Saturday, May 23, 2009

No such thing as "deleted" on the Internet

View the article here


It's always fun to write about research that you can actually try out for yourself.

Try this: Take a photo and upload it to Facebook, then after a day or so, note what the URL to the picture is (the actual photo, not the page on which the photo resides), and then delete it. Come back a month later and see if the link works. Chances are: It will.

Facebook isn't alone here. Researchers at Cambridge University (so you know this is legit, people!) have found that nearly half of the social networking sites don't immediately delete pictures when a user requests they be removed. In general, photo-centric websites like Flickr were found to be better at quickly removing deleted photos upon request.

Why do "deleted" photos stick around so long? The problem relates to the way data is stored on large websites: While your personal computer only keeps one copy of a file, large-scale services like Facebook rely on what are called content delivery networks to manage data and distribution. It's a complex system wherein data is copied to multiple intermediate devices, usually to speed up access to files when millions of people are trying to access the service simultaneously. (Yahoo! Tech is served by dozens of servers, for example.) But because changes aren't reflected across the CDN immediately, ghost copies of files tend to linger for days or weeks.

In the case of Facebook, the company says data may hang around until the URL in question is reused, which is usually "after a short period of time." Though obviously that time can vary considerably.

Of course, once a photo escapes from the walled garden of a social network like Facebook, the chances of deleting it permanently fall even further. Google's caching system is remarkably efficient at archiving copies of web content, long after it's removed from the web. Anyone who's ever used Google Image Search can likely tell you a story about clicking on a thumbnail image, only to find that the image has been deleted from the website in question -- yet the thumbnail remains on Google for months. And then there are services like the Wayback Machine, which copy entire websites for posterity, archiving data and pictures forever.

The lesson: Those drunken party photos you don't want people to see? Simply don't upload them to the web, ever, because trying to delete them after you sober up is a tough proposition.

Child 'witches' in Africa (The Witch Hunts Continue)

How false allegations ruined my fathers life/suicide

This is on LiveLeak as well

Just thought I'd share a story here about my personal life and how false accusations of a sex crime resulted in the loss of my fathers job, his lively hood, and resulted in his eventual suicide.

This all started around 1996, I was on my way home from school (I was 10 years old) and was about to enter the house, the police came there on bicycles (some sort of bicycle patrol) and I didn't pay much attention to it at first, went inside and my dads standing there with a crazy look on his face at the basement door with a rifle in his hand. I ask him what he's doing and he says "I'm just cleaning it", I run out yelling "dad's got a gun!" and the police bust in, he's barricading himself in the house and backup is called. My dad is arrested and charged with assault with a deadly weapon (on a police officer) despite the fact he never raised the gun to the police, and under suspicion for lewd acts with a minor.

I have absolutely no idea what's going on nor does my brother, my mother is shaken and my brother and I are completely confused.

I think it was a few days later and my mother said that DCFS wanted to talk to my brother and I and she told us basically what to say that if we were to say anything wrong, that our dad would be in prison for a long time.

I remember going to the DCFS building and there was a room I was lead into with childrens toys and one of those 2 way mirrors. There was a lady and she had a tape recorder and basically asked me a few things about my father and asked questions like "Has your father ever touched you?" "How has he touched you?" "Has he ever showered with you?" "Has he ever showed you his peepee?" "Has he ever slept with you?" I answered "No" to every question. It wasn't a No as in the information was not true but a "No" that the information would be taken out of context and used to convict my father and land him in prison. I may have been 10 years old but i wasn't stupid.

Of course parents do things that could be taken out of context, there were several times my mother or father slept with me if I had nightmares just to make sure I'd fall back asleep and then would leave the room, there was nothing sexual about that. This was when I was younger, had I said "Yes", that's the only answer DCFS would have needed.

I had wet the bed until I was 9 years old and parents used to clean me up in the bathtub or the shower if I had to go to school and they were dropping me off and we didn't have time to take individual showers, again, nothing sexual about that, but taken out of context and it sounds wrong in front of the DCFS.

My father never acted sexual or did anything to myself or my brother, if anything, he was the one paranoid of other sex offenders in the area and making sure the family was safe.

