2009 case law overview

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Presentation given for Vere Software seminar 1-2010

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2009 case law overview

  1. 1. Computer crimes legal update <ul><li>Richard Whidden </li></ul><ul><li>Executive Director </li></ul><ul><ul><li>National Law Center for Children and Families </li></ul></ul>
  2. 2. Expectations <ul><ul><li>Overview of selected 2009 court cases </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>What is possession </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Discovery of contraband material </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Search and Seizure / warrant cases </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Forensics procedures </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Introduce National Law Center </li></ul></ul></ul>
  3. 3. Courts – Federal Jurisdiction US Sup. Ct. Circuit Courts of Appeal Federal District Courts
  4. 4. Courts – State Jurisdiction State Sup. Ct. Intermediate Appellate Courts Trial Courts
  5. 5. Policy considerations <ul><ul><li>Safeguard the physical and psychological wellbeing of a child </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Compelling state interest </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Permanent record of abuse </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Harm to child is exacerbated by distribution </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Standard established before internet </li></ul></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Definitions <ul><ul><li>3 basic elements </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>A visual depiction </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Of a minor </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Engaged in </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>explicit sexual conduct </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Possession </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Possession <ul><ul><li>What do we mean by possession in the legal sense </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Before the internet </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Custody and control of an item or object </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  8. 8. What does that mean in the digital age?
  9. 9. Cache = Possession? <ul><ul><li>Mixed opinions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>It is viewed </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>But not downloaded </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Dominion (custody) or Control </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“ Where a defendant lacks knowledge about the cache files, and concomitantly lacks access to and control over those files, it is not proper to charge him with possession and control of the child pornography images located in those files, without some other indication of dominion and control over the images.” - United States v. Kuchinski, 469 F.3d 853 (9 th Cir 2006) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The Government must show knew contraband in cache </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Tale of three states <ul><ul><li>Pennsylvania </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Illinois </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Texas </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. Pennsylvania v. Diodoro 970 A. 2d 1100 (Pa. 2009) <ul><li>360 images in cache </li></ul><ul><li>NEXT button </li></ul><ul><li>Rapid and large quantity of images </li></ul><ul><li>“… (A)ccessing and viewing CP over </li></ul><ul><li>the internet constitutes control of such </li></ul><ul><li>pornography (under PA law).” </li></ul><ul><li>Cert Denied by US Sup. Ct. 10-2009 </li></ul>
  12. 12. Pennsylvania policy <ul><ul><li>“…” that to allow individuals to intentionally access and view CP via the internet with impunity would make the statute toothless. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Such a reading would also allow the purpose of this anti-CP legislation and the CP market to grow.” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>… </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ The purpose of (PA law) is plainly to protect children, end abuse and exploitation of children, and eradicate the production and supply of CP.” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Diodoro at 1107 (internal citations omitted) </li></ul></ul>
  13. 13. Illinois Cases 2009 <ul><ul><li>Scolaro </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Josephitis </li></ul></ul>
  14. 14. State v. Scolaro 910 N.E. 2d 126 (Ill. App. 1 st 5-29-09) <ul><ul><li> was listed as a subscriber to CP site </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Knock and Talk </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Consent search </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> said viewed not saved </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> said emails rec’d and sent </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> had a program “Evidence Eliminator” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Exam found 689 images in unallocated space </li></ul></ul>
  15. 15. Does cache = possession in Illinois? <ul><ul><li>Scolaro first case for that state </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Did the  reach out and control the images? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Commonwealth v. Simone 63 Va. Cir. 216 (2003) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Illinois adopts that standard </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“ Did the defendant specifically seek out the prohibited images and did he have the ability to exercise dominion and control over these images?” Scolaro at 680. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>In this case the search out by subscription with the “Evidence Eliminator” program was sufficient to show possession. </li></ul></ul>
