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The main operators of Playpen, which is a child sex abuse site got what they deserved by getting some 20 years in prison. Michael Fluckiger of Indiana and Lynn Browning of Kentucky were prosecuted after being involved with the awful site. The site was run off of The Onion Router (TOR)’s dark web as a hidden address.
The ability of TOR to bounce data requests around through three different default nodes as it encrypts at every step-in order to conceal the locations and the identities of its users made it the ideal tool for these perpetrators of child sex abuse site.
However, the router is used by journalists for legitimate purposes.
It’s unfortunate that the network has been used to proliferate child pornography underground. In the meantime, the vigilante collective Anonymous has constantly fought the vice for the past few years.
The major perpetrator, Browning will face 20 years after his involvement in one of the most massive child pornography networks which has an estimated 215,000 members all over the globe with 117,000 posts and an average of 11,000 unique visitors every week. Browning was running the site, managing the membership lists and moderating discussions.
The malware allowed agents to identify hundreds of users of the filth pen. Before the site was closed, the FBI ran the site for at least two weeks as it gathered data on its users. The changes in law make it possible for the FBI to hack anyone and anywhere.
The FBI move led to the arrest of 51 people connected to the site as 55 children were also rescued from Connecticut, Illinois, Florida, Wisconsin, Utah, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey. Its unfortunate that one of those arrested was ex-Homeland Security Analyst Richard Armendariz who worked as a U.S. Customs and Border Protection analyst for 42 years,
Michael Fluckiger who was also an admin of the site was also sentenced to 20 years in prison while Browning’s co-administrator Steven W Chase from Florida was also arrested as a result of the investigation.