Fighting the Good Fight Against Online Child Sexual Abuse “the internet provides enormous cover for sexual predators”
December 24, 2019 § Leave a comment
Fighting the Good Fight Against Online Child Sexual Abuse
“The sites managed to survive so long because the internet provides enormous cover for sexual predators.”
Several websites popular with sexual predators were thwarted last month after a determined campaign by groups dedicated to eliminating the content. It was a rare victory in an unending war.
By GABRIEL J.X. DANCE DEC. 23, 2019
In late November, the moderator of three highly trafficked websites posted a message titled “R.I.P.” It offered a convoluted explanation for why they were left with no choice but to close.
The unnamed moderator thanked over 100,000 “brothers” who had visited and contributed to the sites before their demise, blaming an “increasingly intolerant world” that did not allow children to “fully express themselves.”
In fact, forums on the sites had been bastions of illegal content almost since their inception in 2012, containing child sexual abuse photos and videos, including violent and explicit imagery of infants and toddlers.
The sites managed to survive so long because the internet provides enormous cover for sexual predators. Apps, social media platforms and video games are also riddled with illicit material, but they have corporate owners — like Facebook and Microsoft — that can monitor and remove it.
In a world exploding with the imagery — 45 million photos and videos of child sexual abuse were reported last year alone — the open web is a freewheeling expanse where the underdog task of confronting the predators falls mainly to a few dozen nonprofits with small budgets and outsize determination.
Several of those groups, including a child exploitation hotline in Canada, hunted the three sites across the internet for years but could never quite defeat them. The websites, records show, were led by an experienced computer programmer who was adept at staying one step ahead of his pursuers — in particular, through the services of American and other tech companies with policies that can be used to shield criminal behavior.
But the Canadian hotline developed a tech weapon of its own, a sophisticated tool to find and report illegal imagery on the web. When the sites found the tool directed at them, they fought back with a smear campaign, sending emails to the Canadian government and others with unfounded claims of “grave operational and financial corruption” against the nonprofit.
It wasn’t enough. The three sites were overwhelmed by the Canadian tool, which had sent more than 1 million notices of illegal content to the companies keeping them online. And last month, they were compelled to surrender.
“It’s been a wonderful 7 years and we would’ve loved to go for another 7,” the sites’ moderator wrote in his final post, saying they had closed because “antis,” short for “anti-pedophiles,” were “hunting us to death with unprecedented zeal.”
The victory was cheered by groups fighting online child sexual abuse, but there were no illusions about the enormous undertaking that remained. Thousands of other sites offer anybody with a web browser access to illegal and depraved imagery of children, and unlike with apps, no special software or downloads are required.
The three shuttered sites had hidden their tracks for years using the services of Cloudflare, an American firm that provides companies with cyberprotections. They also found a hosting company, Novogara, that gave them safe harbor in the Netherlands — a small country with a robust web business and laws that are routinely exploited by bad actors.
Cloudflare’s general counsel said the company had cooperated with the nonprofits and law enforcement and cut ties with the sites seven times in all, as they slightly altered their web addresses to evade targeting. A spokesman for Novogara said the company had complied with Dutch law….
December 13, 2014 Comments Off on Tanzania: Ritual Killers On the Loose, As Authorities Appeal for Calm
Tanzania: Ritual Killers On the Loose, As Authorities Appeal for Calm
12 December 2014 By Meddy Mulisa
Bukoba — RITUAL killers, human head hunters and sexual predators are out of their lairs again. They are on the prowl. Five people have been killed in Bukoba Municipality in what seems to be an orgy of superstitious murders.
This time the killers in Bukoba harvested the genitalia out of their victims and escaped with them. Panic is high among Kagera residents. Bukoba District Administrative Secretary (DAS), Clement Ndyamukama has appealed for joint cooperation from members of the public in fighting crime, including ritual killings which are on the increase….
The United Nations human rights officials report a spike in ritual attacks and killings of people with albinism in Tanzania….This, it says, brings the number of attacks since 2000 to 151, including 74 murders….