  16. 16. State v. Josephitis 209 Ill. App. LEXIS 784 (8-19-09) <ul><li>Similar to Scolaro except the  did not have the program and claimed to know about cache. </li></ul><ul><li> argues that the mere viewing ≠ possession </li></ul><ul><li>He did not manipulate the images or actively download </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Only viewed via Internet </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Favorites! </li></ul><ul><li>“ Defendant and others who pay for access and view these images support an industry which exploits the most vulnerable people in the world, an industry which the statue seeks to destroy. “ Josephitis at 28-29. </li></ul>
  17. 17. Assousa v. Texas 2009 Tex. App. LEXIS 3500 (5 th Dist. 5-21-09) <ul><ul><li> 13 years in software engineer and </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>manager </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Claimed not to know about cache </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Found in cache and Real Player history </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>CD of newsgroups and URLs </li></ul></ul>
  18. 18. Search and Seizure issues <ul><ul><li>Stale probable cause </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Voluntary consent – ends? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Scope from one crime to another </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Work place computers </li></ul></ul>
  19. 19. U.S. v. Gavegnano 2009 U.S. App. LEXIS 844 (4 th Cir 2009) <ul><li>Government workplace computer </li></ul><ul><ul><li>No expectation of privacy </li></ul></ul><ul><li> claimed that the chain of custody was faulty </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Judicial discretion to admit evidence </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Chain of custody precision is not an ‘iron clad requirement’ and a ‘missing link does not prevent the admission of real evidence, so long as there is sufficient proof that the evidence is what it purports to be and has not been altered in any material aspect’.” Gavegnano at 8 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Jury call on whether government tampered with evidence </li></ul></ul>
  20. 20. U.S. v. Stults 575 F.3d 834 (8 th Cir 2009) <ul><li>P2P case – LimeWire </li></ul><ul><li>Got LimeWire? – Don’t got a reasonable expectation of privacy </li></ul><ul><li>“ One who gives his house keys to all his friends who request them should not be surprised should some of them open the door without knocking” Stults at 17 </li></ul>
  21. 21. Stults warrant application <ul><ul><li>Describe P2P </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Describe how P2P used to disseminate CP </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Described agent’s experience and training in computer usage and CP investigations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Incorporated P2P investigation that formed PC </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>IP address trace </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Recounted the shared file contents - CP </li></ul></ul>
  22. 22. U.S. v. Alexander 574 F.3d 484 (8 th Cir 2009) <ul><li>Police investigate  for secret recordings of women during sex </li></ul><ul><li>During investigation on adult – CP found </li></ul><ul><li>Investigator stopped his review of images and got a second warrant for CP </li></ul><ul><li> argued different formats eliminated PC </li></ul><ul><li> depict adult women did not allow a search for CP </li></ul>
  23. 23. U.S. v. Comprehensive Drug Testing, Inc. 2009 U.S. LEXIS 19119 (9 th Cir 2009) <ul><li>NOT A CP CASE </li></ul><ul><li>Significant forensics case </li></ul><ul><li>Plain View Doctrine / Warrants </li></ul><ul><li>Search protocols </li></ul><ul><li>How broad can government cast its electronic net in searches? </li></ul>
  24. 24. <ul><li>9 th Circuit </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Magistrates “should” waive reliance of plain view doctrine in digital evidence </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Segregation and redaction by third party </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>If gov’t does redaction computer personnel will not disclose any information outside the target of warrant </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Warrants must disclose actual risk of destruction </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Gov’t search protocol must uncover only the information for which it has PC and only that info is examined </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Non-responsive data must be destroyed keeping magistrate informed about when it has done so and what it has kept. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Dissent. </li></ul>
  25. 25. Impact? <ul><li>“ To require the government before every computer search to forswear the plain view doctrine, which itself has its own constraints, seems unwise.” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>US v. Farlow (US Dist Maine)12-3-2009 </li></ul></ul>
  26. 26. Is this true? <ul><li>Orin S. Kerr, Searches and Seizures in a Digital World , 119 Harv . L. Rev. 531, 572 (2005) (&quot;[T]he [computer] forensics process is too contingent and unpredictable for judges to establish effective ex ante rules.&quot;). </li></ul>
  27. 27. Who is the NLC? <ul><li>Defending kids by supporting </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Law Enforcement </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Prosecutors </li></ul></ul>
  28. 28. www.nationallawcenter.org
  29. 29. Upcoming seminars <ul><li>San Diego </li></ul><ul><li>February 23-24 </li></ul><ul><li>Tampa </li></ul><ul><li>March 17 - 18 </li></ul>
  30. 30. Questions & Thanks

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