What happened in the end? The allegations ruined him, he was working a job making 90,000 a year for a drug company downtown, he lost everything after the allegation and was diagnosed bipolar and had to be put on social security

The incident also resulted in my father losing his firearm rights and the right to vote after a felony conviction for the assault charge which would have never happened has he been accused of a sex crime. His FOID card was revoked and 15 firearms were destroyed, no compensation, nothing.

His lawyer told him he was lucky to have gotten the plea bargain he did, he served time and was nearly killed.

What luck? Lost a couple thousand dollars on a lawyer, lost his job, lost time sitting in jail, his firearm rights and voting rights?

Where did the report come from?

According to the cook county police report, the report was by someone in a support group my dad attended. It was a group for people who had been sexually abused by their parents as a child and apparently my dad had made a statement that was taken out of context that was reported as "I shower with my children", this resulted in a DCFS investigation and police filing charges that resulted in the whole thing.

My dad became depressed and eventually in 2003, ended up commiting suicide in March.

Had these allegations never occured, my dad would still be working his job and we'd have lived a life where bills were paid and decent home conditions, he would have had his rights and would likely still be alive today.

That's my story.

Click image to enlarge

Wow, the idiots are worried about our freedom and civil liberties now. It's probably too late now!!!

CA - Plea bargain in sex case raises questions

View the article here

Instead of holding police to a higher standard, they get slaps on the wrist from the government protecting the "Good Ole' Boys!"


By Susan Herendeen

10 other '09 convictions involved minors; former deputy needn't register

Former sheriff's deputy Alfred "Chip" Huskey admitted having sex with the teenage daughter of his ex-wife on the living room floor of the Ceres home he shared with a woman who supervises probationers in Stanislaus County. For that, he recently was sentenced to a year in county jail.
- Yep, only a year in jail and no prison time, nor does he have to appear on the sex offender registry?

The victim, now 27, told authorities Huskey molested her from ages 3 to 11, when Huskey was married to her mother and lived in their Riverbank home. She alleged that Huskey, 47, didn't go "all the way" until a few years later, when she and a younger brother had a slumber party in Huskey's new home.

The woman's story came out years after the alleged incidents as she struggled to overcome drug addiction, according to court records, and she was unable to pinpoint the date of the sexual encounter or her age at the time.

In a phone call that was recorded by detectives, the woman recalled the sexual encounter and inappropriate rubbing by Huskey when she was 3 or 4. In return, Huskey talked about an unhappy marriage that prompted him to drink too much and use methamphetamine.

Huskey also encouraged the woman to call him if she needed to talk, saying he would get in trouble if she shared her memories with counselors, who have a duty to report allegations of abuse, according to a tape and transcript of the conversation, both of which were provided by the woman.

"I would get arrested, go to jail, most likely go to prison," Huskey said.

That conversation gave prosecutors enough corroboration to take a case that was more than a decade old to trial, and Huskey did go to jail. Some courthouse insiders in Modesto still think the former jailer got a sweetheart deal, particularly because Huskey need not register as a sex offender.

"It sure smells," said defense attorney Martha Carlton-Magaña. "I have a guy who is doing six years in prison for doing a lot less -- sentenced by the same judge, prosecuted by the same district attorney."

Said defense attorney Mary Lynn Belsher: "I would like the district attorney's office to explain to the public why an ex-deputy gets a better sentence, and gets out from under the lifetime burden of sex registration, when others who are younger and did less will have that burden."
- Yeah, I'd like to know this as well.

Deal was rare, attorneys say

Most lawyers readily agree that criminal cases rise or fall on their own merits, with the stiffest sentences handed down when the authorities have strong corroborating evidence, a particularly vulnerable victim or a defendant's admission of guilt.

For example, a Ceres man who videotaped himself performing sex acts with two children was sentenced to 45 years to life in prison. A Riverbank man got 10 years in prison for molesting several girls he met at church. A Modesto man got six years for molesting a teen who lived in his home.

Although a wide spectrum of outcomes is expected, defense attorneys said it is rare for prosecutors to offer a deal that does not require registration, which is mandatory for most sex crimes.

"They typically hand out some pretty meaty sentences," said attorney Frank Carson, who recently represented a Modesto man who got three years in prison for an incident that happened in July 1996. His client touched an 11-year-old girl's breast while using drugs with other adults in her home.