Mutilated newborn still haunts detectives 28 years later, 30-35% of the kids had been preyed upon by sexual predators
August 13, 2014 Comments Off on Mutilated newborn still haunts detectives 28 years later, 30-35% of the kids had been preyed upon by sexual predators
Mutilated newborn still haunts detectives 28 years later
August 12, 2014 by Mary Murphy
FAIRFIELD, Conn. (PIX11) – Detective Kerry Dalling was still in grade school when a dead newborn boy was left in the woods near Lake Mohegan in March 1986. His face was mutilated and a burlap altar was placed near his body, with fruit and coins tossed on top of it.
“Whoever left this child wanted us to believe it was for a religious sacrifice,” Dalling told PIX 11 Investigates in a recent interview at her detective squad in Fairfield, Connecticut….
A review of child welfare records showed the household was troubled.
“We discovered there were a lot of complaints of sexual abuse that were happening in the home” Dalling said….
Child abuse cases tumble out at camps
Rajiv Kalkod, TNN Aug 13, 2014
BANGALORE: Over 2,000 schoolchildren in Bangalore have been sexually abused. A police drive led to this horrifying discovery during the course of camps conducted with Makkala Sahayavani (child helpline) in 60 schools.
Slowly but surely, the stories are coming out, in the form of experiences penned down on paper. Police officials are sifting through them, counseling the survivors and booking cases against the accused.
The cases came to light at awareness camps attended by close to 6,000 children. The revelation was shocking: about 30-35% of the kids had been preyed upon by sexual predators. Police officials, accompanied by counsellors from Makkala Sahayavani, showed the children videos, and explained the appropriate and inappropriate touch….
They faced abuse both on campus and outside, and in homes too. This loss of innocence has led to many behavioural disturbances among the children: depression, suicidal tendencies, a drastic drop in academic performance.
“Between March 2013 and April 2014, Makkala Sahayavani received 450 calls. We got at least 150 calls since the schoolgirl rape case was reported in mid-July,” Rani said….
WHO ARE THE CULPRITS?
10% — School teachers
20-30% — Stepfathers and close family members
Rest? Strangers, school bus driver, servants, neighbours….
January 23, 2014 Comments Off on Documents Reveal Decades Of Child Abuse Among Some Chicago Priests
Documents Reveal Decades Of Child Abuse Among Some Chicago Priests by David Schaper January 21, 2014
Papers documenting allegation of sexual abuse by priests in the Chicago Archdiocese were released to the public today by victims’ attorneys. The documents cover only 30 of at least 65 priests for whom the Chicago church says it has substantiated claims of child abuse. The papers, put online, were made available through settlements between Church and victims’ lawyers. Church officials said most of the abuse occurred before 1988, none after 1996, and that all were ultimately reported to authorities.
MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:
We have new revelations today detailing decades of sexual abuse by Catholic priests in Chicago. Thousands of pages of documents, released by victims’ attorneys, show how the church hierarchy mishandled accusations of abuse.
NPR’s David Schaper reports.
DAVID SCHAPER, BYLINE: The documents tell one heartbreaking story after another – 6,000 pages detailing not just how children and adult victims were abused by trusted priests, but also how church officials often bungled their responses, failing to turn sexual predators over to criminal authorities and often shuttling the offending priests from parish to parish, where they abused again….
SCHAPER: That deception, says Anderson, came from the cardinal on down. And he says not only were the victims and their families deceived, but so too were parishioners where offending priests were transferred, as well as the police and the public at large. In one case in 1979, a priest raped a 13-year old boy and later warned him at gunpoint not to tell anyone. The documents show the boy’s parents were assured that the priest would get treatment and would be kept away from minors, but he wasn’t. Within a year, that priest was returned to ministry in another parish where he abused again.
In another case, the late Cardinal John Cody tells a priest accused of sexually abusing a girl that the allegations, quote, “should just be forgotten,” adding that no good can come of trying to prove or disprove it. That priest later abused again….
ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News.
