Two 17-year-old Italian teenagers allegedly paid Bitcoin to watch children be tortured, sexually abused and murdered on live stream. The teenagers, a boy, and a girl are the latest ones to be arrested as part of "Operation Delirio" in Italy.
The operation was launched in October 2019, and according to authorities, 19 out of the 25 people arrested are under 18 years of age.
Il Messaggero reported that the searches on computer equipment that belonged to the two teens from Piedmont showed evidence that the two were using Bitcoin to watch live torture of almost any kind, and the said torture always ends with the death of the child. However, cryptocurrency can legally be purchased or exchanged from italian robot bitcoin system.
Investigators believe that the gruesome videos were shot in South East Asia, although they did not specify which country. The services offered by the "Red Room" sites have different costs.
To watch pre-recorded videos, the users will pay less, but if the user wants to witness live torture and murder of a child, it would cost much more. Viewers of the live stream can also interact with the torturers, and they can make requests for free.
According to the publication, live requests are expensive and it ensures high profits for foreign organizations that carry out the gruesome acts to children. The authorities confiscated personal computers, cell phones, USB sticks, tablets, and external memories that belonged to the two teenagers.
The police searched through the communication between the two, and they discovered a detailed and disturbing description of their time on the deep web.
In the texts, cops said that the boy told his friend about the Red Rooms. He also talked about the videos of murders, executions, sexual acts on animals, dismemberments, castrations, organ removals, and child pornography, and bragged about how he can view all of them.
The two teenagers shared images as well. The said images were seized by the police and it included pornographic videos made by children themselves, videos of adults sexually assaulting children as young as 2-years-old and gory videos that involved Nazi symbology.
Operation Delirio has made arrests across 13 regions in Italy since its launch last year. But unfortunately, it has not been able to shut down the dark websites. The two teenagers are now facing charges relating to the distribution of child pornography.
The Dark Web
The dark web is a part of the internet that can't be searched by using the usual search engines. It is known as the side of the internet where criminal activities happen.
Researchers Thomas Rid and Daniel Moore of King's College in London were able to classify the contents of the live dark websites, which are 2,723 all in all. The classification of the dark websites was done in five weeks back in 2015, and Rid and Moore found out that 57% of the websites host illicit material.
In 2019, a study named Into the Web of Profit, done by Dr. Michael McGuires at the University of Surrey, showed that the dark web has become worse.
Since 2016, the number of dark web listings has increased by 20%. The dark web offers different illegal activities. You can purchase credit card numbers, guns, drugs, stolen subscription credentials, counterfeit money, hacked Netflix accounts, and software that can help you break into the computers of other people.
What really worried the authorities is the human trafficking that happens in the dark web and other inhuman acts. People can hire assassins, watch child pornography, watch people getting tortured, murdered, and other gruesome acts.