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Police powerless to close paedophile forums

Peter Vinthagen Simpson · 9 Apr 2010, 13:25

Published: 09 Apr 2010 13:25 GMT+02:00

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"The so-called grooming law which came into force last July forbids sexually motivated contact with children over the internet. But the adult has to take some sort of initiative in that contact for it to be an offence - to arrange a date, buy a train ticket or such like," said Jonas Persson of the Swedish police to The Local on Friday.

In the six months after the law was adopted the police received only 100 reports, despite the fact that more than half of Swedish girls aged 15 to17 claimed to have been subject to grooming attempts by adults over the internet before reaching the age of 15, according to a National Council for Crime Prevention (Brottsförebygganderådet - Brå) report from 2007.

The law does not allow for the closure of websites or the prosecution of those behind them. Jonas Persson explained why:

"I don't think a tightening of the legislation is desirable - it would come dangerously close to encroaching on freedom of expression legislation," he said.

Legal obligations for those behind websites visited by suspected paedophiles and would-be "groomers" extend only to the removal of pictures and films which feature minors, or the publication of personal information.

The Local has received information that a man resident in Stockholm is alleged to be behind a chat forum serving as a contact point for paedophiles and hosted by PRQ - a Swedish web-hosting firm run by Pirate Bay co-founders Gottfrid Svartholm Warg and Fredrik Neij, and also noted for hosting the Wikileaks whistle-blower website.

Anti-paedophilia activists claim to have made attempts to persuade PRQ to close the man's website but to no avail.

A statement on PRQ's website cites freedom of expression as the over-riding ethos of their business model.

Story continues below…

“We are big fans of free speech and free trade and let our customers practice those in full, within the limits of the law, irrespective of how odd, unpopular, sensational or controversial the activity may be."

"Our contracts have no clauses which forbid offensive, insulting, or pornographic material," the company declares.

The Local has made attempts to contact PRQ on Friday but calls have not been returned.

Peter Vinthagen Simpson (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

14:16 April 9, 2010 by eZee.se
Oh yes, plenty of time to make stronger laws to catch a 16 year old pimple ridden kid who downloadings a song than to catch the low down buckets of scum who prey on little kids.

Gotto love a political system where the corporations have a bigger say in things.

Heres another website that i called and reported to the police myself, and perhaps if enough of us do the same they will actually move to do something about it: anontalkDOTcom

Go there for a second and see the topics, absolutely disgusting, but DO NOT post there, because if the cops do decide to do something about it, you dont want your post there now do ya?
15:06 April 9, 2010 by Nemesis
Anyone knowingly hosting paedophilia on the net, should be tracked down and at minimum jailed.

There is no excuse for this.

If the police can target downloaders, then they should be arrested for not jailing paedophiles.
16:40 April 9, 2010 by here for the summer
Jonas Persson of the police says that they should not tighten laws to allow stopping the sexual abuse of children due the danger to freedom of expression.

What is wrong with Jonas ? does he have kids ? Does he care about protecting kids from sexual abuse. Unless there is a big change in attitude by police in Sweden then it is not safe to keep your children in Sweden .. Isn't that what Sweden is about safety and womens ans childens rights when did it change to freedom of expression at all costs.
17:01 April 9, 2010 by eZee.se
Sharing our culture which has been locked up wayyyy beyond the original 14 years to life+ 90 years (via copyright) is a crime and IS against freedom of expression.

Poking some poor kid with a penis and ruining his/her entire life should be weighed in with freedom of expression properly, because the way i see it the scales wont even be close.

in fact I would even support a law that say the police can search anyones computer *at will* looking for child porn, but anything else they might find is inadmissible (to take away the excuse of simply searching computers and finding something to pin on the individual).

Child porn is a disease that not only spoils the mind of the person who is into it but ruins others lives before they have even started.. and should be taken far more seriously than it is.

Either that, or convicted child porn consumers and peddlers should be released every Friday in a square bound and gagged, while the parents + extended family of the

victims are given baseball bats..... and everyone else looks away for 7 minutes.

Thats my 2 cents anyway.
07:18 April 10, 2010 by Midnightpromises
Darn if these sick and twisted American cultural customs keep appearing regulalry after being imported. Next thing you know, Europeans will adopt that famous American cultural custom of sex holidays to third world countries.
08:51 April 10, 2010 by zooeden
Midnightpromises, actually, that was a European cultural custom invention!!!

And for the Police, what a lame work they have, retrograde excuses never the less!!!
13:33 April 10, 2010 by Swedesmith
I do not believe that paedophilia is an American invention. From my understanding, it is an untreatable disease that occurs in people all around the world. In America, police have the power to shut down paedophile web sites and regularly do. Also, sex offenders are labeled as such and their identities made known so parents can keep their children away.

Furthermore, I am an American and have never visited a third world country for a sex holiday nor have I ever met anyone who has. I have traveled to Sweden several times and the only person I had sex with was my wife...
14:04 April 10, 2010 by StockholmSam
Midnightpromises, you are a complete idiot. You obviously have no idea what defines a cultural custom. Pedophilia was not exported from America to Europe or anywhere else. I am quite sure that such behavior was around long before America even existed. Plus, there is no logic to your argument regarding sex holidays. If Americans have to go to Thailand to have sex with kids or young hookers, then that would not be an American cultural phenomenon, that would be a cultural phenomenon of Thailand, especially considering that Americans are not the only ones going to Thailand to take part in such activities. Now go back and finish high-school.
07:12 April 11, 2010 by Nemesis
@ Swedesmith

I beg to differ.

I believe paedophilia is curable. Execution would cure it perfectly.
12:54 April 12, 2010 by dobermann
Darn if these sick and twisted American cultural customs keep appearing regulalry after being imported. Next thing you know, Europeans will adopt that famous American cultural custom of sex holidays to third world countries.

I am afraid, that this isn't an american culture import. Just ask average american about all those things and you will see, that most of them are far more conservative that europeans. We don't get a right picture of americans, because of pop style Tv shows, movies and etc.

I dont' think that ir would be possible to find child pornography in american libraries like you can do so in swedish libraries.

On the other side, everyone parent should browse through some popular internet chat sites and they would find, that 90% of all those 12-15 year old children (especialy girls) exposes in all possible ways. you don't need to be a member of secret pedophile site if you want to get hundreds of almost naked children photos. Just spend a few minutes in facebook. So who is guilty then?
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