Thursday, January 21, 2016

FBI ran a child porn website after seizing to conduct a sting of users


Brad Heath, of USA Today, reports that the “FBI ran website sharing thousands of child porn images”  The site, called “Playpen”, was on the dark web and usually accessed through TOR.  The FBI had seized it in the late winter of 2015, and operated it for about 13 days, in order to find users to prosecute.  Apparently at least 25 people will face charged (although there may have been 100,000 visitors while the site was under FBI control).

Of course, this sounds like “entrapment”, and is like distributing heroin in a bad neighborhood to catch low-level addicts, as the story says.

Apparently the site was not accessible through the normal public web.  But it sets up the idea that someone could be framed.

This is apparently not the first time the FBI has run this kind of sting.

The Washington Post has a detailed account of this matter by Ellen Nakashima.

Vox also reported the story today.

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