Oct 16, 2019

Federal prosecutors announce shutdown of massive child pornography site

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

Updated 17 mins ago - World

In photos: People around the world rally against racism

Despite a ban on large gatherings implemented in response to the coronavirus pandemic, protesters rally against racism in front of the American Embassy in Paris on June 6. Photo: Julien Mattia/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Tens of thousands of people have continued to rally in cities across the world against racism and show their support this week for U.S. demonstrators protesting the death in police custody of George Floyd.

Why it matters: The tense situation in the U.S. has brought the discussion of racism and discrimination onto the global stage at a time when most of the world is consumed by the novel coronavirus.

Updates: George Floyd protests enter 12th day

Protesters in Washington, D.C. on June 6. Photo: Samuel Corum/Getty Images

Thousands of demonstrators are gathering in cities across the U.S. and around the world to protest the killing of George Floyd. Huge crowds have assembled in Washington, D.C., Philadelphia and Chicago for full-day events.

Why it matters: Twelve days of nationwide protest in the U.S. has built pressure for states to make new changes on what kind of force law enforcement can use on civilians and prompted officials to review police conduct.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 7:30 p.m. ET: 6,852,810 — Total deaths: 398,211 — Total recoveries — 3,071,142Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 7:30 p.m. ET: 1,917,080 — Total deaths: 109,702 — Total recoveries: 500,849 — Total tested: 19,778,873Map.
  3. Public health: Why the pandemic is hitting minorities harder — Coronavirus curve rises in FloridaHow racism threatens the response to the pandemic Some people are drinking and inhaling cleaning products in attempt to fight the virus.
  4. Tech: The pandemic is accelerating next-generation disease diagnostics — Robotics looks to copy software-as-a-service model.
  5. Business: Budgets busted by coronavirus make it harder for cities to address inequality Sports, film production in California to resume June 12 after 3-month hiatus.
  6. Education: Students and teachers flunked remote learning.