A man in the US has been sentenced to 42 months in federal prison for purchasing, downloading, and concealing child abuse imagery he got on the dark web and paid for with Bitcoin.
According to court documents, starting in May 2017, Stephen P. Langlois, Jr. used Bitcoin to subscribe to an overseas child pornography website from which he downloaded over 100 child pornography videos.
Langlois, who aside from the prison sentence will be subject to a subsequent supervision of 10 years after he’s released, pleaded guilty to possession of child pornography in US District Court in Providence on January 2, 2019.
He will also have to pay a mandatory assessment of $5,000 as provided for in the Justice for Victims Trafficking Act.
Individuals using Bitcoin to make illicit online purchases is nothing new, but these kind of stories don’t help improve Bitcoin‘s reputation.
However, the problem isn’t unique to the dark web or Bitcoin. A few months ago, Wired reported about how videos of children exposing their genitals racked up millions of views on YouTube, as the site displayed advertisements from multinational brands alongside the content.
Comments below the videos seemingly showed pedophiles sharing timestamps for the parts of the videos that exposed the children’s genitalia.
More recently, we reported on how a change to the Bitcoin Satoshi’s Vision (BSV) protocol had inadvertently led to child exploitation material being posted to its blockchain.
So, while Bitcoin seems to get all the bad press, it’s fair to say that criminals will find a way to exploit whatever technology they can to get what they want.