Investigative Reporters for a Norwegian Magazine online called VG Helg, have been able to trace the IP addresses of 95,000 downloaders of child abuse pictures worldwide. Einar Otto Stangvik, computer analyst for VG Helg, believes that the map may indicate the location of several paedophile networks. (Takk for ditt flotte arbeid VG Helg)
WORLD MAP: This map show people that according to VGs research have downloaded child abuse material. Click here to see interactive graphics.
- To go to the interactive map from VG Helg click this link 
- To go to the original introductory article with map, 2015 Oct 3 VG Helg This map shows 95,000 downloaders of child abuse pictures worldwide click this link  This article gives an overview of the downloading map and how they found the information.
- To go to the original in depth follow up article The Downloaders by VG Helg click this link  . The article describes how they traced some of the Norwegian men, agreed to meet them and ask why they did downloaded child abuse material.
The VG Helg magazine team collected data for 10 months from file-sharing platforms, some of which keep publicly available logs of downloads. VG Helg’s team downloaded these logs, which contained information on 36 million downloads, from file names and dates of download, to usernames, email addresses and IPs.
They searched for abuse file names on both the clear and dark web. This allowed them to compile a list of Child Abuse Material (CAM) files. They then looked at other downloads made by the same people who’d downloaded these files in hopes of uncovering more CAM.
The team discarded all normal downloads, set aside those made outside Norway, and continued to search for additional files downloaded by the same users which could turn out to be CAM. The final result was a list of 5, 500 downloads made in Norway. After some careful sleuthing, crossing usernames, social media accounts, email addresses, IPs, the team was able to identify many of the persons behind these usernames . For a more in depth description of how they did it, see towards the end of this article.
The team also collected much data of downloaders from other countries. In total 430,177 files showing sexual abuse of children have been downloaded to 94,989 IP addresses the world over.
For every download, they have indications of the user name and email address of the downloader, in addition to information on the file and the IP address it was downloaded to. Even if an IP address is not the same as a person, there is reason to assume that VG has information on close to 95,000 people from all over the world, who spend time, money and resources on downloading child abuse images.
The reason why one specific file-sharing service is used in one specific country may be that paedophiles and downloaders in this country discuss and recommend this service when they want to share abuse material. In several hidden forums they recommend certain file-sharing services, and this discussion may happen not just on the Internet.
Stangvik’s analyses of the logs revealed information on where abuse material is downloaded. He says that there may well be more people than those VG now know of, who have downloaded abuse material. These 95,000 IP addresses have downloaded the same CAM files as the Norwegian downloaders seem to have done.
The majority of the downloaders are in the large industrialized countries: Germany has the most downloaders in VG’s data material with 18,107 downloading IP addresses. Then the USA and Russia with 13,630 and 11,118 IP addresses respectively. The next countries on the list are Great Britain 3,743 IP addresses, France 3,393 and Japan 3336.
This world map then is a representation of several geographic networks of downloaders and paedophiles, says Stangvik who has uncovered the material. Another, more practical explanation may be that these countries simply have the best Internet connections.
The high rating for Germany is likely to be due to file sharing networks chosen by the Norwegian team being run from that part of the world, or networks that were used more in that part of the world.
There may be more networks that were not chosen by the Norwegian team. This means overall figures will be higher, and comparative figures between countries changed.
In the UK there were 3,743 internet adresses used for downloading CAM, which assuming a population of 64.5 million and works out at 5.7 people per 100,000. Correcting for population size reveals the UK in the top ten worst downloaders. But as I understand it there could be other file sharing sites and downloading networks. This could work either way comparatively with other countries but the true total figure would be higher.
It is unclear whether the Police or the National Crime Agency (NCA) already know about these findings, which were made public in October 2015 .
The UK has a poor record of following up internet downloads of child abuse material. Mistakes were made firstly in America and then compounded by more mistakes in the UK’s Operation Ore which ran from 1999 but fell apart from 2003 on, when the mistakes became apparent     . Over 7,250 suspects were identified, 4,283 homes searched, 3,744 arrests, 1,848 charged, 1,451 convictions, 493 cautioned and 140 children removed from suspected dangerous situations and an estimated 33 suicides 
UK Police seemed paralysed in 2013 when passed data about internet child abuse material from Canada’s Project Spade    and the IPCC has been and maybe still is conducting several investigations into that delay including into Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP) which is now in the secretive NCA    .
Unfortunately the supposedly Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) which is meant to be the Police watchdog behaves more like the Police lapdog. Even the IPCC Commissioner Deborah Glass had to admit that the Complaints sytem was in effect useless- “one of the things I do absolutely accept is that the Police Complaints system is not very effective” .
Due to secrecy of the NCA, which chooses not to answer FOI Requests, little is known apart from the positive spin they like to impart from time to time. Operation Notarise could be the Operation derived from Spade or it could have been already running anyway, so actual figures are difficult to tell with any accuracy. It is said 745 suspects were arrested and 518 children removed from danger, but there are few solid reliable checkable facts  .
What is happening with Operation Notarise and UK part of Project Spade?
Will any future UK “Operation Download” be any more efficient? We must demand it is.
