- This woman said Hillary Clinton losing the 2016 election gave her PTSD, and people are furious Monday 6:45 PM
- Vanessa Bryant files a lawsuit against helicopter company after deaths of Kobe and Gianna Monday 5:49 PM
- Michael Jordan cries at Kobe Bryant memorial, jokes about creating a new meme Monday 4:43 PM
- Woman’s boyfriend says it’s him or the frogs—Reddit says choose the frogs Monday 4:22 PM
- Greyhound buses will no longer allow Border Patrol checks Monday 4:04 PM
- ‘Eat Them To Defeat Them’ is oddly about vegetables—not about eating the rich Monday 3:26 PM
- Marco Rubio mocked for filming talking while driving socialism critique Monday 2:54 PM
- QAnon believer asks Trump’s campaign press secretary who Q is Monday 2:36 PM
- Octavia Spencer has discovered ‘Ma’ memes—and she can’t get enough Monday 2:09 PM
- Meet the anti-Greta Thunberg, a climate ‘skeptic’ funded by the oil industry Monday 1:12 PM
- Harvey Weinstein convicted of rape and sexual assault Monday 12:56 PM
- Senator calls Facebook’s current election disinformation efforts ‘inadequate’ in letter Monday 12:11 PM
- The Phillie Phanatic mascot unveils a slimmer makeover Monday 11:56 AM
- YouTuber threatened with arrest after rapping about being a girl from Mecca Monday 11:55 AM
- Video shows flat-Earther ‘daredevil’ crashing to death after homemade rocket fails Monday 11:49 AM
Streaming child abuse operation shut down in Philippines
Destitute parents made money on their children’s webcast suffering.
In a case that makes it all too clear how the Internet has allowed rich westerners to exploit the developing world in new and shocking ways, a global police investigation has busted a pedophile ring that streamed child abuse live from the Philippines.
Almost 30 suspects across 14 countries have been arrested as part of a coordinated crackdown by law enforcement in the United Kingdom, United States, and Australia. The effort, called Operation Endeavor, resulted in multiple arrests, including 11 people in the Philippines who are charged with orchestrating and filming sexal abuse of children. About 15 child victims, ages 6 to 15, were taken into custody.
Britain’s National Crime Agency elaborated on the sinister economics at work: “Extreme poverty, the increasing availability of high-speed internet and the existence of a vast and comparatively wealthy overseas customer base has led to organized crime groups exploiting children for financial gain.” Often, families are complicit in the abuse.
Customers were pinpointed in the Netherlands, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Switzerland, Germany, France, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Canada as well as the U.S., U.K., and Australia. Material found in the home of British registered sex offender Timothy Ford sparked the international investigation.
“Detectives found records of money transfers to the parents of five children whose abuse he had paid to watch,” the BBC reports.
U.K. authorities said that Ford, who last March was sentenced to eight-and-a-half years in prison, planned to move to the Philippines himself to “set up an Internet café” and rent rooms with an eye toward pedophilic sex tourism. Hundreds of other men are currently being investigated for allegedly paying to view child abuse via webcam. More than $60,000 changed hands in the scheme, with a sizable portion of that going directly to victim’s relatives.
Miles Klee is a novelist and web culture reporter. The former editor of the Daily Dot’s Unclick section, Klee’s essays, satire, and fiction have appeared in Lapham’s Quarterly, Vanity Fair, 3:AM, Salon, the Awl, the New York Observer, the Millions, and the Village Voice. He's the author of two odd books of fiction, 'Ivyland' and 'True False.'