A drawing made by “Aurora”, a victim of child sexual abuse interviewed by VG. Image © VG.
A million images of child sexual abuse are currently circulating on the Internet, and 200 new images appear every day.
Victims portrayed in the images are getting younger and younger and the images are becoming more graphic and more violent
A team of journalists uncovers data on 95, 000 men around the world who like to spend their free time watching videos of toddlers and children being brutally sexually abused, it’s a pretty big deal. And that is exactly what happened in early October, when Norwegian newspaper published a story titled “” –the downloaders.
The rise of file-sharing has been nothing short of providential for pedophiles. Some file-sharing platforms keep publicly-available logs of downloads. VG’s team downloaded these logs, which contained information on 36 million downloads, from file names and dates of download, to usernames, email addresses and IPs.
Indeed, VG describes the downloaders as “”. Some of them are students, others hold high-ranking jobs in the healthcare industry. Some are IT specialists, others are artists. Many work with children, as youth leaders in religious organizations, sports coaches, or healthcare workers. While VG’s downloaders are all men, some of the downloaded material featured women abusing children – sometimes their own.
Individuals searching for child abuse materials lurk on dark-web forums, looking for file links and passwords. They shop for videos and images based on descriptions provided on these forums. “”, writes VG: “”. One video, depicting the abuse of a 7-year-old girl, ends with the mention “”.
They are TOR’s hidden services, populated by: 1) journalists, whistleblowers, and people rightfully concerned with their privacy, 2) people looking to buy drugs, 3) people looking to buy weapons, and 4) people looking to buy child pornography. Nowadays, however, this last category clearly dominates the others: last winter, Wired reported that over 80% of visits to the dark web were related to paedophilia.
Carefully-phrased, reassuringly neutral, it tells visitors that their IP address will not be recorded, and that their information will not be used to identify them. On its first day, the page received 7, 000 hits. “”, notes Einar Stangvik.
It is all the more urgent to find and help these victims that, in the words of the ICMEC, “In the US,