"The website operated from a server based in the Netherlands and, at its height, boasted up to 70,000 members worldwide," it added."It attempted to operate as a 'discussion–only' forum where people could share their sexual interest in young boys without committing any specific offences, thus operating 'below the radar' of police attention," Europol said."The media likes to use the term 'vigilante' because it gets attention, but we don't consider ourselves vigilantes.We cultivate cooperation with police and work within the law to get justice, not outside of the law." Perverted-Justice functions by supporting volunteers who act as informants in chat rooms where children and minors can typically be found.Most of those detained are suspected of direct involvement in sexually abusing children.They include teachers, police officers and scout leaders, AP reported.
Europol director Rob Wainwright said Wednesday the ring, which communicated using an Internet forum, was "probably the largest online pedophile network in the world." Cori Bassett, a public affairs officer for U. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, said in an email that there had been five arrests and four convictions in connection with Operation Rescue in the U. "Arrests so far have been made in Georgia and Connecticut.
Von Erck said he got the idea for the website while watching people attempt to groom young girls in chat rooms in Oregon.
He says Perverted-Justice is a computer watchdog agency that works closely with law enforcement agencies.
More children are expected to be found, Europol said.
It said that so far 184 people had been arrested and investigations in some countries were continuing.
Law enforcement authorities from 13 countries, including the United States, Australia, Canada, Italy, Spain and the U. The statement said Europol analysts had cracked the security features of a key computer server at the center of the network which uncovered the identities of suspected child sex offenders.