Evidence: How Pedophiles Operate on Facebook

We do not intend to offend you nor do we want to re-victimize these children. However, we must continue to exhibit the evidence in order to motivate those who care enough to take real action. From elected officials, to law enforcement professionals, the reaction to this evidence is universal: ”This is on Facebook?” they ask, shocked at every image. Yes, it is. And the evidence is undeniable.

Not only is it “on” Facebook, but there are thousands of Facebook “Profiles” with thousands of images and videos that are no more than a few clicks away for ANY Facebook visitor.

We will not tolerate this abuse. Along with viewing our detailed video explaining the issue, please read and share the evidence below. Then “subscribe” for updates.

Love Boys

Facebook Observer : June 28, 2011 7:04 pm : child pornography, Examiner.com

Via Scribbal and KOB, a woman in New Mexico saw child pornography on a Facebook page called “Love Boys” and reported it to law enforcement.

Valencia County resident Loretta Armijo contacted the Valencia County Sheriff’s Department after making the shocking discovery on Facebook and said she wanted to do anything she could to bring down the page and expose it to authorities.

The page was titled “Love Boys” and posted pictures of scantily clothed children on the wall.

Armijo said she found the page while surfing Facebook and immediately called police, but was told she would have to talk to federal authorities.

Local sheriff’s officials said that in cases like this, people need to report the page or site right away to police, the attorney general’s office of the FBI.

Officials stated one person is responsible for creating the page and law enforcement will investigate it.

Armijo was appalled with what she saw on the Facebook page.

“I was disgusted with the photos that were on the site, on this page and it brought tears to my eyes because I felt bad for these kids. I don’t know what part of the world they are in but Facebook is a place for everybody,” she explained.

Good for her (and anyone else who tried to do something about it).

Love Boys

Facebook Observer : June 28, 2011 7:04 pm : child pornography, Examiner.com

Via Scribbal and KOB, a woman in New Mexico saw child pornography on a Facebook page called “Love Boys” and reported it to law enforcement.

Valencia County resident Loretta Armijo contacted the Valencia County Sheriff’s Department after making the shocking discovery on Facebook and said she wanted to do anything she could to bring down the page and expose it to authorities.

The page was titled “Love Boys” and posted pictures of scantily clothed children on the wall.

Armijo said she found the page while surfing Facebook and immediately called police, but was told she would have to talk to federal authorities.

Local sheriff’s officials said that in cases like this, people need to report the page or site right away to police, the attorney general’s office of the FBI.

Officials stated one person is responsible for creating the page and law enforcement will investigate it.

Armijo was appalled with what she saw on the Facebook page.

“I was disgusted with the photos that were on the site, on this page and it brought tears to my eyes because I felt bad for these kids. I don’t know what part of the world they are in but Facebook is a place for everybody,” she explained.

Good for her (and anyone else who tried to do something about it).

Robert Hull Sentenced to 15 Years

Facebook Observer : May 31, 2011 8:51 am : arrests, child pornography, Examiner.com, Robert Hull

Last week, Robert Hull was sentenced to 15 years for producing child pornography.  It’s a relatively light sentence, but he got a break for pleading guilty and cooperating in an investigation that led to another arrest.  The investigation is continuing, and there may be more.

This man from Prince George, BC, who was arrested for using his 7-year-old daughter to make child pornography, sounds a lot like Hull’s trading buddy.

A Prince George man accused of taking photos and video of his seven-year-old daughter and sharing them over the Internet faces child pornography charges. 

The 41-year-old man was arrested in Prince George on Saturday, RCMP said, after police executed a search warrant and uncovered hundreds of child pornography files.

Robert Hull Sentenced to 15 Years

Facebook Observer : May 31, 2011 8:51 am : arrests, child pornography, Examiner.com, Robert Hull

Last week, Robert Hull was sentenced to 15 years for producing child pornography.  It’s a relatively light sentence, but he got a break for pleading guilty and cooperating in an investigation that led to another arrest.  The investigation is continuing, and there may be more.

This man from Prince George, BC, who was arrested for using his 7-year-old daughter to make child pornography, sounds a lot like Hull’s trading buddy.

A Prince George man accused of taking photos and video of his seven-year-old daughter and sharing them over the Internet faces child pornography charges. 

The 41-year-old man was arrested in Prince George on Saturday, RCMP said, after police executed a search warrant and uncovered hundreds of child pornography files.

Robin Pagoria and LDD

Facebook Observer : May 31, 2011 8:23 am : arrests, child pornography, Examiner.com, sadomasochism

According to the affidavit, Robin Pagoria met her boyfriend on a site called spankfinder.com .  This looks a lot like her profile.

Given her current legal problems, she probably won’t be in a position to tell us about her “other kinky interests” any time soon.  But her other profile provides … well, probably way too much information.

“LDD” stands for “loving domestic discipline,” which seems to be a combination of sadomasochism and bizarre headgames.  One partner, usually the man, “disciplines” the other partner to enforce rules.  There’s an even stranger variation for fundies called “Christian domestic discipline” that allows them to claim that this lifestyle is “Biblical.”  Presumably Pagoria’s boyfriend would have been the partner who was (ostensibly) in charge.

