is a problem with believing that a password protected wireless router will prevent someone from using your network. It won't. In fact, it is amazingly easy to crack the passwords of WEP, WPA, and WPA2 networks. There are well-known tools for doing exactly that. (If you're using this knowledge to break into someone else's network without permission, you are still a lowlife asshole).

    Nothing will change the fact that a wireless router is broadcast radio communications and no security software/methodology/procedure is immune from all attacks all the time. If you REALLY don't want someone else using it, don't use wireless networking. That being said, I'd be surprised if this holds up in court, since using the IP address as a mean to prove identity is problematic at best.
    http://dmca.cs.washington.edu/faq.html

  • ||

    I've never understood why they don't have a physical switch or dial on the router that allows you to control the maximum number of connections it will accept. This would be an easy and foolproof way to prevent theft of service...if you've got it set for one connection and none of your devices can connect, you know someone's gotten into it.

  • Bingo||

    Whitelist MAC address filtering does a pretty good job of this. Though it's not difficult at all to spoof it once you know what it is.

  • ||

    Good point. But it's probably a case of not needing to make your castle wall impermeable, just significantly less permeable than your neighbor's.

    With all these fools leaving their wireless networks totally open (or with the default passwords that everyone knows), you're probably safe from hi-powered password crackers.

  • Nephilium||

    It's akin to the standard locks on a door. They're really easy to open, but they keep honest people honest.

  • ||

    or the idiots who get their cars stolen when they leave it running while they run into starbux for a cup of coffee.

  • Amakudari||

    I mean, frankly, a strong password (non-WEP, but that's the norm) is almost impossible to crack. You really don't need much more than that. Someone could run aircrack for weeks and never get close. Even if those specifics are unknown to the layman, though, how obvious can it be that you should have a password? That's much harder to understood versus why a manufacturer would have a switch for limiting concurrent connections.

  • Russ 2000||

    Certainly if you're not password protecting you should turn off the router or modem when you aren't using it.

    Also, does one have to broadcast one's router name in the first place? I've only set up 2 routers in my life, but the last one had the option of not broadcasting the name - so if I didn't know it existed with a specific name, I don't know how I'd be able to find it.

  • B||

    At any given time, about half of net-enabled devices are infected with malware. Most of it is relatively harmless (e.g. adware), but there's no way of knowing. New security holes pop up every day, and even the most adept IT professionals are not able to prevent every attack. What this means is that anyone - even you - could have child pornography on your computer without your knowledge.

    Since the laws have been written to rule out ignorance of possession or actual innocence as a defense, and whereas it is relatively easy for a knowledgeable person to place forbidden materials on a target's computer without the target knowing, this opens up an easy way to frame anyone that a bad actor wishes to go to prison. Several cases such cases have been discovered, and there is reason to believe it happens fairly often in divorce proceedings when a woman wants to prevent her soon to be ex-husband from getting custody of the children.

    One might think that they can avoid this by swearing off all computers and electronic devices, but it is also relatively easy to plant a few physical copies around a target's home, even without the target's knowledge. Each picture can get up to 10 years in federal prison, so it doesn't take much to ruin a target's reputation and their ability to get or keep a job. This can also subject the target to vigilante justice that is routinely ignored by the police.

    In short, there's nothing much that anyone can do to avoid being the victim of such a scheme, and any of us could lose our life or liberty at any time if someone takes a disliking to us. It's kind of like we can't protect ourselves from chance meteor strikes, except much nastier.

    But that's OK - the important thing is that it's for the protection of children, who are most likely to be harmed by ... maternal physical abuse. Well, nothing's perfect.

  • Achtung Coma Baby||

    Looking at child porn HAS to be legal; no one is harmed by it.

  • ||

    No one is harmed by paying a contract killer either.

  • Achtung Coma Baby||

    If your contention is that paying the pornographer for his material is enabling the pornographer to commit the violent action, I agree. But what about freely obtained kiddie porn?

  • ||

    I'm convinced: Actung likes kiddie porn.

  • Achtung Coma Baby||

    Well, if I like kiddie porn, what does that mean about you?...Oldie porn? Sick bastard!

