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This is worrisome. Marist College Professor James D. Kent stands accused of having porn on his system.

I don’t know anything about the case, but this statement is flat-out false:

Under questioning by Kent’s attorney, D. James O’Neil, Investigator Barry Friedman said he had found evidence of some viruses, so-called “trojans” and other unwanted software on Kent’s computer when he analyzed its hard drive at the state police Forensic Investigation Center in Albany. The placement of a “trojan” on a computer makes it easier for other kinds of potentially harmful viruses to find ways to attach themselves to a computer, Friedman explained.

Under questioning by Senior Assistant District Attorney Marjorie Smith, however, Friedman said none of the viruses or “trojans” he found on Kent’s computer would have enabled someone to download, sort or file the more than 60,000 images of children in provocative poses discovered on the computer.

“No known virus is capable of doing those things,” Friedman testified. [emphasis mine]

That’s simply not true (assuming that Friedman’s use of the term “virus” is the common misuse, to refer to any malware). I even posted a video on YouTube a while back showing a situation where porn was displayed automatically on a user’s system.

Let’s hope this is not another miscarriage of justice.

Alex Eckelberry
(thanks to IDG’s Robert McMillan for sharing the link)

10/21/2010 Update here.