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Australian victims in massive US child porn ring

June 20, 2014 · 

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Date
March 19, 2014

Washington: A massive international online child pornography ring,usa
with links to victims in Australia and New Zealand, has been
dismantled in the US.

US authorities say it is one of the largest such operations ever
uncovered, and that they had arrested and charged 14 suspects in the
secret, members-only online network, which had more than 27,000
subscribers.

The website’s juvenile victims, who numbered more than 250, reside in
five foreign countries and 39 US states, officials said.

Authorities said the victims, were, for the most part, boys between
the ages of 10 and 17.
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Among the countries where victims were found are Australia, New
Zealand, Great Britain, Canada and Belgium.

The organisation is “one of the largest known online child
exploitation operations in history”, Department of Homeland Security
chief Jeh Johnson told reporters on Tuesday.

Among the suspects taken into custody was Jonathan Johnson, 27, the
administrator of the website, which operated out the southern US
state of Louisiana.

If convicted, Mr Johnson faces 20 years to life in prison, said
Kenneth Allen Polite, US Attorney for the Eastern District of
Louisiana.

“These indictments represent a strong coordinated strike … against
child pornography and those who allegedly seek to harm our most
vulnerable citizens, our young children,” Polite said.

The illicit website operated on a hidden service board on the Tor
network from about June 2012 until June 2013, when Mr Johnson was
arrested.

The Tor network is set up to conceal user’s location, making it
possible to maintain online anonymity.

Authorities said at the time it was dismantled, the illegal website
contained more than 2000 shared webcam-captured videos of mostly
juvenile boys enticed by the website’s operators to produce sexually
explicit material.

The investigation, which officials said is continuing, was carried
out by DHS and the cybercrime unit of Immigration and Customs
Enforcement, and the US Postal Inspection Services.

AFP

http://www.smh.com.au/world/australian-victims-in-massive-us-child-porn-ring-20140319-hvk99.html

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