Gov Lets Dark Net Child Porn Perv Go Free Rather Than Reveal Surveillance Technique

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By Joe Simonson | 9:16 pm, March 6, 2017

US prosecutors dropped charges against a man who was caught on the deep recesses of the Internet with child pornography because in order to press its case against him, they would have had to disclose details about the method they used to nab him.

The kiddy porn was from a web site only accessible using Tor, a special search engine for the Dark Net that many people use believing it to be anonymous. As this case clearly shows, the government has cracked the code on Tor and has ways to identify people using the software to do nefarious things.

Initially developed by the U.S. Navy, Tor allows users to access hidden parts of the Internet not reachable via Google or other mass-market search engines. The service has become synonymous with online drug purchases, illegal weapon dealers, exotic animals sellers—even hitmen to off someone for you.

Following a long investigation into the child pornography site Playpen, the U.S. government ended up identifying or rescuing 49 American children who were being sexually abused. The investigation also led to “more than 200 active prosecutions” because of a “remote search tool” that allowed the government to retrieve users’ IP address.

But that didn’t stop alleged pervert Jay Michaud from getting lucky. According to court filings, the U.S. couldn’t prove its case against the Canadian former middle school teacher without disclosing key details of its “Network Investigative Technique.” It chose to stop the prosecuting the case instead.

Michaud was caught downloading child pornography in February of 2015.  According to the FBI, he logged nearly 100 hours checking out the heinous material. He had no previous criminal history.

The government went on to say that it had to “choose between disclosure of classified information and dismissal of its indictment. Disclosure is not currently an option.” Still, prosecutors opened up the possibility of the government bringing new charges in the future when it’s in a position to provide the necessary evidence.

 

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