WASHINGTON — The Association of Sites Advocating Child Protection (ASACP) was instrumental in the takedown of the online child abuse fan forum Dreamboard, the organization announced today.
The notorious website, called “a nightmare” by those familiar with it, was the subject of a 20-month long investigation, dubbed Operation Delego, which has resulted in charges against 72 people over their involvement with this site, where users shared images of child sexual abuse equivalent to 16,000 DVDs of content.
“ASACP’s CP Reporting Hotline has received a number of complaints in reference to this heinous website,” ASACP executive director Tim Henning said.
“Once confirmed, these ‘Red Flag’ reports were forwarded to our contacts at the Justice Department and elsewhere, in an effort to spur and further the investigation into this criminal enterprise.”
Henning added, “Rarely do we get to discuss the results of our Red Flag investigations. ASACP is proud of the role it played in putting an end to this living ‘nightmare.’”
According to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, the website depicted the abuse of infants and young children.
“The members of this criminal network shared a demented dream to create the pre-eminent online community for the promotion of child sexual exploitation,” Holder stated. “But for the children they victimized, this was nothing short of a nightmare.”
U.S. officials are reported to be currently holding at least 43 of those charged in custody; while nine suspects are being held overseas; and a further 20 now being pursued.
Sentences for those convicted of participating in Dreamboard are expected to range from 20 years to life in prison.
ASACP said that since 1996 it has processed more than 600,000 reports of suspected illegal child porn, identifying and quantifying its scope and sources, revealing that the legitimate adult entertainment industry has nothing to do with this material.
Henning said, “Dreamboard illustrates the distinction between lawful companies and criminal enterprises — and underscores the continued importance of ASACP’s mission to protect children on the Internet — a mission which can only continue through the generous support of our sponsors, members and contributors.”