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Pentagon’s Network Is Widely Used To Share, Produce And Store Child Pornography: Investigation


Pentagon's Network Is Widely Used To Share, Produce And Store Child Pornography: Investigation


An investigation has determined that the US Department of Defense’s network is widely used to possess, procure, or produce child pornography.

“In the course of a national investigation—titled Project Flicker, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement identified over 5,000 individuals who subscribed to child pornography websites, including several DoD-affiliated individuals. This discovery prompted an inquiry by the Defense Criminal Investigative Service, which in turn identified hundreds of DoD-affiliated individuals as suspects in these child pornography cases. While only 20 percent of these individuals were investigated, of the cases investigated, several of the individuals were found to be using their government devices to download or share said pornographic material.”

In 2018, an investigation by the National Criminal Justice Training Program found DOD computers were among the top networks nationwide for peer-to-peer sharing of pornographic images of minors. DOD’s network ranked 19th out of 2,891 computer networks studied.

To combat this problem, U.S. Representatives Abigail Spanberger and Mark Meadows led the introduction of a bipartisan and bicameral legislation called the “End National Defense (END) Network Abuse Act.”

The END Network Abuse Act would require the Pentagon to enter into agreements with groups including law enforcement, child protection services, social services, and trauma-informed healthcare providers in order to cut down or halt the spread and impact of these images on DOD networks. The bill would also upgrade the training and technical expertise of the military organizations involved in investigating these types of crimes.

“Sexual abuse and the sexual exploitation of children are horrific crimes, and we should pursue all avenues to combat these crimes, eliminate images of exploitation from the internet, and prosecute those who traffic in these images. The notion that the Department of Defense’s network and Pentagon-issued computers may be used to view, create, or circulate such horrifying images is a shameful disgrace, and one we must fight head on,” said Spanberger. “As a former federal agent who worked child exploitation and child pornography cases, I recognize the need to improve the training available to those responsible for bringing perpetrators to justice. This bipartisan bill would give investigators the tools they need to protect children, eliminate existing images, and prevent the future misuse of DoD networks. Keeping our children safe from exploitation should be a priority for every Member of Congress, and I’d like to thank my colleague Congressman Meadows for joining me as we lead the introduction of this critical legislation.”

“Peer-to-peer trading of child pornography is an unacceptable practice, and federal agencies cannot allow their networks to become a platform for it,” said Meadows. “Using the ICACCOPS program is a common sense solution that will confront the problem, closing the security gaps in the Department of Defense network to help identify perpetrators and ultimately hold them responsible.”

The Executive Director of the National Children’s Alliance, Teresa Huizar praised the effort, saying that this was a significant issue:

“Child pornography is a shocking crime, and it’s all the more shocking to learn that our military’s computer networks are used by abusers to share and even produce images that harm victims for years to come. The END Network Abuse Act empowers military investigators to ensure networks created to protect our country are not used to exploit its children. More importantly, this bipartisan bill strengthens the relationship between DoD and our nation’s children’s advocacy centers to help heal kids victimized by child pornography. Sincere thanks to Rep. Spanberger and Rep. Meadows for their critical leadership on this issue.”

Other healthcare and child protection groups have, too, expressed their support for the bill.

In separate news, with the aim of “protecting the press” Democratic presidential candidate Eric Swalwell wants the federal government to decide who is and isn’t a journalist.

Of course, it has nothing to do with only deeming journalists those who support the narrative and silencing everybody else.

In terms of moderating content, Facebook will ban any ads that tell people in the US not to vote.

Facebook pledged to put its new “don’t vote” policy prohibition into effect in the fall, before the 2019 U.S. elections on November 5th, Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg said.

On June 19th, junior senator Josh Hawley from Missouri unveiled a bill ironically called the “Stop Internet Censorship Act.” This legislation would deny Section 230 protections to platforms that are not able to receive certification from the Federal Trade Commission. In doing so, the bill would effectively grant the government control over online speech.

Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act states that Internet platforms cannot be held liable for content generated by its users, even if the platform moderates that content. In other words, a content moderator can analyze reports of abusive content and make decisions as to whether the content stays up or comes down, without fear of the company they work for being sued and slammed with a fine.




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