” He found ftp (file transfer protocol) directories filled with
image files like “6yoanal.jpg” “alt.binaries.pictures.erotica.pre-teen.
Upon finding out the kind of horrible child pornography that exists, Valor promised a “genuine hacker terror” against child pornographers. On 8 June 1997 Valor posted a message on the mailing list for DefCon, the annual hacker’s convention. By mid-June he claimed that he had “taken down” a “major player,” who was an employee of Southwestern Bell. He collected evidence and sent it to the President of Southwestern Bell, who replied a few days later that the man was “no longer on the payroll.”267
Valor also seemed convinced that the police were not likely to intervene, and pointed out that the child pornographers could hardly complain to the police if he wiped out their hard drive by remote access.
Such declarations and action produced much anxious, hand wringing about “rights,” and condemnation of “malicious, destructive hacking”- concerns and sentiments that are never expressed for the devastation of children’s lives caused by sexual predators.
When solutions to illegal activities on the Internet are discussed, Internet industry people like to make excuses and say that nothing can be done to stop that particular criminal activity. During the discussion of Se7en’s war on child pornographers, one poster’s comment reveals what may be closer to the real situation: “The government can’t enforce laws on the Internet. We all know that. We can enforce laws on the Internet. We all know that, too.”268
Valor reminded the Internet community of what everyone likes to ignore, “…somewhere in the chain, someone is putting these images on paper before they get uploaded. Your freedom ends when you start hurting other people.”269
Internet Combat Group
The Internet Combat Group is a hacker vigilante group in England dedicated to knocking predators of children off the Internet. The group, which started in 1997, is the first vigilante group in the United Kingdon to combine technical skills and hatred of predators who prey on children. In mid-1998, they had 15 members. StRyKe, a member of the group, says he got started when he found a link to a child pornography site in Amsterdam. He reported the site to the Internet Service Provider who controlled the server, but nothing was done. StRyKe said, “…they didn’t care. Those people never do
StRyKe acknowledges that what they are doing is illegal, but moral, “I do
think of myself as moral. …I don’t attack anyone who doesn’t deserve it. We are talking about people who deliberately harm minors.”271 StRyKe works in two ways. First, he tries to trace and identify predators, then turns the information over to police. He claims Scotland Yard will accept information on predators with no questions asked on how he got the information. Second, he uses flaws in computer operating systems (such as Windows 95) to gain access to the predator’s computer, then using a virus, called Codebreaker, developed by an Australian friend, he wipes out material on the predator’s hard drive. StRyKe says, “I’ll do anything if I think it will ultimately help to protect children.”272