Professor of porn or victim of adware?

Teacher faces 40 years in jail for exposing kids to porn. She says computer was infected with adware and she didn't know how to stop it.

In a case that has generated world-wide buzz, a substitute teacher in Connecticut has been convicted of exposing students to pornography on a classroom computer, reports eSchool News.

Julie Amero's attorneys argued that the computer was infected with graphic pop-up images generated by spyware and adware, and that she had little control over what came up on the screen.

Amero stated that she has little knowledge of computers and even less about porn, and that she tried to shield the children from the monitor, but some children testified that they saw people performing sex-acts on the screen.

Amero faces possible jail time of up to 40 years for exposing students to pornographic images on her classroom computer in a case that has chilling implications for educators nationwide.

"I'm scared," the 40-year-old Amero said. "I'm just beside myself over something I didn't do."

Prosecutor David Smith contended at Amero's three-day trial that she actually clicked on graphic web sites.

"So many kids noticed this going on," said Mark Steinmetz, who served on Amero's jury. "It was truly uncalled for. I would not want my child in her classroom. All she had to do was throw a coat over [the computer] or unplug it. We figured even if there were pop-ups, would you sit there?"

Principal Scott Fain admitted that the computer lacked the latest firewall protection because a vendor's bill had gone unpaid.

"What is extraordinary is the prosecution admitted there was no search made for spyware--an incredible blunder akin to not checking for fingerprints at a crime scene," Alex Eckelberry, president of a Florida software company, wrote recently in the local newspaper. "When a pop-up occurs on a computer, it will get shown as a visited web site, and no 'physical click' is necessary."

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