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Police make global child porn arrests

More than 130 detained in unprecedented crackdown

 LONDON, Nov. 28 — Detectives across the world arrested more than 130 people on 
Wednesday in an unprecedented global crackdown on child pornography, British police 
said. Britain’s National Criminal Squad (NCS), which coordinated the probe, said it 
had been the world’s largest collaborative policing operation in any terms.

         OFFICERS FROM 20 countries — from Asia to Europe — took part in “Operation 
Landmark,” a 10-month investigation to target Internet users who accessed and traded 
in images of pedophilia.

      The countries involved along with Britain were Australia, Belgium, Canada, 
France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Japan, North Korea, South Korea, Netherlands, New 
Zealand, Portugal, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, Turkey and the United States.

       NCS officers monitored the users of more than 30 Internet news sites carrying 
child pornography after Internet Service Provider, Demon Internet, allowed them to 
access its servers.

       “The national crime squad has this morning coordinated the execution of 130 
arrest and search warrants...across the world,” an NCS statement said.

       Police gave no immediate details about the nature of the images or age and 
background of the children involved. Nor did they divulge anything about the arrests.

       “We are able to show that those accessing these news groups carrying 
pedophiliac images did so regularly and with purpose,” Detective Superintendent Peter 
Spindler of NCS said in the statement.

       The initial findings were distributed to forces worldwide and meetings were 
then held at Interpol headquarters in Lyon, France, to coordinate the international 


   Police said thousands of new images of child abuse had been discovered and more 
than 10,000 people were found to have visited the Internet sites in a two-week period.

       The number of suspects was whittled down to 440 people who had used the sites
on more than 10 occasions, although officers said the list had to be reduced because
many individuals had provided false names, Mickey Mouse among them.

       “Those abusing the Internet have learnt from recent police successes how best 
to protect their true identities,” Spindler said.

       David Kerr, chief executive of British-based Internet Watch Foundation, which 
monitors online activity, said it was tough balancing personal freedom for Internet 
users against the need for criminal investigations.

       “What some members of the industry have talked about and would like to do is 
have ways of tracing people which shouldn’t be generally available so the trace could 
only be done if there is proper evidence of a crime,” he said.


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