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The Story of the Pedophile-catching Hacker 363

Posted by Zonk
from the small-world dept.
missing30 writes "A Turkish hacker seeding usenet groups with trojan horses has made it a habit to hunt down pedophiles trolling the groups. The cases go back to 2000, with the mysterious good samaritan responsible for several arrests. The man now has tacit approval from the FBI for his actions." From the article: "At the urging of Montgomery Police Capt. Kevin Murphy, '1069' eventually turned over more and more information that led back to a computer owned by Bradley Joseph Steiger, who had worked as an emergency room physician in Alabama. The hacker's finds included information from Steiger's AT&T WorldNet account, records from his checking account, and a list of directories on his computer's hard drive where sexually explicit photographs were stored."
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The Story of the Pedophile-catching Hacker

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  • I say the ends don't justify the means.

    I don't think the police should be allowed to use illicitly gained information or that they should be allowed to encourage private citizens to commit felonies.

    >
    >"we have not seen anything to indicate that this person is other than...a citizen of Turkey."
    > That turned out not to be entirely true: The FBI actually had made contact with "1069"
    >through a U.S. phone number
    >

    Where does it end?

    If it is OK to do to catch pedophiles then it is OK to do the catch terrorists and I know I've read several accounts of where patriot and other anti terror acts have been used for entirely unrelated crimes.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Rolo Tomasi (538414)
      I'd rather have private hackers do it than the government.
      • by Ph33r th3 g(O)at (592622) on Saturday August 26, 2006 @03:52PM (#15985921)
        If the government is making under-the-table dealings with "private" crackers, what's the difference?
      • by khasim (1285) <brandioch.conner@gmail.com> on Saturday August 26, 2006 @03:55PM (#15985933)
        I'd rather have private hackers do it than the government.
        If it is going to be done, then it should be by the government and they should be required to get a search warrant.

        Otherwise, anyone in ... say Russia for example, can crack your computer and search for child pornography ... and credit card numbers.

        Oops. Sorry. Those credit card numbers were accidentally leaked, along with your Social Security Number and such.

        But at least those Russian "hackers" know you weren't collecting kiddie porn.
        • by zecg (521666) on Saturday August 26, 2006 @04:24PM (#15986040)
          Otherwise, anyone in ... say Russia for example, can crack your computer and search for child pornography ... and credit card numbers.

          Also, they also can plant the pornography themselves, once they root the user's box.
        • by lawpoop (604919) on Saturday August 26, 2006 @04:40PM (#15986084) Homepage Journal
          I am absolutely against vigilante justice. We need government to do it properly, ot allow for oversight and prevent abuse.

          Hut part of me says, how is this different than an anonymous tip? What if someone called the police and said "I was using my roommate's computer and found these images..." and the police asked him to go in an investigate further?
          • by TheGavster (774657) * on Saturday August 26, 2006 @04:58PM (#15986137) Homepage
            The police shouldn't be asking the roomate to investigate further. They should tell a judge "we think this guy is doing X", get a warrant, and investigate themselves. If you don't have enough evidence to support convincing a judge to issue a warrant, I would suspect it's just a fishing expedition. I mean, seriously, how hard is it to find probable cause when the searchee isn't even present to defend themselves?
            • I can't believe they'd ask the guy to keep "investigating." It seems to break every basic rule of police procedure and preservation of evidence.

              If this guy's defense lawyer isn't a total retard, or if he doesn't blow it and confess under interrogation, he's going to walk.

              All he has to say is "hey, I don't know where the porn came from -- my computer was hacked! The police even have proof that some mysterious Turkish guy was in my computer!" And what are the police going to say, ask the judge and jury to take the word of some anonymous guy on IRC, that he didn't plant the evidence?

              When you do your 'investigation' that way, they're creating a hole the size of the Titanic.

              Look, I don't like defending kiddy pornographers, but it seems like a pretty good defense that there's a good possibility that you're being framed, when all the evidence came to the police by way of some mysterious, psuedonymous foreigner who had the opportunity to plant the material themselves; unless Mr. Turkish Hacker is willing to come and testify, that is.
          • In this case, our heroic hacker has done his job, he's found the pedophile, now it's time for him join law enforcement, assume some responsibility and accountability for future actions, and go legit.