According to a review of official records, 11 men have been convicted of sex crimes involving minors in Stanislaus County Superior Court since January. Huskey is the sole defendant who has not been required to register as a sex offender.

Lawyers in Huskey's case said the devil is in the details.

Deputy District Attorney Annette Rees, who routinely prosecutes sex offenders, is known for taking a hard line against defendants whether they are suspected of minor crimes such as indecent exposure, escalate to inappropriate touching or leave a trail of rape victims.

She said the outcome of Huskey's case fits the facts she could prove in court. "I had never met Mr. Huskey, had no dealings with him and didn't treat him any differently than anyone else," Rees said.

Charge was amended

Huskey was arrested in January 2008 on suspicion of continuous sexual abuse of a child, apprehended while he was working at the Public Safety Center.

A few days later, the district attorney's office charged Huskey with committing a lewd or lascivious act with a child who was 12 or 13, a crime that requires registration as a sex offender.

The charge was amended, and the registration requirement dropped, when authorities determined that the victim must have been older, perhaps 14 or 15.

In the end, Huskey pleaded no contest to unlawful sex with a minor, which does not require registration as a sex offender.

Defense attorney Paul Goyette said Huskey acknowledged a single sexual encounter with his former stepdaughter, when she was 18. He said his client took a plea deal after two suicide attempts because a trial would have humiliated his family.

He said the woman may have been molested by another relative, whom she also accused, but did not endure years of fondling by Huskey as she contends. The accuracy of her memories, and her history of drug use, would have been key issues had the case gone to trial.

"Chip Huskey is certainly an easy target to blame for her problems," Goyette said.

Rees said she filed charges related to a single sexual encounter she could corroborate with Huskey's taped admissions.

She said she could not proceed with other allegations, such as ongoing molestation or furnishing drugs to a minor, because the alleged incidents happened long ago and the victim was unsure of key details.

Nailing down a timeline for the sex act that formed the basis for a single felony charge would have been a crucial factor had the case gone to trial.
- Yeah, but if Joe Public does the same, none of this is considered...

Disagreement over age

During a preliminary hearing, the woman told the court about a sexual encounter that may have happened in summer 1997, at the home Huskey shared with a former wife, _____, a supervisor in the Probation Department. She declined to comment for this story.

The woman, whose name is not being used because of the nature of the allegations, told the court that she spent the night at the house with her younger brother. They slept on the living room floor.

She said a movie was playing on the television, her brother was fast asleep and Huskey's wife was sleeping upstairs.

She said her former stepfather lay next to her, started touching her, stopped when she cried, asked if she wanted to go to the garage and smoke a joint, and returned to the living room with her after they got high on marijuana.

She said Huskey climbed on top of her, even though she was crying, and told her to be quiet so she wouldn't wake her brother. She said the encounter included intercourse and oral sex.

"He just continued and went all the way," she testified, according to court records.

The woman initially told authorities she was 12 at the time, but she also recalled a nursery in the home, saying Huskey and his new wife were expecting a baby.

Using benchmarks, like the birth of the Huskey's baby, and the birth of a baby the teenager had with a boyfriend, the authorities concluded that the woman must have been 15, not 12.

Huskey's lawyer insists that the woman was 18, not a minor.

Rather than let a jury sort it out, the lawyers cut a deal.

Mitigated sentence chosen

Judge John G. Whiteside could have sent Huskey to prison for up to four years, but he chose a mitigated sentence and told Huskey he must abstain from drugs and alcohol during three years of probation. Huskey apologized to his family.

In an interview after the sentencing, the woman said the case got started after she discussed her memories with an older sister who was dating a sheriff's deputy. Her sister's boyfriend said he had a duty to report such allegations if the victim did not do so.

The victim came forward and an investigation began.

She said she expected the case to revolve around her report of ongoing molestation ending with a rape, not his claim of a single sex act. She said she thinks Huskey got off easy, but might have faced a different outcome if 12 jurors had heard their taped conversation.

As she put it, "They made it look like I was willing to do that with him."

SORNA Checklist (PDF)

Click the image to view the PDF document

Sex Decoy: Love Stings - Another entrapment show for money and ratings, IMO.

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