Saturday, September 25, 2021

The Dark Web’s Largest Pedophile Site Was Secretly Run By The Police For A Year

from Zero Hedge:

A major international police operation to bust child predators involved police sharing child pornography with over a million unsuspecting online subscribers for a year after investigators took control of the dark web’s largest child abuse forum. Though hundreds of pedophiles were arrested after the site was shut down, the police sting involved undercover officers sharing extremely disturbing content and encouraging followers to engage in sexual acts with children. But police say it was worth it.

A new report reveals that Australian police were running the largest pedophile and child pornography forum on the internet for a year as part of a joint initiative between Australian, European, and Canadian police as well as the US Department of Homeland Security to track down the site’s administrators and child porn producers. Over the weekend the Norwegian newspaper VG published its bombshell investigation which confirmed that between October 2016 and September 2017 a special police task force based in Queensland, Australia was able to quietly hack the site “Childs Play” which had reached over a million registered accounts and had thousands of active users.

Queensland police at Taskforce Argos, including investigator Paul Griffiths (pictured). Image source: Kinsa.net

The task force was able to identify the site’s top tier administrators, leading to hundreds of international arrests and criminal investigations, but not before crossing what critics see as a significant ethical line: to expose those behind the site, police themselves posted child pornography and facilitated what was essentially a pedophile online meet-up.

The site has existed since April 2016 on the dark web, which made it next to impossible to identify users and administrators as the dark web operates based on layers of encryption which ensures complete anonymity. Not only did the forum include over one hundred active producers of child pornography who would daily post videos and images, but even more disturbingly involved a smaller inner circle who shared child torture videos.

Among this inner circle were Childs Play administrators ‘Warhead’ and ‘Crazymonk’ – later revealed to be 26-year old Canadian Benjamin Faulkner and 27-year old Tennessee native Patrick Falte, according the VG reportBoth had previously worked as internet security professionals and were active technical support providers for pedophilia related internet sites – the two had initially met, for example, through a website called the the “Pedo Support Community.” The Australian child abuse task force had begun tracking the two by assembling profiles of their previous digital footprints in relation to child abuse related chat on the open web.

Source: Norway’s VG

Faulkner (Warhead) for example, had in 2012 posted the following to a chat forum under his previous online identity, CuriousVendetta:

A little about myself to establish credibility here: My name is CuriousVendetta, and I work as a JR forensics consultant and penetration tester for an IT security firm. On the side, I do what I can to cause general mischief on the internet with a few friends of mine…

 

At the pool is where I am free, and where I can generate my fantasies. I have more girls in my ‘fan club’ than I can even count.

Faulkner was working as a youth swimming instructor in the small Canadian city of North Bay in Ontario and though it appears some parents had become suspicious of his proclivities, no police reports were ever filed. Patrick Falte had lived all his life with his parents a half an hour outside of Nashville and was the more advanced technical expert of the two. Both Warhead and Crazymonk as administrators of the Childs Play dark web forum had promised subscribers increased security measures. For example users knew that should Warhead, the site’s leader, ever miss one of his routine postings to the community which involved a message stamped with a pornographic image, it would be a signal that the community had been infiltrated by police.

But police did infiltrate the community and took it over, partly due to mistakes made by the administrators. The forum transacted in Bitcoin – common for the dark web – but Crazymonk had his bitcoin wallet linked to his personal email address, making it easy for the US Department of Homeland Security to locate him. Other mistakes which helped police included both site leaders posting identifying information in various on the open web which helped investigators build profiles for the two. From there police not only began monitoring the pair – even installing tracking devices on their vehicles – but were also able to observe all communications and postings on the site through a backdoor. It was soon understood that the two would occasionally drive for over 10 hours to meet multiple times a year. After months of monitoring, the two met in person at a usual spot in Manassas, Virginia, where one of Childs Play’s users had regularly offered the men his 4-year old daughter to rape while being video taped.

It was in Manassas that US federal agents finally made the arrest, but only after the 4-year old had already been raped in a Virginia home. Authorities told VG that they had no way of knowing of the rape beforehand, citing online messaging as not indicative of that information. The video tape would later be used to convict Faulkner and Falte, who were given life sentences for both the rape and running the site. After the arrests, the Australian task force, known as Argos, then moved in to assume the identities of the arrested site administrators. Investigators studied the pair’s online language styles and characteristics, eventually posting an admin message so that users wouldn’t get suspicious, which of course required the child pornography image stamp.

