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Federal prosecutors announced Wednesday they had seized and shut down the world's "largest darknet child pornography website," filing multiple charges against its ringleader, a 23-year-old South Korean man, according to an unsealed criminal indictment.

The big picture: The dark web site, which was available through a Tor browser, had over 200,000 sexually explicit videos involving children in its archives and utilized Bitcoin to conduct its business.

  • It processed at least 7,300 Bitcoin transactions to access the videos during a nearly 3-year period from 2015 to 2018 — and those transactions were worth about $370,000 at the time.
  • The site encouraged users to upload videos using a system that granted users points to access more videos if their uploads proved popular.

The site's administrator, Jong Woo-son, is serving an 18-month sentence in South Korea for charges related to child pornography, according to the Justice Department.

  • Authorities arrested 337 site users in 11 countries since the site's shutdown in March 2018.
  • At least 23 minor victims in the U.S., U.K. and Spain, who were being actively abused by the site's users, were rescued.

Go deeper: Dark web could become a haven for privacy seekers

Go deeper

Clarence Thomas says Supreme Court could be "most dangerous" branch

Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

Justice Clarence Thomas on Thursday, during rare public remarks at the University of Notre Dame, warned against politicizing the Supreme Court.

Driving the news: Thomas, the court's longest-serving member, said that the justices do not rule based on "personal preferences" and that politicians should not "allow others to manipulate our institutions when we don’t get the outcome that we like," per the Washington Post.

FTC releases findings on how Big Tech eats little tech

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: An Rong Xu/Washington Post via Getty Images

Federal Trade Commission chair Lina Khan signaled changes are on the way in how the agency scrutinizes acquisitions after revealing the results of a study of a decade's worth of Big Tech company deals that weren't reported to the agency.

Why it matters: Tech's business ecosystem is built on giant companies buying up small startups, but the message from the antitrust agency this week could chill mergers and acquisitions in the sector.

First look: Biden's economic case for green cards

Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

The White House Council of Economic Advisors (CEA) is promoting the economic benefits and costs of providing green cards to millions of unauthorized immigrants in a blogpost being released on Friday, according to a draft provided to Axios.

Why it matters: The post comes as the fate of millions of immigrants, including those with Temporary Protected Status or DACA protections, rests with Congress — and the Senate parliamentarian.

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