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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

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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

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Yes, but: This is 2020, when nothing matters.

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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

New or expanded climate initiatives are popping up at several universities, a sign of the topic's rising prominence and recognition of the threats and opportunities it creates.

Why it matters: Climate and clean energy initiatives at colleges and universities are nothing new, but it shows expanded an campus focus as the effects of climate change are becoming increasingly apparent, and the world is nowhere near the steep emissions cuts that scientists say are needed to hold future warming in check.

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The pandemic isn't slowing tech

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Thursday's deluge of Big Tech earnings reports showed one thing pretty clearly: COVID-19 may be bad in all sorts of ways, but it's not slowing down the largest tech companies. If anything, it's helping some companies, like Amazon and Apple.

Yes, but: With the pandemic once again worsening in the U.S. and Europe, it's not clear how long the tech industry's winning streak can last.

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