            Vigilante justice is sometimes needed to fill the gaps, but society's the worse for it if the problem requiring vigilantes remains, or if the vigilantes remain unchecked.
            • by lawpoop (604919) on Saturday August 26, 2006 @05:25PM (#15986227) Homepage Journal
              There is nothing compelling this guy to go legit. You really think that this hacker is going to go through four years of school, studying law enforcement, and then emigrate to the US to search for pedophiles online?

              All that's happened is that authorities have given a green light for hackers to go after evil people online as vigilanties with absolutely no oversight, including this guy. And you think future hackers aren't going to plant evidence on innocent peoples hard drives for notoriety, or passes from the FBI? How do we know that that hasn't happened in this case?

              Vigilante 'justice' is not justice at all. It is simply retribution, and will quickly descend into gang warfare if not stopped by impartial authorities. Regular, civilized impartial justice isn't perfect, but it's far better than the alternative.
              • And you think future hackers aren't going to plant evidence on innocent peoples hard drives for notoriety, or passes from the FBI?

                All the suspect has to do is claim that there's no way that the planted evidence is his, because all of *his* illicit material is encrypted. oops...
      • by garcia (6573)
        The man now has tacit approval from the FBI for his actions.

        I don't see how it's any different. Just because someone else is doing it for them doesn't make it any better.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by cfulmer (3166)
          The difference is whether it's a violation of the 4th amendment or not.

          Here's an analogy: Let's say that your neighbor trespasses through your backyard and, in doing so, happens to look through your window and sees you molesting a child. If he goes to the police and says what he saw, should they be able to act on it?

          Is it different if he silently broke into your house to steal some silver and happened to look into a room where you were doing the molesting? What if he happened to have a camera and took pi
      • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 26, 2006 @04:09PM (#15985985)
        I'm rather worried that hacker can put information onto someone else's computer (photos, jpegs, etcetera) and then turn around and finger that person to the police. With an open net connection 24/7 and the ability to hide/decrypt things or just plain old hiding folders in bizarre/out-of-the-way directories, there is no telling what is on someone's computer at all times. In addition, harddrives are so big now, small movies let alone hundreds of photos can escape detection (hey, why is my drive capacity getting continually smaller?)

        BTW, I am not saying that is the instance in this case nor do I believe it, but vigilante justice opens up the whole system to abuse.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by gutnor (872759)
          Especially that planting evidence against you can have tremendous impact. If the hacker can access the private machine of an individual for a while, it is not technicaly very difficult to create evidence that stand up against first examination ( i.e. mixing true family photo with closely looking child, ... ), especially if the hacker is motivated by the ex-wife, an employer or concurrent.
          When you have been investiguated for child pornography you can say bye bye to a normal life.
          Think about what it can do to
      • by Stellian (673475)

        I'd rather have private hackers do it than the government.

        You don't mind if the government finds that your computer has been compromised by a hacker, who plants child porn on it, and you are convicted and have your life destroyed based on this "evidence" ?
        How can any conviction be made against the victims of the "hacker" when the chain of evidence is clearly broken? Are we just supposed to trust he is an "honest" hacker? How can you get beyond any reasonable doubt under this premises: Your Honor, my compute

        • by budgenator (254554) on Saturday August 26, 2006 @05:06PM (#15986171) Journal
          Last time I was in the Jury pool, the presecuter went to very long lengths to explain the difference between "preponderance of evidence", "reasonbable doubt" and "any Doubt" blurring the differences tends to get you excused from jury duty. The truth is once the FBI gets interested in this guy and supeneas ISP logs, they can start looking at what he's actually downloading, when the pics are downloaded, when the 'puter was accessed through the subseven backdoor and what the timestamps on the illegal material is; the guy going to be toast anyways. I'm sure his logins quickly got transfered to the "special server" that does a more meticulous job of logging than the "normal servers" do. Imagine the task faced durring discovery when the prosecution sends over 5 or 6 DVD's of server logs of everything that came out or went into your clients computer. The Gov can throw a lot of resources into a prosecution and even an ER doctor is going to get bled dry by expert witnesses at $300.00/hr to counter the governments experts.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by ultranova (717540)

