UKLR / OBU / Joe Public
If you are just curious, unfortunately it takes time to study some of the details provided in this report. If you have common sense, you will already know that the information provided to the public in this and other operations is fraudulent. To those of you seeking further information than is provided here, the truth is out there for those that genuinely want to find it.
Operation Ore was the largest miscarriage of justice in the UK this century and an unprecedented violation of civil rights. It wasn't just a simple miscarriage of justice, this was a organised criminal enterprise by design. In view of the money involved, the death and destruction it wreaked and the scale of the operation, it is arguably the crime of the century. The operation would not withstand public scrutiny and it has already been thoroughly discredited through the work of various groups, individuals and professionals who have conducted their own independent research.
The UK police already had a track record (example, example, example, example, example, example, example, example, example) of conducting disastrous witch-hunts of this kind, but the scale of misery, destruction and death in Operation Ore was unprecedented (and has been concealed) and many investigators were deeply traumatised by what they uncovered. Quite incidentally, this site forms a small part of the largest investigation into police corruption since the inception of the force and the largest systematic failure of justice in the UK this century. Bold and challenging statements for sure, however, this is one of the instances where it is the truth that is controversial. In order to understand what happened in the UK, it is important to provide some facts and issues that have not been presented honestly to the public, or even to some officials within the various authorities involved.
UK figures (07/03/2005); 4,283 searched, 3,744 arrested, 1,846 charged, 1,451 convicted, 493 cautions, 870 ongoing investigations, total 5,153. The official (discredited) death count 35 at that time. (Early on, the estimated forensic costs were £15m according to public disclosures by NCS). At the official end of Operation Avalanche in the states, 144 searches had been conducted and 100 arrests made.
Detective Paul Gillespie of Toronto police, put the high arrest rate in the UK down due to the coordination between various agencies, a detective who wanted to run the same scam in Canada.
Operation Ore followed the closure of Landslide Inc, an online credit clearance intermediary based in Fort Worth, Texas. In April 1999, USPIS (United States Postal Inspection Service) in Texas alleged they had received an internal complaint after Robert Adams, a postal inspector, received a tip from an acquaintance in St Paul, Minnesota. Postal Inspector Ronny Miller, from St Paul Minnesota is alleged to have stumbled on a website advertising child pornography via graphic thumbnails and blatant banners that popped up whilst visiting an adult site. Robert Adams contacted nearby Dallas police department and Steve Nelson, a Dallas police officer accessed various child pornography sites using a credit card with assistance from Michael Marshall of Microsoft. An adult classified section of the website allegedly included postings offering to trade Keyz passwords, and a number of illegal sites were using the keyz payment system. USPIS and Dallas Police brought their investigation to the attention of Terri Moore, an assistant district attorney with a tough reputation.
On 08/09/1999, armed with a search warrant, some 50 US law enforcement officials from a number of agencies including USPIS (17), FBI (12), DPD (4) and USCS (13) conducted a raid on Landslide together with other supporting people, e.g. Mike Marshall from Microsoft.
Prior to any arrests or trial, assets were confiscated, bank accounts frozen. Thomas Reedy set up a new website in order to attempt to fund a defence.
After their arrests, prosecutors offered Thomas Reedy a 20 year prison term and Janice Reedy a five year term if they would plead guilty. Thomas chose to contest the case believing he was not responsible for the content on third party websites, especially having reported illegal sites to Special Agent Frank Super of the FBI who said he would return when a new web task force had been set up.
Thomas Reedy was subsequently indicted on 17/05/2000. Similar to a subsequent trial in the UK of an alleged ricin terrorist, rumours were circulated by the LEA's that an escape was planned, that Thomas would flee to Mexico and he was taken into custody. In reality, as USPIS had seized funds and assets pre-trial, Thomas Reedy's mortgage ran into to arrears so he was forced to put the house on the market. The fact that the home was up for sale was used as evidence that Thomas Reedy was a flight risk.
On 01/12/2000 Thomas Reedy was sentenced to life imprisonment. The most damning testimony came from Sharon Girling for which she received an OBE, a UK police officer at SOCA (NCS at the time) who was able to identify actual victims in the images provided by a website which used the Landslide payment system for credit card fraud, following a prior police investigation in the UK.
Thomas and Janice ran Landslide Inc, though the judge said Janice Reedy was emotionally and financially dependant on her husband, and she was given a comparatively reduced sentence of 14 years. Thomas Reedy was indicted, despite having made two official reports to the FBI regarding illicit websites using the company's payment system. FBI Director Louis Freeh had started an 'Innocent Images' program, and Thomas Reedy was told to hold the sites open as they would be investigated later. Once USPIS, Microsoft and Dallas Police had hooked up with fearsome state prosecutor Terri Moore, the fate of Thomas Reedy was sealed.
Attorney Steven Rozan, who prepared their appeal said, 'the Reedys are victims ... to lose 10 years of a person's life in prison is a helluva lot for a crime that doesn't involve death...' Indeed, it was of the most remarkable sentences in world history, 1,335 years being the original term.
On 08/08/2001, Attorney General John Ashcroft and Chief Postal Inspector Kenneth Weaver announced Operation Avalanche. Operation Avalanche was an entrapment scheme, where, according to the LEAs, selective Landslide subscribers were targeted out of the list of 35,000 US Landslide subscribers with email invitations to purchase child pornography by post.
On August 8th, 2001, the official end to Operation Avalanche was announced, where 100 were arrested following 144 searches in 37 states, including 18 in Texas, 11 in New York, 9 in California and 8 in Pennsylvania.
This was a multi-agency operation, which exploded in the world headlines when a famous name, was arrested in UK with the press in tow. The operation was widely accredited to the FBI (some 45 federal agents were believed to have been involved in the Landslide raid), a position at one stage that USPIS sought to correct.
Operation Candyman was the FBI's entry onto the public stage in this territory. This operation did not relate to Landslide at all but the timing and tactics bare direct comparison to operations conducted in the UK.
On 01/02/2001, the FBI publicly launched Operation Candyman, an investigation of Yahoo Egroups (named after the URL of the main Yahoo Egroup concerned; www.egroups.com/groups/candyman). Two other groups were investigated; Shangri-la and Girls 12 to 16.
The FBI had set up a task force in 1995 called innocent images to track people who use the Internet to sexually exploit minors. A Texas agent named Geoff Binney, who's father had been a big name in the agency, was frustrated with the time it took to cultivate people in chat rooms and as he put it 'we want to work smarter'. He set out to widen the net and on 02/01/2001, he followed a link to the Candyman Egroup and allegedly found child pornography images circulating.
To many, this may have seemed a piece of detective work. At that time, an uncountable number of web sites and peer locations had at least some illicit material present. It was sufficiently dispersed throughout the whole Internet to suggest it was normalising, and a couple of minutes searching on the computer would have presented an abundance of sources for more types of illicit material than any one person could perhaps imagine.
