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U.S. requests extradition for man charged as world’s biggest child porn enabler

Eric Eoin Marques, accused of running Dark Web hosting service Freedom Hosting, has a bail hearing scheduled for Sept. 11.


Patrick Howell O'Neill

Internet Culture

Posted on Aug 15, 2013   Updated on Jun 1, 2021, 9:01 am CDT

The United States has formally requested the extradition of Eric Marques, believed by many to be the man behind Freedom Hosting—the most popular hosting service on the Dark Web— and accused of being the “largest facilitator of child porn on the planet” by the FBI.

Marques was wanted in connection with the advertising, distribution and conspiracy to advertise and distribute child pornography, reported the BBC. The charges date from July 24, 2008 to July 29, 2013. He was arrested on July 31, 2013.

Marques faces up to 30 years in prison for being the sole administrator “of a hosting server where multiple websites were held and where it is alleged pornographic images were shared,” reported the BBC.

Since Marques’s arrest and Freedom Hosting’s collapse, the disappearance of Dark Web institutions such as Tor Mail, child pornography, and a number of other websites have left the shadowy corner of the Web a changed place.

The case has been adjourned until September 11, when Marques’s lawyer said he would apply for bail after initially being denied for being a flight risk.

Photo via Cody Castro/Flickr

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*First Published: Aug 15, 2013, 5:28 pm CDT