International child pornography exchange via news groups smashed
In a global campaign, prosecutors from the UK, Germany, Australia, Canada and the US have exposed producers and distributors of child pornography. According to the German Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA), searches and detentions were carried out last Friday on three continents. One international ring, consisting of about 50 members, has been accused of having produced, acquired and exchanged large numbers of child pornography images, videos and texts since 2005. The investigations took 13 months.
The perpetrators are said to have used "various internet newsgroups" for concealing their illegal actions and are said to have "communicated exclusively using varying encryption techniques". In Germany, the German Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA) is said to be proceeding with an investigation against four German and one Thai citizen on behalf of Frankfurt am Main prosecutors. The defendants are said to be between 22 and 66 years old.
The report says that, with one exception, the searches carried out in Schleswig-Holstein, Baden-Wuerttemberg, Bavaria, Saxony-Anhalt, and Thuringia all resulted in the discovery of important evidence. Officers seized large amounts of data, including alleged child pornography images and videos. The volume of data seized in one case alone was reported to be three terabytes. US authorities apprehended 14 suspects, while a further two each were apprehended in the UK and in Australia.