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Discovering Child Pornography On Work Computers: How Should You React?

A man in his thirties, who has been accused of being the biggest facilitator of child porn in the world, has been extradited to the United States after he was turned over to FBI agents at Dublin Airport.

The U.S. sought the suspect's extradition over allegations that he conspired to distribute and advertise child pornography on the dark web. He is a Dublin, Ireland native and had been in custody there since he was arrested in August 2013. He was refused bail due to various concerns, including that he represented a flight risk and that he might interfere with evidence.

The suspect had appealed the decision of the high court that he be surrendered to authorities from the U.S. but the appeal was ultimately dismissed. Claire Murphy "Man accused of being the world's biggest facilitator of child porn extradited to U.S." independent.ie (Mar. 23, 2019). 

Commentary and Checklist

According to the U.S. Department of Justice, "child pornography is a form of child sexual exploitation." It is "any visual depiction of sexually explicit conduct involving a minor." Federal law prohibits the production, distribution, importation, reception, or possession of any image of child pornography.

The extradited man in this article operated a free and anonymous web service on the dark web from 2008 until 2013, when he was arrested. He advertised and distributed violent child pornography, including nearly 1.4 million files. His arrest followed a contractor's use of malware to de-anonymize him. He faces up to 50 years in prison.

Using children to make pornography is child sexual abuse. Child sexual abuse from the production of child pornography has serious consequences for victims that are long-lasting and permanent, including physical, mental, and emotional harm. Everyone should be observant to help protect children.

More than 70 percent of all internet porn traffic occurs during normal work hours between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. If you find discover child porn on any devices in your workplace, what should employers do?

  • Preserve any evidence of the employee's involvement in child pornography.
  • Notify the FBI or the police immediately.
  • Rely on law enforcement to conduct the investigation into the crime.
  • Assist authorities with their investigation, if requested.
  • Perform your own investigation if necessary, and if your investigation does not hinder the criminal investigation.
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