Feeds

Child protection group's creep-catcher passes Turing Test

Online predators stung by avatar of ten year old girl

Remote control for virtualized desktops

An international sting has trapped “international Webcam sex tourists” from 65 countries by using an avatar in place of a 10-year-old child to solicit viewers into asking for on-camera sex acts.

The avatar, dubbed “Sweetie”, was developed and operated by the Dutch arm of international group Terres Des Hommes, and was operated from The Netherlands. The group claims it identified more than 1,000 adults “willing to pay children in developing countries to perform sexual acts in front of the webcam” by using the avatar.

In all, the group claims that 20,000 people approached the “child”, and through those interactions, Terres Des Hommes researchers sought further information via social media to try and identify the individuals making the approaches. The group is using its research as the basis of a world-wide petition for governments to “adopt proactive investigation policies”, it says.

While the report doesn't identify the list of countries in which predators were identified, other news reports have included Australia, Britain, the USA, Canada, Ireland, Japan and Korea.

Terres Des Hommes' child-like avatar

Terres Des Hommes' child-like avatar

Not everybody is delighted at the result. Europol told Reuters that “criminal investigations using intrusive surveillance measures should be the exclusive responsibility of law enforcement agencies”, while Andy Baker of the UK's National Crime Agency http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-24818769 told the BBC that “tackling child sex abusers is best left to specialist law enforcement agencies”.

Terres Des Hommes defends its actions, stating that it hasn't indulged in entrapment: “Individuals who initiate contact and request a sexual webcam show from someone claiming to be a prepubertal child are not victims of entrapment. Terre des Hommes Netherlands regards those individuals as predators who are actively attempting to abuse children through WCST and who can therefore be considered “inclined” or predisposed to commit this crime.”

The group has posted a YouTube video about its use of “Sweetie” here. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Webcam hacker pervs in MASS HOME INVASION
You thought you were all alone? Nope – change your password, says ICO
You really need to do some tech support for Aunty Agnes
Free anti-virus software, expires, stops updating and p0wns the world
Meet OneRNG: a fully-open entropy generator for a paranoid age
Kiwis to seek random investors for crowd-funded randomiser
USB coding anarchy: Consider all sticks licked
Thumb drive design ruled by almighty buck
Attack reveals 81 percent of Tor users but admins call for calm
Cisco Netflow a handy tool for cheapskate attackers
Privacy bods offer GOV SPY VICTIMS a FREE SPYWARE SNIFFER
Looks for gov malware that evades most antivirus
Patch NOW! Microsoft slings emergency bug fix at Windows admins
Vulnerability promotes lusers to domain overlords ... oops
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Simplify SSL certificate management across the enterprise
Simple steps to take control of SSL across the enterprise, and recommendations for a management platform for full visibility and single-point of control for these Certificates.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.