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  1. #1

    Default Why 'Net Vigilantes Can Cause Problems for LE

    http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la...nes-california

    Evidence on Ex-Judge Is Tossed
    Child porn possessed by former O.C. jurist Ronald Kline is ruled inadmissible in a federal case.

    [snip]

    Monday's ruling in the federal case followed a decision by the same judge in June that sexually explicit diary entries and 1,500 pornographic photos of young boys found on Kline's home computer were inadmissible as evidence because they were discovered by a Canadian hacker who was working for police at the time.

    "The Court," Marshall's earlier ruling said in part, "finds that [hacker] Bradley Willman was a government agent at the time of the intrusion, that Willman thought of himself as an agent for law enforcement, and that Willman's motivation was to act for law enforcement purposes."

    As a tool of law enforcement, Marshall wrote, Willman was barred from seizing any personal property without a search warrant.

    Kline's legal troubles began when Willman, who called himself a computer cop, hacked into Kline's home computer in May 2000 using a program he had developed that can track a person's online activity. Willman forwarded his findings to a Colorado-based Internet watchdog group, Pedowatch, which then relayed the information to Irvine police.

    [snip]

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
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    NC
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    You'd think someone working with the police would have known this. I'm as dumb as a bag of rocks but even I know LE and those working for them have to aquire evidence legally!

    I'm sure if this had been an average joe then this would have been admissable.

  3. #3

    Default He was an average joe, FB

    But he "deputized" himself and the feds case would have been troubled had it gone forward. A jury (or possibly a judge) would not have known the intricacies of the games people play online. It's the online equivalent of "Dog," the bounty hunter in the Andrew Luster rape case -- in his mind, filling a gap of law enforcement, not knowing what they have up their sleeves because --no surprise--they don't run things by him for approval. So he mucks up the work.

    The charges against this accused were horrific and involved child porn, assault and intimidation under color of authority. Now that he's lost his job do you suppose he'll learn from this and behave? More likely he'll have more time to pursue his evil hobby.

    This is a complete tragedy.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    NC
    Posts
    2,308

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    He had to have some kind of LE approval.
    I can sit in my livingroom all night long and deputize myself and still just be me in the morning. I don't think I understand what your saying. ? He was smart enough to hack computers he should have some intelligence to know the rules of evidence collecting.... I'm just baffled.

  5. #5

    Default Oops, FB

    Sorry, I don't know how I missed your post before.

    As I recall, Willman trusted the woman who ran Pedowatch, who had a friendship with some of the cops involved. Willman apparently felt he had permission to hack the judge's computers. I don't know why he wasn't smart enough to know search warrants are needed. Maybe he thought the judge would sign his own warrant. ;)



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