Google helps feds nab child pornography suspect

  • TECH
  • Tuesday, 12 Sep 2017

Signage is displayed at the Google Inc. offices in New York, U.S., on Tuesday, Aug. 22, 2016. Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is teaming up with Google to let shoppers order by voice, the latest example of the world's largest retailer finding a technology partner to catch e-commerce leader Inc. Photographer: Michael Nagle/Bloomberg

An alleged maker of child pornography has just been indicted – and it's thanks to Google, according to the feds. 

On Sept 7, a federal grand jury in Vermont indicted Cody Clark, 26, of Bristol, Vermont for alleged production of child porn. 

The allegations against Clark remain claims, as they have not been proved in court, but if he's convicted, he faces a mandatory-minimum sentence of 15 years in prison and fines up to US$250,000 (RM1.04mil). 

A search of Clark's computer turned up images of child porn, the US Department of Justice alleged. 

The department credited Google with leading law enforcement officers to Clark. 

"The investigation into Clark began when Google sent a 'Cybertip' to the National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children," the department said in a Sept 7 press release. 

Google warned the centre that a user of one of its platforms had uploaded images of child porn, the department said. Vermont's Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force was charged with investigating. It obtained a warrant to search the home believed to be Clark's, and also used the warrant to search his computer, the department said. 

"The images identified in the Cybertip were among the images found on Clark's computer," the department said. 

"Clark told law enforcement that he produced these images of child pornography and he used them for sexual gratification." 

This news organisation reached out to Google to ask how often it helped authorities via tips on child pornography, but did not receive an immediate response. — San Jose Mercury News/Tribune News Service

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