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PEEK

Porno popup case makes national news

The Associated Press and the New York Times pick up the Julie Amero story.
On January 19, AlterNet brought you the story of Julie Amero, a substitute teacher from Norwich, Connecticut who faces up to 40 years in jail because a malware-infested PC in her classroom spewed pornographic popups at her 7th grade language arts class.

Defense experts who analyzed the hard drive found that the computer had been automatically redirected to the pornographic websites because a user had inadvertently downloaded a piece of malicious software from an innocent hairdressing site. Because of a variety of procedural missteps the jury never heard the evidence that exculpated Amero.

The computer itself was completely unprotected from obscene material because IT staffers let the content filter lapse. Yet it was Amero who was criminally charged with potentially endangering the morals of minors, even though she did her best to shield the kids from the monitor.

I'm happy to say that both Alison Leigh Cowan of the New York Times and John Christoffersen of the Associated Press wrote fair and informative articles about the Amero case.

One hopes that this egregious miscarriage of justice will be reversed on appeal. Julie Amero should not be the scapegoat for lax cybersecurity and anti-porn paranoia.

[Photo by Iggy]
Lindsay Beyerstein a New York writer blogging at Majikthise.
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