This should come as no surprise to those who have followed my previous reports concerning the FBI’s using a website to distribute child porn in violation of federal law while hypocritically prosecuting those who went to the site to obtain the child porn they were disseminating.
However, it’s now being reported that a major international police operation to entrap child predators involved a deep dark website that was secretly run by police.
The report comes from VG, which reports that a police sting involved undercover officers sharing extremely disturbing content and encouraging followers to engage in sexual acts with children.
Still, police say it was worth it to not only break the law, but to subject members of their own force to child porn corruption.
Both men stiffen as VG confronts them.
– Go ahead and publish what you know about us now, if you think it’s true, but be prepared for the consequences, says Jon.
Next to him in a Brisbane hamburger pub sits Paul.
VG has just told them what we’ve uncovered: that they run the world’s largest online forum for child sexual exploitation, “Childs Play”.
Jon, the Australian, turns pale. Paul, who is British, flushes crimson.
It is January 2017. At this point the two have been running the Childs Play website for three months. Under their supervision, thousands of members have shared photos and videos of children being sexually abused. A Norwegian member boasted of abusing children in his own family. Some members got together in person to commit abuse, which they filmed and shared on the forum.
It’s understandable that Jon and Paul look shocked. Finding them was thought to be impossible. The website they operate is on the so-called “dark web”. Encryption was supposed to keep the whereabouts of the server and the people behind it secret. VG has uncovered not only wherebut also from which computer the forum was run.
Jon and Paul’s cover is blown. They are not criminals. They work for the Australian police’s spearhead into the dark web: Task Force Argos. Jon Rouse heads the unit. Investigator Paul Griffiths has been in charge of numerous operations. VG can now reveal that Task Force Argos infiltrated the realm of child abusers inside the dark web for almost a year – and that the police unit itself shared photos of children being sexually abused.
I ask you, are the police justified in breaking the law to enforce the law?
Christians, is it really permissible to violate the law in order to enforce it? Really?
How can someone testify in a court of law in which they seek to prosecute individuals for the same crimes they are committing themselves, and many times over?
The story by VG is utterly amazing as it points out the very things I have sought to point out and that is that entrapment is a violation of law by those who are supposed to be upholding law.
And this isn’t just some run of the mill child porn site. No, it’s the world’s largest child sexual abuse forums.
Benjamin Faulkner and Patrick Falte started the site.
Faulkner, grew up in North Bay, Ontario and he taught swimming in his spare time and played the trumpet in a band, but spent a lot of time online.
Patrick Falte grew up outside the country music capital of Nashville in the U.S. state of Tennessee. He lived with his parents in a gated community near a busy motorway interchange. In college, according to his father, he dreamed of going to work for the FBI to fight hackers.
Isn’t that interesting?
VG reported that according to court documents, even as a 12-year-old, Falte had sexual urges towards children younger than himself rather than towards other teens.
Both men studied what interested them most: IT security.
Both were sexually attracted to children.
Both were active in the dark web as early as 2011.
On Friday, 15 April 2016, the web site “Childs Play” saw the light of day on the dark web. A lone administrator was in charge of the site, with an entourage of moderators. The administrator called himself WarHead.
No one realized that it was Faulkner, known elsewhere on the web as CuriousVendetta.
«With the security scares brought about recently […] and the general lack of good forums anymore, I decided to bring Childs Play to the community. The goal of Childs Play is to provide a simple free access forum to the community, while simultaneously allowing a safe and secure place to talk and just be ourselves».WarHead received an overwhelming response. Suggestions poured in with ways to make the website better and safer for members. One was to have a subsection featuring the torture of children.
Zero Hedge adds:
But police did infiltrate the community and took it over, partly due to mistakes made by the administrators. The forum transacted in Bitcoin – common for the dark web – but Crazymonk had his bitcoin wallet linked to his personal email address, making it easy for the US Department of Homeland Security to locate him. Other mistakes which helped police included both site leaders posting identifying information in various on the open web which helped investigators build profiles for the two. From there police not only began monitoring the pair – even installing tracking devices on their vehicles – but were also able to observe all communications and postings on the site through a backdoor. It was soon understood that the two would occasionally drive for over 10 hours to meet multiple times a year. After months of monitoring, the two met in person at a usual spot in Manassas, Virginia, where one of Childs Play’s users had regularly offered the men his 4-year old daughter to rape while being video taped.
It was in Manassas that US federal agents finally made the arrest, but only after the 4-year old had already been raped in a Virginia home. Authorities told VG that they had no way of knowing of the rape beforehand, citing online messaging as not indicative of that information. The video tape would later be used to convict Faulkner and Falte, who were given life sentences for both the rape and running the site. After the arrests, the Australian task force, known as Argos, then moved in to assume the identities of the arrested site administrators. Investigators studied the pair’s online language styles and characteristics, eventually posting an admin message so that users wouldn’t get suspicious, which of course required the child pornography image stamp.
The site’s server was located in Australia, which was important to the international investigation as Australian law gives police broad leeway to commit crimes in pursuit of investigations, especially in relation to catching child pornographers. Task force Argo’s officers not only uploaded the image, thereby convincing subscribers that nothing was wrong, but according to VG issued the following message to the community:
“I hope that some of you were able to give a special present to the little ones in your lives, and spend some time with them. It’s a great time of year to snuggle up near a fire, and make some memories.”
Police, while running the site, also continued to share images and videos while undergoing their year-long investigation which identified numerous video producers as well as consumers of the content. For example the task force posted a video of an eight-year-old girl being raped only two weeks after taking over the forum, which was viewed 770,617 times, according to the report. Such extreme police tactics, which authorities argue was necessary to rescue victims and put predators behind bars, have outraged some of the victims’ families.
VG reporters were able to speak to a mother of one the victims whose video was used by police as part of the operation: “My daughter should not be used as a bait… It is not right for the police to promote these images,” she said. But police investigators told VG in response to criticism that, “There is definitely a balance between what we want to achieve and how we go about it.” And added, “Eventually we get to the point where it isn’t worth running the forum any more. But as long as we’re identifying victims, producers and abusers, we will keep running it.”
Now, if you are a person that seeks to justify this behavior by police, you may say something like, “Well, they got the bad guys,” but I ask you, are the police not bad guys too for exploiting these children and, as the mother above says, using her daughter “as bait”?
Think about that. Think about the corrupt nature that says that the ends justify the means. That is what this is all about and every officer involved, including those pictured above, should not be hailed as heroes, but as criminals, the same as those they apprehended and sought to prosecute.