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New technology could up rate of child pornography arrests

Crimes involving children, particularly sex-related crimes, are unsurprisingly taken extremely seriously in Colorado and throughout the United States. With the rise of the Internet, authorities have had to put a lot of effort into tracking child pornography and identifying suspects whom they believe are responsible for the trafficking of child pornography or guilty of possessing such illegal content.

The investigative process related to child pornography has evolved over the years, and now a new technology created by Microsoft and a Swedish company called NetClean continues that evolution. The introduction of this new digital tool, PhotoDNA, could mean that more people will be charged with the trafficking or possession of child porn. It reportedly sifts through pictures on the Internet to try to find child pornography in order to save officials' the time that they currently spend searching online content.

This is somewhat troubling, since the technology is new. There could very well be problems with the law enforcement tool that could put an innocent, unsuspecting person in the position of being arrested and charged with a crime related to child porn. If there were a list of crimes that a person would never want to be associated with, trafficking child pornography or possession of child porn are on the top of that list. Even if one's criminal defense were successful, living down such an accusation is tough.

A person could be simply downloading something that he or she believes is an innocent, everyday file and not know that illegal content was somehow attached to that download. A misunderstanding like that has led to child pornography arrests in the past. In Colorado, that sort of arrest leads to aggressive prosecution, which in turn, means that even more aggressive defense is a must.

Source: CBS News, "Microsoft gives cops tools to detect child porn," Jay Greene, March20, 2012

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