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How many pedophiles sharing child pornography are the Spanish authorities controlled?
6346 in just two weeks . A data that corresponds to the IP addresses of pedophiles that appear in the police programs developed by the United States Government, and to which the State Security Forces and Bodies have access in our country. In each of these cases, child pornography is being shared, a crime punishable by up to 9 years in prison . However, official statistics of the Ministry of Interior only collect 1,393 crimes over the past year . The difference between the two figures (one based on 14 days and the other at 365) has an explanation: the lack of personnel and resources for surveillance causes no one to work with that information or prosecute criminals . Therefore, they do not even appear as "known facts", as they say in police slang. They do not exist or face statistics .
However, this information from the North American tool that PIXEL has been able to access is only part of this terrifying drawing. The data is only limited to a period of 14 days during the month of July this year and only takes into account file-sharing programs - such as BitTorrent, Ares, Emule or Freente- type P2P . A figure that should be added to all those sex offenders who exchange images and pornographic videos of minors through other applications or platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Telegram or WhatsApp chats .
In addition, it does not take into account the multimedia contents that are shared, visualized and downloaded through the Deep Web .
And how many Police and Civil Guard agents are assigned to prosecute these criminals?
An epidemic that leaves sequels for life
"During an investigation, some agents approached a man - done and right and with children - to ask him about an abusive priest who had worked in a school and when the guy heard the name of the priest, he pissed on, " sources say from Interior to PIXEL.
The trauma accompanies the victims and the images, although illegal, remain forever on the Internet and the numbers - and technology - favor the offender in this fight.
The explosion of the amount of child pornography available on the Internet has dimensions that could be described as pandemic. During the last year, more than 45 million videos and photos were detected on the Internet in which children appeared being victims of sexual abuse of all kinds. An amount that has doubled over the previous year.
In 1998, more than 3,000 photos were detected on the Internet in which children were victims of sexual abuse. Ten years later, the number grew to 100,000 multimedia elements. In 2014, the figure exceeded one million. An exponential growth that has been collected by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children .
An increase they have also perceived in the Spanish forces and security forces. However, the disproportion between the number of sex offenders who share images of minors and the number of agents charged with hunting them in addition to a less agile procedure of Justice in Spain causes, de facto, many of these criminals to go unpunished .
The programs that the United States has developed allow the Spanish security forces to patrol over the contents of the file-sharing programs and constitute one of their main tools in their fight against those who distribute child pornography.
For example, during the first half of July, the North American program identified 6,346 computers that were sharing child pornography through the Internet. However, according to the latest Cybercriminality Study in Spain prepared by the Ministry of Interior, the State Security Forces and Bodies only consist of 1,393 computer crimes against sexual freedom as "known facts" over a whole year .
The figures continue to decline as we move forward in the chain at the procedural level . According to the latest report of the State Attorney General's Office, over the past year, 754 legal proceedings were initiated for crimes of child pornography, which, however, only resulted in 425 accusations in one year .
That is to say, throughout a whole year, only 6.7% of the cases that the American surveillance programs used by the Police and the Civil Guard detect during two weeks in our country are formally accused .
Hunting for the pedophile
"The tool we work with allows us to narrow down by areas. For example, in Madrid alone we find hundreds of cases in the same week . However, Spanish justice does not allow coordinated action following the Criminal Procedure Law of the year 2015. The fact that they use the same program to share the archives is not a sufficient reason for justice. It is crazy, "Interior sources confess to PIXEL.
On a day-to-day basis, this forces agents to go on a case-by-case basis . "The courts cannot admit 3,000 coup offenses. They do not allow cases to be centralized."
The programs of the police community allow to identify the illegal content. Agents extract information from the program to go to a judge to find out who owns the IP with which child pornography was being shared.
"Once it has been ascertained to whom that IP belongs we have to identify which of the residents of a certain building is the one that is sharing the pedophile content," Interior sources explain. "Sometimes, we have found cases in which the offender was using the neighbor's Wifi network to download and share the contents," they clarify.
These are investigations in which agents must be especially cautious before proceeding with an arrest. "These are crimes with great social stigma and it is common for detainees to commit suicide . These operations require special caution and sufficient certainty before detaining someone," they emphasize.
The lack of means
While the technology from which the pedophiles benefit them advances - they have learned to encrypt the files or use VPNs to protect themselves - the investment in the fight against cybercrime in Spain has not suffered major leaps forward. Interior sources underline the dependence on programs developed in the United States - from the Department of Homeland Security, the FBI or the NCMEC - while in Spain no investments or own developments have been made.
In the fight against cybercrime there is a stalemate since the 90s and 2000s, the same sources lament.
In addition, in the official reports themselves (as in the Study on cybercriminality in Spain) there is a confusion between Cybersecurity - aimed at protecting infrastructure - and the fight against cybercrime itself, which consists in the prosecution of crimes and focuses on the role of defense agencies , rather than those that fight crime. And in Spain, unlike France or the United States, there is no national center to fight cybercrime.
In fact, the Study on Cybercriminality in Spain does not even correctly reflect the name of the departments of the National Police and the Civil Guard that are responsible for prosecuting these types of crimes . In the case of the Civil Guard, it is reflected as a Group of Telematic Crimes, while, for more than two years, it is called the Department of Telematic Crimes. In the case of the National Police, reference is made to the Technological Research Unit, which years ago changed its name to the Central Cybercrime Unit.
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