What are Peer to Peer File Sharing Programs?
Peer to Peer, or P2P, file sharing sites such as Shareaza, BitTorrent, Ares, BearShare, Gnutella, Kazaa, Limewire, and eMule, are generally used for the transfer of files containing movies, music, videos and still photographs. Modern day systems across the world can operate without a central server, reducing their vulnerability to network shut down by a central server. With these programs, users create index files of content they wish to share with others. Users in Denver, Douglas County and Arapahoe County are able to search across the indexes of thousands of computers at once to locate desirable content. In recent years, that “desirable content” has increasingly been illegal pornography involving nude images of children, also known as Sexual Exploitation of a Child. Our top lawyers in Denver defend men charged with this serious crime.
In 2003, the federal government completed an extensive report on the ease of finding pornography involving kids. That ease has only grown in recent years as federal and local law enforcement agencies develop new strategies for prosecuting law violators. In Golden, Lakewood and Castle Rock, Colorado, the crime of Sexual Exploitation of Children involves the creation, possession or distribution of sexual images involving children. This sexual offense results in severe consequences for those convicted, including sex offender treatment requirements, sex offender probation, and sex offender treatment. In many cases, jail and prison are possible. You need an experienced attorney to fight for your innocence.
How do Police in Colorado Track Down Peer to Peer Users?
Law enforcement and police monitor sites like Limewire and Gnutella, locating unlawful images based on their title, responses to search inquiries and file hash values. Hash values are a long string of numbers which give specific files a “fingerprint” type identity. Law enforcement officers maintain a national database of the hash values of thousands of illegal known child images. Once these files are found to be available for download from other Peer to Peer computers, Denver, Jefferson and Adams County police officers and sheriffs will identify the Internet Service Provider (ISP) of the file provider or file downloader. Officers then obtain search warrants for the home base for these computers.
The Internet is Not Anonymous
We continue to see men arrested for the crime of Sexual Exploitation of a Child for downloading these illegal images of children engaged in sex acts. We believe men think they are anonymous as they sit behind their keyboard or when they download files from around the world. Police in Colorado are receiving federal grants to monitor P2P file sharing sites for known hash values of images involving children. It is a very direct route to a user’s computer following the ISP registration to a downloader’s front door. Judges willingly give out search warrants and every piece of electronic / digital storage equipment is seized to be later searched in computer forensic labs. Never assume the internet is anonymous. The government has sophisticated systems to track your internet use. By going to known Peer to Peer file sharing sites, police computers quickly search for unlawful material and pursue the wrongdoer.
If ever contacted by police about your computer usage, the smartest thing you can do is remain silent. Never give a statement or answer questions. There are still defenses available to you IF you remain silent. Police are trained to remove defenses through conversations with just a few questions and answers. Next, call the best criminal defense lawyers fighting charges of Sexual Exploitation of Children, and Internet Sexual Exploitation at 303-731-0719. Together, we can protect your future.