We saw someone else in an earlier entry who was talking about being in a “domestic discipline” relationship.  Given that she’d also talked about spanking her daughter on the bare butt, I called a social services agency in North Carolina to express concern.  They told me that what the woman was doing was legal, so they wouldn’t be taking any action.  It’s sort of paradoxical — getting caught with an image or video depicting a child getting spanked bare could mean a felony conviction and sex offender status.  But actually doing it to a child in real life is legal because it’s considered “discipline.”

Robin Pagoria and LDD

Facebook Observer : May 31, 2011 8:23 am : arrests, child pornography, Examiner.com, Robin Pagoria, sadomasochism

According to the affidavit, Robin Pagoria met her boyfriend on a site called spankfinder.com .  This looks a lot like her profile.

Given her current legal problems, she probably won’t be in a position to tell us about her “other kinky interests” any time soon.  But her other profile provides … well, probably way too much information.

“LDD” stands for “loving domestic discipline,” which seems to be a combination of sadomasochism and bizarre headgames.  One partner, usually the man, “disciplines” the other partner to enforce rules.  There’s an even stranger variation for fundies called “Christian domestic discipline” that allows them to claim that this lifestyle is “Biblical.”  Presumably Pagoria’s boyfriend would have been the partner who was (ostensibly) in charge.  It would be interesting to know whether he had found any other women on the spankfinder website who had access to children.  Is this really the first time something like this has happened?  It’s not clear whether Robin Pagoria would have done something like this under her own steam.

We saw someone else in an earlier entry who was talking about being in a “domestic discipline” relationship.  Given that she’d also talked about spanking her daughter on the bare butt, I called a social services agency in North Carolina to express concern.  They told me that what the woman was doing was legal, so they wouldn’t be taking any action.  It’s sort of paradoxical — getting caught with an image or video depicting a child getting spanked bare could mean a felony conviction and sex offender status.  But actually doing it to a child in real life is legal because it’s considered “discipline.”

Robin Pagoria

Facebook Observer : May 27, 2011 8:18 am : arrests, child pornography, Examiner.com, sadomasochism

Robin Leigh Oplinger looks a lot like Robin Leigh Pagoria, a former Polk County Sheriff’s deputy, was arrested yesterday for aggravated child abuse and production of child pornography.  She allegedly made videos of herself whipping two girls and sent the video to her boyfriend.  The affidavit is here.

We’ve previously seen people who seemed to be fixated on spanking kids, including a couple who were talking about sharing videos.  This woman is accused of taking it to the next level.

It’s probably not too surprising that she’d show up on a site called “spankolife.com.”

She expands on her interest in “domestic discipline.”

It’s sort of ironic that she’s complaining about being “violated.”  What about the girls who were whipped and videotaped?

She was also seen on launchpad.net asking questions about getting Skype videoconferencing running on Ubuntu Linux.  Do we want to know what she was transmitting via webcam?  Probably not.

Robin Pagoria

Facebook Observer : May 27, 2011 8:18 am : arrests, child pornography, Examiner.com, Robin Pagoria, sadomasochism

Robin Leigh Oplinger looks a lot like Robin Leigh Pagoria, a former Polk County Sheriff’s deputy, was arrested yesterday for aggravated child abuse and production of child pornography.  She allegedly made videos of herself whipping two girls and sent the video to her boyfriend.  The affidavit is here.

We’ve previously seen people who seemed to be fixated on spanking kids, including a couple who were talking about sharing videos.  This woman is accused of taking it to the next level.

It’s probably not too surprising that she’d show up on a site called “spankolife.com.”

She expands on her interest in “domestic discipline.”

It’s sort of ironic that she’s complaining about being “violated.”  What about the girls who were whipped and videotaped?

She was also seen on launchpad.net asking questions about getting Skype videoconferencing running on Ubuntu Linux.  Do we want to know what she was transmitting via webcam?  Probably not.
Because spanking is considered an acceptable way to discipline children, boundaries can get blurred.  Florida, where Pagoria lives, still permits corporal punishment in schools.  A number of books on child-rearing advocate spanking, and a few of the more extreme “Christian” ones even recommend doing it on the bare butt.  The problem is that for many people, spanking can also be a sexual thing.  For example, Robin Pagoria recalled drawing a picture of “a girl bent over a bed with paddles and belts lying beside here” when she was “about 13.”
Update: a video of Grady Judd, Polk County Sheriff, speaking about the case and Pagoria in court.  More information about her online behavior here.

PhotoDNA

Facebook Observer : May 25, 2011 7:53 pm : child pornography, Examiner.com, Facebook response, media

According to numerous articles and press releases, Facebook will be using a new software package called PhotoDNA developed by Microsoft and donated to NCMEC.  It uses a technique called “robust hashing” and is based on work by Dartmouth’s Hany Farid.