The site’s server was located in Australia, which was important to the international investigation as Australian law gives police broad leeway to commit crimes in pursuit of investigations, especially in relation to catching child pornographers. Task force Argo’s officers not only uploaded the image, thereby convincing subscribers that nothing was wrong, but according to VG issued the following message to the community:

“I hope that some of you were able to give a special present to the little ones in your lives, and spend some time with them. It’s a great time of year to snuggle up near a fire, and make some memories.”

Police, while running the site, also continued to share images and videos while undergoing their year-long investigation which identified numerous video producers as well as consumers of the content. For example the task force posted a video of an eight-year-old girl being raped only two weeks after taking over the forum, which was viewed 770,617 times, according to the report. Such extreme police tactics, which authorities argue was necessary to rescue victims and put predators behind bars,have outraged some of the victims’ families.

VG reporters were able to speak to a mother of one the victims whose video was used by police as part of the operation: “My daughter should not be used as a bait… It is not right for the police to promote these images,” she said. But police investigators told VG in response to criticism that, “There is definitely a balance between what we want to achieve and how we go about it.” And added, “Eventually we get to the point where it isn’t worth running the forum any more. But as long as we’re identifying victims, producers and abusers, we will keep running it.”

A similar investigation by the FBI in 2015 of a site significantly smaller than Child’s Play’s size made 870 arrests and rescued 259 children after agents kept it online for just two weeks. The FBI came under fire for actively sharing, promoting and facilitating the transfer of thousands of images and videos. But the Australian task force ran a site which was over five times the size and content volume for close to a year.

    Read More @ ZeroHedge.com

    Fed’s Monetary Tightening Could Become a Havoc-Wreaking Juggernaut

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    by Peter Schiff, SchiffGold:

    The price of gold has fallen four straight weeks, primarily driven down by anticipation of Federal Reserve monetary tightening. The kickoff of the Fed’s balance sheet normalization program and the expectation of rising interest rates have helped spark a dollar rally. But few people seem to be paying any attention to the pitfalls of quantitative tightening. In fact, the Fed’s policy to push interest rates higher could turn out to be a havoc-wrecking juggernaut.

    We’ve already discussed the impact rising interest rates will have with the government more than $20 trillion in debt. Any substantial interest rate increase would crush the US budget under interest payments. Analysts have calculated that if the interest rate on Treasury debt stood at 6.2{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} – its level in 2000 – the annual interest payment on the current debt would nearly triple to $1.3 trillion annually.

    But the Fed has an even more basic problem. It has inflated a stock market bubble. This attempt to shrink the balance sheet may well pop it. Peter Schiff pointed this out during his podcast earlier this month.

    I don’t know why the markets are excited about the prospect of a plan to shrink the Fed’s balance sheet, because if the Fed actually shrunk the balance sheet, the markets wouldn’t like it because it would put dramatic upward pressure on interest rates which are not good for stocks.”

    In the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, the Fed quickly pushed interest rates down to zero. With that gun empty, it began quantitative easing. In simplest terms, the central bank created money out of thin air and used it to buy bonds. Over a span of nearly seven years, the Fed’s balance sheet increased 427{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528}. According to a MarketSlant article the central bank did $3,625 billion of QE.

    So, where did a lot of that new money go?

    The stock market.

    Analysis reported by Yahoo Finance last year showed that 93{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} of the entire stock market move since 2008 was caused by Federal Reserve policy. It doesn’t take a Wall Street tycoon to figure out quantitative tightening may well suck the air out of that bubble.

    At some level, the Fed seems to realize this. The plan is to start its quantitative tightening program slow. Instead of reinvesting Treasuries and mortgage-backed securities, it will simply allow them to mature off its balance sheet. It will start with a $10 billion rolloff in October and increase it each quarter until it reaches $50 billion next year.

    MarketSlant compared the Fed’s quantitative tightening program to a train slowly leaving the station.

    Starting to reverse QE via QT radically alters market dynamics going forward. Like a freight train just starting to move, it doesn’t look scary to traders yet. But once that QT train gets barreling at full speed, it’s going to be a havoc-wreaking juggernaut.”

    The Fed announced its plan back in June. It was more aggressive than anticipated, but the markets didn’t react to the trial balloon. That gave Yellen and company the green light to set things in motion. The folks at MarketSlant say the markets have missed the boat.

