‘Possession of child pornography’ falls under the category of criminal offenses that involve the sexual exploitation of minors. Individuals can face criminal charges if they have images or videos depicting child pornography in their possession. Furthermore, it is illegal to possess any type of visual picture that portrays minors involved in exploitive exhibition or sexual acts.
As the Internet and computer technology continue to advance, so has the prevalence and accessibility of online child pornography. Authorities have increased their awareness of Internet sex crimes and have started to utilize new investigation techniques to catch child predators in online chat rooms and peer-to-peer file sharing networks. They can also confiscate computer hard drives to check for evidence. Any evidence can then be used to file charges against a suspect for possession of child pornography. However, this can be problematic for individuals who were unaware that they were in possession of child pornography. If a virus or another person downloaded the illegal images or videos onto the computer, the defendant will need to show evidence of their innocence.