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Kerala cops collect IP addresses of 150 people who downloaded child porn amid lockdown

The digital footfall of child porn viewers from the state has increased tremendously ever since the nationwide lockdown began.

Published: 17th April 2020 07:05 PM  |   Last Updated: 17th April 2020 07:05 PM   |  A+A-

child abuse, child safety

For representational purposes

By Express News Service

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The COVID-19 lockdown has exposed kids whiling away time on the internet to sexual predators, show statistics provided by the Countering Child Sexual Exploitation Team (CCSE) of the Kerala Police. The digital footfall of child porn viewers from the state has increased tremendously ever since the nationwide lockdown began.

The CCSE team said that by following digital trends, they have concluded that there has been an increased online activity of pedophiles in cyberspace as indicated by their search for Child Sexual Abuse Material (CSAM) in encrypted sites and chat rooms.

The CCSE team has so far gathered the IP addresses of around 150 people in the state who have downloaded CSAM, while the actual number of people who are into this depravity is much more.

Cyberdome Nodal Officer Manoj Abraham said the IP addresses are being collected using special tools since most users stick to encrypted web browsers to avoid being tracked.

"We have already collected details of more than 150 persons in Kerala and action will be initiated against such individuals," he said.

Meanwhile, a special cell has been created in Cyberdome to bust the ring of child abusers who trade in CSAM through encrypted apps such as Telegram. A CCSE team official said they have detected several groups in Telegram that were circulating child abuse content.

"Some groups such as Sreyayude, Thavalam, Manthanga Girl and Thanasertha, which had more than 200 members each, were detected to be sharing CSAM. The groups have been closed down with the help of Telegram and efforts are on to identify the group members and admins," said the official.

Meanwhile, officials suspect that uploading of CSAM is also happening from the state. Much of this content uploaded recently was shot inside houses and the sleuths feel they were taken during the lockdown period.

Considering the grave threat posed to kids by habitual pedophiles, CCSE officials have warned parents to monitor the browsing habit of their kids. "Use of malware to activate the webcams is a possibility," said the CCSE official.

Across the globe, the most followed practice of sexual predators is to befriend kids online and then prompt them to do sexual acts on webcams. CCSE officials pointed out that this poses a grave threat to kids as the footage could be used for further exploitation. Domestic abuse of kids could also be possible as suggested by some of the uploaded material, they added.

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