Under new Utah child pornography legislation, information technology and computer repair workers are required to report any illegal images or information they find.
Utah Gov. Gary Herbert recently signed into law a bill that requires IT technicians and others who work with computers to report any pornographic images they see of children to law enforcement or face criminal charges themselves.
Confidentiality Laws and Computer Technicians
In the past, IT techs were bound by confidentiality standards or written agreements with clients. These agreements prevented them from disclosing to authorities and other parties any information they may have discovered in the process of servicing computer equipment.
The new legislation protects information workers who report their discoveries even if a confidentiality agreement is in place.
Information technology experts believe that the new law is redundant, as most computer technicians and IT workers are already reporting such findings voluntarily. The key to the new law is that now they are required to do so to avoid committing a crime themselves.
Utah Penalties for Having Child Pornography on Your Computer
In Utah, as in most other states, possessing, distributing or even viewing so-called kiddie porn is a second-degree felony. Someone who is in possession of such images, whether electronic or hard copy, faces between one and 15 years in prison and a $10,000 fine for each child depicted in the images.
Depending on the situation, federal charges may also be involved.
As you can see, this is not an issue to be taken lightly. Unfortunately, decent, well-meaning individuals may end up with pornographic images on their computer inadvertently. This can happen without your knowledge by visiting the wrong website by accident, by clicking the wrong link or by letting someone else use your computer.
If your wireless router isn’t secured, hackers can even access your computer, and unbeknownst to you, use it as a virtual server to distribute illegal images!
Then, when you take your computer in for service and the technician discovers these images, you are suddenly faced with a situation that can devastate your life.
A Criminal Defense or Child Pornography Lawyer Can Help
If you are accused of possessing pornographic materials that depict minors, it’s critical that you contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer immediately. In some cases, however, law enforcement agencies must dig a little deeper to establish their case against you.
If the police or federal law enforcement officers come to your door without a search warrant, do not speak with them or give them consent to enter or search your home or electronic devices.
Even if you are formally charged, an experienced child pornography attorney can assist you in the forensic exploration of your hard drive to establish how the images got there without your knowledge or consent.
Utah defense attorney David Paul White offers two convenient office locations in Salt Lake City and St. George. With more than 25 years’ experience in criminal and child pornography defense, our firm will work diligently to mount a successful defense for you and protect your future.
Contact us today if you have been accused of possessing child pornography.