            The truth is once the FBI gets interested in this guy and supeneas ISP logs, they can start looking at what he's actually downloading,

            Irrelevant, since once you gain control of a computer you can make it download anything you want.

            when the pics are downloaded,

            Irrelevant, since there's no way to know when the hacker first gained access to the computer.

            when the 'puter was accessed through the subseven backdoor and what the timestamps on the illegal material is;

            Irrelevant, because

            1. The computer
      • The checka & gestapo made heavy use of private citizen "informers", rather than doing their own investigations... I'll leave the conclusion up to you
    • by Dun Malg (230075) on Saturday August 26, 2006 @04:17PM (#15986012) Homepage
      I don't think the police should be allowed to use illicitly gained information or that they should be allowed to encourage private citizens to commit felonies.
      Thing is, 4th Amendment protections only prohibit the government from illegally searching your property. If a burglar breaks into your house and steal a sack of the counterfeit money you're printing then later gets caught and fingers you, the 4th Amendment doesn't apply. They still need a warrant to search your place, but the sack of C-notes with damp ink are easily enough to get one. Now, if the government hires a burglar, that's a 4th Amendment no-no; otherwise, you can press charges for criminal trespass if you like-- from your prison cell. The moral of this story is that if you're a criminal, be careful about protecting your stuff from other criminals, particularly if they "have it in for you". Nothing new there.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        The difference is that the government was prosecuting the burglar already... they were pursuing him for a crime, which means they didn't approve his actions.
        If they are not going after this guy, then they are approving his actions, and he's effectively working for them, and the evidence is subject to 4th ammendment protections.

        At least that's how it looks in my head
        • The FACT still stands that you are not a citizen of the United States and are not bound by our laws. Our federal attorneys have expressed NO desire to charge you with any CRIMINAL offense.
          Usually slash-think would be that this is the way it should be, the US should force it's standards on the rest of the world. I'm not sure they are approving his actions maybe it's more along the lines of procecuting fraud and hacking for profit has an overwhemling priority for the department that does such things.
  • So it's OK? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by bky1701 (979071) on Saturday August 26, 2006 @03:48PM (#15985906) Homepage
    To hack anyone as long as you say you are hacking to catch "pedophiles"? Sounds more like the FBI trying to side-step normal limitations of spying on people.
    • by Dun Malg (230075)

      To hack anyone as long as you say you are hacking to catch "pedophiles"? Sounds more like the FBI trying to side-step normal limitations of spying on people.

      The FBI isn't doing anything but opening their mail, though. What should they be doing? Throwing out genuinely incriminating information purely on principle or something? Vigilantism is an awkward area. Doubly so when the vigilante is in a country outside your jurisdiction. Triply so when the guy seems to only be targeting pedophiles. Technically what

      • Throwing out genuinely incriminating information purely on principle or something?

        Yes, they should. It's the same reason evidence from illegal police searches is thrown out. If the judge is going to say "bad, bad FBI! you shouldn't have done that to get this evidence which we will now use to find in your favor!", why wouldn't they keep doing it?
        • Errrrm no. Police act as agents of the state. It is not as clear that some Turkish guy is. It is an ambiguous moral situation. But, not sure what the legal position is. I am sure 99.8% of slashdot doesn't either, but that never stops them from posting.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 26, 2006 @03:51PM (#15985915)
    Only a pedophile would have anything to hide from hackers. I bet you hate America. Please turn yourself in to your nearest police station or orphanage. Thank you.
  • yeah (Score:2, Interesting)

    by misey (996068)
    that's awesome, and it may give those fbi agents a different view on things like the 2600 magazine, Off the Wall/Hook, and Emmanuel Goldstein.
  • Yeah (Score:2, Funny)

    by Walzmyn (913748)
    Mild mannered pedophile catcher by day...
    Evil identity theif by night.
  • The real question is, will this evidence hold up in court? IANAL, but it would seem that an easy defense would be to go after this information.
    • by kfg (145172) * on Saturday August 26, 2006 @04:11PM (#15985991)
      The real question is, will this evidence hold up in court?

