Don’t judge a man by his laptop’s content.
A man fired from his job and charged with child porn possession after his laptop was found full of indecent material received vindication after charges against him were dropped. This was after computer forensic examinations proved that a malware downloaded the pornographic material into the system without his consent, SC Magazine reports.
Michael Fiola, who worked for the Department of Industrial Accidents was charged with child porn possession last August. His data usage registered four times more than that of his co-workers, later leading to the discovery of pornographic material on his laptop.
In his defense, computer forensics experts confirmed that the child porn found inside the laptop was never downloaded or accessed by Fiola. Loehrs stated that Fiola’s laptop was pre-owned, not patched with security updates and lacked anti-virus protection.
The computer forensics expert also added that had the DA resorted to a forensic exam first, such issues would have been avoided and saved Fiola of the efforts to dismiss the case against him.
Fiola’s situation was compared to the ongoing case of Julie Amero, a substitute teacher charged with four felony accounts after a computer used for her class displayed pornographic images. The teacher was recently granted a new trial after the release of computer forensic information which may help her defend her case.
In as much as these individuals seemed to have been “framed” by malware, they are still guilty on some other count: guilty of not being responsible enough to secure their systems adequately.
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