Tor’s most visited hidden sites host child abuse images, Police investigating 718 cases of child abuse in Northern Ireland

December 31, 2014 Comments Off on Tor’s most visited hidden sites host child abuse images, Police investigating 718 cases of child abuse in Northern Ireland

Tor’s most visited hidden sites host child abuse images
By Mark Ward Technology correspondent, BBC News 30 December 2014

Most traffic to sites hidden on the Tor network go to those dealing in images of child sexual abuse a study suggests. The six-month study sought to catalogue hidden services on the so-called “dark net” and work out which were the most popular.

It found lots of sites peddling illegal drugs but the most popular were those involved with abuse.
However, the researcher behind the study said it was hard to conclude that people were behind all the visits.

Tor, or The Onion Router, is an anonymising system that lets people use the web without revealing who they are or which country they are in. The anonymity offered by the network has encouraged many people to set up hidden .onion sites that offer content, services and goods that it is illegal to sell openly….

Although the number of sites dealing in images of abuse on Tor is small, traffic to them dwarfs that going to other sites, said Dr Owen. About 75% of the traffic observed in the study ended up at abuse sites, said Dr Owen….

Police investigating 718 cases of child abuse in Northern Ireland
And calls to local NSPCC helpline show sharp rise

524 individuals have contacted the inquiry into historical abuse.
By Adrian Rutherford – 30 December 2014

Officers are probing 718 “live” cases where the victim was aged under 18.
The figure is thought to include a number of historic allegations relating to children’s care homes.

It comes as a leading charity revealed it has seen the number of calls to a specialist helpline jump by almost a quarter in the last year.

The issue of child abuse has been in the headlines throughout 2014. A State inquiry into historical abuse in Northern Ireland, chaired by retired judge Sir Anthony Hart, opened in January. The inquiry, which has so far been contacted by 524 individuals, has already heard harrowing testimonies from victims.

And in November a report estimated that up to 145 children were at significant risk of exploitation in Northern Ireland….

The paper by Professor Kathleen Marshall revealed paramilitaries were using fear and intimidation to sexually exploit children.  It also uncovered cases involving the military, revealing that soldiers had been disciplined for smuggling girls into two different barracks in the last three years….

The Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry (HIA) is examining allegations of child abuse in children’s homes and other residential institutions between 1922 and 1995. It is the biggest child abuse public inquiry ever held in the UK, having been contacted by 524 people who said they were abused in childhood. Most complainants are from the UK, 65 are from Australia and 26 from the Irish Republic.

The HIA inquiry was set up by the First and Deputy First Minister in May 2012. Its aim is to establish if there were “systemic failings by institutions or the state in their duties towards those children in their care”.

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