Sex Crimes, Sex Offenders Can you get into trouble for visiting an adult site with user-generated content like motherless?

Jim189

New Member
Jurisdiction
Ontario
I am a 21 years old male from Ontario, Canada. A couple of years ago, I discovered the adult site "motherless.com" from a forum listing the best sites to find amateur porn. The website appears to be quite popular (ranked 152nd most popular website in the USA with 228M monthly USA visits and 10M monthly Canadian visits). Since then, I visited the site roughly 20 times. I was not aware of the reputation of the site until a few weeks ago. At a first glance, the site appeared like a normal porn site with less curated content / more amateur content. The site is presented as a "moral free website where anything legal is hosted". It does contain a page with an 18 USC 2257 statement stating that any model appearing on the website was at least 18 years old at the moment of the content creation. A page with their terms and conditions also clearly states that any person uploading illegal content such as CP and beastiality will be reported to authorities. Users uploading content must also confirm the legality of the uploaded content.

When visiting the site, I often found myself on the most popular group and gallery pages, some of which including teen porn. When browsing through the group images and videos, you often don't really know what you are going to get/see, since it's a melting pot of content submitted by many different users. The images/videos are presented in paginated lists/pages in medium-sized thumbnails. Most of the time, the content appeared to be legal (reasonable to believe the person was aged 18+), but there were sometimes "questionable" content posted in these groups. On a couple of occasions, I remember noticing the content being taken down not so long after being posted. I technically viewed that content even though I did not use a search term or clicked on a link that suggested that such content would be shown. I also sometimes came across "very questionable" pictures of girls in bikinis/underwears, but I do not believe these clasify as pornographic material and are technically not illegal to view. I never downloaded, shared, uploaded material from/on the website, and I do not have an account on there.

A few weeks ago, a person on Reddit asked if the website motherless.com was safe to visit. By safe, I assumed he meant that it did not contain any illegal contents. This prompted me to google the term "arrested motherless" and I was pretty shocked and disturbed by what I found. Dozens of cases, including recent ones, of individual arrested for sharing / downloading content from that specific website, court documents stating that motherless was known for hosting CP, statements from law enforcement officers mentioning that the site was a known place for people seeking CP, etc. I also read about several court cases with "sting" operations involving the website. I even wonder if this website is simply a big honey pot for pedos. Following this discovery, I have been avoiding visiting the web page, but find myself struggling with severe anxiety, remorse and the fear of getting arrested.

From a technical standpoint, the website is encrypted with HTTPS, meaning that my ISP can tell I have accessed the domain (through the DNS queries), but not the exact URL of the visited pages nor their content. However, the service provider (motherless web server) most likely logs all user activities and this information could be obtain with a warrant, or could be directly transmitted to law enforcement. I am not aware if any advanced techniques exist for montoring encrypted traffic and if deep packet inspection could be used in that case?

I was wondering if anyone with a legal and/or law enforcement background could answer any of the following questions:

1) Assuming an individual is arrested for accessing CP, can the website 18 USC 2257 statement, terms and conditions be used as a valid defense for not "knowingly" seeking CP? What if a judge determines that any reasonable individual would know that the person in the picture(s) is not aged 18+?

2) What is the current reputation of the website motherless.com and was it worse in the past?

3) Based on the nature of the website, the frequency of my visits and the type of material seeked (teen porn), could I potentially be charged for knowlingly accessing CP? How often are individual charges with such offense, assuming no possession (downloading) and distribution (sharing)?

4) I read about individuals being put on a "list" when visiting certain websites. Do you think motherless classify as such websites and what happens when you are put on the list? Is there extra monitoring being performed on your web activity?

5) Can visiting such website allow law enforcement to get a warrant to search your cell phone, computer, raid your home, or are they mostly focussing or individuals who download and share such content?
 
This is primarily a US website and the laws of the US and Canada are not the same; in fact, in some areas they are very different indeed. We have one, and only one, expert in Canadian law here and she doesn't post often, though I will tag her. You may want to look for a Canadian forum in the event that you can't get an answer here.

@eerelations
 
I am a 21 years old male from Ontario, Canada. A couple of years ago, I discovered the adult site "motherless.com" from a forum listing the best sites to find amateur porn.

You are being paranoid over something that is completely under your control. If you have an intent to do something that might be illegal, then you may have something to worry about.

Simple solution is to stop frequenting websites that possibly contain inappropriate or illegal content and you won't have anything to worry about.
 
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