Porn / Spyware Case Closed; Injustice Served

Porn / Spyware Case Closed; Injustice Served

We have previously railed against people who are silly enough not to install some sort of antivirus program on their system (We have signed up to clean out one such system). We are also amazed by organizations such as the Pentagon who, rather than installing up-to-date AV software, ban USB drives to prevent infection by an old (and thus easily detected) virus.

Here we have a school which didn't protect its computers with up-to-date AV software, and a teacher who has paid the price.

Reportedly, when
Julie Amero was a substitute teacher in 2004, her PC started popping up random images of pornography when surfing the Web. Now, that's the same symptom we're sure you've seen on a system or two before, and it's often indicative of malware. Yet, despite this, without taking the time to examine the system for malware, the state of Connecticut chose to prosecute --- and convict --- Amero of felony charges, with a 40-year sentence, in January of 2007.

The verdict was overturned in June of 2007, after forensic analysts independently did their own study and determined that the computer was infected. Despite this, the state of Connecticut was determined to retry the case. They also never admitted any of the errors they made in trying the case, including the aforementioned lack of forensic analysis of the hard drive.

However, last Friday, the case finally was put to rest. Amero accepted a plea bargain to end the ordeal. She received a $100 fine, but she also had to surrender her teacher's license. While she said she was happy,
stating:
"Oh honey, it's over. I feel wonderful. The Norwich police made a mistake. It was proven. That makes me feel like I'm on top of the world."
justice has not been served as she lost her license to teach as well as paying a terrible price for more than 4 years. The stress of the experience has resulted in Amero being hospitalized, a little over a week ago.

By the way, the school was using Symantec's WebNot, which is a firewall program. However, they had not renewed the subscription so it was not up-to-date. It should have been obvious to an on-the-ball IT admin that even with a firewall, local AV software should have installed on all the PCs.

That would have prevented infection from the Web, and also prevented infection via USB drives (Hello? Pentagon?).

So, unfortunately for Amero, it seems like what we have here is closure, but it sure doesn't seem like we got justice. Just another example of what happens when non-technical people try to judge a rather technical court case.

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This pisses me off to no end. The womans life is ruined because some IT guy didn't do his job and the courts don't know what they are doing.

Really makes me sick.

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Yeah, that really is disgusting. I mean, I knew our legal system was in a bad state, but, wow. And all for want of an anti-virus program.

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I totally agree with you Bob.

If I were a mischevious man, I'd say "Black Hats: See how much porn you can push to computers owned by the state of Connecticut." But, I doubt they could actually do it.

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Now, that woman needs another blood-thirsty lawyer to take her case back and stick it down the throat of the state of Connecticut. What's amazing is that, in this day and age, this type of gross oversight can happen -- when we're all supposed to be living in a "connected" society. Just goes to show you, there are still many that are pathetically out of touch and not even close to being in the know.

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Right behind ya, Dave.

This is not a new problem with "official" agencies. When you report something wrong (or just get caught in the middle of it, like this lady) they find it easier to destroy you than to fix the problem you've found.

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3vi1:

Right behind ya, Dave.

This is not a new problem with "official" agencies. When you report something wrong (or just get caught in the middle of it, like this lady) they find it easier to destroy you than to fix the problem you've found.

Couldn't have put it better.

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LOL, you guys are a long time out of school if you think there was any kind of "on-the-ball IT admin" involved. The on-the-ball part notwithstanding, I'd be shocked the learn that the position of "IT admin" even existed. The duties probably fell to some poor librarian who was just barely competant for the duties they tossed onto their lap. The woman in this case definitely has a case for damages due to negligence on the part of the school I'd say.

As for the Pentagon, it's not just viruses they're concerned with. Unauthorized copying of military data is just as big of a concern.

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Dave HH said it all! I really feel for this teacher. She needs to (1) clear her name, (2) sue the hell out of Connecticut, the school district, the local Board of "Education" and (3) get her teaching certificate reinstated!! She is a fool if she just walks away from this!!  (Do Connecticut schools have IT departments???) 

No matter, this is clearly a travisty of our "justice" system!!!

Grrrr......!!!!!!!!!!

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i just want to put my 0.02 here, i dont use antivirus.... or firewall..... i guess you can say im a bit stupid, or naive, but i havent had any problems for quite some time now (i do an online test once in a blue moon, and an actual test once in a orange moon). i dont get infected because i use more secure web browsers, and i go to sites which i trust. if google gives me a virus by god i will be shocked!. google even warns you when the website you are about to go on has malware! with some smartness you can avoid the boging down of having antivirus and firewall running.

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ice_73:

i just want to put my 0.02 here, i dont use antivirus.... or firewall..... i guess you can say im a bit stupid, or naive, but i havent had any problems for quite some time now (i do an online test once in a blue moon, and an actual test once in a orange moon). i dont get infected because i use more secure web browsers, and i go to sites which i trust. if google gives me a virus by god i will be shocked!. google even warns you when the website you are about to go on has malware! with some smartness you can avoid the boging down of having antivirus and firewall running.

I'm with you. I don't run anti virus either. It's all about like you said the websites and the browser you use. A out of date PC running unpatched IE like that computer though. Download some free screensavers and you were done. I know someone remembers the old pop up storms from the 90's. Close one and 2 more popped up. That's what happened to her.

 

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Faith in humanity -100 points.  Sure they overturned the 40 year sentence, but she is still out $100 and a teacher's license for none of her own fault.  Ugh.

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i do remember those pop up storms.... gah whyd you have to remind me. :-( now i feel im not really getting the right internet with out it.

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They should punish the IT person instead, not the Teacher.Angry

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tanka12345:

They should punish the IT person instead, not the Teacher.Angry

It was a substitute teacher at that. So she really had no take in the PC getting infected.

 

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