Bitcoin
(Photo : Pete Linforth | Pixabay) A massive child pornography website was taken down thanks to Bitcoin surveillance. It is a reminder to criminals that their Bitcoin transactions are not foolproof.

Officials arrested a South Korean national who was running a massive child pornography website funded by Bitcoin. According to authorities, the arrests show the United States’ intolerance for child exploitation, no matter how sophisticated or advanced the technology the perpetrators use.

Child Pornography Website Busted

South Korean National Jong Woo Son was indicted by a federal grand jury for operating Welcome to Video, the largest darknet child pornography website by volume of content. Apart from 23-year-old Jong Woo Son who is currently serving his sentence in South Korea, 337 users of the website from the United States as well as the United Kingdom, South Korea, Germany, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Canada, Czech Republic, Spain, Ireland, Australia, and Brazil were also arrested and charged.

The entire operation led to the search of residences and businesses of 92 individuals in the United States, two of whom committed suicide subsequent to the execution of the search warrants. Fortunately, the operations also led to the rescue of 23 minors residing in the United States, Spain, and the United Kingdom who were being abused for the website.

‘Lawless Online Spaces’

“This Administration will not allow child predators to use lawless online spaces as a shield,” said Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division. Evidently, the website was the first of its kind to monetize child pornography using Bitcoin, and analysis of the server reveals over 1 million bitcoin addresses, suggesting that the website could host at least 1 million users.

“Sadly, advances in technology have enabled child predators to hide behind the dark web and cryptocurrency to further their criminal activity,” said Homeland Security Investigations Acting Executive Associate Director Alysa Erichs. “However, today’s indictment sends a strong message to criminals that no matter how sophisticated the technology or how widespread the network, child exploitation will not be tolerated in the United States."

Authorities have also shared the data they gathered with law enforcement in 38 other countries so that they can assist in prosecuting customers of the site.

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