The emotive term 'child pornography' was the story of the day, and with 7,000 email addresses discovered, 'huge paedophile ring' reverberated around the world as it did with Landslide and the FBI had their own claim to fame. From the details received from Yahoo, the Houston squad sent out affidavits to obtain warrants to search the homes of more than 200 Candyman members, reportedly mainly those with a history of sexual offences or that they believed were committing such offences. To support the probable cause that each member's home computer would be likely to contain illegal images, a further statement from Binney read "Every email sent to the group was distributed to every member automatically. Therefore, when an individual transmitted child pornography to the Candyman via email, those images were transmitted to every one of the group's members."
In truth, the emails were optional as the FBI had been told from the outset by the person who had set up the group, it was there for FBI Agent Binney to see when he joined the group, and most members had chosen not to receive email. The operation came unstuck when the search warrants were thrown out of two federal courts (Manhattan and St Louis) on the same day (06/03/2003) as the basis of the warrants had, in the words of a judge in New York (Denny Chin); "reckless disregard for the truth". In the Eastern District of Missouri, Judge Catherine D. Perry found that recent evidence had shown that "false information was recklessly included in the search warrant application". Charges had been raised against 89 people following 266 searches in more than 20 states.
The search warrants were in fact, outright lies. FBI agents repeated the lies in court alleging that users automatically received emails containing illicit images. The Egroups concerned offered several services, primarily discussion and users were offered a choice as to whether they received emails. Incurring the wrath of the FBI, Yahoo provided logs to the courts which showed that out of a total of 3,213 candyman members, only 413 had opted to receive all emails.
Despite the FBI's request to keep the Egroup open, Yahoo's customer care department shut it down on 06/02/2001 for violating Yahoo's terms of service, which prohibit posting illegal material. Yahoo were later to circum to the influence of the FBI after court proceedings mysteriously appeared from a parent in relation to a person in the images.
In America, very few of these cases ever go to trial. Defence attorneys know that it just takes an image or two to be put to a jury to turn a guilty verdict. A number of threats and devices are available and used by the prosecutors. Charging a separate felony conviction for 10 images could put a man in jail for 50 years without parole, the very fate of Thomas Reedy though he was originally charged twice on each count.
The FBI claim
Sample media exposure
Thomas Reedy set out to follow the rags to riches trail like so many Internet entrepreneurs of the time, following his earlier career as a nurse. The easiest money was to be found in the largest and most accessible market, adult entertainment. Pornography had universal appeal and remains a major commercial beneficiary of the Internet to this day. Starting in 1997, Thomas Reedy dabbled with peripheral activities like banner exchanges and classified adverts, in an attempt to capture some of the click through market and generate site traffic.
Due to changes in US law (Communications Decency Act - CDA - passed in February 1996), adult web sites were required for a time to prevent minors from accessing adult material, after senator James Exon attempted to regulate free speech on the Internet in 1995. This was struck down only to be followed in 1998 by the COPA (child online protection act).
A large number of verification and payment schemes were introduced by the adult industry in response to the legislation. These were intermediaries, as they typically did not actually clear the payments, rather they had Internet merchant accounts and resold the service to adult webmasters. A whole proliferation of verification schemes appeared. Landslide effectively became a viable business when it introduced it’s own payment system called AVS (Adult Verification Service). The law was sold on the false premise that it would protect children but it could only feed crime and lead to conviction of adults for issues they had no control over. Senator Exon did not even understand the Internet, the law was never enforced and it was ruled unconstitutional as it interfered with the first amendment (first amendment protected the freedom of Religion, Press, Expression - ratified 1791). Repeated attempts were made to reinstate it, one by George Bush’s administration, but all were unsuccessful. Unlike the UK, the US has a written constitution and there are powerful public protection groups like the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the Citizens Internet Empowerment Coalition (CIEC), the Centre for Democracy & Technology (CDT) and the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF).
Many adult verification systems just asked for credit card details as proof of age as is accepted as compliance with the law. In practice, many of these schemes were used as an opportunity for the unscrupulous to commit fraud. One US investigation into one such scheme alone revealing a 230 million dollar fraud. The AVS system at Landslide worked by charging subscribers and in return offering access to a menu of predominantly adult websites.
AVS Webmaster Revenue
Landslide paid 70% of the revenue for each AVS signup to the webmaster and 30% for renewals. Landslide charged AVS (1 month) $19.95, AVS Gold (90 days) $29.95 and AVS Platinum (6 months) $49.95.
According to the US LEA's, these were regular adult sites.
Landslide’s profits increased dramatically following the introduction of the Keyz system, which operated as a charging system for access to a single site. Rather than being offered a list of sites, access to the Keyz system was from outside, the user would arrive at Landslide for entry of credit card details from a remote website. It is highly likely subscribers would not even notice the Landslide name at the bottom of the payment page.
Keyz payment was access on a per site basis and 65% of the profit was paid out to webmasters. Webmasters could mix a range of prices and access durations. Access durations consisted of 7 days, 2 weeks, 30 days, 60 days and 90 days. Charge options consisted of $9.95, $14.95, $19.95, $24.95 and $29.95.
According to the US LEA's, 12 out of some 398 keyz sites were confirmed to contain cp material. The UK police broke down the sites into groups and out of the keyz sites, 3% confirmed cp, 25% might have contained adverts for cp, 27% were considered suspect due to the inclusion of words like teen and nude, 37% were completely unknown and the balance confirmed to be adult sites. Keyz sites represented about 7% of all the sites available, thus about 0.2% of the Landslide sites were confirmed to contain cp by the original Landslide investigation.
In the appeal of Thomas Reedy, it was reported that AVS subscribers paid $19.95 for 6 months access to adult only websites and KeyZ subscribers paid $29.95 for 1 months access. You will notice from the above charging configurations, the US authorities did not tell the truth. They wanted to crucify Thomas Reedy and it was in their interests to talk up the child pornography issues. As it happens, due to various scams operating on websites that used Landslide, other charges were also applied outside of the above options for AVS and KeyZ. The chief investigator and expert for the trial of Thomas Reedy was Mike Marshall, a Fort Worth Police Officer and former Microsoft employee, who had already been asked to resign as a police officer due to misconduct.
Mike Marshall was the lead investigator for the Texas attorney general's Internet Bureau, instigated in September 2000 following an $800,000 grant from the governor's office. Marshall once said 'If the computer evidence is all you've got, your got a problem'.
Nelson obtained evidence for him accessing various web sites. He was using Web Buddy which allowed him to capture the web pages, yet a grainy stretched video capture of part of a screen was passed to the UK as evidence and used in subsequent trials in Operation Ore. Although Web buddy would have allowed him to present perfect copy of the web sites visited, only a blurred video capture was produced, it's quality making it impossible to determine whether this was genuine, or whether the infamous 'click here' banner was like so much of the Landslide story, pure fiction.