  • ||

    The actual perpetrator gets 10 Bonus Points for stealing wifi from a dude named "Covert".

  • Donald Trump||

    Some people say I have raccoon eyes. I don't see it. I just don't see it.

  • Donald Trump||

    There has been a lot of overtime hockey this playoffs. I like that. There should always be a winner. No ties. That's why Americans hate soccer. Too many ties, or "draws" as they call them in Europe. Now baseball, that's a good American sport. There are no ties in baseball.

  • Mo||

    Hockey has ties. And soccer doesn't have ties in the elimination portion of the tournaments. What needs to go in soccer is the shootout.

  • ||

    NHL hockey does not have ties, just overtime/shootout losses.

  • Ted S.||

    Yes, but they award a pity point to the loser.

  • ||

    Enh, it's all about the incentives.

    In the bad old pre-lockout days, there was no pity point; a winner got two points and a loser got nothing, but both teams got a point for ties. The result was that in overtime teams would start playing grotesquely boring five-man penalty kill hockey (shit up the neutral zone, force a turnover, dump the puck deep, repeat ad nauseam) to protect the tie rather than risk getting nothing.

    (Insert obligatory rant about how the New Jersey Devils ruined hockey here.)

    The pity point is there to eliminate the incentive to play that style of hockey. If losing in overtime doesn't incur any cost over settling for a tie, then there's no point to playing to protect the tie; you might as well play to win and try to get the extra point.

    Unfortunately the NHL, rather than limiting itself to actually fixing the problem, started using an individual skills competition to settle ties in a team sport. But that's a whole different rant.

  • Robert||

    Actually there are quite a few ties in interscholastic baseball.

  • Jerryskids||

    I wondered also why the ICE team was involved in this child pornography case. I think I found the answer - they weren't looking to get rid of the kiddie porn, they were looking to acquire it!

    http://miami.cbslocal.com/2011.....hild-porn/

  • Marty Feldman's Eyes||

    What laziness. It's appalling that people don't demand better work from the police. Without doing any other legwork they just assume that the owner of the router is their guy. It's just insane that the cops assume that somebody committing so serious a crime *must* be using their own internet connection.

    In fact, it is amazingly easy to crack the passwords of WEP, WPA, and WPA2 networks. There are well-known tools for doing exactly that.

    And for this reason I suspect the best strategy is, sadly, just leaving your network open. If you password protect, you just block out the law abiding while still being vulnerable to the nefarious, only with a weaker defense against false accusations.

  • ||

    So more people will access your open router, rather than your neighbor's secure router? This makes no sense. That's like saying that people will steal your car anyway, so there's no reason to lock the doors.

  • ||

    you'd be surprised how often child porn addicts ARE that stupid. for example, encrypting pictures is not that difficult. child porn criminals almost never use it though.

    people do stupid shit with computers all the time. they leave amazing traces of their activity all the time. the evidence i have gotten from (for example) hotmail after writing a warrant is phenomenal. people leave it all over their computers and their email accounts.

    frankly, though, if there was a relatively simple way for the cops to determine if the downloader downloaded INTO a computer at that address before executing the warrant, then of course they should have done that.

    and as usual everybody seems to forget that in order to serve this warrant, it was reviewed by a prosecutor (almost every agency does this) and signed by a judge. iow, both a prosecutor and a judge thought there was sufficient PC.

    i have no idea if it is something they could have done before executing the warrant - determine where it was downloaded to , not just the account used. if they could have done it like dat, they should have (the cops)

    that doesn't necessarily mean they didn't have valid pc, though.

  • ||

    Child porn viewers are a motley collection of perverts. Very few if any of them are particularly technologically sophisticated. I would imagine a few of them are. But most are not. The reason is that there isn't much money in child porn. The sophisticated cyber criminals are looking to make money. And child porn makes no sense. It doesn't make much money and the risks are huge. If you get caught stealing identities or running a bank fraud scheme you really won't do that much time. You get caught distributing child porn you will do decades and be the lowest of the low in prison. I would be very surprised if there are any really sophisticated cyber criminals who are engaged in child porn. It just doesn't make any business sense.