    These complacent stock markets’ belief that such massive monetary destruction won’t affect them materially is ludicrously foolish. QT will naturally unwind and reverse the market impact of QE.”

    In the big scheme of things, the Fed has backed itself into a corner. It knows it needs to get interest rate up so it has something to cut during the next inevitable downturn. If the economy tanks tomorrow, the Fed has virtually no monetary policy firepower. It needs to stock up ammunition. That means getting interest rates up and clearing some space on its bloated balance sheet. But as MarketSlant points out, this level of QT has never been attempted and it’s extremely risky for these QE-levitated stock markets. The Fed is attempting to thread the needle between preparing for the next market crisis and triggering it.

    The bottom line is this could end up being a disaster for stock markets, but nobody seems to really believe it – yet. It’s like a storm that’s still a week out. It’s fun to plan your hurricane party. It’s not so fun living through a hurricane.

    With stock markets at all-time record highs this week, QT’s advent seems like no big deal to euphoric stock traders. They are dreadfully wrong. CNBC’s inimitable Rick Santelli had a great analogy of this. Just hearing a hurricane is coming is radically different than actually living through one. QT isn’t feared because it isn’t here and hasn’t affected markets yet. But once it arrives and does, psychology will really change. Make no mistake, quantitative tightening is extremely bearish for these QE-inflated stock markets.”

    Read More @ SchiffGold:

    Julian Assange BLASTS mainstream media: Gives 3 simple steps to “Being A Journalist In 2017”

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    by Alex Chrisoforou, The Duran:

    Wikileaks founder Julian Assange is saving aspiring journalists time and money (which may have otherwise been invested in University classes or unpaid internships), with a simple and straight path towards becoming a “Western journalist in 2017”…and the path to fame and fortune is simple.

    Blame Russia for everything.

    Read More @ TheDuran.com

    Shooter’s brother linked to crisis communications management PR firm and Pulse Nightclub

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    by Shepard Ambellas, Intellihub:

    Shooter’s brother pictured wearing t-shirt which links to a crisis management firm PR representative, the Pulse Nightclub and more

    ORLANDO (INTELLIHUB) — Eric Paddock, the brother of the suspected Las Vegas shooter was pictured wearing a t-shirt which reads “Central Florida Community Arts” while holding his arms out to his sides for reporters in front of an Orange County Sheriff’s vehicle.

    Interestingly enough, upon further investigation, a woman by the name of Sara Brady is listed on the Central Florida Community Arts official website as Chair of the Board.

    Sara Brady Public Relations, Inc., specializes in crisis management and strategic communications. She has been named PR Professional of the Year by FPRA and one of Orlando Magazine’s 50 Most Powerful People. Sara also serves on the board for the Orlando Science Center.

    Even more shocking is the fact that Sara Brady is also listed on the onePULSE Foundation’s official website as a public relations representative.

    In fact, Sara Brady heads up her own public relations firm called “SB PR” which is short for Sara Brady Public Relations.

    And if that’s not enough, her official website brags that Brady “has managed some of the biggest crisis and reputation management challenges in recent memory” and admits that “Sara Brady worked with Pulse Nightclub after the shocking shooting that made news around the world in June of 2016.”

    Read More @ Intellihub.com

    ‘Suicide Note’ Seen in Vegas Shooter’s Hotel Room Finally Explained

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    by Aaron Nelson, The Anti Media:

    A mysterious piece of paper discovered last week, when photos from the Las Vegas gunman’s hotel room were leaked to the media, is now back in the news cycle. The pictures were published by numerous news outlets and shared by millions of people on social media.

    At the time the photos were published by the Daily Mail, police had not mentioned if Paddock left behind a note in his hotel room. Nevada Sheriff Joe Lombardo said police were investigating who leaked the crime scene photos.

    In one photo in particular, a white piece of paper or notepad on a side table next to a chair is visible, which caused some to speculate that it may have been a suicide note. Soon after the photos were leaked, Twitter was abuzz with chatter referencing the paper, with people spreading cover-up conspiracies and rumors that it was a suicide note.

    Read More @ TheAntiMedia.com

    Spain’s Rajoy Ready To Trigger “Nuclear Option” As Hundreds Of Thousands Protest Against Independence In Barcelona

    from ZeroHedge:

    One week after the historic Catalan Independence Referendum vote reopened Europe’s populist Pandora Box of nationalist secession movements, tens of thousands of people took to the streets of Catalonia’s capital Barcelona on Sunday to express their opposition to any declaration of independence from Spain, which according to Reuters showed “how divided the region is on the issue.”

