How do investigators determine if a video is child pornography?

There are a lot of videos/pictures on the internet of people whose age appears rather ambiguous. How do investigators determine whether or not the people in the video/picture are minors? Can someone get charged with posessing child pornography even if the people in the video/picture in question are never identified?

It seems that child pornography has become a very serious issue and isquite a serious crime considering the sentences people have gotten for possessing it. It is this severity that makes me a little big scared- what if I download a video off Kazaa that has a 17 year-old having sex, but I had no idea how old the people in the video are? Generally, if I see anything that looks suspicious, I delete it immediately. But people on Kazaa are apt for mislabling their videos so it can be a little tricky.

Total guess but unless the “stars” of the video are obviously underage or identified it probably wouldn’t get brought to court.

If the cops think it’s child porn, they’ll probably charge you with it. Basically, they’ll look at the images and if the people involved look underage, you’re in trouble.

If it got to court, you could defend yourself by claiming you didn’t know the models were underage. It probably wouldn’t help in this climate. If the jury sees the images and can be led to believe that they are underage, you’re looking at jail time.

Even better would be to go to the source and find documents stating the models are over 18 (they always get these and keep them).

OTOH, in a case where the people in the video are clearly past puberty, it’s less likely that cops would bother, since they’d have the same problem proving the ages of the models as you would.

Total curiosity: what would motivate someone to post to a fourm devoted to factual answers to questions with a “total guess”?

If the video doesn’t conform to the requirement of showing the name and address of a custodian of records, at which location can be found proof of age of the performers, then it’s illegal. The OP asks, “Can someone get charged with posessing child pornography even if the people in the video/picture in question are never identified?” The FACTUAL answer is yes.

  • Rick

Ok you got me Bricker,my bad :slight_smile:

Bricker: But the OP was talking about downloadable video clips. Doesn’t this requirement make them all effectively illegal?

That’s what I was curious about. I mean, how are file-sharing programs like Kazaa still LEGAL when they are probably filled with child pornography?

And what about someone who accidentally downloads child pornography? I have absolutely no interest in viewing any minors engaged in sexual acts, but there is always a chance that a video I dowload is deceptively titled. If it is an .avi , I can’t preview what I am downloading on my computer. Essentially I can’t see it until it is on my hard drive. This makes me a little paranoid as it seems a man can’t safely download free porn anymore in this day and age :frowning:

Incubus,get a file overwrite utility and use liberally should an accident occur.