Michael Jackson 2005 trial, UN tells Vatican to hand over abuse details, Yeshiva University High School former students file $380 million sex abuse lawsuit, Ohio kidnappings: Watch Ariel Castro’s alleged victims break their silence to thank public
July 10, 2013 Comments Off on Michael Jackson 2005 trial, UN tells Vatican to hand over abuse details, Yeshiva University High School former students file $380 million sex abuse lawsuit, Ohio kidnappings: Watch Ariel Castro’s alleged victims break their silence to thank public
– Court document requesting to introduce “homosexual and heterosexual picture books, videos and magazines” into the 2005 Michael Jackson trial,
– UN tells Vatican to hand over details of child sex abuse cases
– Third arrest over 1980s guest house child abuse claims
– Yeshiva University High School former students file $380 million sex abuse lawsuit
– Ohio kidnappings: Watch Ariel Castro’s alleged victims break their silence to thank public
Court document requesting to introduce “homosexual and heterosexual picture books, videos and magazines” into the 2005 Michael Jackson trial, that were found at the Neverland Valley Ranch.
UN tells Vatican to hand over details of child sex abuse cases
A United Nations committee has demanded that the Vatican reveal potentially explosive details about the systematic cover-up of child sex abuse by Catholic clergy.
By Nick Squires, Rome 09 Jul 2013
Campaigners have called on Pope Francis, who was elected in March, to make tackling the issue of sexually abusive priests an urgent priority of his papacy.
The UN’s Committee on the Rights of the Child released its demands for information from the Holy See on Tuesday.
The committee said that “in the light of the recognition by the Holy See of sexual violence against children committed by members of the clergy, brothers and nuns in numerous countries around the world, and given the scale of the abuses”, the Vatican should provide detailed information on all cases of child sexual abuse committed by clergy.
The Vatican was told to show whether it had implemented measures “to ensure that no member of the clergy currently accused of sexual abuse be allowed to remain in contact with children,” amid claims from around the world that bishops often moved abusive priests from one parish to another.
The UN committee demanded to know about specific cases in which bishops or other Catholic leaders had failed to report suspected abuse to the police.
Third arrest over 1980s guest house child abuse claims
Last updated Tue 9 Jul 2013
Detectives investigating claims of historical child abuse at a guest house in the 1980s have made a third arrest, Scotland Yard said.
A 69-year-old man was held in west London on suspicion of possessing indecent images of children and has been released on bail until September….
Judge who gave pervert Stuart Hall just 15 months was forced to quit after being caught visiting a gay brothel
Judge Anthony Russell QC criticised for ‘unduly lenient’ sentence
He resigned in 1996 in wake of gay brothel scandal, it emerges
Alleged to have entered ‘dark room’ with doctor and hospital porter
Later reinstated and rose up the ranks to become a senior judge
By Jaya Narain 24 June 2013
A judge who provoked outrage by jailing Stuart Hall for just 15 months for child sex offences once quit his post after being caught in a gay brothel.
Anthony Russell’s legal career looked to be over when he was forced to admit visiting the male-only sauna.
He was said to have gone into a ‘dark room’ inside the club with a leading doctor and a hospital porter.
Following a ‘sting’ by a Sunday newspaper in 1996, he resigned as part-time recorder of Bolton and gave up his position as the top lawyer for the Inland Revenue.
Five years later he was reinstated, however, and has since gone on to become a senior judge – the role in which he handed Hall his jail sentence last week.
Hall had admitted indecently assaulting 13 girls between 1967 and 1986, the youngest being just nine years old.
Yeshiva University High School former students file $380 million sex abuse lawsuit
The school ‘was allowing known sexual predators to roam the school at will seeking other victims,’ says attorney Kevin Mulhearn, who filed the suit on behalf of the 19 plaintiffs.
By Michael O’keeffe / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Monday, July 8, 2013
Chancellor of Yeshiva University Rabbi Norman Lamm announced his retirement on Monday, July 1, 2013, Lamm said he was wrong in the way he handled allegations of sexual abuse at the university’s high school decades ago. Lamm is stepping down after decades at the university amid an ongoing investigation into accusations of abuse by alumni.
Nineteen former students at Yeshiva University High School have filed a bombshell $380 million lawsuit against the prestigious Jewish institution claiming horrific acts of sexual abuse that went unchecked for two decades at the Manhattan school.
“Yeshiva University High School held itself out as an exemplary Jewish secondary school when in fact it was allowing known sexual predators to roam the school at will seeking other victims,” said attorney Kevin Mulhearn, who filed the suit on behalf of the 19 plaintiffs. “Childhood sexual abuse in the Orthodox Jewish community can no longer be condoned and excused.”
