Late 2016, Operation Artemis – an undercover police operation carried out by the Australian police unit Task Force Argos in cooperation with U.S. Homeland Security Investigations, Canadian and European police forces – seized control of ‘Childs play’, the largest child abuse site on the dark web. Access to the site was acquired through the spectacular arrest of the two administrators of the website: a Canadian and a US national. Following the arrest, the child abuse website was moved to Australia, where local laws gave the operation unusually broad authority to use the site for monitoring purposes. For almost a year, Task Force Argos ran the website, posing undercover as the administrators. During that time, they also posted post child abuse material on a regular basis, not to raise suspicion. Operation Artemis started with a clear objective: Identify the victims and their abusers. In doing so, was it necessary to run, and contribute to, a child exploitation forum for nearly a year?
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