Skip to comments.The Feds Are Dropping Child Porn Cases Instead of Revealing Info on Their Surveillance Systems
Posted on 04/25/2019 3:28:06 PM PDT by SMGFan
The Department of Justice has been dismissing child pornography cases in order to not reveal information about the software programs used as the basis for the charges.
An array of cases suggest serious problems with the tech tools used by federal authorities. But the private entities who developed these tools won't submit them for independent inspection or hand over hardly any information about how they work, their error rates, or other critical information. As a result, potentially innocent people are being smeared as pedophiles and prosecuted as child porn collectors, while potentially guilty people are going free so these companies can protect "trade secrets."
The situation suggests some of the many problems that can arise around public-private partnerships in catching criminals and the secretive digital surveillance software that it entails (software that's being employed for far more than catching child predators).
With the child pornography cases, "the defendants are hardly the most sympathetic," notes Tim Cushing at Techdirt. Yet that's all the more reason why the government's antics here are disturbing. Either the feds initially brought bad cases against people whom they just didn't think would fight back, or they're willing to let bad behavior go rather than face some public scrutiny.
An extensive investigation by ProPublica "found more than a dozen cases since 2011 that were dismissed either because of challenges to the software's findings, or the refusal by the government or the maker to share the computer programs with defense attorneys, or both," writes Jack Gillum. Many more cases raised issues with the software as a defense.
"Defense attorneys have long complained that the government's secrecy claims may hamstring suspects seeking to prove that the software wrongly identified them," notes Gillum. "But the growing success of their counterattack is also raising concerns that, by questioning the software used by investigators, some who trade in child pornography can avoid punishment."
Courts have sought to overcome concerns that scrutiny would diminish the effectiveness of the software for law enforcement or infringe on intellectual property rights by ordering only secret and monitored third-party review proces
I love my country but hate my government.
In order not to reveal members of Congress.
“. . . won’t submit them for independent inspection or hand over hardly any information . . . .”
It’s all about the Feds and their power.
Nothing to see here....
Amen!~! Hard to LOVE what is fast becoming majority EVIL, though.
God won’t forgive them for crucifying innocent men because of malfunctioning equipment
Can’t imagine more of a horror than being accused of being a pedophile and charged with it because of a “glitch”
Bad touch Biden is breathing a sigh of relief going on into his campaign.
setting up the podesta defense?
Guessing one of the reasons is they’d have to reveal that governments are by far the largest distributors of CP, trafficking millions of pics to catch people with maybe a folder full of anime.
Hell will be full of scum who ignore this evil.
Well, in this case warrantless searches wreck prosecutorial viability.
It would not break my heart if the information somehow got leaked to the citizenry.
Its an important distinction.
Patriots love their country.
Authoritarians love their government.
“It would not break my heart if the information somehow got leaked to the citizenry.”
And that’s why I think Julian Assange is as much of a hero for liberty as was Thomas Paine.
President Trump who is the boss at DOJ could end this by issuing a simple memo to the DOJ saying “Stop it.”
My mind goes to the strict Old Testament regime where, although it was possible to be put to death for things we might consider minor today, the trial procedure was rigorous and required actual witnesses (”two or three” — more than one) who would then literally be “the first to throw the stones.” And on top of that, if a bogus accusation was brought — the witness had to take the deadly stones or whatever other penalty was sought. That kept people in the fear of God over the fear of man, and doubtful cases were deeply discouraged.
I wouldn’t want to be party to witch hunts like this, that take a terrible situation (the abuse of children) and make it even worse.
If youre a pervert and into kids
A youre gonna have trouble hiding it
and B nobody faked it and set you up OK
I for one am perfectly fine with the government preventing discovery on all the techniques they use to track down the scum of the earth who should be hung in the public square
God will forgive, but will not excuse. Chastisements will come until repentance occurs.
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