  • D-oh||

    that doesn't necessarily mean they didn't have valid pc, though.

    So assuming the actually did have valid pc, what's the logical, practical, reasonable (drink!) explanation for the f'ing SWAT?

  • ||

    as i already said - to my knowledge - NONE.

    again, as i said, they should have specific articulable facts necessitating the use of SWAT. my agency we are required to do a risk matrix and SWAT is only used if the score is above a certain #.

    that should be protocol. if SWAT is not justified by those specific facts, then they shouldn't use SWAT.

    or a dynamic entry for that matter.

    the dynamic entry is the problem, whether or not it was done by SWAT or whatever.

    go to the door (surround the house first) and make a clear knock and annouce.

    simple

  • Amakudari||

    and as usual everybody seems to forget that in order to serve this warrant, it was reviewed by a prosecutor (almost every agency does this) and signed by a judge. iow, both a prosecutor and a judge thought there was sufficient PC.

    This just means there are additional parties responsible, not that the cops are off the hook or get the stupid diluted in any way. We are individuals with free will, and everyone involved made the decision to use violent force to arrest a kiddie porn suspect. Those types -- the ones actually guilty -- may be a sick bunch, but that's insufficient to assume a physical threat.

    No one's denying that probable cause exists, either. It did. That's why you knock on the door, identify yourself and show the arrest warrant, ask that the man step outside, and execute the warrant. Contrast this with busting down the back door and throwing the man down the stairs.

  • rather ||

    may be a sick bunch

    another fucking freak

  • mad libertarian guy||

    Throwing the WRONG man down the stairs.

    The article also notes that the same user downloaded from a different IP, and that THAT was how they found the real bad guy. Why they didn't do this simple bit of investigation with info they had BEFORE the raid is the problem (along with doing a raid on a kiddie porn sicko to begin with).

  • Amakudari||

    True, although you'd have to guess whether the other IP address used was a) related and b) the primary access point. I'm still thinking they had plenty of probable cause.

    The greater point is that SWAT team-esque force should only be used if there's an expectation of violent resistance. It looks worse when they get the wrong person, but it's dumb either way.

    I mean, Chris Hansen gets them to sit down and cry on the inside in front of a camera on national TV through force of will alone. Surely cops can manage without body armor.

  • rather||

    I mean, Chris Hansen gets them to sit down and cry on the inside in front of a camera on national TV through force of will alone. Surely cops can manage without body armor.

    You mean, Chris Hansen lures them to sit down and cry on the inside of a secured and prepared house with gunmen ready to take them down a the slightest evidence of violence?

    Are you that imbecilic that you think he has a hot cup of coffee as his only protection?

  • ||

    and like i said, i agree with that. but a sufficient part of the article at least implies that they were wrong to be there in the first place since the guy had an unsecured network . the very title of the article is disingenuous. he was not "SWAT TEAM-ED" for "not securing his wireless network".

    regardless, there are two issues
    1) was a warrant justified
    2) was the method of warrant execution justified

    as i have said before, IF there were not specific articulable facts to justify a dynamic entry, then one shouldn't have been used.

    PER-I-OD

    you should do a risk matrix to make that determination

    on ALL warrants

  • ||

    and as usual everybody seems to forget that in order to serve this warrant, it was reviewed by a prosecutor (almost every agency does this) and signed by a judge. iow, both a prosecutor and a judge thought there was sufficient PC.

    There's no constitutional requirement that the warrant be issued by a judge, just by a neutral magistrate. My crim pro professor at UVa liked to point out to us that one of the magistrates in Albemarle County was a dry cleaner from Scottsville. (That's not to say that the dry cleaner would probably be at least a bit more neutral than the prosecutor.)

  • ||

    that is correct, under federal law, but many states have statutes and./or dept. have policies as to what kind of judges (jurisdiction, etc.) they go to for warrants

  • B||

    A better option is to use only hard-wired internet connections, and not possess a wireless router.