Curiously, three webmasters in Russia (Boris Greenberg - 1 Keyz site) and Indonesia (R W Kusama - 2 keyz sites and Hanny Ingganata - 5 Keyz sites) were indicted along with Thomas Reedy on the basis that they had exclusively used the Landslide Keyz system. Curiously, as at that time most world wide child pornography material was held on web servers in the US (source IWF), and a range of payment schemes outside of Landslide were uncovered from independent investigations of these webmasters. For legal reasons, to maximise the severity of the indictments, the prosecution needed a conspiracy involving at least five people, so five people were indicted. (Two webmasters based in Indonesia were indicted under seal).
From the media coverage, one could well believe that Landslide was a child pornography host and Thomas Reedy was the king of child pornography. The truth is, Landslide wasn't a child pornography host at all, rather they had an automated system that allowed adult webmasters to link access to their websites via the Landslide payment systems. It provided a cheap and easy means for adult webmasters to enter the commercial market by using his automated payment / access system. In return, Landslide would keep a share of the revenue.
Some 6,561 websites were believed to have used Landslide’s payment systems, a fraction of 1% of these were verified to contain child pornography at the time, the first of such sites using the Landslide payment system appearing late in 1998. Thomas Reedy had himself made two reports about illicit sites to the FBI, two FBI agents were called as defence witnesses at his trial, one from Philadelphia and one from Dallas, as well as obtaining legal advice to ensure that the company was not legally responsible for material that the webmasters provided.
Thomas Reedy was not the first to be stung by the FBI. US reporter Larry Matthews was conducting research into child porn for a three part radio show. He went into the child porn chat areas and came across something that disturbed him so he contacted the FBI. "Terrible things are happening out there, you've got to do something" he told them. They did, controversially when he carried on his research they arrested and charged him and he received an 18 month sentence. Prosecutors controversially argued that he could have obtained his information in different ways. "The government has taken the position the reporter could as easily have gotten the information he needed from the FBI," says Susan Goerring, executive director of the ACLU, Maryland. "We maintain that is an alarming position . . ., because once our freedom of the press hinges on what the government tells us and not the reporter, then we're all in trouble."
As a Dallas police officer presented evidence from child pornography websites which could be paid for via the Landslide’s payment system and Thomas Reedy was presented to the world's media as the king of cp. The two main webmasters involved were indicted under seal out of public view, which would tend to suggest they were working with law enforcement. When US law enforcement raided Landslide offices, they did not find a child pornography enterprise, as this was not the function that Landslide performed. With assistance from Microsoft, they found what was there, a database of adult subscribers.
There are plenty of stories out there, but the official ones do not stand up to any examination. They described Landslide as if cp was an objective of the company, that there were servers all over the place in layers, the cp conspiracy. The Internet of course has servers everywhere, Thomas was king of his company, not king of cp or the Internet, though moving into business websites, attempting to sell off the adult side and establish the company as an ISP, he had big plans and hopes for the future.
There was a vast amount of subscriber data, email addresses, credit card transactions and credit card details. The industry was rife with scam, and the majority of transactions held at Landslide were likely to be fraudulent, especially if illegal imagery was involved. It was the exception rather the rule to report fraud but twelve percent of the credit cards involved in Operation Ore had been reported stolen before the investigation started. Kent police reportedly confirmed 20% of those investigated were victims of identity fraud.
The prime scam on the Internet, is to incriminate the people defrauded to mitigate complaint, and this was the reason for the presence of extreme material on sites hooked into the Landslide and numerous other payment systems at the time. The extreme sites are just used as clearing sites for the bank robbery until the merchant account is closed down due excessive charge backs as happened at Landslide and numerous others. One of the few extreme sites was Nympho, the site that UK police officer Sharon Girling testified about in the trial of Thomas Reedy. The webmasters had a payout of $19.47 in their first month of trading at the end of March 1999. At the end of April, it was $95,428.94, a rise that we would be hard to account for as normal business as the imagery was only of serious commercial interest to fraudsters and rogue law enforcement agencies. Of course, people who had paid for access to adult sites but had been whacked into blatantly illegal sites were in for quite a shock, even more so if Operation Ore came calling, though all the scammers had to do was to charge subscribers to these sites.
US Prosecutors had staged many attacks on the adult industry. Typically in the States, they go for the big bust and target the money and the fame. Take out the money and you take out the industry was an argument they used, in reality, it is a case that little people want their day in the headlines. In the case of Thomas, the prosecutors took the money before the trial, so if they had a moral imperative, it was hard to see. Shortly before election time in 1998, the Attorney General of New York filed criminal charges against an ISP in Buffalo, for providing access to child pornography through it's hosted newsgroups. The company chose not to contest the charges, entering a guilty plea and paying a fine. Despite this, the legal complexities were clear, due to the impracticality of a host or ISP monitoring and potentially censoring the content on it's servers.
Thomas Reedy took the view that he was not responsible for material that webmasters provided, that was the legal advice he had had, but this was a show trial and the state was out to get him, not because he was an important player, but because this was to be used for the launch pad for a new industry. The jury deliberated for some eight hours, they privately questioned the judge over points of law as to whether Landslide were guilty even if they had no involvement in the illegal websites, subsequently returning a guilty verdict.
In May 2002, out rolled Operation Ore as the UK police arrested some 44 people out of a list of 52 Keyz subscribers, not even that, a list of credit card numbers and email addresses. The police had a legal duty to investigate what that information meant and much was readily available to them, just as much of it has been to private researchers, though evidence held by SOCA which undermines the prosecution case has been withheld from independent experts.
By contacting credit card companies, email hosts, telecom companies and the Inland Revenue using ant-terrorist laws and pressure, they were able to trace nearly all of the list. This was not evidence of any crime and the issues involved are highly complex. For example, in the States, indictments of 3 individuals and 5 corporations uncovered an Internet fraud involving $230 million for tours of adult web sites where users were simply supplying their credit card details as proof of age.
Reportedly, the initial arrests concentrated on those they believed had made more than 10 purchases, with some users appearing to have visited on more than 50 occasions.
The police decided to change tactics. This group, of largely adult surfers and victims of credit card fraud were to be branded as dangerous and any children at hand were children at risk. The list was subsequently prioritised into three groups:
1. Those who had access to
children, a previous conviction or were on the sex offenders register (SOR).
As it happens, they did not have sufficient evidence to arrest all Keyz subscribers as the data would have exonerated many people, if it was even of evidential value. Over 5,000 arrests were made in one of the most serious violations of human rights this nation has seen. It was supported by an orchestrated campaign of lies, misinformation and fraud.
By December 2002, 1,200 had been arrested, including 50 police officers. This included the bulk of category 1 and 2. At this stage, Operation Avalanche which had been started some two years prior, had arrested less than 150 Americans in targeted stings.
Deputy Assistant Commissioner Carole Howlett, who was heading the Scotland Yard investigations, was reported as saying the entire list of 7,000 would be completely investigated within nine months. The story soon changed, to one that the police were overwhelmed and more money was needed if they were going to be able to investigate these cases at all. Corporate policing had arrived in the UK.
The Landslide forensic server archives were given to the UK police and Celt Ltd, at the start of October 2002, and Celt Ltd undertook the task of analysing the data. Celt had been formed as a computer forensic expert company by ex-police police officers Brian Underhill and Nick Webber and they provided testimony as prosecution experts at many of the trials for many of the forces.
