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giovedì 25 maggio 2017

$1bn child webcam sex rings

Peter Gerard Scully

Penetrating the pedophile networks in the darkest corners of the internet is brutal and painstaking work for those agents tasked with shutting down the rapidly growing child-porn cybersex industry.
But the knocking over of an Australian man, an alleged kingpin in livestreaming the sexual abuse of children, is a huge blow to the ugly billion-dollar business, according to Glen Hulley, a former undercover Victorian cop who now hunts pedophiles across south east Asia.

Peter Gerard Scully was arrested in February, 2015 and charged with a series of ghoulish crimes, including the murder of an 12-year-old Filipina and the torture and sexual abuse of at least eight young girls, including an 18-month-old infant.
Scully, who is still awaiting trial in the Philippines, amid clamouring for a death penalty sentence, ran a pay-per-view livestreaming service of children being tortured and sexually abused on the dark web.
The raid on 54-year-old Scully's cybersex den, located on an island in the Philippines where he has lived since fleeing fraud charges in Melbourne in 2011, allowed police to seize his prized hard drives.
Digital forensics teams trawled through the computers and have since broken into a covert web of international pedophiles, including Australians, Hulley told
Hulley said, based on shared intelligence from the FBI and AFP, that Australians are not just watching the illegal content, but "absolutely involved" in its creation, financing and extreme profits.
"The Philippines is definitely a hot spot for live streaming abuse of children," Hulley said.
"Where there is a demand, organised crime are the experts in delivering supply. Now that they are involved, these cyber dens are popping up all over the place in south east Asia."
Former Victorian cop Hulley heads Project Karma, a charitable organisation that tracks down child sex tourists from Australia and the west, and rescues children in a number of those poverty-stricken countries.
Hulley helped international law enforcement develop intelligence on Aussie ex-pat Scully, and he has worked to shut down seedy child cybersex dens in Philippines.
Webcam sex tourism is undoubtedly on the rise and the Philippines is ground zero, Hulley said.
Filipinos speak good English and the Philippines has excellent internet infrastructure. With its huge number of workers around the globe, the transfer of international currencies in and out of the country is world-class.
Add poverty to that mix – the average Filipino annual salary is just $2700 – and it is a perfect storm for the proliferation of cybersex dens across the country.
Hulley told about a raid Project Karma helped carry out on a cybersex den in Mindanao in the Philippines, where 15 children were rescued.
For more than two years, young boys and girls worked daily shifts in front of a webcam, obeying explicit instructions from sex predators from Australia and around the world.
Most of the children's parents knew what was going on, Hulley said, and many were even actively involved in the operation.
"These children, they were conditioned to turn up every day,” he said.
"It was normal behaviour to turn up, spend two hours sitting in front of a webcam ... and go home with 1000 pesos ($25) in your pocket.
"They had mobile phones, laptops and iPads, all the things that Filipino children do not have."
Hulley estimated that the syndicate was generating $5000 a day, which he said was the equivalent of an Australian earning a $100m salary.
The FBI is alarmed by the rise of online child exploitation. It estimates that, at any given moment, 750,000 child predators are online.
Earlier this month, the FBI and a Philippines special taskforce took down an American called David Deakin, 53, another cybersex kingpin.
The raid on Deakin's two-storey apartment in Mabalacat, north west of Manila, uncovered a nightmarish array of children's underwear, meth pipes, bondage-style leather collars, camera kit and movies of young boys and girls. Hulley claimed the intelligence used to snare Deakins had originated from the bust on Scully.
He predicted a significant number of arrests in the Philippines and Australia will follow over next 12 months as the result of a massive joint effort by police in Asia, the FBI and AFP since Scully's arrest.
Hulley feared the child cybersex industry is "growing rampantly" and "only going to get bigger and bigger".
It was incredibly difficult to fight against agile operations with links to corrupt officials who were prepared to warn the child pornographers that a bust was imminent, he said.
Hulley said the key to stopping the explosive growth is to tackle poverty "otherwise it will go on and on".
Project Karma, Hulley's organisation, works with local communities to generate awareness and grow jobs.
Hulley has worked closely with Senator Derryn Hinch to develop new legislation, known as Karma's Law, to ban international travel for registered child sex offenders.
That legislation, which tackles Australian registered child sex offenders travelling into south east Asia on what Hinch calls "child rape holidays", is widely expected to be passed through government over the coming months.