One victim claims administrators ignored his protests when he told them a Judaic studies teacher sodomized him with a toothbrush. Other victims — the children of Holocaust survivors — say a former principal persuaded them not to tell their parents after he sexually assaulted them because their mothers and fathers had already suffered through so much….
Ohio kidnappings: Watch Ariel Castro’s alleged victims break their silence to thank public
9 Jul 2013 By Chris Bucktin
They spoke out in a video, saying the encouragement of family, friends and the public has enabled them to restart their lives
The brave victims of the Ohio kidnappings have revealed how they are restarting their lives after their ordeal in the house of horror.
In a moving video released today, Amanda Berry, 27, Gina DeJesus, 23, and Michelle Knight, 32, flashed big smiles as they spoke for the first time since being rescued.
Former bus driver Ariel Castro, 52, has been charged with 329 offences including multiple counts of kidnap, torture and rape….
May 22, 2013 Comments Off on Catholic Whistleblowers Join Forces on Abuse, Ex-swim coach accused of abuse
Church Whistle-Blowers Join Forces on Abuse
By LAURIE GOODSTEIN May 20, 2013
They call themselves Catholic Whistleblowers, a newly formed cadre of priests and nuns who say the Roman Catholic Church is still protecting sexual predators.
Although they know they could face repercussions, they have banded together to push the new pope to clean house and the American bishops to enforce the zero-tolerance policies they adopted more than a decade ago.
The group began organizing quietly nine months ago without the knowledge of their superiors or their peers, and plan to make their campaign public this week. Most in the steering group of 12 have blown the whistle on abusers in the past, and three are canon lawyers who once handled abuse cases on the church’s behalf. Four say they were sexually abused as children.
Their aim, they say, is to support both victims and fellow whistle-blowers, and identify shortcomings in church policies….
But the whistle-blowers’ group contends that vigilance is necessary because some bishops are violating the zero-tolerance policies, and abusive clergy (who now number 6,275, according to the bishops’ count of those accusations that they deem credible) still have access to children. They point to the revelations in the last month that a priest in Newark who was a convicted sex offender restricted by a court order from working with children had been ministering in a Catholic parish in Trenton, taking confessions from children and going on weekend youth retreats….
The whistle-blowers’ group plans to hold its first news conference this week in New York, and some members are bracing for the reaction. They said they know priests who spoke up and were removed from their parishes, hustled into retirement or declared “unstable” and sent to treatment centers for clergy with substance-abuse problems or sexual addictions…..
Ex-swim coach accused of abuse appears in court
By Peter Schworm Globe Staff May 20, 2013
MEDFORD — When the young boy joined the Arlington Boys & Girls Club swim team in the late 1970s, his coach was Paul Collins, who also dated his family’s neighbor and would sometimes fill in as baby sitter.
On those occasions, when the boy went to sleep, Collins would sit at his bedside and “begin rubbing his back and chest,” according to allegations detailed in court documents released Monday. Collins would then massage the boy below the waist and tell him he should not talk about it to anyone else.
It was, he told the boy, “our little secret.”
The boy, now a middle-aged man, is one of four adults who in recent weeks have accused Collins of sexual assault, part of an expanding investigation into child abuse at the youth club. The men came forward after club officials announced in February that another former employee, William Sullivan, had allegedly sexually abused children at the club between the 1970s and 1990s. Sullivan is deceased.
On Monday, two days after being arrested in his Long Island home, Collins, 62, was arraigned in Cambridge District Court on charges of sexually assaulting the boys and ordered held on $250,000 bail. Collins pleaded not guilty to the accusations, but prosecutors said he had admitted to sexual contact with two accusers and told investigators he may also have had contact with the other two….
Unspeakable: Father-Daughter Incest in American History, Most Mass Shootings Target Women and Families
February 27, 2013 Comments Off on Unspeakable: Father-Daughter Incest in American History, Most Mass Shootings Target Women and Families
– Child Pornography: A Modern Day Childhood Gonorrhea Epidemic
– Most Mass Shootings Target Women and Families; Study Finds Men With Legal Guns Are to Blame
Child Pornography: A Modern Day Childhood Gonorrhea Epidemic
By James R. Marsh on February 26, 2013
I am reading a fascinating book by Lynn Sacco, an assistant professor of history at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, entitled Unspeakable: Father-Daughter Incest in American History.