When Sharon Girling OBE (NCS), Nicholas Webber (Celt) and Brian Underhill (Celt) returned from a visit to the US, they reportedly had a list of 7,272 credit card holders, 7,275 email addresses derived from 26,462 credit transactions records together with forensic archives of some of the Landslide data.
With meticulous analysis of the Landslide database, associated log files, and the websites involved, it would have been possible to produce a list of names that the database identified as specifically relating to potential access to known illicit websites from which to allege there were sufficient grounds for arrest. This required detailed and time consuming analysis as out of a list of nearly 400 Keyz sites, a list which was itself constructed rather than truthfull, many of the names appeared to be incriminating, but only a minority of the sites actually were of an illicit nature according to UK law at the time.
When the police originally rolled out Operation Ore with reportedly but not true, 50 arrests and charges in the first phase, the press were onto a new story and the UK police briefed the press with false information. Most damning of the information supplied was a story of Thomas Reedy and Landslide, the king of child pornography, and a picture of a web page, showing an explicit 'click here for child porn’ button in the middle of the screen. The inference was clear and the police were at pains to point out, they were investigating people who had done just that, submitted their credit card and clicked for child pornography. They went way further and suggested that these were Internet paedophiles and abusers of children as if Landslide was a paedophile ring with 7,000 UK members., something Dallas police officer Bill Walsh asserted directly.
Within a short space of time, the possibility of a fair trial had evaporated. The incriminating or emotive catch lines use by the UK police and their partners became more and more rehearsed and incriminating. Judges and juries swallowed the information whole, the accused were doomed from the start and most defence solicitors suggested pleading guilty if any images were found quite regardless of whether they were guilty or not.
The enquiry in Scotland completed with 700 Orees, not one of which was charged with any sexual offences against children. There is a report in some quarters of one offender being found, but he was not on the Ore list. This was confirmed by a third party FOI request on a public discussion board. At least one of the people is now dead. The police said they were suspicious of some of the people arrested, but some of the most senior police officers involved said that all 7,000 were Internet paedophiles.
The public that forms the juries, and even the judges that presided over the proceedings, of course read the newspapers, and overnight, the presumption of innocence had been removed and all sense of justice and the measure of the crime had been lost to the lies and propaganda. The mere terms, ‘Operation Ore’, ‘child pornography’, ‘credit card’, ‘every picture is a crime scene’, 'Internet paedophiles' and so many others, were often enough to convict or coerce a guilty plea. Just the fact they were accused was enough in so many instances, in some instances too much.
The police did not just target those that the Landslide database appeared to incriminate; thousands were arrested, searched and in many cases, charged. Anyone questioned had their lives changed forever. Many of the people did not survive and OBU estimates the death toll to be over one hundred UK individuals, and it was not always only the accused that lost their lives to the witch-hunt.
Death certificates cannot be relied as a means to identify how many people lost their lives to this operation as OBU were reliably informed from a number of sources that death certificates were altered for the benefit of the remaining families or the purposes of the police and FOIs involved resurrections from previously published police figures.
The details so far
Before discussing Operation Ore further, it is important to discuss some of the information already presented.
The ‘click here for child porn’ was a total misrepresentation of the facts, Landslide was not a child porn host. The original page used is believed to have been fabricated by the US LEA’s. Although the police briefed the press on the basis UK subscribers all clicked a button for 'click here for child porn', users visiting the main AVS portal where the majority of sites were, would have actually seen this. Later, the UK police had the actual Landslide web archives and the page used to brief the press was clearly staged to incriminate, worse than that, it was a fraudulent attempt to pervert the course of justice and a successful one.
In April 1999, there were a menu of 1,705 sites to choose from on the AVS list.
People using Landslide via the Keyz (per site) payment system, would normally access the Keyz sign up page first time to pay for entry to the site they had arrived from, or just the login window on repeat visits.
The police often used the term, 'the site', meaning some demon place where everything was the ultimate in human perversion. They meant Landslide. If you have followed the hyperlinks so far, you will have seen already, some stark differences between the official stories and the truth. Reportedly, the sites you see on that list are all legal, but from the descriptions, you wouldn't know what you would get, typical of the Internet at the time. The FBI and US prosecutors coined the phrase, 'one click away from a bust'.
Initially, out of an estimated 5,700 sites, only 12 were verified by US LEA's as being what the police refer to as 'child pornography' or 'indecent images of children'.
Every ‘image was a crime scene’ was also a fabrication. Most of the material which was under the legal age minimum (16 at the time of Landslide, 18 now under UK law), were old pictures scanned from magazines, nudist camps, naturalist type pictures. In a magazine or on television they might well go unnoticed, but in the Ore pantomime, they were 'indecent images of children'. Although the people in them were or looked underage, there was no question of a child being abused, they were on holiday and the pictures entirely innocent. A small minority of the images did include images that were actual or simulated child abuse, reportedly in the extreme case, that included babies.
The fact that people went to the site was blamed as being responsible for creating a market, children being abused on mass for their Internet audience. The material that was used on the websites was simply scooped up from the public domain, especially Usenet. These images were circulating freely on the Internet. As it happens, it is a false argument however it is looked at. Whatever is on the Internet, will be looked at, that is human nature so there is always an audience, there always is. Such is the nature of the Internet at the technical level, that what is on the Internet will end up on people's computers, whether they requested it or not.
The inference might be that the 'market' related to child abusers. That is an argument stood on its head. A great many heterosexuals look at gay sites, people would look at under age sites for a great variety of reasons, to suggest that meant they were dangerous, is a dangerous suggestion as Ore amply demonstrates.
Further, everyone who may have looked at these images was considered to be committing further acts of child abuse. Most of the imagery did not even represent child abuse. In the case of Landslide, not many of the people had even been to these sites. Of the material there, the vast majority of it was not the result of abuse, and to suggest the act of viewing was an act of abuse, is an abuse of reason at the very least.
Of course, with such an emotive topic, all the propaganda played directly into the hands of those who stood to benefit from whipping up a fever, primarily the police and the new breed of child agencies, social services, NCH, NSPCC etc., all of whom were making vast sums of money from people who had suddenly become 'dangerous people' after just a few headlines and sound bytes and possibly a click or two of the mouse.
Even where images did represent a crime scene, the crime committed in the picture was not the responsibility of the person that viewed it. The trick used at the start was that they paid for it, in truth, very few did. It was argued because these images were being looked at, it created the market. The Internet had so many flavours of life on display, if material was there, of any kind, sure enough a good number of people would have a look at it. Some would enjoy it, but to infer the act of looking was dangerous is a statement that threatens society itself. If people had a credit card, they were happy to throw in a few dollars to explore, as difficult as it will be for much of the public to understand, the act of paying had no significance at all in this operation.
If the argument was that some of the pictures involved child abuse, then that does not need any special laws. It is a normal police issue to investigate if the image is a crime scene and if the images aren't there, they won't be viewed or slipped onto people's computers. As it happens, with images from decades prior, the police were not even welcome by most of the victims who were now adults, crime and recovery being far more important than crime and punishment in most instances.