    It's imperfect, of course, as it is still relatively easy for someone to hack into most personal computers, and use them as a proxy or to store child pornography on the hard drive - but there's really no way to avoid this. It's pretty obvious that the government is just using the pedophile panic to justify doing whatever it likes, anyway.

  • e||

    I keep my wireless access point open, but then I'm a mooching looting second-hander and feel a kinship to others of the same disposition.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Fuckin' justice... how does it work?

  • rather ||

    I don't know because not one of you spoke for the kid

  • ||

    Won't somebody please think of the children?!

    Woah, déjà vu.

  • Sam||

    What kid? This story was not about an individual who was abused. It was about a man who was wrongly arrested by a SWAT team when he was innocent of the charge.

    Did you not read or understand the article?

    And yes, by the way, there probably are a few perverts posting here as well as a number of insensitive nerds but that's not really the point either.

    The only solution I can see is that the penalties for merely looking should be much less severe than the penalties for the real creaps who are taking advantage and using violence against children.

  • ||

    The only solution I can see is that the penalties for merely looking should be much less severe than the penalties for the real creaps who are taking advantage and using violence against children.

    It's hard to find the real creeps (who are probably in some place like Russia anyway), so the cops go for the low-hanging fruit

  • rather||

    Ya, because no one abuses children in the US-another genius

  • rather||

    First, the story is about a creep who downloaded child porn from an idiot's open internet connection-so yes a child was harmed but the useless shits here keep on whining about the guy who with the unsecured connection. Guess what? You leave an open connection, shit happens.

  • Jerryskids||

    If you password protect, you just block out the law abiding while still being vulnerable to the nefarious, only with a weaker defense against false accusations.

    Exactly right. With an unprotected connection, you only have to worry about the crooks. With a protected connection, it's the government you gotta worry about. Personally, I've never had too much trouble with crooks but - as a small business owner - I get ass-raped every day by my government.

  • Achtung Coma Baby||

    I want a Reason forum on the need to reform child porn laws. Don't punish the viewer's lifestyle choice!

  • rather ||

    fucking freak

  • B||

    I doubt the public is ready for such a discussion. If they discovered the truth, their brains might asplode.

  • rather||

    another fucking freak-fuck you too

  • ||

    They're not ready for the discussion on wearing underwear on the outside of their pants, either. Those sheeple.

  • reason readin female||

    I want to discuss the "never-nude" syndrome. Let the asploding begin.

  • Evan Zimmerman||

    That doesn't change that you really should be securing your wireless modem. At the very least, don't let someone use the internet you're paying for.

  • e||

    Keeping mine open; sorry, I'm just altrustic no matter what Ayn Rand or the Federal government may think.

  • Matt||

    Even if the network is "secure," but with an outdated protocol like WEP, the guy still could have been innocent. Or maybe someone could have hacked in with a trojan or keylogger. The law has not kept pace with technology in these cases.

  • ||

    In the 133 posts above, did I miss the one where someone asked "How did they know he was downloading porn anyway?"

    I mean... either they suspected he was downloading kiddie porn, and got a warrant to force his ISP to tell them what he was downloading. Or they suspected he was downloading kiddie porn, and got a warrant to force the kiddie porn supplier to provide a list of clients. Or... what?

    They were just "looking around" (without a warrant) to see who's downloading kitty porn? (Who will think if the kittens??!!)

    Dunphy... help me out here... if they're just sniffing on the intertubes and find somebody downloading porn, how can they get a warrant for that? There's not even a "confidential informant" involved. Weren't the Feds illegally eavesdropping in the first place?

    CB

  • Sam||

    Sometimes they set up traps with sites where they have put the porn for people to download.

    But, it's not victimizing the children when they do this for some reason.

  • C||

    Police officers are good, morally upright citizens. It does not harm children when police look at child pornography, because police officers do not have the magic pedo eye that is the true cause of harm.

    Likewise, when police officers or social workers forcibly remove children from their home, forcibly strip them, and forcibly give them an invasive examination to determine if they were molested, this does not harm children. However, if a pedophile gently licks a naughty place - or even sucks on a child's toes - this does irrevocable harm. In such cases, the offender must be placed in prison for a very long time, and then forcibly held in psychiatric wards if they are ever released from prison, and their assets must be seized to pay for lifelong therapy bills for the children they harmed.

