Justice Department announces takedown of the 'largest' Darknet child pornography site

18 Octobre, 2019, 09:26 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • Justice Department announces takedown of the 'largest' Darknet child pornography site

Six of those people were right here in MA.

The US Justice Department has announced the seizure of one of the world's largest child abuse websites.

On Wednesday Son was charged with nine counts in the United States relating to him running the website.

The Welcome To Video website has been seized and taken down.

The vital intelligence behind the successful operation was generated by technology which enabled investigators to trace Bitcoin payments made by users of the site - each of whom had a unique cryptocurrency address assigned on registering an account, in order to buy videos. Son has also been charged and convicted in South Korea and is now in custody, serving his sentence in South Korea.

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children is now pouring over the images to identify victims.

The website relied on bitcoin cryptocurrency to sell access to 250,000 videos depicting child sexual abuse, including footage of extremely young children being raped, authorities said.

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U.S. federal prosecutors have indicted 23-year-old Jong Woo Son of South Korea for operating a child sexual abuse site called Welcome To Video. According to a DOJ press release, the site is "the first of its kind to monetize child exploitation videos using Bitcoin".

An analysis of a server, seized by South Korean authorities, revealed that the website had more than one million bitcoin addresses, signifying that the website had a capacity for at least one million users, Dawn newspaper reported.

Nikki Holland, NCA director of investigations, said: "Dark web child sex offenders - some of whom are the very worst offenders - can not hide from law enforcement". The 337 people arrested in the case are from 38 countries.

The United States issued a warrant for Son's arrest in February 2018.

According to the report, the operation led to the rescue of at least 23 minor victims residing in the United States, Spain and the United Kingdom, who were being actively abused by the users of the site.

Moreover, two users of the Welcome to Video dark market site committed suicide following the execution of search warrants. There were 24 individuals in five countries using the virtual currency to fund the website.

US Assistant Attorney General Brian A Benczkowski has condemned such cases of child abuse as "the most vile and reprehensible forms of criminal behaviour". "This Administration will not allow child predators to use lawless online spaces as a shield".

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