Elusive file sharing program found in Preston child pornography case

When state police went to the home of a 31-year-old Preston man last year with a search-and-seizure warrant for child pornography, Matthew Nylen was sitting in front of his laptop computer.

The computer contained two icons for peer-to-peer file sharing programs, one of which has "presented major obstacles to the law enforcement community," according to an arrest warrant affidavit prepared by state police Detective Michael Hoagland.

The computer also contained an estimated 666 images of child pornography, the warrant says.

Nylen, of 51 Miller Road, was charged last month with obscenity, promoting a minor in an obscene performance, importing child pornography and possession of child pornography. He was freed on a written promise to appear in court and is due for presentment today in the New London court where major crimes are tried.

According to the warrant, detectives from the state police Computer Crimes and Electronic Evidence Unit were searching in November 2010 for images of child pornography using a file-sharing network called Gnutella. They made a connection to the IP address at the Nylen home and noted that the 158 video files that had been shared from the address had names known by law enforcement to contain child pornography.

When detectives from Troop E and the computer crimes unit went to Nylen's home with the search warrant on April 28, 2011, they determined that one of the peer-to-peer file-sharing programs, which they refer to as "Program X," has eluded law enforcement and allowed members to trade child porn with ease.

The program operates on an invitation-only basis to subscribers and is password-protected. Once accepted into the file-sharing network, individuals are provided passwords of other account numbers and are able to freely share pornography, according to the warrant.

Nylen permitted the detectives to access the program from his laptop and assume his "Program X" account identity. They then obtained the identity of the program and changed the password to limit any future sharing of the child pornography, according to the warrant.

k.florin@theday.com

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