German police shut down major darknet site for child sexual abuse

After months of investigation, German police uncovered the Boystown darknet platform for child sexual abuse, with more than 400,000 members. Four Germans were arrested.

darknet polizei

What did the police find on this site?

The investigation lasted several months and was carried out by a German task force working in coordination with Europol, as well as the authorities in the Netherlands, Sweden, Australia, USA and Canada.

The platform has provided users with the ability to share recordings of juvenile abuse on the darknet, including “the most serious sexual abuse of young children,” the German Federal Investigative Police (BKA) said in a statement.

The platform included several communication channels for users. Participants also received advice from platform administrators on how to access the site in the most secure manner and how best to avoid detection and subsequent criminal charges.

Difficult to track platform users?

When asked about the meaning of the arrests, DW’s Yanina Semenova called them “a big sensation for German investigators,” noting that with 400,000 members worldwide, Boystown was “one of the largest dark web platforms of its kind.”

Semenova also spoke about the anonymity of the darknet, saying: “Of course, this anonymity makes it very difficult to explore these platforms.”

While authorities were able to infiltrate the site and track down its administrators, she says it’s unclear if investigators will actually be able to locate many of the platform’s users.

Semenova added that when the platform was closed in the past, users simply created a new one, but said: “I hope there will be no other similar platforms in the future.”

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