We are all familiar with computers and how they work. We use it on a daily basis we have learned a lot of tricks in navigating the web. But as ordinary people, there are still many things we do not know about the Internet. Aside from the web that we navigate each day, there is the dark web that is home to all sorts of criminals on the planet.
There is nothing as loathsome as child pornography. Imagine taking advantage of a vulnerable child and taking away their innocence because of a pedophile’s selfish sexual desires. Kids should be allowed to be kids and play to their heart’s content. But today, many pedophiles lurk in the dark corners of the web where children from all over the world are exploited by these heartless creatures.
The illegal trade in children being raped and violently abused is at “a level of epidemic proportions” according to an internal Canadian government memo obtained last summer by The Canadian Press.
It was the fourth major statement by North American senior government staff warning of a crisis that too few in the media seem prepared to recognize much less report on.
— In 2015, FBI Assistant Director Joseph Campbell announced, in an interview with the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), there is an epidemic of child sex trafficking and pedophilia sweeping America.
— At a June press conference, Special Agent John Reynolds with U.S. Department of Homeland Security said “the incidence of child sexual exploitation has reached staggering proportions.”
— Last May, then director of the Pentagon’s Defense Security Service, Daniel Payne told reporters the “amount of child porn” on government computers is just “unbelievable.”
Horrifying as it may sound, it can actually get worse.
The United States may be producing and distributing an estimated half of the world’s child rape and torture videos and images. According to Europol, the Europe-wide police investigative agency, half of all servers distributing child sex abuse are located in the U.S.
In the first quarter of 2014 alone, there were some 2,048 sites in the U.S. trading in child rape and torture. In 2015, Europol reported that U.S. child sex abuse sites increased from 516 to 2,617 — far greater than any other country.
None of this was covered by U.S. media outlets.
And we used to think that only children from third world countries are exploited in child pornography. When many of us thought that the U.S. protects the rights of young children, we are actually home to thousands of pedophiles that continue to exploit children sexually on the dark web. But thankfully, the government is doing something about it.
When the FBI searched Andrew Workman’s computer they say they found pornographic videos of girls as young as 3 years old. A federal judge in Colorado ruled this month that the computer hack that helped the bureau uncover the videos should never have been allowed.
Why? Because the search warrant permitting the hack was issued by a magistrate judge in Virginia — outside the judicial district in which Workman lived — and in an apparent violation of federal criminal rules.
But a shift in federal rules set to go into effect in December says that a judge in one district can approve a warrant to hack computers outside that district in cases where the computers’ location is shielded.
The change would aid the government in its sweeping national investigation into child porn on the “dark Web,” a universe of sites that are off Google’s radar, where pedophiles using special technology can operate in anonymity.
The government contends that the change — which was approved by the Supreme Court in April and will go forward unless Congress opposes it — is necessary to clear up a loophole created by technology. Because investigators cannot know in advance where a target computer is physically located if a suspect is using tools to mask his or her location, it is impossible to seek a search warrant in the district in which the target is located, officials say. They add that the change does not create any new authority, and would still require a showing of probable cause before a warrant is issued.
The problem with child pornography on the dark web has been around for ages and continues to persist until today. While the government makes an effort to catch these criminals and save one child at a time, they are growing at an alarming rate as technology advances.
If technology has a dark side, this would definitely be it. You’d be appalled to learn that in many developing countries, even the parents of these children sell them to pedophiles for a set price where they perform vulgar and disturbing sexual acts in front of the webcam. Until the authorities manage to wipe out all pedophiles and other criminals on the dark web, they will continue to be a threat to everyone especially now that everything is becoming digital and kids as young as toddlers have open access to tablets and smartphones.