United States v. Romm

455 F.3d 990 (9th Cir. 2006)


From January 23, 2004, to February 1, 2004, D attended a training seminar held by his new employer in Las Vegas, Nevada. When the training seminar ended on February 1, 2004, Romm flew from Las Vegas, Nevada to Kelowna, British Columbia on business. While in Vegas, D connected to the internet from a Las Vegas hotel room and visited websites containing images of child pornography. D viewed the images online and enlarged them on his screen. His computer automatically saved copies of the images to his 'internet cache.' Based on 40 images deleted from his internet cache and two images deleted from another part of his hard drive, D was convicted of knowingly receiving and knowingly possessing child pornography. Canada's Border Services Agency discovered that D had a criminal history and stopped him for questioning. They saw several child pornography websites in D's 'internet history,' and turned him over to US authorities. Romm described to the agents how he used Google to search for child pornography websites. When he found pictures he liked, D would keep them on his screen for five minutes and then delete them. P presented 42 images of child pornography recovered from D's hard drive. D's expert witness, Keller, testified how the internet cache is 'system-protected.' According to Keller, 'system-protection' blocks any user from accessing the cache, except by means of 'system-commands.' If, however, the user executes a system-command notwithstanding the computer's warning, he can copy the cached image to another location on the hard drive or view the image by copying it into an open program. Keller also testified that people delete their internet history and internet cache for legitimate reasons. Keller testified he found no evidence Romm ever went into the internet cache, or accessed the files there. D was convicted and challenged the sufficiency of the evidence that he committed the acts of 'possessing' and 'receiving' child pornography.