It’s easy to demand that something be done about child pornography, but much harder to actually curb it.  Computer vision is useful for simple things (like reading license plate numbers), but it has its limitations.  Most people have experienced the “CAPTCHA” technology to block spam where you have to read a series of letters or do something similar.  Why does that work?  Because humans can recognize things in images that computers can’t.

However, it is possible for a computer to tell whether an image is identical to known child pornography.  Law enforcement and ISPs currently use a type of hashing known as SHA-1.  ISPs would calculate the SHA-1 hashes of images uploaded to their servers, compare them to hash values of known child pornography, and then take action if they detected a match.  An automated approach like this is very important for big players like Facebook that may have millions of images uploaded every day.  Having humans review all content isn’t feasible.

The problem with the SHA-1 hashing was that it would only work if one image was exactly identical to another.  So let’s say someone took a known CP image and slightly cropped or resized it.  The automated image recognition breaks because the files are no longer exactly the same.  This is what PhotoDNA addresses.  Note that even PhotoDNA only works with known CP images.  So if a predator creates his own CP and uploads it, the system won’t recognize it.  (This happened with John Huitema, who recently pleaded guilty to victimizing a 2-year-old girl and producing child pornography.)

The information about how PhotoDNA works is pretty limited, since it’s mostly in the form of Microsoft press releases.  So there are still a number of unanswered questions.  It sounds like the image is converted into black and white, resized to a standard size, broken up into small blocks, and the digital signature is calculated for each block.  So this is supposed to detect images that have been altered, and Microsoft said that their testing had yielded some promising results.

It does sound like PhotoDNA will be more robust than SHA-1 hashing, but there’s not much information available on its limitations or future directions.  It’s also not possible for regular people to download the software and play with it.  Some image manipulation involves discarding a lot of information.  Would PhotoDNA be able to detect a preview-sized image of known child pornography that someone was advertising on another site?  The “digital fingerprint” seems to rely a lot on edge detection and intensity.  What happens if someone alters a photo in a way that changes the edge information, e.g., by adding another object or lettering?

Some of the Facebook problem children have also shared CP videos.  It does not sound like PhotoDNA is currently being applied to that, and I’d be curious what the potential was in this area.   Some video codecs contain I-frames, which could probably be analyzed this way.

Ironically, Windows Live has apparently had some major problems with child pornography.  Has Microsoft tried applying PhotoDNA to its own network?  If not, why not?  If so, why doesn’t it work better?

PhotoDNA

Facebook Observer : May 25, 2011 7:53 pm : child pornography, Examiner.com, Facebook response, media

According to numerous articles and press releases, Facebook will be using a new software package called PhotoDNA developed by Microsoft and donated to NCMEC.  It uses a technique called “robust hashing” and is based on work by Dartmouth’s Hany Farid.

It’s easy to demand that something be done about child pornography, but much harder to actually curb it.  Computer vision is useful for simple things (like reading license plate numbers), but it has its limitations.  Most people have experienced the “CAPTCHA” technology to block spam where you have to read a series of letters or do something similar.  Why does that work?  Because humans can recognize things in images that computers can’t.

However, it is possible for a computer to tell whether an image is identical to known child pornography.  Law enforcement and ISPs currently use a type of hashing known as SHA-1.  ISPs would calculate the SHA-1 hashes of images uploaded to their servers, compare them to hash values of known child pornography, and then take action if they detected a match.  An automated approach like this is very important for big players like Facebook that may have millions of images uploaded every day.  Having humans review all content isn’t feasible.

The problem with the SHA-1 hashing was that it would only work if one image was exactly identical to another.  So let’s say someone took a known CP image and slightly cropped or resized it.  The automated image recognition breaks because the files are no longer exactly the same.  This is what PhotoDNA addresses.  Note that even PhotoDNA only works with known CP images.  So if a predator creates his own CP and uploads it, the system won’t recognize it.  (This happened with John Huitema, who recently pleaded guilty to victimizing a 2-year-old girl and producing child pornography.)

The information about how PhotoDNA works is pretty limited, since it’s mostly in the form of Microsoft press releases.  So there are still a number of unanswered questions.  It sounds like the image is converted into black and white, resized to a standard size, broken up into small blocks, and the digital signature is calculated for each block.  So this is supposed to detect images that have been altered, and Microsoft said that their testing had yielded some promising results.

It does sound like PhotoDNA will be more robust than SHA-1 hashing, but there’s not much information available on its limitations or future directions.  It’s also not possible for regular people to download the software and play with it.  Some image manipulation involves discarding a lot of information.  Would PhotoDNA be able to detect a preview-sized image of known child pornography that someone was advertising on another site?  The “digital fingerprint” seems to rely a lot on edge detection and intensity.  What happens if someone alters a photo in a way that changes the edge information, e.g., by adding another object or lettering?

Some of the Facebook problem children have also shared CP videos.  It does not sound like PhotoDNA is currently being applied to that, and I’d be curious what the potential was in this area.   Some video codecs contain I-frames, which could probably be analyzed this way.

Ironically, Windows Live has apparently had some major problems with child pornography.  Has Microsoft tried applying PhotoDNA to its own network?  If not, why not?  If so, why doesn’t it work better?

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