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Nation's efforts lauded in child porn bust

2013-10-23 08:45 China Daily Web Editor: Wang Fan

The largest global campaign against child pornography, in which China played a pivotal role, has been hailed a success.

Operation Angel, launched in April, has led to more than 250 arrests worldwide and blazed a trail in multinational operations, law enforcement officials said.

"Child protection is a global issue," said Yang Shaowen, deputy director of international cooperation for the Ministry of Public Security. "The campaign is a vital step for participating nations in protecting our youth."

Authorities in 20 countries and regions took part, targeting not only the people running illicit websites and host servers, but also those uploading indecent images.

Russell L. Hunt, legal attache for the FBI, spoke highly of the campaign and praised China's contribution in providing and analyzing evidence for investigations overseas.

Four websites were shut down, and police on the Chinese mainland detained more than 180 suspects in 30 provinces, with 19 more in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and 46 in Taiwan. The FBI arrested two people in the United States.

This month, Australian representatives said they had identified two suspects, while in Germany one man has been arrested and two more are under investigation based on evidence provided by the Chinese mainland.

New Zealand is also looking into one suspect.

"Investigations are still going on and we'll continue to provide help to other police forces," Yang said.

Joint probe

The FBI first contacted the Ministry of Public Security in September last year about suspected child porn websites that were hosted on servers in the US but managed in China.

A preliminary police investigation discovered 4 trillion bytes of child porn, including videos and photographs, on websites with more than 1 million members in more than 130 countries and regions.

Police in Operation Angel focused on suspects in 10 countries.

Chinese officials visited the US in November to discuss a joint probe, and it was agreed US authorities would supply raw data and Chinese police would offer analysis.

"Both sides also decided to launch a global law enforcement campaign against child porn," said Gu Jian, deputy director of Internet security for the ministry.

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