Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Case Study: Woman Faces 40 Years for Porn-Infected PC (Crazy, but True)

Steve Bass writes Tips & Tweaks for

PC World: Technology Advice You Can Trust
Wednesday, January 24, 2007 3:35 PM PT
Posted by Steve Bass

But that's not all. Be sure to read his Tips & Tweaks Column on his blog. And the follow-up story: Take Action: Julie Amero Porn Case

Now here is a synopsy of his original story:

Woman Faces 40 Years for Porn-Infected PC (Crazy, but True)
(Click above to read the four-part story in its entirety.)

Have you ever faced a pop-up that wouldn't go away? You try clicking it closed and another pops up in less than a nanosecond. You grunt in annoyance and reboot the system, annoyed that your anti-spyware program let something slip through.

That's annoying, sure--but the chances are good that your experience won't land you in jail.

Substitute Teacher's Worst Nightmare

Julie Amero, a substitute teacher in Norwich, Connecticut, has been convicted of impairing the morals of a child and risking injury to a minor by exposing as many as ten seventh-grade students to porn sites.

The story is short: On October, 19, 2004, Amero was a substitute teacher for a seventh-grade language class at Kelly Middle School. A few students were crowded around a PC; some were giggling. She investigated and saw the kids looking at a barrage of graphic, hard-core pornographic pop-ups.

The prosecution contended that she had used the computer to visit porn sites.

The defense said that wasn't true and argued that the machine was infested with spyware and malware, and that opening the browser caused the computer to go into an endless loop of pop-ups leading to porn sites.

Amero maintains her innocence. She refused offers of a plea bargain and now faces an astounding 40 years in prison (Her sentencing was on March 2).