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Man Pleads Guilty in Usenet Child-Porn Case

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Man Pleads Guilty in Usenet Child-Porn Case

Postby chainmail » Fri Dec 19, 2008 7:42 am

Story : http://news.prnewswire.com/DisplayReleaseContent.aspx?ACCT=104&STORY=/www/story/

Johnathan Mosman, 47 of Waterbury, Conn., today became the fifth defendant to plead guilty for his involvement in a vast global child pornography trafficking enterprise, Acting Assistant Attorney General Matthew Friedrich of the Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Florida Thomas F. Kirwin and FBI Executive Assistant Director J. Stephen Tidwell announced.

Mosman was one of 14 alleged members of the enterprise who were charged in a 40-count superseding indictment on March 19, 2008. He pleaded guilty today to four counts relating to his criminal activities as a member of the group: engaging in a child exploitation enterprise; conspiracy to advertise, transport, ship, receive and possess child pornography; advertising child pornography; and receiving child pornography.

Mosman admitted to participating in a highly sophisticated and well-organized criminal enterprise whose purpose was to proliferate child sex abuse images to its membership during a two year period. According to Mosman's guilty plea, members of the illegal organization used Internet newsgroups


2008 may well be remembered as "the year usenet died" -- at least for the millions of people whose access had been supplied by their internet service providers, gratis. Blame it on child pornography, an over-aggressive New York attorney general, and timid ISPs who'd rather throw in the towel than have to deal with the negative publicity and the prospect of continuing pressure from legal authorities.

This pedophile's indictment last March, along with 13 other partners-in-crime, may have been a major factor in NY attorney general Andrew Cuomo's anti-newsgroup crusade that forced three major broadband carriers to drop usenet last June, an act that started the dominoes falling, as one after another, most of the remaining US internet providers soon followed suit.
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Re: Man Pleads Guilty in Usenet Child-Porn Case

Postby Your_Mentor » Fri Dec 19, 2008 8:06 am

Almost all ISPs throttle their customer using newsgroups, filter binaries, put a set limit how much they can download. Glad they are catching these bastards off here.
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Re: Man Pleads Guilty in Usenet Child-Porn Case

Postby Dazzle_2 » Fri Dec 19, 2008 8:32 am

Recently I asked a user on the WinMX network to leave the help room I frequent based on the shared files he was displaying, to cut a long story short their was a major amount of porn and a smaller amount of clearly illegal titles, instead of seeing the usual vanishing trick when confronting such folks this guy apologised and stated he had downloaded the whole range of files from the news groups and had just shared them without looking through all the titles (30,000 seperate images).

I informed him he was likley to receive a visit from the authorities if he continued sharing such files and he then promptly spend 10 minutes unsharing all of the ones with titles that implied or directly refferenced the illegal material, I dont know much about newsgroups but it is worrying to me if the guy was correct in stating he just downloaded a whole archive and such material was there, I havent done any such downloading on the news groups so was he telling the truth ?
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Re: Man Pleads Guilty in Usenet Child-Porn Case

Postby ntscuser » Fri Dec 19, 2008 8:34 am

Whereabouts in the article does it mention "Usenet" and why has the headline been changed?
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Re: Man Pleads Guilty in Usenet Child-Porn Case

Postby Silver » Fri Dec 19, 2008 10:00 am

@ntscuser
"According to Mosman's guilty plea, members of the illegal organization used Internet newsgroups -- large file-sharing networks where text, software, pictures and videos can be traded and shared -- to traffic in illegal images and videos depicting pre-pubescent children, including toddlers, engaged in various sexual and sadistic acts."

newsgroups = Usenet. "A newsgroup is a repository usually within the Usenet system"..Wikipedia.

As for the guy who was sharing his archive from Usenet...it's perfectly understandable that he hadn't viewed the contents in their entirety. Many newsreader programs will auto-scan newsgroups and download the content automatically (set it and forget it). Depending on his connection, if he let such an auto-downloader run loose, he'd be knee-deep in hours, over his head within days (Sbnews and Andriod come to mind).
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Re: Man Pleads Guilty in Usenet Child-Porn Case

Postby ntscuser » Fri Dec 19, 2008 10:09 am

Silver wrote:newsgroups = Usenet. "A newsgroup is a repository usually within the Usenet system"..Wikipedia.
Any kind of internet forum can be described as a "newsgroup". The article doesn't specifically mention Usenet so there is no reason to assume that is what the author was referring to.

Also the rules are that headlines are submitted exactly as they appear in the article, not how the submitter wishes them to appear.
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Re: Man Pleads Guilty in Usenet Child-Porn Case

Postby Silver » Fri Dec 19, 2008 10:45 am

While I agree with your broad interpretation, Wikipedia makes the distinction...
"Newsgroups are technically distinct from, but functionally similar to, discussion forums on the World Wide Web. Newsreader software is used to read newsgroups."

