QuickLinks - Computer crime
Issue no. 299 - 24 January 2004
- EU - Council framework Decision on combating the sexual exploitation of children and child pornography
Council framework Decision 2004/68/JHA of 22 December 2003 on combating the sexual exploitation of children and child pornography. OJ L 13 20.1.2004 p. 44.
- IE - Schoolgirl porn pictures circulated by camera phone
A major police investigation is under way in Ireland after a pornographic image of a schoolgirl was circulated to hundreds of mobile phones across the country.
- IT - Child porn Web sites up 70 percent in 2003
The number of reported paedophilia Web sites has shot up by 70 percent in 2003 with the United States accounting for more than half, according to an Italian children's rights association. The Rome-based non-profit Telefono Arcobaleno (Rainbow Phone) said 17,016 Web sites featuring explicit child pornography were reported last year to international and national police groups including the FBI and Interpol. see Pedophilia online - Annual report 2003.
- NZ - Man jailed for net porn was moderator
A man who has been jailed for trading some of the most disturbing child pornography ever seen in New Zealand, was supposed to be cleaning up the internet. Clifford James Robinson, 38, of Christchurch, acted as a moderator for internet chat rooms, where computer users pass messages and share information with others.The role includes preventing users trading grossly offensive material. But the reclusive, overweight, and isolated sickness beneficiary abused his position and collected child porn and bestiality images, including a graphic three-minute movie of a baby girl being sexually abused. When Robinson's home was raided by Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) inspectors and his computer seized, a record was recovered of his on-line discussion with an Australian man who claimed to be sexually abusing his three daughters.
- RU - Online child porn ring busted
Members of a Russian internet child porn ring run by a retired school teacher in Perm in the Urals have been sentenced to jail terms from six to 11 years. The teacher and five others were found guilty of perversion involving children between eight and 10 years old, and distributing pornography online, says Kommersant.
- UK - Porn shame of "Biker" Christian
(this is Bristol)
A Church leader is facing a prison sentence after he admitted downloading child pornography from the internet. Alan Lowther was arrested when images of children having sex with adults were found on his home computer after he gave his credit card details to a paedophile site to view and copy pictures of young children. Lowther, a Minister of Religion for the Key to Life Church, was also president of the Christian Motorcycle Association, whose aim is to take the word of God to bikers.
Issue no. 298 - 18 January 2004
- American duty
Britain's crackdown on internet paedophiles faces failure if the US, which provides more than half the images reported here, does not prosecute more abusers, writes John Carr.
- UK - Arresting abuse online
The huge scale of internet paedophile activity and use of ever-changing technology mean we need to rethink the way we police it, says Rachel O'Connell.
- UK - Net blamed for rise in child porn
Child porn crimes have risen by 1,500% since 1988 and new internet mobile phones could make things even worse. The internet is largely to blame for the huge rise in child porn offences, according to Child Pornography, Child Abuse and the Internet, a report by NCH, formerly National Children's Homes. The charity says 549 child porn offenders were charged or cautioned in 2001, compared with only 35 in 1988. The charity fears new third generation 3G phones, with video streaming, will lead to even more offences because they are in some ways even more anonymous. Full text of report. see also Response to NCH Report (Internet Watch Foundation) and Web wrongly blamed for child-sex offence explosion (Silicon.com).
- US - Feds Bust International Child Porn Ring
Federal officials have cracked an international child pornography ring with arrests in New Jersey, France, Spain and Belarus. The cases stem from an Internet processor of Web site subscriptions in Minsk, Belarus, which collected fees for memberships to child pornography Web sites that brought in millions of dollars, the U.S. Attorney's Office said. An executive with a Florida company has pleaded guilty in the case. About two dozen people in New Jersey and 20 others around the nation have been charged with downloading child pornography, including a doctor, a minister and a teacher.
