Peer to Peer Investigation and Probable Cause


I have recently been part of a couple court cases in which the defense has sought to compel discovery from TLO. This discovery is the direct and only probable cause for the search warrants in these cases.

TLO is a company name acronym that stands for “The Last One.” This is a reference to the last planned company of Hank Asher. Mr. Asher has since passed away. TLO has been split up and sold off.

TLO had at least two parts. A commercial portion that assembled data from various sources and made it searchable. Another portion, that purchased, acquired, and produced code that was used to monitor peer to peer networks. (Gnuettella, EDonkey, and others) The commercial portion was sold to TransUnion. The portion that owned and created code related to peer to peer networks was donated to a 501c3. This 501c3 is called the Child Rescue Coalition, abbreviated as CRC.

TLOs systems retrieved data potentially identifying persons distributing contraband material on peer to peer networks, including Gnuetella and eDonkey/ eMule. Originally the information obtained from their efforts was used as intelligence for law enforcement. Later they became a single source of information used in obtaining search warrants without corroborating evidence or further investigation.

To date discovery related to CRC in criminal cases has been sparse to non-existent. This is despite CRC playing a central role in thousands of criminal prosecutions around the country.

The current motions to compel discovery are seeking to verify their programs, systems, and evidence handling as it relates to criminal cases. These cases are ongoing.

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