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1.20.20
Crypto Connection

Agents Bust Massive Child Porn Site by Tracking Bitcoin Payments

October 17th 19__Kristin Houser__Filed Under: Future Society
Matthias Wewering via Pixabay/Tag Hartman-Simkins

Monetizing Suffering

On Wednesday, the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) announced that investigators had taken down a massive child porn site called Welcome to Video (WTV) in March 2018.

Unfortunately, WTV isn’t the first website to host this type of horrifying content. But according to officials, it was one of the first to accept bitcoin payments in exchange for downloads — and it was through those payments that investigators tracked down the site’s operators and users.

Bitcoin Bread Crumbs

Blockchain analysis company Chainalysis wrote in a blog post on Wednesday that it provided investigators with software to analyze WTV’s bitcoin activity via its blockchain ledger.

That analysis led to the discovery of several cryptocurrency exchanges used by customers of the child porn site. Investigators then contacted those exchanges, and they provided information on the account holders sending money to WTV, including copies of their IDs and addresses.

Behind Bars

The DOJ’s investigation has led to the arrest of WTV’s operator, Jong Woo Son of South Korea, and 337 users of the child porn site in 12 countries, including the U.S. Additionally, investigators rescued at least 23 minors who were being “actively abused” by site users, according to the DOJ announcement.

“Our message for those who produce, distribute, and receive child pornography is clear,” Jessie Liu, the U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia, told reporters on Wednesday. “You may try to hide behind technology, but we will find you and we will arrest and prosecute you.”

READ MORE: ‘One Of The Worst Forms Of Evil’: More Than 330 Arrested In Child Porn Site Bust [NPR]

More on pedophilia: New Law: Alabama Will Chemically Castrate Pedophiles