- US - We Can Trap More Crooks With a Net Full of Honey
Operation Pin, a global law enforcement initiative launched by police in Britain, the United States and Australia uses fake sites and chat rooms to crack down on adults who seek to purchase child pornography online or to use the Internet to make inappropriate contact with the underaged. Announced with fanfare and explicitly designed to sow fear, doubt and uncertainty among buyers and sellers in that criminal marketplace, Operation Pin is intended to deter as well as entrap. The project's global presence denies child pornographers the ability to navigate the Net with confidence.
Issue no. 297 - 11 January 2004
- EU arrest warrant enters into force
On 1 January 2004, the European Arrest Warrant (EAW) entered into force between Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Ireland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and the UK. The other EU Member States have failed to meet the implementation deadline of 31 December 2003 laid down in the Framework Decision on the European Arrest Warrant. The European Arrest Warrant will allow these eight EU Member States to secure the extradition of suspected terrorists or criminals more easily than before. The most significant change is the abolition of 'dual criminality' - the requirement that a person can only be extradited for an action considered to be an offence in both the country seeking extradition and the country being asked to surrender a suspect. It will also reduce political involvement in extradition by eliminating the practice of giving the justice minister the final say. The European arrest warrant covers all offences that carry a sentence of one year or more in the country seeking an extradition (including sexual exploitation of children and child pornography and computer-related crime).
- NL - Child porn cases hit Netherlands
Police in the Netherlands have arrested the conductor of a boys' choir after finding thousands of child pornography pictures at his home. And in a separate case, it has been announced that a former judge is to be prosecuted for possessing child pornography.
- UK - £8,000 bill for phone theft victims
A couple have been told they must pay a bill of more than £8,000 run up by thieves after their mobile phone was stolen in South Africa where they were on holiday. They only realised it was missing when they got back to Britain. T-Mobile says it is extremely unlikely to waive the bill which shows the phone was used non-stop every minute for a week, with calls to countries such as Pakistan, Qatar, Senegal and Ethiopia.
- US - U.K. man in Internet sex case gets 5 years imprisonment
An Englishman was sentenced to five years in prison after he traveled to Iowa to have sex with a 14-year-old girl he met on the Internet. Barry Beadle, 52, pleaded guilty in September to enticement of a minor to engage in sexual activity and traveling with intent to engage in sexual activity with a minor. The former psychiatric nurse met the girl in an Internet chat room last year and set up an in-person meeting in April. Beadle, of Merseyside, England, and the victim stayed together for six days at an Iowa motel, having sex, watching television and drinking beer, prosecutors said.
Issue no. 296 - 4 January 2004
- UK - Three arrested over 'drugs website'
Police believe they have uncovered the first website in the UK designed to sell illegal drugs over the internet. Two men and a woman were arrested and were being interviewed following claims they had run an internet site supplying cannabis through the post. Customers could order drugs through a password-protected website and were then posted their orders.
Issue no. 295 - 21 December 2003
- BE - Un cyberpirate condamné
Premier jugement sur la base de la nouvelle loi sur les crimes informatiques, à Eupen. La condamnation est légère pour le jeune informaticien qui a tenté de s'introduire frauduleusement dans le serveur d'une société concurrente. La tentative d'intrusion dans un ordinateur distant constitue déjà une infraction, a estimé le tribunal.
- ES - Child porn: 27 arrested in Spain
Police have arrested 27 people across Spain for allegedly distributing child pornography on the Internet. It was a distribution network, used in chats and forums. The actual filming of the minors was done outside of Spain - in Latin America, Asia and Europe - using foreign children and done by foreign adults. The months-long investigation by Spanish police culminated with a series of raids starting Tuesday afternoon and ending early Wednesday. The arrests were carried out in 12 of Spain's 17 regions. Spain's leading radio network, SER, reported that Spanish police believe they have sufficient information to locate some of the suspects involved in the child pornography enterprise outside of Spain.
- NZ - Name suppression granted to man on child porn charges
A New Zealand man's identity is being kept secret after he was convicted of importing child porn videos and downloading Internet images of "the youngest victims" Internal Affairs has seen. His name suppression was based on his undergoing counselling. However, an internet watchdog says the counsellor concerned was understood not to be an expert in helping child sex offenders so the counselling might not be effective. The judge fined the man, aged 43, $9500 plus $3600 costs after he pleaded guilty to 32 charges related to internet child porn and importing objectionable videos. The judge was concerned that allowing his name to be made public would harm his rehabilitation. He had no previous convictions.
