Foreign Policy Blogs

International Pedaphile Ring Broken Wide Open Today


This morning British police after 10 months of investigations, with agencies around the globe, finally broke through an international internet pedophile ring.

The internet site was dishearteningly called, “Kids the Light of Our Lives”, and its founder went by the screen name “Son of God”. Membership of the internet pedophile ring was is over 700, and British police are taking no time at all in making arrests of its members. 200 arrests have been made in the UK, while offenders came from more than 35 countries around the world. All 35 countries with suspected sexual offenders in the case, had agencies involved in the sting operation, led by the British Police.The ring leader is Timothy David Martyn Cox, 28, of Buxhall, England, and he was immediately placed in jail for an interim sentence, after Canadian officials tip off the British police. Following his arrest in January, Gordon Mackintosh, 33, of Hertfordshire in England, tried to revive the site and was subsequently arrested. Between Cox and Mackintosh, more than 86,000 sexually explicit images of children and 1,000 videos where discovered.

31 children thus far, have been said to haven been rescued from abusive situations as a result of the bust. The unfortunate nature of internet crime is that many of the victims, may not be found and rescued from their abusers, however agencies worldwide, with the help of technology, are able to track and find more and more victims. But the law is complicated and even when the laws are clear they do not always hold up, nor are they easily enforced in they cyber world.

“It's like a chess game,” said Philippe Dubord, an agent in Tampa with the FBI's Innocent Images National Initiative, which investigates computer child pornography. “They make a move. We make a move. We have to work within the law. They don't have to.” (Child Porn: Prosecution Problems)

To prosecute on behalf of each and every child or image, one must prove the child is ‘real’, and this is where the law and reality begin to shift apart. You may find a 100 images on one persons computer, and there may be 80 different children involved, but in order to prosecute on behalf of each image and child you must find each child, and often use them for testimony. This is where law enforcement and reality seem to crash and burn, for the identities of most children may never be found, and even if some are found they may be scattered around the world, and therefore building a solid case is often marred by distance and economics. Thankfully concerned citizens and law enforcement officials, are beginning to fill in many of these gaps, and they are working harder than ever to see that no one goes unpunished.

“Any individual who thinks they carry out such horrific activities undetected is in for a very rude awakening,” said CEOP Chief Executive Jim Gamble. “The belief that the Internet provides anonymity is unfounded.” (Reuters – UK police break Internet child abuse network)


Sadly children who are victims of internet crime are not victims once, twice or even three times, they are repeatedly victimized day after day. The initial act of sexual abuse and assault may have ended, but the abuse continues as the images travel around the world to be viewed without end.

“Riddled with guilt and shame and immobilized by fear, I suffered a mental and physical breakdown. I couldn't eat or sleep. All I could do was cry and worry. I tried to convince myself that it wasn't my fault…” (Child Pornography – My Story)

Please see my related Posts; Awareness Saves Our Children, on April 11, 2007, and How does the Internet Drive Crimes Against Children, and How Does it Protect Them?, March 16, 2007, for more information.


Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP)

List of Links to Relevant News Articles About this Case

National Center for Missing and Exploited Children

Children's Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998

CVIP Information packet

Statistics on Households Computers and the Internet Online Almanac

NetSmartz Workshop – Keeping Kids and Teens Safer on the Internet

The Police Notebook – Keeping Kids Safe Online by the University of Oklahoma Police Department

Microsoft – Protect Your Family

Kids Health – Internet Safety

The Parents Guide to the Information Super Highway


Child Abuse Resources, Facts and Signs

Signs of Child Abuse

Find – Signs and Resources

Help – Types, Signs, Symptoms, Causes and Help

Child Molestation Research and Prevention Institute

American Humane – Fact Sheets

Child Abuse Statistics, Research and Resources



Cassandra Clifford

Cassandra Clifford is the Founder and Executive Director of Bridge to Freedom Foundation, which works to enhance and improve the services and opportunities available to survivors of modern slavery. She holds an M.A., International Relations from Dublin City University in Ireland, as well as a B.A., Marketing and A.S., Fashion Merchandise/Marketing from Johnson & Wales University in Providence, Rhode Island.

Cassandra has previously worked in both the corporate and charity sector for various industries and causes, including; Child Trafficking, Learning Disabilities, Publishing, Marketing, Public Relations and Fashion. Currently Cassandra is conducting independent research on the use of rape as a weapon of war, as well as America’s Pimp Culture and its Impact on Modern Slavery. In addition to her many purists Cassandra is also working to develop a series of children’s books.

Cassandra currently resides in the Washington, D.C. metro area, where she also writes for the Examiner, as the DC Human Rights Examiner, and serves as an active leadership member of DC Stop Modern Slavery.

Areas of Focus:
Children's Rights; Human Rights; Conflict