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Click on Fake Child Porn Ads Head to the Clinker — Fair?

Think of it as RickRolling meets To Catch a Predator. The FBI now puts fake links to child porn on message boards, and then arrests people who click on them.

The tactic has been used to convict people in various states already. Since authorities use IP addresses to track clicks, defendants have argued that neighbors (or anybody!) could have tried to access the nonexistent illegal smut.

After clicking on one of these links, a PhD student had his door kicked in, and he was thrown to the floor and handcuffed by FBI agents. He's now facing charges.

Attempts to download child porn are punishable by 10 years in prison. Do you think this is a good way to catch these predators?

Source

Join The Conversation
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 8 years
People, if you want to report an ad like that, you dont have to click it, Do you really want to put those types of files on your computer? I think not.
Grandpa Grandpa 8 years
meike, you make an outstanding point. I am not nearly enough computer literate to know what can and can not be done by hackers. But someone malicious and knowledgeable could do some real damage, if it could be done undetected. I was just reading a news story about hacking in 102 countries, all traced back to China. They call it "The ghost network".
Meike Meike 8 years
Imagine the damage one asshole prankster could do to innocent people if he got hold of these the fake kiddie porn links, changed them using Tinyurl, and posted them as relevant news links on non-porn message boards just like this one here. A big flat 'no'.
momma-tikita momma-tikita 8 years
"Agents post to kiddie porn message boards with links to files hosted on an FBI server. The posts indicate that the files are images or movies of minors engaged in sexual activity." These people would already be thinking and talking about child porn. Anyone who wanted to report something should just send them that message board.
finzup finzup 8 years
No -- what if someone clicked on it with the idea that they would REPORT the site to the authorities? What if someone clicked it by accident? It smells kind of "entrapment-ish to me".. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for catching pedophiles, but I think this might not be the way to do it. Innocent people's lives could be literally ruined.
Michaelrcks Michaelrcks 8 years
Sure, why not?
zeze zeze 8 years
I don't think the internet clause will hold up in court for felony child pornography charges ... that is too extreme, imagine if someone communicates with terrorists and plots an attack through your connection, for such a clause to hold up would be insane. But I agree with your idea of investigating that person's history/computer and making the proper links to the right person before knocking down doors and arresting.
chatondeneige chatondeneige 8 years
That got longer than I planned...
chatondeneige chatondeneige 8 years
I'm actually with Karlotta on this. I'd probably right click the link and get the URL, and email it to local law enforcement... But I also recognize that I have more computer knowledge than the average Joe, who probably doesn't know how to copy a URL without going to the page. So knocking down a door for simply clicking on something seems a bit much, but if they clicked several links to get into a page, I can see checking into other history on the the computer to see if it's a pattern, etc. Every internet provider with a lawyer or simply an intelligent staff member has a clause in the contract saying that you're completely responsible for anything done from your connection, which is why you lock your internet - so you know anyone who uses your internet. But I agree that in situations in which people share computers, it could be shaky. When my manfriend is visiting, he uses my computer to check his email and watch things on hulu when I'm at work and what have you. My sister's internet is locked, but when but it's the computer that's downstairs and it's sort of the default computer for use most of the time - in the past 24 hours I've used it, our mom has used it, she's used it, and her husband has used it. Plus, when I'm at their house to babysit, I use her computer. I wouldn't dream of doing anything illegal online, but if I did, would I be punished because it was my action, or would she be punished because it's her computer? Or, might her husband be punished because the internet is in his name? It's the kind of thing which needs to be explained further because otherwise one cannot have a well formed opinion on it.
Grandpa Grandpa 8 years
I am queasy about the death penalty..but someone takes the innocence of a child, I think i could vote for it. Just publishing stories like this would or should prevent an innocent person from "clicking" innocently.
Grandpa Grandpa 8 years
I am with CG here.
Lyv Lyv 8 years
Stupid... I was just reading an article on internet vigilantism earlier today. This would kind of totally ruin a good thing.
kurniakasih kurniakasih 8 years
What if it's completely by accident? And what if there are other people using the computer at the same house? In our house, there are 3 of us using 1 computer. How can they tell who logged on there, etc? This doesn't sound right to me. I hate predators who prey on innocent children, but seriously, innocent people can get really hurt over this.
wmoonw wmoonw 8 years
Just clicking on the link shouldn't be enough, anybody could accidentally click on a link. They'd need to do more than that, like try to access content, for me to be convinced, and the FBI would need a better way to ID them than just using their IP addresses, trying to charge people based purely on IP is nonsense, IMO.
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 8 years
Arrest no however enough evidence to seize your computer for investigation yes. Then is if there a pattern of history you'll be arrested. If it was just an accident or God forbid curiosity you get the bagibies scarred out of you and make sure you don't do it again.
nyaradzom2001 nyaradzom2001 8 years
If I saw a link child porn I will definitely click on it, you never know whether you are saving a life or not. How do they know that everyone clicks on it to see kiddie porn, what if they are checking to see if they need to report it to the authorities or doing some research. But if this gets paedophiles well then who am I to complain
Beauty Beauty 8 years
I agree with bastylefilegirl. Seems like entrapment to me, too. Not that I have any love for the NAMBLA crowd, but this comes realllly close to the Thought Police to me.
bastylefilegirl bastylefilegirl 8 years
I would need more details about what the links actually say, but this sounds like entrapment. If these links are just lying around the internet anyone has the potential to accidently click them and be imprisoned for something they never intended to do. Now if these where place specifically on pornography sites, specific chat rooms etc then maybe but this still seems a little fishy.
Symphonee Symphonee 8 years
I think the fact that it would be posted on specific message boards make me feel better about it. I know my computer acts stupid sometimes but I wouldn't be on those sites either.
Carrie-Sue Carrie-Sue 8 years
Fair enough for me.
lilkimbo lilkimbo 8 years
With the details, I like the idea. I would feel differently if it were something like pop ups that you could easily accidentally click on.
wren1 wren1 8 years
Given that they are on those message boards, I really like this idea.
Roarman Roarman 8 years
If they are posting the links on kiddie porn message boards, I have no problem with it. If you are there to begin with, you are probably up to no good. And if you are doing for college research, that should be pretty easy to clear up.
momma-tikita momma-tikita 8 years
I agree CG. I wonder if its just clicking on the link or going further into the site somehow. Whatever it is all these sickos should be locked up.
death-by-chocolat death-by-chocolat 8 years
According the linked article, the message boards these ads are appearing on are already kiddie porn boards. So most likely, the people who are browsing those boards are already the 'bad guys'... so I'm not going to consider it entrapment.
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