The FBI's child porn honeypot stays sticky

Pooh's hunny pot Credit: flickr/echoforsberg

U.S. Diplomatic Security Officer Charles Cafferty was busted for child pornography by use of the FBI's honeypot.

Emails, written with the code phrases understood by the child porn community, tempted Cafferty to go to a website run by the FBI. It included typical warnings declaring the contents free speech, aimed to ward off law enforcement. It made the site look friendly to Cafferty's search for illegal child pornography, and he tried to download movies, after entering a specific password given in the email. When the FBI picked him up, they also grabbed his storage unit with thousands of illegal photos and films.

This has been going on for years, as PCWorld reported almost exactly four years ago. And the information on the website, quoted in the Ars Technica article, "The hidden side of your soul," made it clear to law-abiding surfers who stumbled across it that the files contained within were nothing but child porn. But what happens if one of your users goes there during work hours on company equipment?

Comments for the FBI

I am terribly liberal in most things, but when it comes to child pornography, if you make and distribute, you get the death penalty period. You have forsaken your right to breath

theJonTech on arstechnica.com

Had they not set up this website, he would not have done it. Had they closed these other sites where he actually had subscribed (about which they had plenty of leads), this would not have happened.

simpleWho on arstechnica.com

Prosecute people who go to actual sites and where an actual crime was committed and actually had a victim ..but that would take actual *work*. Instead they entrap people and create pseudo crimes.

Telekenesis on arstechnica.com

Frankly, I find the whole honeypot/luring thing the FBI is doing to be morally objectionable.

[S]Replicant on artstechnica.com

In my opinion, hospitals and doctors should set up child porn honey pots and provide care to these people.

zappa86 on arstechnica.com

How to protect your company

This just underscores the necessity for having off-site backups. Secret ones, at that. Reason being, if any form of police, local, county, state or federal come and grab your computer equipment, they'll grab all of your backups as well

Evildave on pcworld.com

A person with any sort of a moral compass doesn't willingly click on something labeled that. It clearly shows intent. That brings probable cause and grants a search warrant where the authorities find evidence.

DragonTHC on arstechnica.com

Staying safe

They can watch me untill their eyes fall out.

authspeed on pcworld.com

Honeypots are an interesting consideration. Not everybody is as stupid as Cafferty; so there's a balance to be made between catching criminals, accidentally distributing CP to folks clever enough to get away (!) and false positives: innocent people accidentally stumbling around the back alleys of the Internet.

grelphy on reddit.com

while im glad this man is off the streets, it still sounds a hell of a lot like entrapment. I mean they specifically tailored this to him, by looking at his facebook profile, and his dating service information.

Z1ggy on arstechnica.com

I keep thinking of that guy at the RIAA convention gushing, "We love child porn!" because it was furnishing him with the tools he and his fellow thugs needed to destroy the average person's privacy, all for the cause of MAAFIA profits; certainly not to protect kids.

whatdouno on arstechnica.com

Child pornography is the only type of porn specifically illegal to own.

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