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Showing obvious respect for Naughton, the judge not only waived prison time - which could have been as much as 15 years under federal law - but also said the defendant would be under no obligation to help the FBI further during his five-year probation period.The outcome has been far from obvious since Naughton, using the online pseudonym "hotseattle", first encountered FBI Special Agent Bruce Applin in a chatroom called dad&daughtersex.He did not realistically think he was talking to children (or FBI agents, for that matter).A TEACHER used a school computer to pose as an ex-pupil to gain access to teenage chat rooms where he exchanged sexual messages.
In a case that has come to symbolise the difficulty of distinguishing harmless fantasists from dangerous paedophiles on the internet, Patrick Naughton emerged from his year-long criminal prosecution with considerable dignity despite being convicted for the crime of crossing state lines with intent to have sex with a minor."one of the funniest experiments ever performed in computer science ..it is a small milestone in human history to have produced a machine that can do this." - Andrew Brown in The Darwin Wars. When I was an undergraduate in 1989 I hooked up an Artificial Intelligence "chatbot" called "MGonz" to the Internet, with interesting results.In an account of his motivations, he explained his actions were “attention seeking” and an attempt to fill a “void” in his life.He referred to difficulties at the time including the closing down of a football club he was involved in and strained family relationships.
A computer whizzkid who helped develop Sun Microsystems' Java script, Naughton was a rising star at Disney's Go network who visited child porn sites as secret relief from the stresses of his job.