Poverty-stricken Philippines the tragic ground zero of ghoulish $1bn child webcam sex rings Mark Saunokonoko May 24, 2017

Online child sex abuse a "global crime pandemic": Australian experts Source: Xinhua| 2017-05-25

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Ease of access to technologies such as live streaming is increasing the production and spread of child exploitation material online.
Our report, Behind the Screen: Online Child Exploitation in Australia, brings together cases and data from international and Australian law enforcement agencies, as well as interviews with government, police and non-governmental organisations, to provide an alarming snapshot of the challenge we face.
Tens of thousands of images and video are already available online, and the problem is likely to worsen without comprehensive action.

New technologies and child exploitation

In Australia and around the world, rates of live-streamed child abuse via webcam, video footage and image capture are growing.
Figures from the Internet Watch Foundation support this trend, showing that reports of child sexual abuse imagery rose by 417% between 2013 and 2015. The Australian Federal Police received 11,000 online child exploitation reports in 2015.

Rise in child sex abuse web pages #IWFannualreport 3 aprile 2017

Technological advancements including anonymising programs such as TOR, peer to peer networking technology and the capacity for increased online file storage and sharing, has facilitated the widespread sharing and storing of harmful material.
This view was shared by a senior officer from the Queensland Police Project “Argos”, which investigates online child exploitation. He told us,
Back in the early 2000s we were dealing with kilobytes and megabytes. Now we are dealing with petabytes, mainly terabytes when we do our seizures… [T]he cheaper cost of storage whether it be cloud based or hard disk based is creating obviously, larger seizures on our front.
Responding to new technology is challenging. Online child exploitation crimes are difficult to track and measure, given the spread of more secure technologies, such as streaming services, the anonymity provided by the “dark web” and less traceable payment systems such as Bitcoin.
In the words of a senior officer with Argos,
How difficult is it? Look, if they are using TOR and they are set up and don’t make mistakes, it’s impossible. We’re reliant on some fairly innovative law enforcement techniques and them making errors… if they’re using proxies or anonymising services using encryptions and using the so-called Darknet or TOR, it would be very tough… the hidden web is very, very challenging, but you know that doesn’t mean we give up. We keep trying.

The cases of Shannon McCoole and Matthew Graham

The production and sharing of child exploitation online was key to two recent Australian criminal cases.
In 2016, Matthew Graham was sentenced to 15 years imprisonment for distributing child exploitation material.
Graham administered online websites and forums between 2012 and 2014. He shared hundreds of thousands of images, including videos of the torture and rape of a young child in the Philippines, and in one instance, encouraged the rape and murder of a child in Russia.
The United States Federal Bureau of Investigations described Graham’s network as “one of the largest and most extreme in the world”.

Paedophilia on the Dark Web A New Level of Evil 10 SETTEMBRE 2015

In 2015, Shannon McCoole was sentenced to 35 years imprisonment with charges related to his role as head administrator of a global online network with 45,000 members.

Deep Connection: darknet child pornography ring 26 ottobre 2016

The sentencing judge in the McCoole case drew attention to the challenges posed by secretive computer networks and websites created for the specific purpose of distributing exploitative material.
The network allowed communication between individuals in a secure fashion that enabled them to contact each other and share data without necessarily identifying themselves. It was highly sophisticated, elaborate, organised and controlled.
The McCoole case also showed that Australian law has not kept pace with the scale and nature of the crimes. While McCoole was based in Australia and operated the network here, our research found there are no federal legislative provisions dealing with the administration of online child exploitation material networks where the administrator is based in Australia.
In contrast, a few state jurisdictions have introduced provisions, although the effectiveness of these new laws has not been tested.

What Australia should do

Australia must confront the rapid increase of gravely exploitative material online.
We need to review the effectiveness of our existing regulatory frameworks, including those governing internet service providers, search engines and social media services.
We recommend the following steps be taken, among others:
  • Outdated industry codes must be changed. Particularly, there is a lack of clarity relating to the legal obligations of internet service providers to report child exploitation material that is hosted on their networks.
  • A peak national body with representatives from government, law enforcement agencies and other key stakeholders at state, territory and commonwealth levels should be established to review all relevant legislation.
  • The Broadcasting Services Act must be amended so instances of online child exploitation material on servers hosted in Australia are identified and investigated.
  • Sentencing outcomes for online exploitation offences should be researched to further explore the relationship between human trafficking and online child exploitation.
Offenders are routinely caught with thousands of images. A coordinated and powerful response is necessary if we are to protect children.
Anyone can report abuse or illegal activity online to the Australian Federal Police using a form available here. To report emergencies, such as a child who is in immediate danger or risk, call 000, Crimestoppers on 1800 333 000 or your local police station.
Correction: The Internet Watch Foundation has found that reports of child sexual abuse imagery rose by 417% between 2013 and 2015. This figure was originally incorrectly credited to the Australian Federal Police.

From live streaming to TOR: new technologies are worsening online child exploitation May 25, 2017 

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