More than 31,000 web pages containing child sex abuse images have been found by a UK watchdog warning that paedophiles are using bitcoin in efforts to cover their tracks.Popular image hosting websites used by the public to share holiday snaps and other pictures are being abused by criminals distributing the material, researchers found.Meanwhile, online file hosting services saw 5,582 URLs removed because they were hosting child sex abuse images in 2014, compared with 1,400 in 2013.Around 12 per cent of the pages found to contain the material were classed as “commercial” and the most prolific of those sites are now accepting bitcoin.The virtual currency enables people to pay from their computer or phone in encrypted transactions independent of any bank that could be used to trace paedophiles.
The IWF said that just 0.3% of imagery found in 2014 was hosted in the UK, compared with 18 per cent back in 1996.A screenshot from the "Second Life" online virtual universe in an image courtesy of Linden Labs.Surfing the net has become an obsession for many Americans with the majority of U. adults feeling they cannot go for a week without going online and one in three giving up friends and sex for the Web.These things will flow and they will have no practical remedy," he said.The president of WA's Criminal Law Association, Linda Black, is also worried about how some members of the community will deal with the information."The concern is that if these people are identified down the track, potentially at a time where they have rehabilitated, whether people will try and track them down in some kind of vigilante action and take their version of the law into their own hands," she said."And there is also a risk we have a very real concern about as to whether the release of this kind of information may lead to the misidentification of people as sex offenders."But Senior Sergeant Noye says vigilantism is never acceptable.