And to further support the interpretation that newsgroups refers to Usenet the article states: "large file-sharing networks" were employed. A forum is not a network. The main issue is that the newsgroup network is not specifically mentioned by name in the article. While it would be correct for the posted article to omit reference to Usenet, most users will interpret the "Internet newsgroups" reference as being synonymous with Usenet.
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Re: Man Pleads Guilty in Usenet Child-Porn Case

Postby ntscuser » Fri Dec 19, 2008 11:03 am

Silver wrote:And to further support the interpretation that newsgroups refers to Usenet the article states: "large file-sharing networks" were employed.
It could also refer to BitTorrent, eMule, WinMX, etc. I doubt very much the author knows the difference between them.

Silver wrote:The main issue is that the newsgroup network is not specifically mentioned by name in the article. While it would be correct for the posted article to omit reference to Usenet, most users will interpret the "Internet newsgroups" reference as being synonymous with Usenet.
It doesn't appear in the headline either and the rules are that headlines are entered exactly as they apear in the article.
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Re: Man Pleads Guilty in Usenet Child-Porn Case

Postby Silver » Fri Dec 19, 2008 12:00 pm

ntscuser wrote:It could also refer to BitTorrent, eMule, WinMX, etc. I doubt very much the author knows the difference between them.

I'll grant you that. The article's explanation of what newsgroups are is misleading too. Usenet is not a "large file-sharing network where text, software, pictures and videos can be traded and shared". Technically there are no binaries on Usenet since all files are encoded in text (uucode or other) and cannot be interpreted as binaries until handled by the user's software.

Either way, the guy is going to jail for a long time. However, was justice served in this case? He was a newsgroup user, not the producer of the material. If the material being traded were music mp3s instead of childporn, would you look at the article differently?
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Re: Man Pleads Guilty in Usenet Child-Porn Case

Postby rsrikanth05 » Fri Dec 19, 2008 12:06 pm

Silver wrote:@ntscuser
newsgroups = Usenet. "A newsgroup is a repository usually within the Usenet system"..Wikipedia.

Wiki is not always reliable,
If you look at it, even Slyck CAN be counted as a Newsgroup, if you go by the name...
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Re: Man Pleads Guilty in Usenet Child-Porn Case

Postby chainmail » Fri Dec 19, 2008 5:14 pm

I normally don't change the title of articles I submit. One reason I changed this title was because I thought that the original title was too ambiguous and confusing (maybe even deceptive), suggesting something more like child-labor sweatshop factories or child-prostitution rings that are not uncommon in 3rd-world countries. Another reason is that the original title was simply very long.

Anti-childporn organizations such as the IWF have have demanded that the term "child pornography" be replaced by "child exploitation" or "child sexual abuse" in all news reports - even though the former term might be more accurate - as this can suggest to the public audience a far greater crime than the act of simply viewing pictures, including photoshop'd or cartoon pictures that may be unrelated to any real-life child abuse. (One reason for these police sweeps might be to identify and lockup potential pedophiles before they have a chance to "exploit" any actual children.)

Also, I tend to use "usenet" rather than "the newsgroups" in titles because it has fewer letters and therefore the title is less likely to be truncated when posted. Although not specifically the same thing, the terms are generally interchangeable. I have no problem with changing the title if that's what people want. (I was apparently guilty of not filling out the url/source correctly on the submission page)

Maybe we should invite SlyckTom to referee this "war of words" :)
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Re: Man Pleads Guilty in Usenet Child-Porn Case

Postby James R. Bath » Mon Dec 22, 2008 1:18 am

I agree newsgroups = usenet. Usenet clients didn't get the name newsreaders randomly, each usenet group is called a newsgroup, and most, if not all, major usenet provides, including indexers, have news in their names.

I get the feeling this argument is coming from people who want to sell usenet for the mythical privacy it provides. It's worth noting that Slyck has the usenet guide category under a forum with "Newsgroups" and this discussion is taking place under "Newsgroups News". Besides, there's no other current method of file sharing that's referred to in any context as newsgroups.

As much as I enjoy seeing child abusers getting caught, this case really should be a concern to anyone who thinks they're actually buying privacy via usenet. Just like any so-called private site, you're actually putting your privacy in the hands of yet another third party besides your ISP, especially if you're paying for it. Use public sites and file-sharing and you become just another one of the masses. Basically, you buy your own loss of privacy with anyone other than your ISP, at least in the US where wiretapping rules and warrants still apply.
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Re: Man Pleads Guilty in Usenet Child-Porn Case

Postby malcarada » Thu Jan 29, 2009 12:13 pm

James R. Bath wrote: this case really should be a concern to anyone who thinks they're actually buying privacy via usenet.


If you read the article you will see that he was not caught for downloading child porn, he was arrested because the FBI infiltrated the group. Usenet downloads are not logeed, using Usenet you are buying privacy and it works.

I would be very careful about judging people accussed of child porn, the IWF has been known to block Wikipedia because they said it contained child porn, most child porn out there does not exist and it is actually some old picture of nudity, made up stuff. I would not trust any FBI claims ever, they have a proven record of lying.
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