      The legitimate law enforcement agencies use illegally gained information on a regular basis.

      How do they get away with it? They don't present that particular information in court. They leverage that information into admissible evidence by converting it into probable cause for a legitimate search. This is the very problem with widespread, illegal monitoring of the public and why the public might be inclined to support the practice, at least until they become the target.

      KFG
      • by andersa (687550)
        In Denmark, lets say the police accidentally searches your house without a warrant, and they find something nasty, the law says that just because the police didn't actually have the right to be there, then that doesn't make you less guilty.

        I think that is fair enough. Of course I am Danish.
    • by Dun Malg (230075)

      The real question is, will this evidence hold up in court? IANAL, but it would seem that an easy defense would be to go after this information.

      They're not prosecuting based solely on an email attachment full of hints. You can be fairly sure they're only using it to observe the guy and get a warrant. The evidence they convict with is probably more like the actual hard drive full of kiddy porn from the guy's system and chat logs of undercover agents getting child porn from the guy. Hard to argue it was plant

      • by munpfazy (694689)
        The evidence they convict with is probably more like the actual hard drive full of kiddy porn from the guy's system and chat logs of undercover agents getting child porn from the guy. Hard to argue it was planted if you're sharing it freely.


        Unless of course you had some reason to believe that a hacker had installed a rootkit on the guy's pc.
    • that information gathered by private citizens is admissible evidence -- the laws requiring a warrant etc. apply only to government agencies.

      Of course, this is not true if there are specific statutes that apply (i.e., laws concerning the recording of conversations) -- but as far as the Constitution goes, if a private citizen found evidence that police couldn't get without a warrant and turned it over to police, I think it can be used.
  • by someone1234 (830754) on Saturday August 26, 2006 @03:55PM (#15985932)
    Next time a hacker will plant the images himself and then get brownie points with the FBI.
  • But your honor... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by gwayne (306174) on Saturday August 26, 2006 @03:55PM (#15985934)
    This hacker obviously planted that child pornography on my computer with a trojan, in an attempt to blackmail me, a promonent local physician...
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by legoburner (702695)
      Good point, if the defendant can prove they did not have absolute control over their computer, perhaps the charges are null and void. Only if the FBI were directly monitoring him after the tip off would he not be able to use that defense, and even then it can be argued that it was a hacker making his computer do it, making it look like him.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by telchine (719345)
        I've read that this is quite a common excuse used by people caught in posession of child pornography in the UK. They say "look my wi-fi connection isn't encrypted, it could have been a hacker that put those images there". Apparently it doesn't work as a defence because they are responsible for the security of their own computer.

        Interestingly though, if they catch someone stealing an Internet connection via unsecured wi-fi, it's the person who is using the connection that is at fault, not the person who's fa
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by cpu_fusion (705735)
        if the defendant can prove they did not have absolute control over their computer, perhaps the charges are null and void

        I am not yet a lawyer, and this is not legal advice, but I'd say there are two problems here. The first is that judges and juries don't understand technology the way we do, and all they will have to go on is expert witnesses, whom the prosecution would deliver as well as the defense. The second is that when the DA offers a deal, which they will given the desire for an easy conviction,

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Peaker (72084)
          Its not the "sick arousal" that's the problem.

          The images are a problem if they encourage people to go catch kids to make those images.

          If a guy is unlucky enough to be a pedophile, he is expected to avoid sexual satisfaction as to avoid harm to children. You can't expect something that's probably genetic or in any case not in the control of the person to be controlled (i.e aroused by child porn) but you can expect him to do whatever is necessary to not act upon those urges.

          The pictures of the WTC are not th
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Sage Gaspar (688563)
          who at worst are shown simply to possess an image of an act (not actually participated in the act) no more or less heinous than videotapes of the twin towers falling and killing 3,000 people. (i.e. the images themselves are just images, its the unprovable-without-confession arrousal that is the sick act.)

