Home > News > Court OKs Seizure of iPhone Metadata to Track Child Porn • Bookmark   • Newsletters   • Register Search Options


Court OKs Seizure of iPhone Metadata to Track Child Porn

Court OKs Seizure of iPhone Metadata to Track Child Porn
Get XBIZ News
Feb 4, 2014 3:30 PM PST    Text size: 

GALVESTON, Texas — Federal authorities lawfully seized iPhone metadata to locate a man accused of uploading child pornography, a federal court has ruled.

U.S. District Judge Gregg Costa declined last week to suppress evidence that was taken from an iPhone 4. That evidence included metadata to identify the GPS coordinates where the photo had been taken.

That metadata led FBI agents to the home of defendant Donald Post, who then admitted to taking that photo, as well as others, of a four-year-old girl who had recently stayed at his home.

Post contends that even though he had uploaded the image to a website, he retained a privacy interest in that image’s metadata that law enforcement invaded in violation of his Fourth Amendment rights.

The sexually explicit photo was posted on a website "primarily dedicated to the advertisement and distribution of child pornography and the discussion of matters pertinent to incest and pedophilia."

"Post's attempt to carve out the metadata from his public release of the image finds no support in the text of the Fourth Amendment or the case law applying it," Costa's wrote in his order.

Post "gave up his right to privacy in that image once he uploaded it to the Internet, and that thing he publicly disclosed contained the GPS coordinates that led agents to his home," Costa wrote.

"There is no basis for divvying up the image Post uploaded into portions that are now public and portions in which he retains a privacy interest," Costa wrote.

Tim Henning, ASACP's executive director, told XBIZ that he agreed with the judge's decision in the case.

"Firstly, once an image or video is uploaded to the Internet for public consumption, clearly there is little to no expectation of privacy," he said. "Secondly, not only does the image in this case depict a crime — the creation, transmission and publication of the image are also crimes. There should be no expectation of privacy while committing crimes.

"Thirdly, the technology of GPS tagging of images, also known as geotagging, on smartphones has been in use for years and can be turned off. Further, geotagging information embedded in an image can also be removed. The fact that the individual in question did not realize this is pure ingnorance.

"Thankfully, as in this case, at least some pedophiles are not very bright."

More ways to get XBIZ News:  RSS Feeds  |  E-Newsletters  |  Desktop Widget  |  Mobile
Looking for porn star news and behind-the-scene videos? Check out XFANZ.com !


Porn ‘Public Health Crisis’ Is False, Dangerous

We are witnessing the early stages of a moral panic, the likes of which we have not seen since the Reagan Administration. As I write this, there are 27 states in the process of passing mandatory porn... More »

The Skinny on the New DMCA Requirement

The requirements under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) have changed, but the sky is not falling. We have, even as a law firm, been hit with an unbelievable amount of spam sent out by law firms... More »

2017 Outlook: Legal Matters Around the Corner

The adult entertainment business’ legal community recently weighed in the top issues that companies and the industry, as a whole, should be concerned about. XBIZ asked industry attorneys to discuss... More »
Stay informed of the latest industry developments. Get XBIZ newsletters delivered to your inbox. Subscribe today!
Enter email address:

* To manage existing subscriptions click here.

Submit your press release to
multiple news outlets with 1 click.
Subscribe to RSS news feeds or
add free content to your website.
Access XBIZ news and articles
with your mobile device.
Access the latest issues of the industry's leading trade publications in digital form. View online or download for offline viewing.


XBIZ.net Paysite Meetup

May 04 - May 04
Prague, Czech Republic

Eurowebtainment 2017

May 17 - May 20
Majorca, Spain

XBIZ Retreat

May 30 - Jun 03
Miami, Florida

XBIZ Miami 2017

May 30 - Jun 02
Miami, Florida
Everyday thousands of business professionals browse XBIZ's industry directory for quality products and services. Not listed yet? Your company could be losing potential new business. Submit your company today!
Use XBIZ RSS feeds to stay informed of the latest industry developments or as a content syndication tool for your website!