FBI search and seizes ‘Free Keene’ house

Residents of local activist group’s face allegations of distribution and posession of child pornography

Ian Freeman said his home became a target.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation officials searched and seized a local Keene address, with intent to find the distribution and possession of child pornography.

The house was 7375 Leverett Street, and is owned by Shire Free Church Monadnock, according to The Sentinel. It is home to multiple members of the Free Keene libertarian-leaning activist group.

T.J. Park is another resident of Leverett Street, and also the co-host on their group’s radio show Free Talk Keene. “In about 2014 someone started a child pornography website on a dot-onion tore website,” Park said.

The onion router is a network of volunteer computers that allow hidden websites to be run, and it allows people to access darknet websites and allows people to browse the internet anonymously.

Contributed Photo / TJ Park

Contributed Photo / TJ Park

Park said, “Someone was running a child pornography website here, called Play Pe   n. In 2015, the FBI seized that website and, rather than shutting it down, they decided to continue serving child pornography, and they installed a backdoor in the flash plug-ins. What that would do to the website is it would put a piece of Trojan software on the computer, and would capture their Mac address, their user I.D., the host I.D., the operating system I.D., and it would also ping the servers back in Newington, Virginia, and that is how Ian [Freeman] got targeting with this federal investigation.”

Park said Freeman became the primary target because he is the one who owns the internet service, and the computer that accessed it got traced back to it.

The local activist said he believes there are 50 to 100 people that have access to their wireless network. He said, “So from best we can tell, somebody with a laptop accessed this website and reported back to the FBI that it was located or being accessed from the LRN wireless network.”

The FBI seized over 46 pieces of media. “They were greeted without incidents; they were very professional and the search lasted about four hours. It was all basically storage devices – cameras,” Park said.

Freeman added, “And any SD cards, flash drives, anything that can hold a picture.”

No one was arrested at this time, according to The Sentinel. “They’re going to take the media to a forensics lab at the FBI. They’re going to search all of our devices looking for evidence of child pornography. If they find anything then they will go to a grand jury and come back with an arrest warrant, and that’ll take about a year,” Park said.

“We feel confident that the FBI isn’t going to plant evidence; they’re going to find that Ian’s innocent,” Park said.

Freeman, however, is not as confident in the FBI’s investigation.

“I’m not as confident as that,” Freeman said. “The worst thing about this is the whole waiting and not knowing what’s going to happen, and we have seen the FBI do some pretty shifty things in the past.”

The Code of Laws of the United States of America contains 52 titles. Park said they could come back with charges related to “any number of things.” He said, “The United States codebook is over a hundred thousand pages, so everybody can be charged with something. But, the one thing they’re not going to find is child pornography.”

Shelby Iava can be contacted at siava@kscequinox.com

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