Unfortunately child abusing politicians, police and media and their powerful and corrupt enablers in the secret services and elsewhere, acting with other gatekeepers, make the exposure of child abusers very difficult for the honest police and whistleblowers.
The VG Helg’s Reporters meet Norwegian Downloaders of CAM
The only ones able to validate VG Helg’s material were the downloaders themselves.
The reporters analysed a list of user names and e-mail addresses that originated from Norwegian IP addresses. They targetted the ones with most downloads. They identified each individual using user names, e-mail addresses and other details registered in social media and search systems and via Skype, Twitter, and many via Facebook.
VG Helg’s reporters confronted ten of the men. Seven of them admitted that the information corresponded to what they have actually done. Several of the men VG reacted by deleting all they have on their computer. One of the downloaders smashed his computerand threw it in the ocean.
In Norway the downloaders were of all ages, from secondary school to well over sixty years old. They had a wide range of jobs, top positions in the health services, unemployed, armed forces, manual workers, artists, musicians, photographers and in IT.
All the downloaders are men, one of the few common denominators. Most of them have been downloading for a long time, unbothered by the police. Many were completely unknown to the police. Ordinary people from all professions, all social classes, all income groups, all ethnicities, all religions, says Police Superintendent Bjørn-Erik Ludvigsen at Kripos.
He thinks that people who download child abuse material are also responsible for crime against the children. Every instance of sharing or downloading abuse material contributes to maintaining the market for new instances of abuse against children. Without the downloaders there would not be as much child abuse. Furthermore, the images constitute a continuous violation of the children as long as the material stays on the Internet and is spread across the globe. They have to live with it for the rest of their lives, he says.
Here is a more detailed explantion of how the Reporters found this information, so that the Police or others may do the same in the UK.
How did VG Helg’s Reporters do it?
36 MILLION DOWNLOADS
While working on another story, VG Helg became aware of the existence of websites all over the world which we suspected contained sexual abuse material. On further investigation it became clear that a certain type of file-sharing service was often used to distribute these files. We also discovered that many of these sites stored logs showing who had downloaded which files. On some sites these logs were openly accessible, and we began systematically downloading them.
VG Helg is now in possession of 36 million lines of data containing details such as time of download, file name, linking sites, IP address, user name, and e-mail address.
THE CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE FILES
Not all the 36 million downloads contain child sexual abuse material. To find out which files showed sexual abuse of children, we used the information obtained from both the open and the deep web to find the names of the files with this content. We gradually accumulated a small group of file names, which we then used to find even more. Our theory was that those who downloaded the files we knew about would also download other files.
THE NORWEGIAN USERS
Starting off with the 36 million downloads and the files we knew contained child sexual abuse material, we developed a system which gradually identified related files and then excluded files which we were fairly sure did not contain child sexual abuse material.
The first step in the search system identified who had downloaded the first files we knew contained videos showing sexual abuse of children
.In the next step the search system filtered out the downloads that were not made from IP addresses in Norway or that originated in known proxy services etc. This left us with 550 Norwegian downloads of the initial files.
EXPANDED THE SEARCH
For each of the 550 downloads we had information on the IP address, file name, download time, the downloader’s e-mail address and user name, and which websites they had come from (so-called referrers). We then proceeded to:
- Retrieve every download that was made to the same IP addresses as each of the 550 files.
- Retrieve every download that was made at the same time as each of the 550 files were downloaded.
- Retrieve every download that was made to the same user name.
- Retrieve every download that was made to the same e-mail address.
- Retrieve every download that was made by users who had come from the same referrer as each of the 550 files.
This process resulted in a large number of downloads which we then sorted by limiting our search to downloads made from Norway. Several other filters were also activated to ensure that the downloads we obtained contained child sexual abuse material.
We then ended up with around 6,000 downloads of child sexual abuse material made from Norway. Several of the link sites to the downloads were also checked, and several files were assessed by the National Criminal Investigation Service (NCIS) to verify or dispel our suspicions regarding their content. This manual task required more filters, which were incorporated during the process. Once these were in place, we ended up with around 5,500 downloads made from Norway.
Isn’t it time UK Police did something?
Please note that victims of abuse may be triggered by reading this information. These links are generally UK based.
- The Sanctuary for the Abused [A] has advice on how to prevent triggers.
- National Association for People Abused in Childhood [B] has a freephone helpline and has links to local support groups.
- Other useful sites are One in Four [C]
- and Havoca [D].
- Useful post on Triggers [E] from SurvivorsJustice [F]blog.
- Jim Hoppers pages on Mindfulness [G] and Meditation [H] may be useful.