          As far as I understand, the rationale behind child pornography laws isn't the arousal, it's the implicit support of child pornographers. The Supreme Court struck down the parts of COPA that made virtual c
    • by Jacer (574383)
      He was convicted of sexual explotation of a minor, in addition to receiving child pornography. One would guess that some of the pictures on the hard drive depicted him in certain acts with one of the children... Not that anyone bothers to read the articles. I have no problems with the way the evidence was collected if 1.) The guy really is a Turkish citzen acting under absolutely no direction of domestic law enforcement (I do think protecting the constitution is important) 2.) the FBI didn't lie about t
  • by telchine (719345)
    I've been doing something similar, I've been stalking around on Napster and the like since about 2000, gathering "evidence". I now have quite a healthy collection of "evidence". I wonder if this will work as a defence when the RIAA come knocking?
    • I wonder if this will work as a defence when the RIAA come knocking?

      Only if you try to sue them.
  • by zeroiq01 (929520) on Saturday August 26, 2006 @03:57PM (#15985947)
    This scares the crap out of me. Some third party "hacks" it to a computer of and idividual and claims he/she found child porn/terrist plots/cream cheese recipies....or whatever. Why isnt anyone yelling...... he/she might have just as well planted it themselves how are we to know? He/she had access to the computer. Seems like a real easy way to get someone in trouble they arent going to check. This is the reason the FBI and other "Gov" police agencies have rule that have to be followed. This is sick and very scary. I am not saying that they didnt do it but damn, talk about an easy way to railroad someone.

    • by Jacer (574383)
      A lot of people are asking how do they know the evidence was not planted by the white-hat. I would speculate that some of the pictures found on the hard drive had pictures of the defendant in them. If you would have read the case breif he was sentenced for child pornography AND sexual explotation of a minor (appearing to be around six years old) Now, like I said, this is speculation, but it seems to be the only logical conclusion, based on the information provided.
      • by Xugumad (39311)
        Okay, better, but there's still the possibility of Photoshop.
        • by Jacer (574383)
          You can't be serious. Photoshop can make somethings look pretty real, but there are a few things we should consider. Presumably the Turkish vigilante had never met the guy, so he wouldn't know which pictures to mangle up. Another, is that it happened six years ago. Photoshop was functional six years ago, but nearly as robust as it is today. Lastly, and most importantly, editing photos in that manner leave plenty of traces that even non-experts can spot if they ever successfully did a where's waldo. A
  • It doesn't matter if this evidence nets 1 or 1,000 convictions, every last one of them will be overturned on any number of grounds and the prosecuting agencies that utlizie this evidence will open themselves up to quite a bit of litigation and will probably eat some heavy judgments against them.

    Any even remotely intelligent agency will turn away from "help" like this, because it will only jack their asses up in the end.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Dun Malg (230075)

      It doesn't matter if this evidence nets 1 or 1,000 convictions, every last one of them will be overturned on any number of grounds and the prosecuting agencies that utlizie this evidence will open themselves up to quite a bit of litigation and will probably eat some heavy judgments against them.

      Nonsense. 4th amendment doesn't protect you from burglars who catch you growing pot in your basement and tip off the cops. Just like it's not a 1st amendment violation for your boss to tell you to shut up and get b

  • by RShizzle (983535) on Saturday August 26, 2006 @04:11PM (#15985990) Homepage
    I find myself torn after reading the issue. Obviously, what hacker 1069 is doing is good and aiding the authorities by stopping the exploitation of children. However, his means are questionable as well as those of the authorities.

    What if third party multinationals are allowed to hack into US systems to aid in the capture of terrorists? Obviously, there was a large amount of evidence provided that made sure the pedophiles being caught were definitely guilty, but couldn't evidence just as likely be planted?

    What's even more concerning is that this person doesn't seem to be a third party hacker from Istanbul, but an American citizen (note the american telephone number). If this is the case, isn't this a message saying vigilantism (which strikes at the very base of authority, the fact that it is only the government that is allowed to use force against it's citizens) is accepted? If it is accepted in catching pedophiles, which is a pretty black and white case, what about when it enters the gray areas? What about when it starts being entangled with constitutional rights? (Due process of law seems to be a big one involved).

