Federal investigators in the US yesterday announced the success of an ingenious trap which snared over 200 web paedophiles from 15 countries.
Operation Web Sweep cracked a New Jersey-based website which was allowing international paedophiles to swap images of "clearly prepubescent" boys, explained the state's attorney general David Samson.
The site, which charged a $19.99 membership fee, was discovered by federal investigators and disabled earlier this year. It was then reopened under the same domain name by detectives to create leads to the paedophiles.
The new site informed existing subscribers of changes to the format, which contained no illegal content, and issued them with a user name and password.
The altered format allowed contributors to upload images, unwittingly helping investigators to gather evidence.
Warrants will soon be authorised for the seizure of hardware, software, computers and systems belonging to those involved in transferring images in the latest sting against internet paedophilia.
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