3 May

Focusing on known sites that are used for storage and distribution of child pornography, law enforcement agencies recently cracked down on those who had established peer-to-peer connections with the sites in two massive sex offense sting operations. Police involved in the sting noted that peer-to-peer file sharing sites are the most frequently used methods of accessing and distributing child pornography.

The stings took place in New Jersey and Massachusetts, but similar action by law enforcement could be right around the corner here in North Carolina. Twenty-seven arrests were made in New Jersey and 32 were made in New York. Some IP addresses were traced to out-of-state computers. That information has been passed on to the Internet Crimes Against Children task force for follow up with other state law enforcement agencies.

Using computer forensics, police were able to track down the internet protocol (IP) address of users who were downloading or sharing files containing child pornography. Law enforcement was also able to download any questionable material and determine exactly what was and wasn’t illegal child pornography.

“Using a file-sharing site is like having your child pornography collection on your front stoop,” noted a detective involved in the sting operations. “By leaving it open, you allow others to take your files. We [the police] are watching.”

Also at law enforcement’s disposal was an undercover room. From there, police were able to pose as children online to root out individuals who engage in the solicitation of a minor or other internet sex crimes.

Source: Lawrenceville Patch, “27 Arrested Statewide in Child Pornography Sting,” David Seamon, April 17, 2012