Find predators sharing child porn media

Many individuals believe they are anonymous when creating profiles online through various sites. However, some of these sites are monitored by law enforcement for potential conviction of criminal activities. Possession, sharing, transmitting and creating images or video of children in sexual activity are all crimes with harsh punishments when conviction occurs. Included are semi to complete nudity of these children in visual depictions whether these are drawn, painted or photographed.

What Is a Peer-to-Peer Network?

When one or more computers connect online through a website, network connection or software, a peer-to-peer connection can be made. These are connections directly from one or more computers to one or more computers or servers. When connected in this way, downloading or uploading software or other media is possible in quick and swift exchanges. For media that is only available on a specific person’s computer or through a server only available to particular people or members, this is the best way to obtain this information. In some instances, membership with vast details is needed. In other situations, membership is purchased monthly or yearly.

Fighting Child Porn Crimes Internationally

Law enforcement agencies combat these offenses on an international level. Additionally, federal and state level agencies work in cooperation with international organizations in order to attempt to reduce and eliminate the threat of child offenders throughout the United States. Each charge of child pornography may have a different penalty, and each level of charges may increase the harshness of the punishments. When the distinction between possession and distribution of pornography becomes complicated determining what crime is committed with relevant penalties also become complex. The very act of possessing pornography involving children is punished heavily, but distribution charges are much more severe.

Crimes of Child Pornography

Possession of these depictions often has a harsh punishment with years in prison and potentially fines along with sex offender registration. This includes the downloading, creating, and possession of images or video files.

Distribution is usually determined as the sharing or intended sharing of pornographic child photos or video from one person to another. This may be through online contact, copying and sharing photos or video in person or sharing content through a peer-to-peer network. Sharing through a network may be determined as both distribution and delivery of content with at least one other person. Though access online and sharing media in this way is considered a passive means, it has been accepted through court trials previously, resulting in the conviction of defendants who used these means to distribute pornographic images. Because of this, peer-to-peer investigations for child porn content have become a common practice by law enforcement officers. Catching offenders in this way is invaluable in some cases.

Unintentional Sharing of Content

P2P network access allows an individual to share files and folders set up through preferences chosen by the member with the software or website membership. When these settings are left open, anonymous sharing may be possible. In some instances, members of these websites may have accidentally left files or folders open to sharing when they did not intend to. Even if nothing was downloaded, this may lead police officers to apprehend the individuals through unintentional behavior. In these situations, a criminal defense lawyer may try to argue that the defendant lacked the necessary mens rea to be convicted of the crime since there was no intent.

Catching Offenders through Software

Law enforcement agencies have various software programs that may determine IP addresses or other information about a user. When an IP address is determined, the location of the offender may be pinpointed. This allows law enforcement agents to cite probable cause in order to have a search warrant created to search the home of the identified offender. The computer used in the home along with the entire house is investigated and examined thoroughly. Charges may depend upon the intentional distribution of child pornography for distribution charges. However, possession charges may still be issued in these cases.