- UK - Mobile phone crime blitz launched
A nationwide crackdown on mobile phone crime is being launched with the creation of a special police unit. Latest figures show half of all street crime now involves mobile phone theft. Nearly 200 are stolen in England and Wales every day, mostly in London, and many are exported by gangs to Africa, Asia and Europe.
- UK - Police launch 'child porn site'
A website that lures internet paedophiles has been launched by police as part of a global initiative. Anyone who enters the site will be given the option to continue through a series of pages while being prompted to withdraw from the process at every stage. Those who continue will ultimately be faced with a screen telling them they have entered a law enforcement website and that their actions are an offence. Their details will be captured and they could be prosecuted in their country. Other members of the "virtual global task force" supporting the initiative include the FBI, Interpol, The Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the Australian High Tech Crime Centre.
- UK - Teenage hacker faces £21,000 bill
A teenager who hacked into an American government laboratory's computer network could face a £21,000 bill. Joseph McElroy, 18, from east London, wanted to use its power to download films and music from the internet. But his intrusion sparked a full-scale alert at the Chicago laboratory, which researches high-energy particles. Bow Street Magistrates' Court was told the US government wants compensation to cover the costs of repairs after officials "pushed the panic button".
Issue no. 294 - 14 December 2003
- DE - Cannibal Case Grips Germany
In a case that has both fascinated and revolted Germans, a 42-year-old computer technician went on trial for the cannibalistic killing of a Berlin man who allegedly volunteered to be consumed after the two met in an Internet chat room and exchanged e-mails about gruesome fantasies. Armin Meiwes, from a small town in the state of Hesse, is charged with murder for sexual satisfaction in the killing of Bernd Juergen Brandes, 43, a microchip engineer from Berlin. Meiwes has acknowledged carrying out the killing but said it was with the victim's consent and not for sexual satisfaction.
- EU - Euro MP backs net porn battle
A North West Labour Euro MP Arlene McCarthy met with experts on internet paedophilia from across Europe. The meeting was set up to share the findings of the EU-funded Victim Identification Project.
- UK - An amnesty for internet paedophiles?
Police are considering launching a computer hard drive amnesty as part of a crackdown on internet sex offenders. The scheme, which would operate in a similar way to a gun amnesty, would aim to prevent child abuse by getting people who have images of children to volunteer for counselling. People concerned about images they have accessed on the internet would be able to hand in their computer hard drives to police, to be destroyed or wiped clean. They would then be assessed by a psychiatrist and if, after appropriate treatment, were judged to be no risk to children, would be given a caution. The men would still be placed on the sex offenders register, but would be spared the humiliation of a court appearance and a formal prosecution.
Issue no. 293 - 7 December 2003
- CA - Half-naked driver faces Net charge
(London Free Press)
A half-naked man found driving on a city street was arrested and charged with child porn offences in the first Canadian case involving wireless Internet signal piracy. The bizarre case began when a Toronto police officer spotted a motorist going the wrong way down a one-way street in a residential neighbourhood. After pulling the man over, Sgt. Don Woods discovered the man was naked from the waist down as he downloaded images on a laptop computer of a young girl involved in a sex act with an adult. Investigation showed the man had hooked into a wireless computer network at a nearby house to gain access to a resident's Internet connection and download images from child pornography websites. The scheme, known as 'war driving,' allows a computer with wireless Internet capability to tap into a wireless home network and access the World Wide Web, usually without fear of discovery.
- CoE - Cyber-Crime Convention, An Advocacy Handbook for the Non Governmental Organisations
(Cyber-Rights & Cyber-Liberties (UK))
This advocacy handbook for the NGOs provides a policy analysis of the Cyber-Crime Convention 2001 and its first additional protocol from a human rights perspective for policy specialists, NGOs, and human rights activists within the 45 member states of the Council of Europe. Compatibility problems with the European Convention on Human Rights and implications for freedom of expression, privacy of communications and data protection will be the main focus of this critical analysis. The appendices include other useful information that could be relied upon while NGOs and policy activists lobby their individual governments in relation to the implementation of the Convention.