Although members of the public did report web sites of this kind by the hundred, there wasn't much incentive to do this in the UK as the police did not have the resources or expertise to examine Internet crimes of this nature, and from previous behaviour, there was no reason to trust them by doing so.
There have been instances where an adults have taken the blame for what their children have done on the computer, and more recently, people who have gone to the police for help have been described by the police as 'people turning themselves in'.
Millions tried to see the beheading of a hostage in Iraq on the Internet, one site reportedly receiving a million hits. Not one of these people was arrested as being a danger to the public, in those cases the viewer was not considered responsible or connected with the crime. What would legally constitute child pornography is shown on television and in literature, but on the Internet, it was suddenly convenient to call everyone on the list an Internet paedophile.
‘Credit card’ or anything connected to Operation Ore was incriminating due to the false information given by the UK police then and now. Out of 7,272 credit card identities, it is believed only a small minority had paid to access illicit sites from those available by Keyz.
Credit card fraud
At the trial of Thomas Reedy, he was charged for issues in relation to child pornography and credit card fraud did not even get a mention. To look innocent, his automation was presented to exonerate the company of any dishonesty or involvement in any undertakings, the fact that many of these transactions were unauthorised was conveniently lost. The whole industry was rife with scam at that time, scamming was normal.
This no doubt suited the purposes of the police in their prosecutions. Sharon Girling OBE acted as witness for the prosecution in UK trials, testifying or supplying evidence to support the same automation, effectively saying ‘it can only happen this way’. Damning evidence, but of course, those that have looked into Landslide and Operation Ore know there are many ways it could happen and some of those ways did happen. Even innocent subscribers had incriminating transactions. The witness statements Sharon Girling OBE testified to, were provided by an ex-Landslide employee, who worked for the FBI prior to Thomas Reedy's trial. As such, the testimony was hardly impartial, but the written statements were simply presented by Sharon Girling as evidence in court or in her name. Some people who might never have even seen imagery of this kind were prosecuted on a charge of incitement based on Sharon Girling's testimony or evidence.
Unknown to many users, despite the innocence of the payment schemes, transactions were often recurring when the user only intended a single payment and many people were hit with unusual credit card transactions they had not authorised. Not even the advertised Landslide charges applied in all cases, credit card fraud was rife. There would have been very significant numbers of complaints reported to the UK credit companies, though Access and Visa have actually been praised for their assistance with these cases. Not surprising they should provide enthusiastic co-operation with the prosecution when they certainly didn’t want to suffer the fate of Landslide.
From further analysis by Access and Visa of credit card statements, it was alleged that some 250,000 paedophiles are at large in the UK. Common sense dictates a different story, and for those that have studied these issues, quite a number of very different stories.
When fraudulent transactions were reported to the credit companies, if they investigated, they would have normally had to contact Landslide, and the data from the Landslide database would have been read back as if this was evidence of what was done just as Sharon Girling OBE did in court. Many of the website descriptions were obscene sounding, some of these had even been altered to sound obscene (a fact that UK police are aware of), and the credit company may have taken a view that the transaction was genuine rather than a fraud. Thus, it is likely that although subscribers were re-reimbursed, reversals to Landslide were not put through that should have been. Thus Landslide had a refund rate of around 2%, keeping most of the profits that were fraudulently derived. Although the industry was rife with scam, 1% would normally be a ceiling for charge backs.
A reversal rate of 2% was substantial. A fax was sent on the 10th of August 1999 from Superior Credit Card Processing who were one of the companies Landslide used, advising them that they would be withdrawing their processing services due to excessive chargeback activity. Clearly there were serious problems relating to Landslide and credit card charges, by inference; fraud. When Landslide was taken down, they had already stopped trading.
The largest miscarriage of justice
The largest miscarriage of justice in the UK this century is also an emotive statement and one that must be carefully substantiated. More than 5,000 people were targeted for direct investigation, as people who had paid Landslide to access child pornography. A figure that was simply impossible when such a small number of the websites that linked in to the Landslide payment systems hosted illicit material.
There are many aspects that must be examined, to demonstrate what actually happened. Unfortunately this in turn provides considerable evidence of a very ugly fact, the UK police force sought knowingly to profit from child pornography. It has now reached such a scale that the lies that have been told, are too big for anyone to admit to. Equally, they are too large to remain unchallenged.
The conviction rate for Operation Ore was probably something of the order of a third of the number of people searched, when analysis of the information already discussed would yield a considerably reduced figure. Analysing individual case histories produces case after case where the person was innocent, despite the fact a number of images were found and a caution was accepted, a guilty plea entered or determined by court.
People’s lives were blighted and destroyed by the naming and shaming and the false information that had been fed to the media, and to other parties involved like SS (social services). Jim Gamble, Assistant Chief Constable of NCS (National Crime Squad), himself actually said on the BBC; 7,000 people logged on to watch child pornography’. Justice was perverted by such reckless disregard for the truth by the police. Stuart Hyde, Assistant Chief Constable of the West Midlands police and spokesman for ACPO on a radio phone in, attempted to suggest that material of this kind could not arrive on a computer by accident. A large proportion of the public might not know, but it is inconceivable that the chief spokesman at such a rank would not know that the days of the personal computer disappeared almost the moment the Internet took off.
Celt Limited, a company seriously exposed before Operation Ore even started, stayed silent, while people were charged with popups, despite the fact that Celt Limited had popups on their own website.
Trials were not fair, independent or just in any of the cases examined or witnessed by OBU, in some cases looked into, far far worse.
The police analysed the contents of people’s hard disks for any child imagery from what was often a library of years of adult surfing of many hundreds of adult websites, often more. The Internet was awash with this material, interest groups, normal adult sites, in fact Landslide’s involvement was one of the smallest of the operators OBU uncovered in relation to cp. As a consequence of Operation Ore, the dispersal and value of this material has actually increased.
Many people were offered a caution, and many of them benefited from accepting a caution rather than undergoing the risk of a trial and sometimes being offered the option on the basis it would keep their name out of the papers. They might already have their name in the press, ‘vile Internet paedophile’ and the like. They would enter court guilty, very hard ground to recover from when some of the true stories behind Landside were known by so few people and the emotive nature of a taboo. Typically the prosecution would show images to the jury, an act that on it's own was enough to turn a verdict.
When no evidence was found, the police sometimes charged people with incitement, based simply on the Landslide data and supporting information such as credit card records and the testimony of Sharon Girling OBE. They may not have known at the start what Landslide data actually represented, but they had a legal duty to. Regardless, numerous anomalies would have come to light very early on as the forensic data was analysed. There would have been a very considerable paucity of imagery associated with Landslide, the list was really by and large, just a list of names, probably in the main, adult surfers. This perhaps explains why a new phrase was coined; adult surfing is just one step away for child pornography. Quite literally, the vast majority of those arrested were simply adult surfers and / or victims of fraud.
