Rob Wainwright, one of Europe’s top cops, has warned of a sickening yet growing trade in online child torture porn.
Wainwright, the director of Europol, says that viewers are using Bitcoin, a virtual currency that you can get a number of ways, to pay for webcam shows depicting children being sexually assaulted and burned.
Wainwright said “The level of depravity seems to be descending year on year, frankly, including what seems to be in vogue now, which is live webcam ‘shows’ of toddlers not just being raped but being burnt with cigarettes. Sorry, but it’s happening online and it’s extremely difficult for us to identify.”
Wainright added “This is about the criminal investigator finding it much harder to identify the crime, let alone the criminal. It is frustrating that [police] are not getting the message out, at least not loud enough for legislators to hear it.”
Last year, authorities shut down a website called Silk Road, arresting its founder Ross William Ulbricht. The site reportedly allowed users to buy drugs and other merchandise using Bitcoin, a potentially untraceable currency. Ulbricht was charged with drug trafficking, computer hacking, money laundering, and conspiracy charges.
According to Forbes, a second version of Silk Road was launched by the site’s administrators shortly after and many copycat sites have sprung up since. Bitcoin, because of its anonymous and virtual nature, can be used just like cash, which is also theoretically untraceable, and critics worry that along with the sex trade it can be used to fund terrorism and other illegal activities.