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Hundreds investigated over Italian child porn site

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Hundreds investigated over Italian child porn site

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Italian police are investigating nearly 200 people after uncovering an internet paedophilia site which contained videos of children aged between about four and eight being abused and tortured. Officials believe those who downloaded the images included three priests, a mayor, a teacher and a doctor. The users were all men, mostly middle aged.

The site could easily have gone unnoticed by the authorities. It had been protected by a password and was only accessible for nine days last year in an apparent effort to avoid detection.

But thanks to a tip-off to a child abuse helpline, IT experts were able to trace the users. So far authorities haven’t pressed any charges as they continue their investigations.

The case is centred on the island of Sicily, but police have confiscated computers across Italy. According to the country’s Observatory of Child Rights, this is just the tip of the iceberg. “Paedophilia has assumed emergency proportions and should be top of the governments agenda,” said the organisation’s head, Antonio Marziale.