State v. Gerard, ___ N.C. App. ___, 790 S.E.2d 592 (Sept. 20, 2016)

In this sexual exploitation of a minor case, the information contained in an officer’s affidavit was sufficient to provide probable cause for issuance of a search warrant for child pornography. In this case, an officer and certified computer forensic examiner identified child pornography through the use of a SHA1 algorithm; the officer downloaded and reviewed some of the images and compared SHA1 values to confirm that the files were child pornography. Although less detailed than the officer’s testimony at the hearing, the affidavit went into technical detail regarding law enforcement methods and software used to identify and track transmissions of child pornography over the Internet. The court rejected the defendant’s argument that the affidavit’s identification of alleged pornographic images as known child pornography based upon computer information was insufficient and that the pictures themselves must be provided with the affidavit.