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Federal authorities allege sex crimes against 71 people

Privacy is a right many New Jersey residents expect when they are in their homes and using their own electronic devices. Many people feel that what they do on their own time and in their personal lives should not be subject to review by others. Unfortunately in many ways online privacy is being significantly eroded with regard to security products and law enforcement investigations. Particular content that authorities have deemed as illegal can lead to sex crimes charges against those who view or possess it.

Around seventy-one people in New York and New Jersey were arrested when federal officials executed an internet sex crimes crackdown. The crackdown focused on people who allegedly used the internet to share and view materials containing child pornography. Possession of child pornography is a federal and state crime and can lead to prison sentences for those convicted of having it on their personal devices.

Individuals from all walks of life were arrested in the crackdown, including a rabbi, a scout leader and an au pair. Authorities took possession of hundreds of computers and other electronic devices that allegedly contain evidence of illegal activity. Prosecutors will use that supposed evidence to build cases against those individuals who have been accused.

As their trials approach, the accused individuals will also be granted access to the evidence and data that the authorities collected against them. Their attorneys will have the opportunity to review how the evidence was obtained and to object to any alleged evidence that was derived from illegal searches or seizures. From the evidence left they will prepare their defenses for their trials.

The internet can be a solitary place but a person's online actions are rarely secret. While law enforcement officials sometimes use public safety as a rationale to infringe on individuals' rights to privacy not all encroachments are permissible. Individuals who have been charged with internet-based sex crimes have rights to review the evidence collected against them and to work with legal professionals who can help them build honest defenses to combat their charges.

Source: CBS New York, "Feds Charge Dozens In NYC Area Child Porn Case," May 21, 2014

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