The Fresno County Library is working to better secure its internet network after a man allegedly used it to download child pornography.
The suspect is 59-year old Victor Smith. Investigators say he is a homeless man who used a personal laptop computer to capture the child porn files.
Smith is accused of using the free Wi-Fi connection at the downtown Fresno library to conduct this illegal activity.
Two weeks ago, detectives noticed a suspicious file share program running through an IP address at the main library. On Tuesday, that’s where they tracked down Smith in a compromising position.
“He was downloading porn at the time they contacted him. But he was seated in such a way people could not see what was on his computer and he could look up directly at the children in the Children's Center,” said Chris Curtice of the Fresno Co. Sheriff’s Dept.
Smith lived near the homeless encampment off Santa Clara and E Street in downtown Fresno. Detectives searched his shed there and seized more damaging evidence.
As for the library, it has internet filters in place, but they cannot stop all obscene material from getting through.
“For example, if someone sends an image through an email we can't stop that unless we block all email. Of course that would be doing our customers a huge disservice, so we don't do that,” said Laurel Prysiazny, Fresno Co. Librarian.
In June, Google vowed to remove child pornography from the internet using Hashing-technology. Hashing means each image is branded with a web fingerprint so that it can be identified and eliminated.
“They (Google) have a lot of money to make things better for law enforcement to combat crime. So anything you can do to make the lives of children better, we’re all for it,” said Deputy Curtice.
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