- DE - Experten kritisieren unklare Rechtslage bei Computer-Kriminalität
Der Kampf gegen die Computer-Kriminalität in Deutschland wird nach Expertenansicht durch eine unklare und teils widersprüchliche Rechtslage behindert. Oberstaatsanwalt Ralf Günther aus Celle kritisierte, Gesetze und Verordnungen beispielsweise zur Erhebung, Speicherung und Weitergabe von Daten seien schlecht koordiniert. Die Regelungen weisen Lücken auf, manche Bestimmungen widersprächen sich. Immer wieder verweigerten Unternehmen ihre Mitwirkung bei der Fahndung nach Computer- Kriminellen und bei der Beweissicherung, weil sie für die Zusammenarbeit keine Rechtsgrundlage sähen. siehe auch Schily fordert mehr Hinweise über Computerkriminelle.
- NO - Hollywood: Norwegian hacker a burgler
A Norwegian hacker who has angered Hollywood by cracking a DVD copy protection code is a cyberspace version of a burglar, plaintiffs told an Oslo appeals court.
- NZ - Email harassment left woman feeling 'emotionally raped'
It all started innocently enough. A flirtatious email sent to her work computer suggesting they spark up a relationship over the internet. But after a barrage of emails over two weeks, a New Zealand man was arrested for criminal harassment, leaving his female victim drained and feeling 'emotionally raped'.
- UK - Ebay takes action over child porn complaints
Ebay has taken action following allegations that its online auction house was being used to trade in child pornography. One of its users - who has now been suspended from the service - bought and sold hundreds of items, many of which included pictures of naked children and babies. Although many of the items were old or "antique" photos, the sheer quantity and recurring nature of the "suspicious" images caused alarm among those who stumbled across the images and reported it to eBay. The incident was also reported to the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) but officials there concluded that while some people might find the content distasteful, it was not illegal.
- UK - Internet fraudsters sentenced to 15 years
Six men were sentenced to a total of 15 and a half years in jail at Wood Green Crown Court, after pleading guilty to using the Internet to defraud UK banks to the tune of £350,000. The six men, aged between 21 and 39, obtained false identities over the Internet and used them to open bank accounts, arrange overdrafts and apply for credit cards.
- Uk - Scotland - Child porn images 'worst ever'
A bricklayer who had more than 400,000 images of 'unimaginable evil and depravity' on his computer has been warned he faces a lengthy jail term. Sheriff Norrie Stein told 37-year-old Steven Perrie that he faced prison after 403,000 indecent images of children and 16,000 video clips were found at his home in Forfar, Angus. Police who had to sift through the images described it as the worst material they had ever seen. Perrie's name was uncovered by FBI officers investigating a Texas company called Landslide Productions during the world-wide child porn crackdown. The depute fiscal told the court that Landslide Productions acted as brokers for webmasters in Russia and Indonesia that provided child porn pictures. Sentence was deferred until next month for the preparation of full reports. Perrie was remanded in custody.
Issue no. 292 - 23 November 2003
- BE - Anti-porn cop jailed for sex chat with girl
A Belgian police officer has been jailed for one year for an online sex chat with a 12-year-old girl. A judge in Gent found the 31-year-old man guilty on charges of child abuse, despite him never having touched the underage victim. The man was judged to have lured the girl into "improper conversations". Pornographic images of children were also discovered on his computer's hard drive. The man was dismissed from his position as an investigator with the Flemish police service. It emerged during the course of the trial that he had been attached to a special police unit responsible for tracing and convicting suspected Internet paedophiles.
