Justice Department charging 72 suspected members of an online child pornography ring


August 4, 2011

Justice Department charging 72 suspected members of an online child pornography ring

Operation Delego, a joint investigation by the U.S. departments of Justice and Homeland Security that was launched in 2009, has resulted in the Justice Department charging 72 suspected members of an online child pornography ring.The operation targeted hundreds of individuals, in countries around the world,” Attorney General Eric Holder said, “for their alleged participation in ‘Dreamboard’ – a private, members-only online bulletin board that was created and operated to promote pedophilia, and to encourage the sexual abuse of very young children.” According to Holder, members of ‘Dreamboard’ would trade graphic images and videos of adults sexually abusing children and create a vast library of images depicting the abuse.

According to court documents filed in the Western District of Louisiana and elsewhere, ‘Dreamboard’ members employed a variety of measures designed to conceal their criminal activity from detection by law enforcement. Members communicated using aliases or “screen names,” rather than their actual names. Links to child pornography posted on Dreamboard were required to be encrypted with a password that was shared only with other members. Members accessed the board via proxy servers, which routed Internet traffic through other computers so as to disguise a user’s actual location and prevent law enforcement from tracing Internet activity. ‘Dreamboard’ members also encouraged the use of encryption programs on their computers, which password-protect computer files to prevent law enforcement from accessing them in the event of a court-authorized search.
Justice officials stated that Operation Delego represents the largest prosecution to date in the United States of individuals who participated in an online bulletin board conceived and operated for the sole purpose of promoting child sexual abuse, disseminating child pornography and evading law enforcement.

Fifty-two of the 72 people charged have been arrested in the U.S. and abroad, and 13 have pleaded guilty and face 20 to 30 years in prison. Twenty still remain at large and are only known by their online screen names.
The criminal charges carry sentences ranging from 20 years to life in prison.

Publisher: Salient News