Police arrest 4 men over sale of child pornography DVDs
Investigators have arrested four men aged between 20 and 48 on suspicion of selling child pornography DVDs in Japan through an illicit website, law enforcers said.
The four, including Yoshiyuki Hayashi, 48, from Tokyo’s Setagaya Ward, were arrested on suspicion of violating the child prostitution and child pornography law. Police believe the four are from a group comprising at least 10 people. The group is suspected of having operated 70 to 80 child pornography-related websites through which the members are believed to have obtained at least 240 million yen over the past two years.
The arrested men are specifically accused of launching an illicit website on Dec. 16, 2011, and selling four videos containing child pornography to a man in his 50s residing in the Kanto area. The DVDs were sold for a total of 2,720 yen, police said.
Three of the four suspects have apparently denied the allegations against them, while one has remained silent.
According to police, the four took advantage of a technical loophole in the current content blocking system, launched in Japan in April 2011 to prevent viewing of websites containing child pornography. Under the system, Internet providers automatically block websites containing child pornography, based on a list of URLs submitted by the Internet Content Safety Association — a private organization comprised of major Internet providers and other related firms. The four suspects, however, are presumed to have directly typed in the websites’ Internet protocol (IP) addresses, which were not blacklisted by providers under the system, to gain access to the sites.
Mainichi Japan, July 3, 2012
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