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Internet child-porn ring charged

Cops and ISPs bust kid-porn geeks

A ring of porn peddlers, busted last month, has been charged with distributing indecent images of children.

The seven British members of the Wonderland gang, who pleaded guilty to all charges at Kingston Crown Court, await sentencing over the next month.

“This case raised many global issues around the use of the internet,” said Steve Packham, deputy director general of the National Crime Squad.

In the world’s biggest ever bust on child-porn, police recovered over 750,000 images of 1,236 individual victims.

The gang included many highly skilled computer technicians, who created complex encrypted passwords, which were regularly updated to keep police out of the site. The police therefore had to enlist the help of computer specialists to break the codes.

As a result of the case a new unit, the National Hi-Tech Crime Squad, was formed, specifically to combat paeodophilia. “[This] will hopefully prevent such crimes happening again,” said the National Crime Squad's Packham.

FMS, facial mapping software, has been developed throughout the investigation in an aim to identify the victims involved. The software allows police to scan images of the victim, and the technology will identify special features and characteristics to make a positive identification, despite any aging.

“Hopefully this will cut down on false identifications made simply by our eyes,” said Peter Spindler, Detective Superintendent at the National Crime Squad. “We have positively identified 17 victims so far.”

The National Crime squad praised ISPs for their help and support throughout the investigation. “Without them we would never have known Wonderland even existed,” said Packham.

The debate of what moral responsibility the ISPs should have over the content on their site has been highlighted by the case. “ISPs need to police themselves,” said Packham. “There is still a lot for them to do, their job is by no means over.”


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