General discussion

Locked

What to do about user porn?

By 1stladytech ·
We run an independent repair firm, and have consistently found porn on computers we repair. I have no problem with porn on most computers, but there are certain situations that I feel that I am morally or legally(?) obligated to do something about. The situtation of porn on a computer that is owned by a child, is something that I feel that I should inform the parent about. I do not specifically look for porn, but in the process of finding out "why it is running so slow" we often run across it when we remove spyware, temps, etc. I usually call the parent and inform them of what we have found, and then leave it up to them as to what, if any, actions should be taken. But the most bothersome problem to me is what should I do when I find underage, teen or pre-teen porn on an adults computer? I am not the police, nor the moral cop of my customers, but I have strong moral objections to this type of activity as well as the legal implications. What would you do in this situation? I have one in the shop now that has pre-teen porn mixed in with Sunday school schedules and other religious activities and writings. I know what is on this computer as we have to do a full data backup, so I have to look through the files and try to read data from a failing hdd. Any thoughts or procedures that anyone has tried or has worked will be greatly appreciated.

This conversation is currently closed to new comments.

118 total posts (Page 1 of 12)   01 | 02 | 03 | 04 | 05   Next
| Thread display: Collapse - | Expand +

All Comments

Collapse -

Report it.

by madroxxx In reply to What to do about user por ...

Child Pornagraphy is illegal and immoral and should be reported to the authorities. If you don't you are an accessory.

Collapse -

Protect Yourself

by TheChas In reply to What to do about user por ...

I agree that illegal activity found on a PC should be reported.

First, you need to protect yourself.

Consult with your lawyer, and make sure that there is wording on the pre-repair agreement that protects you from invasion of privacy suites.
The last thing you want to do, is loose your business from doing the right thing.

The next question is, is there someone, or an agency that you can contact to review the material before reporting the activity?

This way, you reduce your risk of making a judgment call on the material.

Proceed with caution.
Act discretely.
Make sure your staff is not copying any of these files for their use.

Chas

Collapse -

TheChas is right

by maxwell edison In reply to Protect Yourself

Regarding the child pornography, ask your attorney what to do. And if you're advised to turn it in to the authorities, ask your lawyer to do it for you. If the advice is to voice displeasure with the customer, again, if it were me, I would probably ask my attorney to do it for me. You'll probably lose a customer, but do you really want that kind of customer? You have to make certain that you're looking out for your own best interest as well.

Regarding the legal adult stuff on a child's computer - heck, ask your attorney what to do about that as well.

The adult stuff on an adult computer - I guess there's nothing to worry about.

Collapse -

Here in Australia

by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to Protect Yourself

We are required by LAW to report this type of thing and actually the ISP's are also required to report this activity to the Federal Police. I would imange that you have similar laws there as well. This is another instance of having to have multi-skills in doing what at first appears to be a simple job but actually in many instances you need a law degree and to specalise in a specific area of the law to know just how to behave. And who ever claimed that computer repairs where nothing more than astraight forward job?

Collapse -

Agree 100%

by HereInOz In reply to Protect Yourself

Unusual for me but there you go. Chas and Maxwell are right. If it is illegal it must be reported, otherwise you can become an accessory or aiding and abetting or something along those lines.

Collapse -

Glad I'm not you

by jkaras In reply to What to do about user por ...

I'm glad that I dont have your job I honestly dont know what I would do in your position. As I see it, your job is to repair failing hdd and not determining moral or legal content. Whether the material is offesive, wrong, or illegal is not your place to play police. Yes the porn is wrong and shouldnt be incouraged, condoned, etc.. Is this your business or do you work for someone? If you work for someone then I would address it to the manager/owner and have them decide on the best couse of action that could create the sticky situation of the reputation of both parties involved. How do you know it wasnt the adults child vs the adult that downloaded the porn? If wrong you could destroy someone's reputation forever in his community upon assumption. No matter how you look at this situation it comes down to if you can look at yourself in the mirror every morning and not be ashamed of your decisions, it's just personal. Good luck with your decision, I'm sure you will do the right thing.

Collapse -

I am the owner

by 1stladytech In reply to Glad I'm not you

Yes, it is my business. I don't have a manager to go to, and usually these computers are personal property, so no help with the company that the individual works for either.

Vickie

Collapse -

Your responsibility

by Oldefar In reply to What to do about user por ...

I suggest you look at the FBI site regarding child pornography at http://tinyurl.com/6ubc for guidance. In particular, backing up that hard drive may result in your having broken the law.

At the very least, I suggest you contact your local FBI office and request material related to your obligations under federal law.

Judgements on what is or is not pornographic and what should or should not be allowed between consenting adults aside, I believe there is a responsibility on all of us to protect children from predators.

Collapse -

Beware of false accusations

by generalist In reply to What to do about user por ...

The biggest problem with this type of situation is that there is a chance that the person doesn't know that the stuff is on their computer. That would lead to all kinds of trouble because of the potential of false accusations.

When you think about it, how many people look at every human accessible file on their system? If the porn is located in an obscure location that is hard to stumble across, then there is always a chance that it was placed there without the owner's knowledge.

In fact if the owner is an outspoken foe of porn, then they could easily be a target of planted images.

At the same time, there is also a chance that the owner is fully aware of the images and is indeed guilty of immoral and illegal behavior.

I suspect that forensic data analysis would be needed here. And that may require, non-biased legal and investigative intervention to protect the innocent and prosecute the guilty.

Collapse -

No accusation

by Oldefar In reply to Beware of false accusatio ...

The issue is one of legality, not morality. By reporting child pornography on a hard drive, the reporting person is not making any accusations, only identifying a situation.

The computer forensics to link that material to the individual is outside the scope of making a report.

To put it in perspective, a mechanic reporting a body found in the trunk of a car is a far cry from making accusations that there was foul play or that a particular individual is implicated. Not reporting the bodyis not an option.

Back to Community Forum
118 total posts (Page 1 of 12)   01 | 02 | 03 | 04 | 05   Next

Related Discussions

Related Forums