In what would be considered the creepiest sting operation in recent memory, children’s rights group Terre des Hommes has ensnared nearly 20,000 pedophiles into engaging with a 10-year-old Filipina girl named “Sweetie.”
The catch here is that Sweetie is completely computer generated.
It wasn’t bad enough to see these gentleman sneak, snoop and skeeve their way into our living rooms during Dateline NBC, now they’re being charmed by the lifeless eyes of a computer program and attempting to coerce it into sexual acts.
According to BBC News, of the 20,000 who contacted, 1,000 offered the Sweetie profile money, with 254 hailing from the US and 110 in the UK. The group relied on evidence garnered from Skype and social media to identify the suspects, using a “new way of policing” to nab them.
“The predator won’t come forward. The victim won’t come forward,” he said. “We identified ourselves as 10-year-old Filipino girls. We did not solicit anything unless it was offered to us.”
The efforts of Terre des Hommes are an effort to curb global web cam “sex tourism,” but it has not been greeted as brightly as expected by law enforcement, including within Europol.
“We believe that criminal investigations using intrusive surveillance measures should be the exclusive responsibility of law enforcement agencies,” spokesman Soren Pedersen told the Reuters news agency.
While it is no doubt that this program was an eye opening undertaking, the future is in question. The group has handed over all of their data and technology to authorities, retiring Sweetie and leaving it up to law enforcement with what happens next. The video from Terre des Hommes YouTube page outlines the widespread growth of the web cam sex industry, describing forced, horrid conditions and their own reasoning for undertaking the Sweetie project.
Now here’s to hoping we can someday acquire Tron-esque technology and suck offenders into the computer world to do battle with Sweetie and her guardian, Big Daddy.
He never loses.
Video may be NSFW.