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.