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Child Pornography and File Sharing

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The sentencing differential between possession of child pornography and distribution can be as many as 15 to 20 years

By Attorney Elisabeth K.H. Pasqualini, Megan's Law Defense Attorney, Harrisburg, PA

File sharing software as a "default setting" stores numerous files, images, videos and documents in a 'shared directory.'  The shared directory is accessible to all users that use the same software, such as 'Frostwire' or 'Limewire.'  If downloaded materials are saved to a private or inaccessible folder from the group, it is construed as possession and not distribution.  Moreover, if there are a finite number of images, docs, videos or other materials stored on your hardrive, then it is limited to the number possessed.  However, if you have file sharing software, you may face charges not only for the images on your personal computer, but 10's of 1,000's of images without ever engaging in a active distribution process through emailing or other methods.  The sentencing differential may be 15 to 20 years for possessing versus distributing.

Child pornography images are tracked by the FBI through 'file-mining' of metadata.  Metadata is tacked to individual photos or images that are distributed throughout the web.  FBI investigators can then establish where these images are and where they have been through a series of computer system checks.

If you are facing charges for possession or distribution of child pornography because of images stored or shared from your computer, contact the experienced legal team at Shaffer & Engle Law Offices, LLC toll free or email us today.

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