Unspeakable is an excellent book which explains how cultural mores and political needs distorted attitudes toward and medical knowledge of patriarchal sexual abuse at a time when the nation was committed to the familial power of white fathers and the idealized white family.
For much of the nineteenth century, father-daughter incest was understood to take place among all classes and legal and extra-legal attempts to deal with it tended to be swift and severe. But public understanding changed markedly during the Progressive Era, when accusations of incest began to be directed exclusively toward immigrants, blacks, and the lower socioeconomic classes. Focusing on early twentieth-century reform movements, Sacco argues that middle- and upper-class white males, too, molested female children in their households, even as official records of their acts declined dramatically.
One of the most interesting chapters in Unspeakable discusses the revolution in medicine in the early 20th century when doctors were first able to diagnose gonorrhea vulvovaginitis. Guess what they discovered?
When physicians began to use the new technology, however, they were shocked to discover that gonorrhea vulvovaginitis was widespread among American girls.…But though condemning child prostitution among the working class was one thing, explaining how girls from good families had become infected with a sexually transmitted disease was another. On the cusp of moving from the margins to the center of American health care, doctors used their professional authority, if not their medical skills, to twist the etiology of girls’ infections into existing narratives that fit more seamlessly with what doctors believed than with what they had discovered. In the process, doctors attributed fewer infections in girls to sexual assault.
Over the next ten years, doctors diagnosed gonorrhea vulvovaginitis so often that by 1904 an epidemiologist writing in the Journal of Infectious Diseases declared it an “epidemic” among girls. In 1909, Dr. Flora Pollack, who treated girls at the Johns Hopkins Hospital Dispensary, estimated that at least a thousand girls in Baltimore became newly infected each year, and she visited police stations and met with community groups to press for more aggressive prosecution of their assailants….
In terms of child pornography, it is not possible to provide an exact number of people trading child pornography across the world. UNICEF and the United Nations have provided some estimates. UNICEF estimates that there are more than four million websites featuring sexually exploited minors. Further, the number of child pornography websites is growing: 480,000 sites were identified in 2004 compared to 261,653 in 2001. More than 200 new images are circulated daily, and UNICEF estimates that the production and distribution of child pornographic images generates in between 3 and 20 billion dollars a year.
The United Nations released a report in July 2009 asserting that there are approximately 750,000 sexual predators using the Internet to try to make contact with children for the purpose of sexually exploiting them….
Most Mass Shootings Target Women and Families; Study Finds Men With Legal Guns Are to Blame
Data suggests that a gun present in a domestic violence situation increases the risk of homicide for women by 500 percent. AlterNet By Steven Rosenfeld February 24, 2013
A new analysis of 56 mass shootings across America since 2009 finds women and family members are the most frequent victims, and that the shooter almost always acquired his guns legally, in cases where the gun source is known.
“In at least 32 of the cases (57 percent), the shooter killed a current or former spouse or intimate partner or other family member, and at least eight of those shooters had a prior domestic violence charge,” the Mayors Against Illegal Guns report on mass shootings said, suggesting that the problem of gun violence is far more related to violence against women in homes than rampages in public settings such as schools and theaters.
The study also found that in the cases where the source of the guns was known, almost all were acquired legally: only two examples were given of mass killings with a stolen or illegal gun. That finding runs counter to the gun lobby’s oft-cited rhetoric that only criminals abuse guns.
“We had sufficient evidence to judge whether the shooter was a prohibited gun possessor in 42 of the 56 incidents,” the report said, referring to laws barring ex-felons, mentally ill people, drug addicts and other categories of people from owning guns. “Of those 42 incidents, 15 (36 percent) involved a prohibited possessor and 27 (64 percent) did not.”
MAIG’s analysis should help focus the national debate about curbing gun violence, whether the most horrific mass shootings or ongoing violence where 33 Americans are killed daily from guns (not counting suicides). The report strongly suggests that better background checks before buying guns are needed, as well as far more discussion of domestic violence and violence against women….
“Assault weapons or high-capacity magazines were used in at least 13 of the incidents (32 percent),” the report said. “These incidents resulted in an average of 14.8 total people shot—135 percent more people shot than in other incidents (6.8)—and 8.0 deaths.”