- Hwaairfan blog An Indigenous Australian Approach to Healing Trauma* [J]
Appendix 1 Raw Data Used
Apologies, A Table is beyond technical skills
Number of Downloaders:Country:Population:Number per 100,000 equivalent
- 59 Trinidad and Tobago 1.33M 4.4
- 149 iom 85 ,000 175
- 221 Ireland 4.6m 4.8
- 3743 UK 64.5 M 5.7
- 296 Israel 8.5M 3.4
- 502 Belgium 11.5M 4.4
- 750 Switzerland 8.2 9.1
- 973 Austria 8.5 11.4
- 18107 Germany 81m 22.4
- 13630 United States 322M 4.2
- 11118 Russia 144M 7.7
- 3743 United Kingdom 64.5m 5.8
- 3393 France 66M 5.14
- 3336 Japan 127 M 2.62
- 2969 Brazil 203M 1.4
- 2364 Italy 61.5 3.8
- 2073 Ukraine 43M 4.8
- 1899 Spain 46.5M 4.1
- 1837 Australia 24 M 7.6
- 1777 Netherlands 17M 10.4
- 1723 Canada 36M 4.7
- 1672 Poland 39M 4.3
- 430 Norway 5.2M 8.2
- 63 Reunion 0.84M 7.5
sum is 1 divided by number in millions plus one zero times by number downloaders, sum is 100,000 divided by pop times by number of downloads
Number of IP adresses for each country that has downloaded child abuse images, according to the material VG helg have analyzed:
13630 United States
3743 United Kingdom
885 Czech Republic
612 Saudi Arabia
410 Slovak Republic
283 South Africa
250 New Zealand
196 Republic of Korea
149 Isle of Man
142 Republic of Lithuania
132 Hong Kong
113 Costa Rica
99 Sri Lanka
83 Republic of Moldova
81 Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan
63 Puerto Rico
56 Bosnia and Herzegovina
55 United Arab Emirates
40 El Salvador
39 Trinidad and Tobago
20 Dominican Republic
 2015 Oct 3 VG Helg This map shows 95,000 downloaders of child abuse pictures worldwide http://www.vg.no/nyheter/innenriks/kampen-mot-overgrepsfiler/this-map-shows-95-000-downloaders-of-child-abuse-pictures-worldwide/a/23535650/
 2015 Oct VG Helg The Downloaders http://www.vg.no/spesial/2015/nedlasterne/?lang=en
 2015 Nov 24 Nott Magazine The Digital Pedophiles Among Us http://nottmagazine.com/2015/11/24/the-digital-pedophiles-among-us/
 2014 Aug 2 Standard Examiner Following the money trail as child porn burrows into the Web http://www.standard.net/Police-Fire/2014/08/02/Following-the-money-trail-to-pedophiles-as-child-porn-burrows-deeper-into-the-Web
 2015 Jun 6. 5 Things I Learned Infiltrating Deep Web Child Molesters http://www.cracked.com/personal-experiences-1760-5-things-i-learned-infiltrating-deep-web-child-molesters.html
 Date? National crime Agency UK-wide operation snares 660 suspected paedophiles http://www.nationalcrimeagency.gov.uk/news/411-uk-wide-operation-snares-660-paedophiles
 VG Helg Interactive map http://static.vg.no/nedlasterne/globe/index-en.html
 2005 Jul 1 Alphr.com Duncan Campbell Operation Ore exposed http://www.alphr.com/features/74690/operation-ore-exposed
 Spotlight on Abuse Operation Ore https://spotlightonabuse.wordpress.com/category/operation-ore/
 Operation Greenlight Operation Ore https://webbrain.com/brainpage/brain/0FE31538-2121-8495-33A5-86073BE95DE1/thought/918#-1656
 Wikipedia Project Spade https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2013_International_child_pornography_investigation
 Operation Greenlight Operation Spade https://webbrain.com/brainpage/brain/0FE31538-2121-8495-33A5-86073BE95DE1/thought/918#-2857
 IPCC Handling of Project Spade intelligence – Essex, North Wales and North Yorkshire Police forces and the National Crime Agency https://www.ipcc.gov.uk/investigations/handling-project-spade-intelligence-essex-north-wales-and-north-yorkshire-police
 2015 Mar 20 Independent Police staff, teachers and civil servants among 264 suspected paedophiles charged in major operation, National Crime Agency discloses http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/police-staff-teachers-and-civil-servants-among-264-suspected-paedophiles-charged-in-major-operation-10123118.html
 2015 Mar 20 The Register More than 260 suspects charged in UK child abuse crackdown http://www.theregister.co.uk/2015/03/20/operation_notarise_child_abuse_arrest_uk/
 2015 Sept 20 Operation Spade: IPCC Investigation re NYP Force Intelligence Bureau http://nyenquirer.uk/operation-spade-ipcc-investigation-re-nyp-force-intelligence-bureau/
 2014 Aug 19 You Tube Ian Puddick Deborah Glass, IPCC Commissioner https://youtu.be/M4-3Jlv7Q9M “one of the things I do absolutely accept is that the Police Complaints system is not very effective” . IPCC meant to be a watchdog , but its more like a lapdog
 2015 Jan 23 IPCC to investigate NCA over handling of child sex abuse intelligence by CEOP https://www.ipcc.gov.uk/news/ipcc-investigate-nca-over-handling-child-sex-abuse-intelligence-ceop
 2014 Sept 18 NCA statement on Project Spade https://www.ceop.police.uk/Media-Centre/Press-releases/2014/NCA-statement-on-Project-Spade/