Digital Child Pornography: Offender or not Offender

Digital Child Pornography: Offender or not Offender

Frank Y.W. Law (The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China), K.P. Chow (The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China), Pierre K.Y. Lai (The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China), Hayson K.S. Tse (The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China) and Kenneth W.H. Tse (The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China)
Copyright: © 2012 |Pages: 19
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61350-323-2.ch410
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Abstract

Child pornography has become a major cyber crime in recent years. One of the challenging problems in child pornography cases is to distinguish if the subject files were downloaded intentionally or by accident without the knowledge of the computer user. The suspect may admit that he is an erotomania, but argue that the child porn materials were downloaded accidentally while surfing the pornographic web sites. In many jurisdictions, possession of child pornography without user knowledge is not a crime, while the burden of proof is on the prosecution. It is therefore important to identify if the child pornography exists by accident or not. In this chapter, the authors first review the technologies which sustain the prevalence of online child pornography and the recent research on child pornography investigation. Then, the authors present a set of practical investigation techniques. Subsequently, they apply the techniques in a case study with an attempt to distinguish if a suspect is a child pornography offender or just a normal erotomania. This is an important distinction to be made, since a person guilty of child pornography offenses is likely to be punished more seriously under most legal jurisdictions.

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