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FBI Distributes Child Porn as Part of Unusual Sting to Identify Users in Washington State

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI has disseminated child porn as part of a controversial, unorthodox sting in western Washington state.

After seizing a child pornography service last year, Nebraska-based agents decided to continue operating the service to catch users, the Seattle Post Intelligencer reports.

According to the newspaper, the bureau kept the service open for about two weeks in hopes of nabbing more than 5,000 customers who distribute the images of child being raped and abused. 

It’s unclear whether the FBI has ever dealt child pornography as part of an investigation.

The investigation is in its infancy and has not yet resulted in an arrest, the Intelligencer reported.

“This remains an ongoing investigation, and local court rules and Department of Justice policy prohibit me from providing more information at this time,” said Sandy Breault, spokeswoman for the FBI Omaha Division. “As in any given matter, if charges are filed, they will eventually become a matter of public record.”


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Comment from Jim Burdick
Time May 28, 2013 at 10:29 am

It my humble opinion, this would be tantamount to the DEA doing a reverse sting and letting the bguyers use or sell tyhe drugs. This is in violation of the spirit of the statute prohibiting child porn – Title 18, Secs 1465 & 1466. How are the FBI agents distributing kiddie porn any less engaged in criminal behavior prohibited by the statutes, than an actual distributor?

There doesn’t seem to be an exception for law enforcement activities but, even if there were, imagine the flood of pornography that other agencies – federal, state and local – would generate while “fighting” kiddie porm?

This is not a valid – or even sensible – law enforcement action, IMHO. It has long been my sense that the government has such technical proess that there is little gained by doing anything more than watching the sites, seeing every single customer’s computer address (and typically real address), and then getting a search warrant and grabbing the evidence.

They could also use their technical skills to warn off every person who visits those sites, and lety them know they are being watched and identified. This is something I have long believed would have a significant impact on the merely curious, if not a majority of the true perverts out there trolling for this kind of material. But ah t’s another argument: far less publicity, forfeiturte and earned “stats” where people aqre stopped but not charged.

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