Netflix documentary details a child porn blackmail ring funded by crypto

  • South Korean journalists and authorities go after the operators of a crime ring that blackmailed children to produce porn and distributed it to a large network of clients.
  • The ring relied on crypto for payments to keep their anonymity, combined with other methods such as cold drops and the throwing method, the documentary details.

That the Internet is full of depraved people who are willing to go to great lengths to cater to their perversions is not news. However, every once in a while, something happens that still shakes us to the core. The Nth Rooms scandal in South Korea was one such event, and as a new Netflix documentary details, crypto was right at the heart of the child pornography and blackmail operation.

The scandal isn’t new. It was previously covered in 2020 by several outlets as the Korean government cracked down on thousands of people and jailed many of them for various crimes. However, the documentary has brought out details not known before as the person who started it all narrates the harrowing experience.

Titled Cyber Hell: Exposing an Internet Horror, it premiered on the streaming service on Wednesday. It all starts when Kim Wan, a reporter for The Hankyoreh newspaper received an email back in 2019 informing him that vast amounts of child pornography was being distributed through Telegram. He followed up the lead and found that the orchestrators were high school students whose Telegram channel had about 9,000 regular members. A staggering 19,000 links to child porn content had been shared.

The reporter was doxxed shortly after, with photos of his family and home seen on some of the chats. This only made him more determined to go after the criminals and as the documentary details, the journey was not only tedious but also dangerous.

The reporter would later find that the person behind it all was known as Baksa. Baksa would lure young girls, many of them underage, into providing their details under the guise of a modeling job. What followed was blackmail, with the young girls being forced to make and share degrading pornographic content. This included the girls being raped, mutilating themselves, and harming themselves in other ways.

The orchestrators would send people to the girls’ homes (which they knew since the girls had shared their details) to photograph them and their family members to prove to them they were in danger.

As the reporters, working in conjunction with law enforcement authorities found, the criminals used crypto for payments to preserve their pseudonymity. Since then, over 3,700 people have been arrested, with a sizable number of them being behind bars today.

About Author

Steve has been a blockchain writer for four years, and a crypto enthusiast for even longer. He is most excited by the application of blockchain to solve the challenges facing developing nations.

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