    Last Sunday, more than 90{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} of the 2.3 million people who voted backed secession, according to Catalan officials. But that turnout represented only 43 percent of the region’s 5.3 million eligible voters as many opponents of independence stayed away. Now its the others’ turn to be heard.

    The protesters rallied in central Barcelona, waving Spanish and Catalan flags and banners saying “Catalonia is Spain” and “Together we are stronger”, as politicians on both sides hardened their positions in the country’s worst political crisis for decades.

    As is typically the case, estimates of the crowd size varied enormously, with the range given as between 350,000 up to a million.

    Read More @ ZeroHedge.com

    WATCH: NBC News Caught Selectively Editing Evidence Of Multiple Shooters Video

    by Jack Burns, The Free Thought Project:

    NBC News is being accused of editing video footage from the Las Vegas shooting, and removing evidence that there were multiple shooters involved.

    NBC News is the latest mainstream media network to come under fire amid accusations of selective editing. This time, it involves a video from a witness during the Las Vegas shooting that raises questions about the presence of multiple shooters.

    The video footage was taken by Vegas taxi cab driver Cori Langdon, and the discovery was first observed by Vincent James, a Youtuber on the channel The Red Elephants:

    In his comparison and contrast of the two videos, James noted that NBC’s video was edited in an apparent attempt to give viewers a different impression from what they would have gotten had they been allowed to watch the original in context.

    James said, “They edited her (Langdon) voice and hyper-cut clips to make it sound like the cab driver said, ‘people are running!’” In actuality, Langdon never said such a thing and appeared to be amazed that NO ONE WAS RUNNING.

    Here is a link to the tweet NBC News published, which proves James’ point.

    Here is what Langdon witnessed and recorded, as Matt Agorist of TFTP reported earlier this week:

    Cori Langdon, taxi driver, and resident of Las Vegas was in the taxi lane at Mandalay Bay when the shooting began…she quickly realized (shooting was occuring) and began filming (evidence of multiple shooters)

    In the video, shots begin to ring out. At first, the shots are far away and then, all of the sudden, they are right on top of her. This happens several times during the first two minutes of the video…[She can even be heard] saying, “It is now coming from further away.”

    Using multiple firing positions is a military tactic designed to throw off the enemy. A single firing position is relatively easy to pinpoint, so the use multiple points of fire is employed to ‘blur’ the locator’s image.

    As she continues to film, the rounds continue to be heard for several minutes. As she leaves the front drive of Mandalay Bay, Langdon says, “It seems like it’s coming from up there.”

    In his video, James concluded, “Nevertheless, something is very fishy and nothing adds up.” He pointed to the fact that Vegas is saturated with high definition video cameras and footage has still not been made available showing Stephen Paddock, the suspect in the deadly shooting, bringing in his dozens of guns and thousands of rounds of ammunition.

    Read More @ TheFreeThoughtProject.com

    LAS VEGAS MASS SHOOTING EYEWITNESS: THERE WERE “FOUR TO FIVE” SHOOTERS ATTACKING MULTIPLE HOTELS

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    by Alex Thomas, The Daily Sheeple:

    As the official narrative surrounding the deadliest mass shooting in American history continues to unravel, multiple eyewitness accounts are starting to trickle in, with the latest being an extremely shocking and detailed account of an operation that included up to five different shooters targeting multiple hotels in Las Vegas.

    Facebook user and eyewitness Gio Rios has sent shockwaves throughout the internet after he not only confirmed he was present during the attack, he presented a variety of details that are were either unpublished or have been denied by authorities and the mainstream media.

    “There was more than one shooter, I believe there were 4-5 shooters and I saw/heard 4 of them,” Rios claimed. “There was one of their men down in the concert who lit firecrackers either to distract people…. or to decoy the Mandalay Bay shooter breaking the windows out of the hotel without being noticed right away.”

    That’s right, we now have another eyewitness publicly speaking about multiple shooters just as police originally stated (on the scanners). Keep in mind that other proof of some sort of false flag operation has also been revealed, including automatic gunfire heard at ground level.

    “The first shooter was at the Mandalay Bay, then MGM Grand, and Excalibur/New York New York and Tropicana,” continued Rios. “These are confirmed by me personally and I believe that the shooter from Mandalay was shooting an LMG.”