In court, people were normally charged with ‘making’ or ‘possession’. People who had gone to a web page and then been presented with a series of images, were found guilty and sentenced according to what was specifically in those images, despite the fact the user might have innocently occasioned on those images and there was no evidence to connect the person at all with the type of imagery displayed in general or specifically to particular images. This was of course a witch-hunt, and everyone accused had to be witch. Instead of of the lies being uncovered, they actually grew as the trials progressed and the police and co-operative groups made increasingly ridiculous statements. The propaganda fed to the media kept the conviction rates up, the sentences on the rise and the money rolling in.
People who were using newsgroups and peer to peer software, were very likely to pick up a file containing illicit imagery at some point, it was just a matter of time and chance as so much of this material was out there. This even applied to news groups that were moderated. Depending on how many images were there and what they contained would play a part in what happened to them.
The retribution endured, for a crime they typically didn’t actually commit, included a repertoire of unbearable punishments, particularly where the person was innocent but in all cases simply inhumane. Jail, registering as a sex offender, sex offender programs, hostile investigation and harassment by the SS (Social Services), losing access to one’s family, having one’s children taken into care, losing one’s job, losing the right to even be employed, losing one’s home and in some instances, losing the right to life itself.
OBU examined a considerable number of cases, which uncovered instances where people had been fitted up, maliciously prosecuted and not one instance of a professional investigation or a fair trial. In the circumstances, fair trials were not available. To give an example, in one part of England, people were being cautioned for a few images in their browser history. The press vented their rage and the next person went to jail.
In so many cases, the police tried to keep everything they had confiscated, they literally feasted on this new opportunity to use power regardless of the law. So often it was reported that the police would discuss the contents of the images with a relish with the wives and children of the accused present. Between the police and the SS, so much effort was put into convincing people the person was dangerous for some images on the computer; families were fractured. Even where the people stood up to these obscene challenges, SS could prevent the man from being with the family. In some cases the wife was considered dangerous if she did not leave her partner, in the extreme case, the children were taken from their parents, exactly what all this pressure was designed to achieve.
The issues are of such a scale and magnitude, quite simply, they cannot be allowed to stand. The entire system of justice and the associated law enforcement authorities and their allies, are too heavily implicated to allow continued suppression of information or for these acts of human depravity to be allowed to continue. The consequences of continued ignorance would have and already have had, dire consequences for the UK and it's people.
The police ran massive propaganda campaigns, often through the agency of associated pressure groups, but even the mildest of these was misleading; ‘making the Internet safe for children’. SOCA unit, The National Crime Squad are actually paying for a commercial advertising campaign. Operation Ore was a testament to the fact they had failed to make the Internet safe for adults. As far as those using the Internet were concerned, the threat that typically confronted them was in the form of money stolen, a broken computer or a knock at the door. Few would have realised, one click of the mouse, could cost them everything they had ever lived for.
Fairly early on, the police would have uncovered numerous factors that brought into question, the whole basis of the arrests that were being conducted. Actually, the initial arrests were unlawful, even their handling of the illicit material discovered was unlawful. With a lack of Landslide data being returned from the evidence, the police had a choice, to stop, modify dramatically their modus operandum, or to continue. Unfortunately there is evidence to support the fact, that what could have been argued as a genuine mistake, became a determined lie. Empires were being built around the country in support of this and forward operations of the same kind; it appears that quite simply, they got carried away. Perhaps the profits were too large to ignore, the truth too great a disparity with what had been said. The profits from the cp gravy train came at the price of human suffering of an unimaginable scale and even life itself.
The lies may have been swallowed whole by so many of the public. There were such big lies, people had to presume they were true. Few asked questions. If looking at a child was an act of abuse, the UK police force were the biggest child abusers going on the planet, but it was a taboo, and few dared think about it let alone speak up.
As it happens, a trawl of just the first 200 names reportedly threw up 90 police officers. The fact is, the whole basis of this enterprise was twisted from the start. Overall, the people arrested, represented as safe a group as a thousand pages torn from a public telephone directory, indeed a police woman said that these were the nicest people they had ever arrested.
The police made statements to the effect that they were not finding much Landslide data but these paedophiles were downloading the material again so it didn’t really matter. Understanding the truth of Landslide and how the Internet operates would yield entirely different stories.
In so many instances, what distinguished someone from being cleared or prosecuted was simply a question of luck. One click of the mouse too many was all it took to shatter a whole family and the whole issue had been blown so far out of proportion, some of the sentences were more than for real abuse.
Most of those prosecuted were simply people whose computers had been used to explore the adult Internet, though not even that was true in all cases.
One just has to consider, if everyone knew these arrests were coming and they had paid to access child pornography, why did they not destroy the evidence? They were by and large adult surfers, a legal but private pursuit. Plenty of dodgy material was on the Internet, people in general would have no idea what was in their Internet cache. The police may well allege otherwise, but the truth is readily available. Had the police story been true, there would have been an endless stream of broken hard disks going out with the rubbish and few prosecutions at all.
Due to the scale of the operation, the fact that there were a number of cp websites, it would not be unlikely if a small number of abusers were actually found. As the authorities do not release this information and cannot be trusted to have accurately obtained this information, it is only possible to estimate. A fraction of one percent of the people investigated on the Ore list, would be a reasonable estimate for the proportion of people that might constitute a risk to children for a list of this size, though 0% has been returned from Scotland.
The SS (Social Services) have in many instances acted on information they have been given as well as information in the public domain, and families have been split without there being any reasoned argument to even be involved. Instances have even been found, where children have been separated from their parents and been abused as a consequence.
In reality, child protection is the reverse of what Operation Ore has achieved. It has had a dramatic affect on the risk to children. Careful case analysis will readily bring this fact to the fore.
There are a number of technical issues in relation to computing that are of extreme relevance. This document is presented to provide some general understanding of some of the relevant issues, and it therefore does not include specific technical information that would obscure the overall picture of what happened and why. The fact that so many innocent people were cautioned, prosecuted and convicted raises sufficient questions for these issues to be explored and answered in detail at the appropriate time. A more important fact is that it is no longer reasonable to consider that trials and sentences could be fair and independent after all the pre-trial publicity, and false propaganda in relation to Operation Ore.
To provide some idea of the scale of technical issues involved and the dangers these represent, the results of a number of defence forensic investigators were analysed in relation to cases where cp had been found on people's computers. In one instance where some 30 cases had been represented, 60% of those resulted in the CPS or Police dropping the charges. This percentage was one of the lowest with 75% seeming to be fairly typical, in some cases significantly higher and in one case 100%. It should be noted, most people did not have the benefit of competent and informed legal and technical representation.
It is vital to include some detail on some of the law. In short, the Sexual Offences Act 2003 which passed into law on 01/05/2004.
Child pornography is in essence defined as an indecent image of a person under the age of 18, previously under 16. Many people would not know what child pornography is, there isn’t actually a legal definition, though a jury is trusted to determine what is indecent and what is not. The authorities tend to mention the most extreme kind of material that was found, even though this is the minority issue and unlikely to be of any relevance to the scale of offence whatsoever.