- FR - Appel du parquet après la relaxe d'un Belge qui consultait des sites pédophiles
Le parquet a fait appel de la relaxe d'un ressortissant belge de 35 ans qui consultait des sites pédophiles à l'espace multimédia de la mairie de sa ville. Le tribunal correctionnel de Villefranche-sur-Saône avait estimé que 'l'infraction n'est pas constituée sur le plan juridique'. Interpellé à son domicile, l'homme avait été jugé en comparution immédiate pour 'détention d'images de mineurs à caractère pornographique'. Les 10 et 15 octobre, il s'était rendu à l'espace multimédia de la mairie de Tarare où il avait à chaque fois consulté, et ce durant 'plusieurs heures', des sites pédophiles sur internet.
- PL - Hunting Kids
The number of crimes involving the sexual abuse of minors in Poland has grown rapidly in recent years. Those exploring the problem of pedophilia believe that it may only be the tip of the iceberg. The Internet is the pedophile's main hunting ground for children. The number of pornographic websites involving children has been growing year by year. The 1990s saw a rapid development of the sex industry in Poland involving children. The Kid Protect Foundation is engaged in a struggle against pedophiles as part of the Stop Pedophiles campaign. The foundation has operated since June 2002; its objective is to prevent the use of the media, mainly the Internet, for purposes involving child pornography and pedophilic practices, and to protect children against sexual abuse. Poland's first Internet Monitoring Center operates a hotline, where cases involving violence and child pornography can be reported.
- SI - Protests greet Slovenian sentence for Bush hate mail
Slovenian human rights activists condemned a court's decision to sentence a man for "terrorist" crimes for sending hate e-mail to President Bush. Tomi Sluga told the local court in the town of Murska Sobota he was drunk and only joking when he sent an e-mail to the White House web before a June 2001 Bush visit to the small Alpine state. "President, save the Earth, you ass, you will be killed in Ljubljana. Welcome!" the email read. The court found Sluga guilty of "endangering a protected person" and gave him a two-year suspended sentence, the first conviction under Slovenia's new anti-terrorism laws.
- US - 'Cyber Sweep' Nets 125 Arrests
US law-enforcement agents had arrested 125 suspects in a crackdown on Internet crimes ranging from hacking and software piracy to credit card fraud and selling stolen goods over the Internet. The investigation, begun Oct. 1 and dubbed Operation Cyber Sweep, involved police from Ghana to Southern California and uncovered 125,000 victims who had lost more than $100 million. Seventy indictments to date have led to arrests or convictions of 125 people, with more expected as the probe continues. see Press Release and Background - Examples of prosecutions (Department of Justice).
- US - Bush pushes for cybercrime treaty
by Declan McCullagh. President Bush has asked the U.S. Senate to ratify the first international cybercrime treaty. In a letter to the Senate, Bush called the Council of Europe's controversial treaty 'an effective tool in the global effort to combat computer-related crime' and 'the only multilateral treaty to address the problems of computer-related crime and electronic evidence gathering.' Even though the United States is a nonvoting member of the Council of Europe, it has pressed hard for the cybercrime treaty as a way to establish international criminal standards related to copyright infringement, online fraud, child pornography and network intrusions. The U.S. Department of Justice says the treaty will eliminate 'procedural and jurisdictional obstacles that can delay or endanger international investigations.'
- US - Man gets "spam rage" over penis ad
Call it spam rage: A Silicon Valley computer programmer has been arrested for threatening to torture and kill employees of the company he blames for bombarding his computer with Web ads promising to enlarge his penis. The man now faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The object of the Californian's anger said his firm does not send spam but blamed a rival firm which he said routes much of their unsolicited bulk e-mail through Russia and eastern Europe. He said such firms gave a bad name to the penis enhancement business.
Issue no. 291 - 15 November 2003
- JN - Cops break huge yakuza kiddy porn ring
A massive crackdown on a yakuza-run kiddy porn ring in Japan has resulted in the arrest of eight men and seizure of tens of thousands of pedophile videos. Toyozo Kawamura, 53, was one of the two Yamaguchi-gumi gangsters among the eight arrested for breaking the Child Pornography Prohibition Law. Authorities claimed the raid was the biggest ever seizure of pornography in Japanese history.
