The internet is a big place, and that sometimes gives people the idea that what they do online is somehow invisible to the authorities.
Maybe in the past that was somewhat true. After all, it took a little while for the authorities to catch up with all of the vast changes in technology over the years — but they’ve managed to do it.
Take, for example, the case of a 28-year-old man from Venice, Florida, who was caught last month with 240 images and videos on his phone that were classified as child pornography. He probably thought that since he got the images through the chat application Kik and used his phone instead of a home computer that his actions weren’t traceable.
He was wrong. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children traced the IP address back to the man’s home and gave local police detectives notice. While the article about the arrest doesn’t say, the odds are good that the police were easily able to obtain a warrant to search the man’s phone with that information.
Keep in mind that it’s illegal to posses, control, or even intentionally look at child pornography. Each count can be considered a separate crime, and they’re all third-degree felonies that can each result in up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine upon conviction. If the authorities decide that someone possesses those kinds of images with the intent to pass them on to others, that’s a second-degree felony that could equal 15 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.