It’s a scary government that justifies its means by the ends produced. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) seized a website last November that displayed violent and graphic images of children being assaulted, and abused. The department continued to host and run the site for two weeks while it attempted to identify the sites over 5,000 users.

The practice of operating a child pornography site to lure and catch consumers of child pornography is new. The FBI had previously been in the practice of seeking out existing sites and operating as insiders or consumers and traditional seizures of documentation to locate pedophiles. The new practice of hosting the content is both new and frightening as the ethos behind it would seem to be “do as I say, not as I do.’’

While the Bureau operated the site, images of children being subjected brutal acts such as rape and physical abuse were distributed via the site. Previous practices from the department may have had agents pose as dealers but they were not in the practice of actually distributing the material. The prior practice could be considered akin to prostitution, hired killer, and drug dealer schemes where agents posed but never delivered, killed or dealt the service sought. The new practice would be as though the officer carried through with the act, then sought to prosecute the customer.

To date, the investigation is ongoing and no charges have been filed.

According to the report, much of the site’s traffic stemmed from its users congratulating and bragging to one another. “There have been over 7,850 views of this thread in less than a week, which is a great compliment to the girls!” remarked one user on the site. Risking the continued suffering of the abused at the hands of the abuser each time photos of their abuse are shared is seemingly an acceptable collateral damage in the pursuit of these modern pedophiles.

Joshua is a writer and researcher with Ring of Fire.