- Torino, due arresti per aborti clandestini
(Corriere della Sera)
La Polizia Postale di Torino ha arrestato un medico di Torino e una infermiera che, in cambio di grosse somme di denaro, praticavano aborti clandestini. Le indagini, svolte anche utilizzando intercettazioni telefoniche, hanno permesso di accertare che il medico, titolare di uno studio professionale, pubblicizzava l?attività illecita su un sito web dedicato alla salute della donna.
- US - Internet service provider sentenced to 40 years in child porn case
The owner of an Internet service provider in Waco, Texas, was sentenced to 40 years in prison for violating his felony probation by possessing child pornography. He had been on deferred probation since pleading guilty in August 2000 to two counts of indecency with a child in the molestation of an 11-year-old girl. After authorities caught him with child pornography at his home, prosecutors filed a motion to revoke his deferred probation.
- Zombie machines fuel new cyber crime wave
The rapid growth of broadband home computer connections may be inadvertently fuelling what police suspect could be the start of a new crime wave - cyber-blackmail. As more homes connect to faster delivery systems, their computers are becoming vulnerable to hackers and virus writers who can turn them into 'zombie' machines, ready to carry out any malevolent command. Favourite targets for the extortionists - many thought to come from eastern Europe - have been casinos and retailers, but one recent high-profile victim was the Port of Houston.
Issue no. 290 - 9 November 2003
- BR - Cybercrime’s superlab: Brazil
(New York Times)
In Brazil, organized crime is rife and laws to prevent digital crime are few and largely ineffective. The country is becoming a laboratory for cybercrime, with hackers - able to collaborate with relative impunity - specializing in identity and data theft, credit card fraud and piracy, as well as online vandalism.
- IT - Governo approva ddl contro la pedofilia
(Corriere della Sera)
Il governo ha approvato il disegno di legge (ddl) contro lo sfruttamento sessuale dei bambini e la pedopornografia anche via Internet. Il ddl prevede come reato la realizzazione, attraverso l'utilizzo di minori, di materiale pornografico anche in forma virtuale. Il provvedimento istituisce inoltre un Centro nazionale a cui dovranno pervenire tutte le segnalazioni dell'esistenza di siti che diffondono materiale pornografico utilizzando il web. I fornitori di servizi attraverso reti di comunicazioni elettroniche saranno obbligati a segnalare al Centro i contratti stipulati con soggetti e imprese che diffondono, distribuiscono o commercializzano anche in via telematica, materiale pornografico.
- IT - Pedofilia: due importanti operazioni in due giorni
(Corriere della Sera)
Due importanti operazioni di lotta alla pedofilia hanno inferto nuovi colpi a un fenomeno che appare sempre più diffuso se è vero che non più tardi di lunedì un'inchiesta di Telefono Arcobaleno (organizzazione che combatte la pedofilia online) e Osservatorio sui diritti dei minori ha posizionato l'Italia al quinto posto mondiale per produzione di siti internet pedopornografici, con un incremento pari al 295,7% rispetto allo scorso anno.
- UK - Police issue internet gun warning
Criminals are using the internet and postal system to get guns into the UK, senior police officers have warned. They also told an all-party parliamentary group of MPs there should be more armed officers on the streets as the number of armed criminals grows.
- UK - Race to save new victims of child porn
Senior police officers have revealed that the scale of peer-to-peer traffic in illegal images of children now dwarfs almost any other paedophile network they have encountered.
- UK - Web 'grooming' sentences upped
Jail terms for paedophiles convicted of the "grooming" of children will be a maximum of ten years - after MPs agreed a radical shake-up of sex crime laws which date back to Victorian times. Ministers have decided to increase the maximum sentence from seven years after a series of high profile cases. An amendment making the change has been added to the Sexual Offences Bill, which received an unopposed third reading in the House of Commons and returns to the House of Lords for further consideration. The bill will revamp the UK's current "archaic, incoherent and discriminatory" laws and includes measures on rape, voyeurism and legal definitions of consent.
Index page see also Internet content, Security and encryption
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