Monday, February 24, 2014

Clandestine websites fuel 'alarming' increase in child porn

WASHINGTON — Often, as the homemade videos begin streaming across the computer screen, unwitting children appear holding homemade placards bearing the pseudonyms of the macabre films' makers.

The makeshift message boards represent claims of credit for the ghastly images that follow: children, some pleading for help, being sexually abused in torturous ways by parents, relatives or others. Among the worst: infants used as toys for the videographers' and viewers' sexual gratification.

The cache of images are among the most vile, yet valued, commodities on what is known as the "dark Web.'' It is an ever-expanding part of the Internet where Drew Oosterbaan, chief of the Justice Department's unit investigating crimes against children, says purveyors of the material have found social status based on their continued and escalating activities.  (more...)

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