In relation to ‘making’ (typically downloading) an indecent image, the onus is on the defendant to prove that it was necessary for him/her to make a child abuse image.
This is in effect, guilty unless proven innocent. Clearly this is at odds with the HRA (Human Rights Act) and an affront to Justice. In practice, the law incriminates the innocent. If a user occasioned on a page were there are one of a number of illicit images, they would only be guilty if they were guilty of mind, but how can you defend your mind on such a charge in the background of lies and ignorance that pervaded all these trials. Even defence solicitors advised their clients to plead guilty as an act of contrition. In the case of Landslide, people were in court some years after the alleged offence, many could not even remember the event let alone defend themselves. If they went to court, as the statistics reflect, by and large they were damned. If they hadn’t even seen the images or known they were there, the law requires them to account for how they got there, possibly several years ago.
Just in relation to the arrests, this was a gross violation of human rights and the law. At the very least, Article 5.1 enshrines everyone with the right to liberty and security, the exact opposite of what they received at the hands of the state.
If the police had reason to believe someone was viewing adult pornography, but did not have evidence that the material was CP, they did not have reasonable grounds for suspecting the person was guilty of viewing CP.
You cannot arrest someone at random and then justify that later because evidence of a crime was subsequently found. Even in the UK, you have a right not to be arrested and violation of this right is a serious matter, yet in Operation Ore that is only part of what happened. People were quite literally tortured to death for what they may or may not have seen. The police turned a blind eye as property and people were assaulted. Far worse in many cases in view of how and what information was fed to the press.
The grounds for reasonable suspicion were, according to Lord Devlin in Shabban bin Hussein v. Chong Fook Kam (1970):
‘The circumstance of the case should be such that a reasonable man acting without passion or prejudice would fairly have suspected the person of having committed the offence’.
These were not normal arrests. Three police officers went to arrest a suspected terrorist during Operation Ore, but the whole Ore process was designed to destroy the accused, typically with some 20 officers turning up first thing in the morning, sometimes in full riot gear.
What was uncovered in relation to the law, gave very serious concerns for other laws within the Sexual Offences Act 2003 (home secretary Mr Blunkett). A prosecution for a non-consensual sexual act, e.g. rape, required simply an allegation to bring a case to court. Further examination of people who had been convicted revealed a list of people, entirely innocent, languishing in prison for appalling crimes that never even happened. One such innocent person estimated that 40% of his wing were victims of a legal system that had quite literally abandoned justice and the principles on which it was founded. Planned changes to the law, would take this far further, to the point, for so many crimes, court and justice are enemies rather than friends.
Clearly all laws in this territory were designed to make it easy to bring charges and convict where people were entirely denied the presumption of innocence. A simple allegation was enough, often made by a child. Examination of so many of these cases highlighted that the police had sought to manipulate or conceal evidence, even dna evidence, in order to obtain convictions; often knowing the person was innocent. Targets and ticketing, power and money, information and who had it, all the old evils were there.
The corruption of law and the corruption of those who enforce it is on such a scale, that it is necessary to not just air a few dark secrets being withheld from public view, a wholesale corruption of state, a police force that is unaccountable to justice or the public they should serve and the role of government now represents something quite sinister. That is a very strong and emotive statement, but the research is extensive, scientifically provable and the implications simply cannot be ignored. People are quite literally being tortured to death based on an allegation or a false representation of what a crime really constitutes.
A whole raft of other lists are now being pursued by the UK police, predicated on what the police say is the success of Operation Ore, a wholly misplaced enterprise and totally discredited by evidence available to public researchers, of which there are now many. Names of specific police officers and people they retain in relation to very serious crimes have of course come to attention during examination of these issues. Quite simply, the list is too large for it to be appropriate to name such people, however, some of the most senior police officers that have been knowingly responsible for acts, which tended to or actually perverted the course of justice, have been made available.
There are many people who are independently or collectively working on these issues. OBU, who have contributed much of this document, is one such unit. In the case of Operation Ore, the scale of corruption involved, the number of people who have committed crimes or been a victim of them, is simply too great to be ignored and considerable further information would be made available to appropriate parties.
The state can now present to the public the situation that they are finding all these vile paedophiles and how much money is needed and how much needs to be done and the convictions and destruction of life and property is set to continue or increase.
All of this is being done in the name of protecting children. In order to obtain information, these organisations have had to be penetrated and considerable evidence is available to destroy completely, the whole basis for such an assertion. A vast amount of evidence has also been directly available to public researchers and specialists. The assertions of the police, their partners, and the government are manifestly untrue, in many cases, simply a series of vulgar lies. These lies will not just result in harm to children; they will serve to destroy the very society they will inherit.
Just like the terrorist nonsense, the word child has become a weapon of state. Most so called terrorism was that which we created, and telling the truth and living up to the consequences of the truth would end the scale of this threat. The same goes for Operation Ore, the lies have stood between man and justice. To really protect children and society as a whole, the truth must be told.
Fraud or justice
In the name of justice, protecting the innocent, tackling the injustice and even protecting children, the truth will be delivered directly to the public in the absence of any means to the same end. For that reason and more, this site and others are now on public display.
Jim Gamble, in a talk where it was admitted the police were in violation of the HRA (Human Rights Act), asked people to trust him, trust him because he was a police officer. These people were given one of the most sensitive lists of names one could imagine; yet the details were leaked to the press. Never again, can these people be trusted with such unfettered powers or so poor a means to hold them to account.
People had so few opportunities to reclaim justice from the state. Some tried the IPCC (Independent Police Complaints Commission), only to find it staffed with police officers and far from independent.
It may be a new and dangerous world, but in Operation Ore, people found the danger came, not from what they had or had not seen on the Internet, but from the very people paid to protect them. Guilty or not didn’t matter, the law was there to convict them; the system was determined to, and in many cases, what little of life this would leave them was simply not worth having. Of all things, injustice is about the hardest to endure.
Even in the instances where people had committed an offence, so little was understood of what that offence was, as what separated so many of these people from others on the list was simply one click of the mouse, not to mention, it is not unusual for healthy minds to simply explore the world of cyberspace. As people they were no different. When a video of Ken Bigley being executed on the Internet, one million people went to look at one website that showed it. A much greater number tried to find it. Not one of those that looked at this video was accused of being a murderer. It is a simple fact of life, if something is on the Internet, the material will be looked at, and even if it isn’t, it will still end up on people’s computers. Man has dreams of every kind, but man should not be held to account for his dreams, for it is such impossible dreams that built what this nation once was.
Some take the view, that Operation Ore was different, that these people had paid to view child pornography. To believe that, one would only have to read the newspapers or listen to the UK police. The truth on that issue is not difficult to find, and quite a different story altogether. Some people did pay, not as some sinister act; the Internet was liberal and people embraced the journey of discovery.
There has been so much hype that the public have no doubt known little, if any of the facts. A lot of the hype is subtle intimation, viewing adult pornography is one step away from viewing child pornography, viewing child pornography is one step away from child abuse (and many police officers have alleged this is child abuse in itself). As we sit down to eat our dinner with a knife, perhaps we are just one step away from murder.
