Pornography Downloads: Hazardous to Your Health

Still, what about those cases where the material is there but the evidence of intent isn't, where the person may have deleted the contraband or not have known about it to begin with? Lee compares such cases to someone receiving a letter with marijuana in it. "If the recipient flushes it down the toilet," does he deserve prosecution? Or, "what if a person comes over to your house and leaves (illegal drugs) hidden behind your couch?" If it's found later by law enforcement, "are you responsible?"

Aftab has seen an increase in the number of people who wind up with contraband on their computers, but they aren't criminals. "A lot of people are doing stupid things because they are curious. They're doing it even with child porn. 'I wonder what this is?' So, they click on this and they'll do it, not because they are pedophiles or because they want to exploit kids. But they are curious as to what it is."

It is clear that Internet users can get information on their computers that is not intended. Otherwise, anti-virus programs and adware removal programs would not be popular. But there may be more of that material out there than most users suspect and it has a way of sticking around.

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