Usernames and Passwords – counter, usernames are default, password could be given to anyone
In an effort to prove that the defendant is the one responsible for possessing the child pornography, the State may try to argue that “the username” was logged in when the illegal activity occurred. Of course, this assumes that there is some magic force that prevents anyone else from using that person’s username. Clearly there is not. Anyone with access to that computer could have done it. Absent a direct admission or a statement that no one else had access to the computer, the State cannot equate a username with a specific user and this issue should be highlighted in cross examination.
It gets even better for the State if the computer is password protected. Surely this proves that only the Defendant could have possessed the child pornography, right? Wrong! Again, is there some force in the universe that prevents a person from giving a password to anyone? Password is the most common password in the world so passwords can be guessed or shared with others such as friends and loved ones. Likewise, how many people keep their password on a post-it-note right by the computer? Couldn’t anyone have seen this and logged onto the computer? What is the defendant forgot to log out? Anyone could have then continued to use the computer. Clearly, this is a non issues and these arguments and other should be made strongly.