Childs Play Member Admits Guilt in Canadian Court

Canadian law enforcement played a significant role in the capture and incarceration of one of the two owners of the former darknet child abuse forum “Childs Play” and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police have routinely demonstrated their willingness to keep children safe. While both MagicKingdom and Childs Play thrived as darknet child abuse sites, the user “Steps” concerned the police; the videos he had been uploading had clearly been taken from inside of a school bus. When they caught him, they hit him with 78 counts of various child abuse crimes. In June, that man pleaded guilty to 23 charges as part of a plea deal.

Due to the nature of the case, Canadian media outlets have been forbidden to publish anything that could lead to the identification of the children in his videos. Nobody had suspected the 30-year-old from London (but living in Ontario, Canada). He drove a school bus for a local elementary school and had for some time. His position made him a high-priority target for law enforcement and especially the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

The Northwest Territories RCMP Media Relations spokesperson, Marie York-Condon, said, “protecting the victim is the primary focus at this stage. What’s important to take away from this case, is that we have the ability to investigate this type of file thoroughly, bring it to the court process, and gain a conviction, thereby punishing those who have preyed upon the young in the Northwest Territories’ states Marie York-Condon, Northwest Territories RCMP Media Relations.” Even though the message came from a separate but strikingly similar case, the RCMP’s statements applied. “We want any potential victims to know that if they believe they are being exploited, they can come forward and we can investigate the file thoroughly,” she continued.

During the operation that brought down Childs Play child abuse forum, Australia’s Taskforce Argos had partnered with law enforcement agencies to make moves at any moment. For those who never bothered to read about the Childs Play takedown, you might be missing out on a look at some of the most controversial law enforcement tactics used to investigate darknet-related crime. After the FBI ran Playpen, judges, lawyers, and privacy advocates across the globe questioned the tactics used to catch pedophiles. (Do the ends justify the means?) Australia’s Taskforce Argos, though, took control of and ran a darknet child abuse forum for almost an entire year. One owner lived in Canada and the other lived in the United States. By what seemed like a stroke of luck, the co-admins decided to meet up in the United States.

A joint operation ensured that both men went down without a word to the media and Australian law enforcement took control of the admin accounts and eventually shut down the site. Although the FBI only spent a fraction of the time running Playpen, their operation seemingly resulted in more North American arrests connected to the site. The RCMP may have arrested one of the first dozen non-administrative Childs Play users.