    I believe the authorities involved might very easily have started on a slippery slope. Who knows where it will lead? How much do we value due process? How much do we value freedom? How much do we value results, irregardless of how they were gotten?

    But remember:
    "Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both." - Benjamin Franklin

    A quandry indeed.
    • by monoqlith (610041)
      I agree with you completely except for the first statement:

      Obviously, what hacker 1069 is doing is good and aiding the authorities by stopping the exploitation of children. However, his means are questionable as well as those of the authorities.

      For all the reasons you've listed 1069 isn't performing performing any good, but a grave injustice. He's providing a means for our government, which must be transparent and subject to the limitations of law, to circumvent the well-placed constraints on governmental p

      • For all the reasons you've listed 1069 isn't performing performing any good, but a grave injustice.

        Hard to believe a caring human being could hold such a morally awful position.

        Looking at the facts of the case as stated, the result appears to be that two children were saved from sexual servitude or even horrible deaths and that two pederasts were jailed. If what we are told is true, justice was clearly done -- if you wish to refute me, please identify who is being unjustly treated. The childen? The crimi
  • by Keaster (796594) on Saturday August 26, 2006 @04:24PM (#15986036) Homepage
    As I read the brief article it defiantly made me consider both sides of the story; however, in the end I side with my heart. Fuck the kid touchers, let em' rot. This guy could be doing some real garbage cracking, screwing with legit business and good people, but, he didn't. He went after the scum. I agree 100% with 1069. Go for it!

    Before I get the crap flamed out of me I will remind, it's just my opinion.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      He went after the scum.

      You forgot the little word "alleged", as in there's no evidence.

      And no, a private third party coming up with incriminating stuff isn't evidence. That's what Police are for. Remember? Due process and such? You must have already heard it, although it's slowly getting rotted off over there.

      Sometimes us civilized folk think you hillbillies never made it out of medieval times with witch hunts and all that. Exchange witches with pedophiles and you're right on track again. Yep, very civiliz

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by RPoet (20693)
      Fuck the kid touchers, let em' rot.

      There was nobody involved in this story who touched kids, as far as I understand. The alleged crime in question was storing illegal images.
    • by lawpoop (604919)
      I agree with you. People who have molested children should rot in prison.

      But here's the problem. How do we know that this guys wasn't framed? How do we know this guy in Turkey didn't plant those photos there? How do we know that there is even a 'guy' in 'Turkey'? It could be some kind of revenge act from a person across town.

      I think one of the worst miscarriages of justice would be to be falsely accused of pedophelia -- even if you eventually cleared your name, people would always suspect you got away
    • by Renraku (518261)
      So..where does it end?

      First you OK illegal searching of people's computers 'to save the kiddies'. Next you OK illegal searching of people's homes 'to save the kiddies'. Then you go down a list outlawing or making penalities harsher to unrelated things now that 'to save the kiddies' mentality has caught on and everyone is riding that train.

      Pretty soon you can't even take a piss in the middle of the woods without a flying camera bot shooting you in the back with a tazer and hauling you to the nearest detent
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by lawpoop (604919)
      Another point:

      "This guy could be doing some real garbage cracking, screwing with legit business and good people, but, he didn't."

      How do you know he didn't? There is nothing to stop him from doing both good *and* evil. In fact, the FBI seemed to give him a pass on his hacking activities for the good he was doing. What a great opportunity for someone who wanted to do a little evil on the side.
    • by Just Some Guy (3352) <kirk+slashdot@strauser.com> on Saturday August 26, 2006 @06:03PM (#15986378) Homepage Journal
      As I read the brief article it defiantly made me consider both sides of the story; however, in the end I side with my heart.

      Your heart lies to you. It tells you about the good things that could be without pointing out their unlikelihood or the bad alternative outcomes.

      If 1069 never went after non-pedophiles, and if he never presented false evidence, and if the FBI's use of that evidence didn't violate any rules and encourage the public to come to accept illegal activies from the police, then this could be a good thing. Break any of those ifs, though, and the result is a terrifying distopia that I want no part of.

