Spain shuts down 62 Internet porn forums

Spanish police have arrested six people in Spain and shut down 62 international Internet "communities" that exchanged child pornography, the Interior Ministry said on Saturday.

In an almost year-long investigation, Spanish police detected the Web connections of 2,870 Internet users in 40 countries, including Spain, who distributed pictures and videos of babies and children through online forums or "communities" of paedophiles.

The investigation led to the arrest of six people in Spain who were accused of distributing child pornography, the ministry said in a statement. It carries a sentence of up to eight years in prison.

"In these 62 dismantled communities, users exchanged and distributed pictures and videos of rapes and sexual aggression against very small children, even babies," it said.

Whenever they discovered an illicit forum, Spanish police sought a court order and then shut down the community, in co-operation with Microsoft, the ministry said.

They had also passed on the Internet addresses of users to police in countries where they lived so they could make further arrests, the ministry said.

The list of countries included Mexico, Brazil, the United States, Germany, Italy, Britain, Turkey, South Africa, Australia, Japan and Taiwan.

"The police will continue to have a policy of 'zero tolerance' towards any use of new technology that could put our children in danger or that involves abuse of children," Interior Minister Jose Antonio Alonso said in the statement.

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