Largest Child Porn Ring Busted

Largest Child Porn Ring Busted

U.S. federal agents broke open what is being called the largest and one of the most complex international child pornography rings ever built. Over 1000 people traded over 1 million sexual images of children through a social networking website for pedophiles. It's a huge victory for the feds and the thousands of children who were being constantly exploited in those images, but it's also an indication of just how serious the problem of child pornography is.
The ring was centered around a secure, password-protected website, which members had to sign up and pay to access. There, they could access sexual images of children, talk to each other about fantasies and children they had molested, and share tips on how to find child pornography and avoid getting caught by the police. But the website was more complex than just that; it created a hierarchy among its members. Only the top, most trusted members had access to the full collection of images over one million. The images were organized in a multi-layered file system, so users could search of browse by gender, age, or sex acts depicted.

So far, at least 26 of the members have been arrested, and 16 of the victims have been identified. But investigators certainly have a lot of work ahead of them, to find both the perpetrators and victims of this international operation. The alleged ringleader of this enterprise is Delwin Savigar, who is currently serving a 14-year prison term in the U.K. for sexually assaulting three little girls. But he is only one of many. There were over 1000 members of this website at its peak, and around 500 when it was broken open.

This case is perhaps one of the most compelling examples of how the internet is a child pornographer's best friend. In the late 1980s, child pornography had almost been eradicated in the U.S., due to heavy screening in the post office and assistance from film developers. But in the age of digital cameras and video cameras, and where setting up and running a successful social networking site is so easy, you can do it from prison, child pornography has flourished. The Internet may be providing the way for these men to access child porn, but the more serious problem is that so many of them have the will to do it. And you know what they say about the relationship between the "will" and the "way."

The intricacy of this system proves that child pornographers are willful, resourceful, and smart. But thankfully, in this case, the federal agents on their tails were even smarter.



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