Sunday, March 26, 2017

Brazilian Federal Police launches operation to tackle deep web child porn ring

Back in 2014, Brazilian Federal Police launched an operation to take down websites with child pornography on the deep web, and it managed to arrest over 100 people connect to child porn. The operation, named Darknet, is now on its second stage, still aiming to tackle distribution of illegal child pornography across the deep web.

According to Brazilian news website Globo, this Tuesday morning the police had already arrested four people, after conducting five warrants. The arrestees are allegedly part of a child porn ring that operates within the deep web.

The operation will be conducted throughout 16 out of 26 states in the country, and police still have 70 arrest warrants issued. There are 300 law enforcement agents involved in the operation.

The first stage of Operation Darknet counted on 50 law enforcement agents, and didn’t just attempt to take down an illegal child porn ring, it also helped police develop investigative methods that would allow it to take down users conducting illegal activities in the deep web in the future. As such, we can probably expect more stages of the operation in the future.

In 2014, the Federal Police also managed to save six children from abusive situations. According to reports, one of the arrestees claimed he would rape his child once she was born. Hopefully, stage two of Operation Darknet will have similar – or even better – results.

It isn’t easy for law enforcement agencies to take down deep web users, as or at least it didn’t use to be. A few years ago, only the FBI, the Australian Federal Police and Scotland Yard were successfully taking down illegal deep web services and users. Lately, we’ve seen European and Chinese law enforcement agencies do it successfully.

Developments in the war against child pornography

Due to their nature, child pornography websites are being specifically targeted by law enforcement agencies all over the world. As law enforcement agencies get tech-savvier every day, pedophiles on the darknet keep on getting taken down.

Earlier this year, the infamous dark web child porn website PlayPen was run by the FBI, as hundreds of members were arrested before the gig was up. The admin, 57-year-old Steven W. Chase, was found guilty of engaging in a child exploitation enterprise, advertising child pornography and possession of child pornography.

Just this week, hundreds of members of a darknet child porn ring that was being run by a 19-year-old sophomore student were arrested in China, as the US Department of Homeland Security notified China’s law enforcement the ring was extremely active on the darknet. The student, codenamed Sun, had more than three terabytes of pornography, out of which 400 gigabytes included underage children.

In Italy, another organized child porn ring was busted with FBI assistance. Even though only 7 people were arrested, the ring with roughly 400,000 links to child abuse material was damaged. According to the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project, this ring even imposed monthly download quotas on pedophiles so they wouldn’t get suspended.