Savage Love Letter of the Day: Help! He's Fallen Down The Wrong Clickhole!


LW if the site was totally suspect, Google would have erased it. And yeah, you are over reacting. It's the microwave you should be worrying about.
Thanks for reposting that letter Dan.
There are some holes in your reply, Dan:

There is no difference between "viewing" and "downloading" an image on the internet. If you saw it, you downloaded a copy of it. From the computer's perspective, there's no difference. Heck, even deleting your cache or temp files won't resolve your problems from a legal standpoint (the files still, more or less, exist on your hard drive, even if they are inaccessible through normal techniques, they can readily be forensically recovered), and if you are already in trouble for possession of child pornography (the rider notwithstanding, I'll use "Child Porn" because it communicates what we're talking about in the least confusing manner) you can then get hit with an Evidence Tampering charge while you're at it.

Importantly, Dan, your response missed something big: Although the Google Image Search may have worked in terms of filtering out those select images, what it more likely means is that SEARCH has, inadvertently seen dozens if not hundreds or thousands of images of people he didn't know were children (I don't know SSBBW is, off the top of my head, but I'll assume LW wasn't looking at images of obvious children, but probably people appear "near 18" enough that they don't trigger our alarms). I've had this concern myself when, well, looking at porn, as the law doesn't protect if you even if the material is advertised as otherwise-legal.

SSBBW means "super-sized big beautiful woman".

In other words, he was searching for for images of women who are beyond morbidly obese.
Sportlandia@2 – Sorry dude, you're off the mark on this one. Just because you view something on the web it DOES NOT mean a copy of that image is permanently stored on your hard drive. You would have to have an infinite amount of space available if that was even remotely true. Web images stay on the web unless there is some sort of malicious malware secretly writing files to your computer. It will leave a record of your visit to the site, that MIGHT be able to be retrieved for a short time with sophisticated software, even if you clear your browser's history. But there is LIMITED space on your drive. Old temporary files are written over constantly, and the longer you go, the more they get written over. Even permanent files will be extremely difficult to retrieve if you go to a little effort to reformat your drive a few times. What IS TRUE is that just throwing a file in the trash DOES NOT remove that file from your drive. It just makes that space available to be written over at a later date. The file will be there until new data is written (which happens randomly, so you never know how long it (or pieces of it) will be there.
What's imaging porn?
@5 It's an artifact of awkward phrasing. He is using Google Image Search to find porn, and calling that "Google imaging porn." It threw me as well, and I use Google Image Search all the time! (though not for porn. I'm way too picky.)
I have started viewing porn gifs on occasion. I wanted to see more clips featuring slender petite women with small breasts and entered what I thought were reasonable search terms to get there. I was naive. I quickly realized I had no way of knowing how old the people were and stopped, horrified at the possibility. I just wanted to see hot sexy porn of people with bodies that look like mine! I wasn't using "small/petite" as code for "young"! I haven't tried "small breast MILF" yet, that's probably the way to go if I want to try again.
Let's say that we are unfortunate enough to stumble across images of child sexual abuse. Where/to whom do we report them?
@4 If you go to a website that contains images in the normal course of things those images get stored in your browser cache locally. That cache is generally written to the hard drive (some of the secure browsers keep virtual only caches) and thus it is "permanently" on your hard drive (until the space is released and something else writes over it).
If someone is investigating you for child pornography and the only thing they can find is in your cache, not your indexed memory, they aren't going to be able to make charges stick. Unless there's a LOT in your cache, suggesting you "accidentally" accessed it rather more frequently than is reasonably possible. Then they'd take a seriously hard look at the rest of your drive to see if it had been scrubbed, or if there were remnants of /saved/ (versus cached) images. It's exactly like investigating an employee for theft and the only thing you can find is that they went home with a pen, once. Versus finding that they'd managed to acquire several dozen company pens, in boxes.

Then, of course, there's the fact that you have to do something to raise suspicion to trigger an investigation in the first place. Law enforcement working against child pornography has far too much to do to track every instance of every photo, however much they'd like to be able to, and however close to that ideal the technology may be approaching. They are looking primarily for the people who are /generating/ the photos/videos, as they are directly responsible for the abuse, and secondarily for paying consumers of the images, as they are nearly as directly responsible.

As possible, I have no doubt that they're willing to sweep up whoever they can find along the way who's not (yet) paying for the images - but I really doubt they'd put any effort into anyone who didn't draw their attention, and finding a site via google search and immediately leaving just isn't going to do that. Frankly, if a site were that "hot", google wouldn't be leading you to it - they'd have taken the site down or destroyed the links first. The people (if that term can be used) who want to find these things do it by personal networking, not google meta tags.