Nothing online is anonymous; especially Zoom

There’s no Fourth Amendment issue raised here, but this is a particularly ugly child pornography case involving live child rape broadcast by Zoom. Police gathered sign-in and logs from Zoom used to share the child pornography. It was captured first by a Toronto detective and shared with the FBI in Pennsylvania for further investigation. The chat logs from Zoom supported the conspiracy conviction. Needing the chat room ten-digit code to get in and then following directions to leave their webcam on also supported the conspiracy conviction. United States v. Heatherly, 2021 U.S. App. LEXIS 1214 (3d Cir. Jan. 14, 2021):*

It does not matter that Staples never explicitly agreed with another user to post a notice seeking child pornography. He was part of a group of like-minded people who got together repeatedly to do just that. The shocking videos, pictures, and comments discussed below further support the jury’s finding that by frequenting this room, Staples agreed to the overarching conspiracy.

[The author is also the author of the pointed last election contest case from the Third Circuit.]

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