      My heart agrees with you: pedophiles are scum, and as a parent, their mass death wouldn't bother me one bit. However, my brain thinks that we need to step back and re-assess whether we want to revert to vigilante justice, and that due process and rules of evidence are far more important than any individual situation, regardless of how horrid it may be.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by DerekLyons (302214)

      As I read the brief article it defiantly made me consider both sides of the story; however, in the end I side with my heart. Fuck the kid touchers, let em' rot.

      Ah yes - anything for children, rights and due process be dammed.

      And I should note in passing, that possession of pictures != abuse of a child by possessor. Except, that legally it is - which is thoughtcrime, which is a Bad Thing. By extending the same legal principle - all those pictures of murder victims in true crime books? Possession

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by TheoMurpse (729043)

      Fuck the kid touchers, let em' rot.

      And what if the Turkish guy is the kid toucher, and just put some pictures there to frame a guy? Black hats do that kind of stuff all the time, just to fuck with people (see: Freenode getting hacked, DALNet being DDoSed, random person getting their credit card numbers stolen, etc.). Sure, he may have put a Trojan on some pedo newsgroups, but then someone else packages that up as "Britney Spears Nude.scr" and forwards it to all his friends, and bam, the Turkish guy is hacki

  • by Anonymous Coward
    You know, pedophilia is defined as mental illness in the ICD http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ICD [wikipedia.org] .

    And pedophilia can be treaten in non-medical and medical therapies.

    I don't see a reason to disclose the Name of the pedophile. But I guess that's what infotainment is all about, right?
    • I think you mean the DSM-IV [wikipedia.org], not the ICD. But yes, pedophilia is one of the few mental disorders where sufferers are never shown any compassion, and rarely offered any treatment. What other illness can you have that will make you universally hated, by just about every person on Earth?
  • The fact that the hacker was trying to catch pedophiles is the last concern when figuring out if this is lawful or not. First and foremost, he broke into people's computers and did unlawful things to illicit his information. On those grounds alone it should not be admissible in court. Imagine if you were a store owner and you arrive there one day and see that your place has been broken into and all your files have been gone through. Then you find out that it was just a rogue 'burglar' who breaks into bu
  • by TheNoxx (412624) on Saturday August 26, 2006 @04:37PM (#15986077) Homepage Journal
    Normally I'd agree that taking the law into your own hands is not only illegal but a very bad idea; however, there are always exceptions. 99% of vigilanteism is a bad idea, as it does not entail people taking the law into their own hands to help others in a non-violent way, but usually runs from personal matters gone awry to the militant folks that "help patrol" the U.S.-Mexico border or other groups that believe it their duty to create a mob mentality when handling real or perceived threats (I can't help but add my favorite quote, from Men in Black of all movies: "A person is smart and intuitive; people are dumb, panicky, and dangerous animals").

    The difference is, when it comes to pederasty, I can't really think of many methods I wouldn't condone to cull the abomination. However, many people make a great logical fault in believing that they need to make the rules based on the exception (people that try and use pedophilia as the means to creating whatever laws they want) or in believing that the exception must fall under the same rules as all other crimes in being found and prosecuted, lest authorities create abusive legislature on the pretense of catching child molesters.
    There is a middle road in all things, and vigilanteism makes a fine one for this. You don't want to give police the rights to do what a blackhat does to find a pedophile, but you want the pedophile caught.

    However, the case in point is an exception. The man lives in another country and the FBI, of course, won't and couldn't file charges, but I don't believe that this constitutes "tacit approval"... although the FBI may simply be trying to send a signal to the blackhat community that reads something like "Sweet Christ, we have no fucking idea how to use computers (Database? The fuck is that?), if any of you guys wants to give us a hand in catching these guys, by all means, go ahead. Do whatever you can."
    The feds can't approve of someone breaking the law, obviously, or acknowledge that someone without warrants or CARNIVORE can do the job better than the ol' FBI. But they can turn a blind eye to it, if only for the crime of pedophilia and nothing else.