Operation Ore very quickly became simply a money scam on its own with vast sums being involved. Police Officers are on PRP (Performance Related Pay), the greater the number of busts, the more the money, not to mention the direct government finance that was injected into this project. The bribery for funding was simple, 'child protection is a priority for the police'. Operation Ore is proof that very statement is a wicked lie. The government came to power saying 'education education education', and the likes of NCS came to prominence with 'child protection is a priority for the police'. History will tell us, never trust the child savers, that is not what they do.
The false information presented to the public by the police was often re-enforced by the statements of parties working with the police. Many of these third parties made considerable income from these partnerships. Children’s charities charged considerable sums for assessing those people who had been found with any illicit images on their computers and they took every opportunity to express the same propaganda the police were putting out. The larger the lie, the more press copy it achieved. They joined the campaign for a new police centre and money, a centre in which they would play their part and receive their share whilst presenting themselves to the public as child savers.
Lucy Faithful Foundation
Example Police partners
The police had 26,462 transactions from 7,272 credit card identities. Landslide was at the bottom end of the market in terms of quality, and it would be unlikely to be the norm that people paid more than once. The police eliminated anomalous, untraceable and duplicate identities, reducing the identity count to some 6,500 people. Further removals were undertaken and many users who had only visited the site once were removed, leaving some 5,000 people subject to the full fury of Ore.
If certain imagery and activity that has been shown on national television this year was found on your computer, you would go to jail. That is likely to be the smallest of your problems.
NCS / SOCA
BBC Radio 4 (14/04/2004) broadcast statements by Jim Gamble, then Assistant Chief Constable of the National Crime Squad (responsible for co-ordinating Operation Ore);
"We are very conscious that if we make this kind of allegation against you today, we cannot simply wipe the slate tomorrow if we get it wrong," he said.
He said those charged were suspected of involvement in the "worst kind of hands-on physical abuse".
"As for the other people, they didn't get on to this site by accident," he said.
"You had to enter your credit card details, you had to go through a series of pages whereby you knew exactly where you were going and what you were going to see."
Thomas Reedy was a payment broker for a vast range of websites, this site? Did Jim Gamble lie to parliament? Click here to read his comments to APIG (All Party Parliamentary Internet Group). A blatant lie with horrific consequences. In the same text, Gamble said 'trust me, I am a police officer'.
Times online (11/01/2005) carried a statement by Stuart Hyde, Assistant Chief Constable of the West Midlands police and spokesman for ACPO (The Association of Chief Police Officers);
... the risk of suicide could not deter police from carrying out investigations. He said that officers treated suspects “with dignity and sensitivity” when arrested.
Mr Hyde said that although suspects may suffer distress after their arrest, there may be other factors that prompt them to take their lives. Their decision to download child porn images from the Internet in the first place may have been the result of deep-seated relationship or lifestyle problems, for example.
If you have already come to understand what Operation Ore was, what happened to most of the people charged or not, how and why, you would find the above statement as damning of a human being one could imagine.
With Operation Ore nearly completed, after huge extra funding packages given to the police, up went the cry from the police and their partners for new money and a new national centre. The Home Office minister Paul Goggins said he was surprised by claims from ACPO and children's charities that Internet policing needed yet more funding. Claiming that the Home Office could not have worked more closely with charities and the police, he originally maintained it would have to see improved performance from the police before more funding was made available.
Speaking in November 2004 he insisted that the police service is not short of money. He said "I have agreed to look at the case for organising police resources in a more effective way. But certainly before the Government considers any extra money for the police, we need to see an improvement in performance. Two years ago, we were told that without extra money the 6,000 suspects from Operation Ore could not be investigated. We provided extra funding yet less than a quarter of these suspects were ever charged."
Mr Carr said at the time that he hoped ministers will resolve funding issues very soon. "We want a new national centre, and we want it now."
Stuart Hyde said "My concern and the concern of my colleagues is that this is new business for the police service and therefore needs to be treated as such."
This would tend to suggest that Paul Goggins of the Home Office was not told the truth about Operation Ore, far from it. OBU looked at a large number of cases. The police confiscated computers that had been on the Internet for years, but even so, to achieve a 25% charge rate legitimately was statistically very unlikely. Many web sites were booby trapped, web site descriptions were misleading, newsgroups were swarming with this material, and if people had the material in any quantity on their computers, deleted or not, they were normally charged for it, no matter that if it was obvious they had not requested it. In many cases, people did not even know the material was there. In other instances people were charged based on an indication a computer might have tried to download an illicit image, and many people were charged when there were no computer forensic indications to suggest such material was ever requested or received by the computer in question. It should be noted, the facts in this paragraph can all be verified and proven and that these are not issues unknown to the police. Many people have been condemned by the curse of Ore despite not having committed a crime at all.
Stuart Hyde studied law prior to joining the police service. It makes it all the more remarkable that this man should answer as he did in a national radio broadcast. Please click here to listen a clip. For a full radio 4 broadcast involving Stuart Hyde, please click here.
In common with many case types in the UK (e.g. shaken baby, multiple cot death, repressed memory, Munchausen by Proxy) where convictions are fuelled by so called expert testimony, there is similarly a self styled character who stands with prominence in the UK in relation to claiming to be an expert on child safety on the Internet.
John Carr is or was:
on the board of IWF
His wife sits in the House of Lords following similar agendas (Baroness Thornton).
The facts of the matter do not withstand examination as a recent lecture amply demonstrates the fraudulent nature of his claims. Authentic academic research is available directly to the public and the investigation of Operation Ore itself is a vast resource of empirical data. The government's own answer does not concur with Mr Carr.
John Carr first came to public prominence as a computer advisor to the Labour party. He helped instigate Excalibur's Electronic Filing System, often credited with winning the election for the party. The attack/rebuttal system represented an initial investment of about one million pounds, but had already proved it's worth for the democrats in the American elections.
The system was essentially a database with ad hoc filing and retrieval capabilities, used to store information for use as ammunition against opponents, the primary weapon in what was largely seen as an information war. Reportedly, the product was used by MI5, MI6, MOD, GCHQ as well as foreign intelligence agencies.
The system was heavily depended on by Alastair Campbell and Peter Mandelson in both winning elections, and running the party's 'information bureau'. This perhaps represented John Carr's entry into public politics. (Related reports BBC report, Guardian, ChildrenFirst).
Landslide was raided in the US, as soon afterwards, John Carr appeared from nowhere.
David Blunkett was home secretary (08/06/2001 - 14/12/2004), when many of the cornerstones of British Justice were removed. He resigned from the labour party over an argument for access to a married woman's child leading to a series of damaging exposures on his personal integrity and honesty. Asking the tax payer to fund his trysts with a married woman was particular damaging when certain expense claims came to light. His intervention in a passport application for his Mistress's nanny became his leaving ticket when his recollection of events failed to marry with the truth. Failing to remember was enough to dam an Oree to hell but this man bounced back into office.