    Rios then goes on to provide what has to be the most detailed account of what may have happened to date, starting out by again noting that firecrackers were lit first in some sort of move to distract concert goers before the actual shooting began. He sadly details the horrific death all around him as he ran with his girlfriend to get out of harms way, noticing many people shot including a women with her head blown off.

    “We then proceeded to an alleyway by the parking structure and saw muzzle flashes coming from the Excalibur and New York New York,” Rios revealed. Obviously if this is true it completely destroys the official story and paints a picture of a multiple person team using various hotels to attack concert goers from multiple angles.

    Rios concludes by saying, “Las Vegas can’t afford to have people scared to travel to the strip that’s the main entertainment in Nevada, think about it. Why would they scare everyone and confess that there were multiple shooters when they have no clue who the active shooters actually are.”

    Read More @ TheDailySheeple.com

    Russia’s on the Way Back

    by Jim Rickards, Daily Reckoning:

    Russia is poised to break out of its oil-related slump and become one of the best performing emerging markets economies in the years ahead. This sleeping giant is breaking its dependence on oil prices and embraces diversified growth.

    When you hear the name “Russia” you probably run for cover. Russia has been the subject of nearly continuous media coverage bordering on frenzy since the election of Donald Trump last November.

    Russia allegedly hacked U.S. computer systems and email servers, rigged the election in favor of Trump, and colluded with the Trump campaign to defeat Hillary Clinton. Trump campaign officials met with Russian operatives and spies to coordinate all of this nefarious activity. Or so the story goes.

    The truth is more complex. Russia certainly does run an around-the-clock hacking and spying operation aimed at any U.S. system they can penetrate. We do the same to Russia. It’s what national intelligence agencies do. No news there.

    There may have been some “weaponization” of the hacked data through selective leaks to publishing outlets like Wikileaks. That allegation is less clear. Wikileaks has always insisted that their leaks did not come from Russia. There is some evidence to support the claim that the Hillary Clinton related leaks came from disaffected Bernie Sanders supporters. That truth may emerge later.

    Trump campaign efforts to reach out to Russia between November 2016 and January 2017 did not have to do with “collusion.” They were a smart geopolitical move to align U.S. interests with Russia in advance of a confrontation with China about trade, currency, and North Korea.

    Unfortunately, the Trump team consisted of amateurs like Jared Kushner who bungled the job. They played into the hands of Democrats who were waiting to pounce on the smallest sign of so-called collusion. This sequence combined with media bias has now poisoned the U.S.-Russia relationship.

    Now, the confrontation with China is arriving right on schedule but the U.S. has no relationship with Russia to help back up our position. It’s two-against-one, and the U.S. is the odd man out — thanks to U.S. political dysfunction and the media.

    The point in reciting this history is that it’s difficult for investors to separate the economic fundamentals of Russia from the media circus and political noise. If Russia were named “Volgastan,” and not involved in U.S. politics, its economic position would be one of the most attractive emerging markets stories in the world.

    Let’s begin our independent analysis by reviewing the fundamentals.

    Russia is the 12th largest economy in the world with about $1.3 trillion in GDP. That is slightly larger than Australia or Spain, and significantly larger than well-liked emerging markets economies such as Mexico, Indonesia, and Taiwan.

    Russia’s sovereign debt-to-GDP ratio is a microscopic 17{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528}. Compare that to the U.S. debt-to-GDP ratio of 106{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528}, more than six times larger. Other debt-to-GDP zombies are Japan (240{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528}), France (96{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528}) and the UK (89{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528}).

    The fact is, in the next liquidity crisis, you won’t be hearing about Russian default. The U.S. and China are more likely to be in the eye of the storm.

    Russia is the world’s second largest oil exporter (after Saudi Arabia) and the world’s largest exporter of natural gas. Russia is also the world’s third largest gold producer after China and Australia, and ahead of the United States.

    From a geopolitical perspective, Russia is one of only three genuinely powerful countries in the world (along with the U.S. and China) despite media efforts to portray it as an inefficient economic backwater.

    Still, there’s much more to the Russian economic analysis than the familiar story of an export and geopolitical powerhouse. In particular, Russia has engaged in one of the most aggressive gold accumulation operations since the U.S. in the 1920s.

    Russian reserves are managed by the Central Bank of Russia, CBR. The CBR Chair since 2013 has been Elvira Nabiullina. Think of her as the “Janet Yellen of Russia,” but with a much different pedigree.

    Read More @ DailyReckoning.com