    If I recall correctly, wasn't there a hacker group in the U.S. that did this in the late 90's or are still doing this? I distinctly remember seeing a few adverts and hearing a few inquiries about people who wanted to join up in the old hidden IRC rooms way back when. Ah, sweet nostalgia... days of linux shell accounts, little sleep, and keeping an extra machine running only OS/2 Warp, if only out of spite, back when code came so easily. Christ, my mind has addled.
    • The problem I have with this type of situation is that the FBI (or other 3-letter acronym'd agency) can easily set up their own hackers to operate as vigilantes outside the law and deny that it was their own agents doing the dirty work.

      PS any blackhat that can download files off your PC can upload them too.

      PS any person with good contacts in federal agencies could have a hacker purport to find nasty things on your PC after planting them there and then have you arrested and smear-campaigned to death.

      If you d
  • by John Jorsett (171560) on Saturday August 26, 2006 @04:49PM (#15986109)
    My immediate reaction to this story was: if '1069' had the capability to break in to a computer to extract images, he also had the opportunity to plant the images there in the first place. A strong line of defense would be to assert that the anonymous 1069 is some sort of vigilante nut who gains access to the computers of innocent people, plants bogus evidence on them, then turns the victims in to authorities.

    This whole case has so many holes that the defense could use, I'm amazed that they were able to convict. Stiger's attorney had to have blown it.

  • If your doing something illegal, you should be punished if someone other than the police finds out and reports it, regardless of how they get the information. Now, if you had to break a law in your country to prove that someone did something illegal, you should be punished for breaking that law, such as trespassing. This man from Turkey broke no laws because he is not bound to our laws. US law is not universal. If he broke a law in Turkey, then he should probably be punished in some way for breaking tha
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Sage Gaspar (688563)
      If the U.S. government is allowed to prosecute based on the fruits of information obtained by a circumvention of their laws (whether within or without their country), their laws become worthless. Absolute governmental power has the greatest potential for massive abuse, so we agree to give up some of their protection in exchange for protection from them. We take a couple negatives to mitigate the odds on huge negatives, in your language. A child molestor might abuse a couple children and scar them for life,
  • Law enforcement agencies shouldn't be allowed to troll. There are many countries where it is explicitely illegal (ie in France for instance). In the US there are many cases where the cops troll you and arrest you if you take the bait. Want examples ? Remember car-maker DeLorean of 'Back to the Future' fame ? He was offered a case of coke for a cheap price. When he said 'sure', he was arrested.

    Also a friend of mine on a work visit in a US city, got out at night trying to have some good time, was asked by a

  • 1069 (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Konster (252488) on Saturday August 26, 2006 @05:34PM (#15986272)
    1. Why are newsgroups such as this allowed to exist in the first place?

    2. The hacker was putting trojans in a newsgroup that existed for the sole purpose of distributing child pornography, which;

    3. The arrested went to on his own volition;

    4. The FBI didn't contact 1069 and have him hack others' computers; he contacted the FBI with the information;

    5. The FBI investigated the arrested person and discovered that not only was he in possession of child pornograph but;

    6. He was involved in the manufacture of it by taking photos of himself with his victim, aged 4-6;

    7. Let him rot in jail.
    • Re:1069 (Score:4, Informative)

      by TheoMurpse (729043) on Saturday August 26, 2006 @08:00PM (#15986830) Homepage
      1. Why are newsgroups such as this allowed to exist in the first place?
      That's like asking why email that carries child pornography exists, or why Freenet has child pornography on it, or why torrents of copyrighted material exist. Someone needs to read up on how Usenet [wikipedia.org] works: one posts a message to one's own Usenet server, and it propagates to many other Usenet servers in the way data from a torrent propagates (namely, like a web). Blacklisting servers whose users post illegal content would be impossible without destroying Usenet altogether.
  • by DrSkwid (118965) on Sunday August 27, 2006 @04:32AM (#15988760) Homepage Journal
    As the target machines where infected with Sub7, why wouldn't the FBI get a warrant to access the trojanned machine themselves the Sub7 back door?

    Gary McKinnon is "not a citizen of the United States and are not bound by our laws" and yet he was extradited to face trial in the US. He was accessing Pentagon, NASA, US Air Force and other DoD facilities in 2001 and 2002 the same time 1069 was breaking into private US citzen's systems.

    As usual, it's one law for private individuals, one law for the poice.

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