Boystown image supplied by the BKA.
The Federal Criminal Police (BKA) of Germany has dismantled a gigantic network of child pornography, known to its members as Boystown.
Some 400,000 members who consumed child pornography on the
were part of it
, that is,
the dark web of the Internet in which this type of content proliferates, among others of a criminal nature.
After several months of investigation, with ramifications in the Netherlands, Sweden, Australia, the United States and Canada, the BKA demolished the platform, which had existed since 2019, in mid-April. Four men have been arrested.
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According to a statement from the BKA released on Tuesday, the child pornography network offered videos of sexual abuse of children.
"The platform had an international reach and served for the exchange of child pornography among its members, essentially photos or videos," says the BKA.
"These contents included images of serious sexual abuse of very young children."
The forum allowed users to communicate with each other and share images.
Agents from the Central Office for Combating Internet Crime (ZIT) of the Frankfurt Public Prosecutor's Office and the BKA searched seven properties in North Rhine-Westphalia, Bavaria and Hamburg in mid-April.
The four detainees are German. A 40-year-old man from Paderborn (North Rhine-Westphalia), a 49-year-old man from Munich (Bavaria) and a 58-year-old man from northern Germany who has lived in South America for several years are suspected of running the network. There is evidence of their role in the technical implementation of the platform and its maintenance, as well as in two discussion forums in which advice was given to users on safe browsing. The fourth detainee, a 64-year-old Hamburg resident, is suspected of having registered as a Boystown member in July 2019 and being one of its most active users, posting more than 3,500 messages.
The investigation, developed over several months, began in Germany and was coordinated by Europol, also supported by law enforcement agencies in the Netherlands, Sweden, the United States and Canada.
Both Boystown and other partner platforms went offline after the raids.
Blow to child pornography
In January, the German police and judicial authorities had already dismantled a
considered the largest in the world, DarkMarket.
It allowed half a million people around the world to exchange drugs, medicines, false documents, stolen bank cards or malicious programs.
In July 2017, the Frankfurt Attorney General's Office and the BKA announced the dismantling of another vast child pornography internet platform operating on the internet darknet under the name Elysium. According to the Prosecutor's Office, this platform had 87,000 members and was used to traffic child pornography around the world. He also organized encounters with children who were victims of sexual abuse. The images and videos that were seized from the platform administrator's home contained images of serious abuse of minors, including acts of sexual violence with babies.
, the Internet pages that do not appear in search engines and are accessed through special programs, is in the crosshairs of the authorities of half the planet. In it, not only child pornography is disseminated, it is also used for the sale of weapons, drug trafficking, the dissemination of terrorist propaganda or the hiring of hitmen, among other illegal activities.