    Won't somebody think of the children?

  • ||

    if you would actually read the article, you would have the answer vs. your bigoted prejudiced speculation... here:
    On Feb. 11, an investigator with the Department of Homeland Security, which oversees cybersecurity enforcement, signed in to a peer-to-peer file sharing program from his office. After connecting with someone by the name of "Doldrum," the agent browsed through his shared files for videos and images and found images and videos depicting children engaged in sexual acts.

    The agent identified the IP address, or unique identification number, of the router, then got the service provider to identify the subscriber.

    Investigators could have taken an extra step before going inside the house and used a laptop or other device outside the home to see whether there was an unsecured signal. That alone wouldn't have exonerated the homeowner, but it would have raised the possibility that someone else was responsible for the downloads.

    After a search of his devices proved the homeowner's innocence, investigators went back to the peer-to-peer software and looked at logs that showed what other IP addresses Doldrum had connected from. Two were associated with the State University of New York at Buffalo and accessed using a secure token that UB said was assigned to a student living in an apartment adjacent to the homeowner. Agents arrested John Luchetti March 17. He has pleaded not guilty to distribution of child pornography.

  • Amakudari||

    Just for the record, I don't believe any of the trap sites that do exist actually have illegal pictures on them. I'm pretty sure that would open police departments to ridiculous amounts of liability.

  • ||

    as the article says :
    On Feb. 11, an investigator with the Department of Homeland Security, which oversees cybersecurity enforcement, signed in to a peer-to-peer file sharing program from his office. After connecting with someone by the name of "Doldrum," the agent browsed through his shared files for videos and images and found images and videos depicting children engaged in sexual acts.

    The agent identified the IP address, or unique identification number, of the router, then got the service provider to identify the subscriber.

    Investigators could have taken an extra step before going inside the house and used a laptop or other device outside the home to see whether there was an unsecured signal. That alone wouldn't have exonerated the homeowner, but it would have raised the possibility that someone else was responsible for the downloads.

    After a search of his devices proved the homeowner's innocence, investigators went back to the peer-to-peer software and looked at logs that showed what other IP addresses Doldrum had connected from. Two were associated with the State University of New York at Buffalo and accessed using a secure token that UB said was assigned to a student living in an apartment adjacent to the homeowner. Agents arrested John Luchetti March 17. He has pleaded not guilty to distribution of child pornography.

  • Matt||

    As soon as computers are involved, it seems that police and prosecutors go from "bloodthirsty" to "SUPER-bloodthirsty" and act extra irrational.

  • Zeb||

    The cops seem to want to punish the guy before he is tried or convicted. I wonder if that sort of attitude had anything to do with the decision to use a violent entry. Even supposing they had any reason to use SWAT or whatever it was, the cops seem to have assumed his guilt simply on the basis of PC, which is very unprofessional and just disgusting.

  • B||

    Vigilante violence against registered sex offenders is common, and widely ignored by the police.

    Lifetime registration for sex offenders has been ordered for such criminals as a 10 year old girl who was caught playing doctor with her younger step brother.

    I can't make this shit up.

  • ||

    Lifetime registration for sex offenders has been ordered for such criminals as a 10 year old girl who was caught playing doctor with her younger step brother.

    The Sex Offender Reg was bad, but not nearly as bad as her being put on the No Fly List, not to mention the sanctions from the AMA.

  • ||

    I can't make this shit up.

    Pretty sure you actually are. There have been some egregious cases of charging teenage sexters with distribution of k-pr0n, but the "playing doctor" story needs a link.

  • B||

    "not to mention the sanctions from the AMA."

    ROTFLMAO. Practicing medicine without a license?

  • ||

    These stories are so ridiculous. At least a dog wasn't shot this time. All the more reason to know your rights.

    http://www.intellectualtakeout.....-amendment

  • ||

    It's really sad when you realize that ridiculous stuff like this happens so often that Radley Balko could put an April Fool's Day article in with his usual articles and no one would notice.

  • دردشه عراقية||

    Thanks

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