Australia warns of 'bespoke' online child sex abuse

Australian police warned Thursday that paedophiles were using Internet live-streaming sites to order "bespoke" child sex crimes for real-time viewing, from countries including the Philippines.

Neil Gaughan, head of the Australian Federal Police's high-tech crime squad, said sites like Skype were being used to arrange "made-to-order" child abuse, where sex offenders could tailor sex crimes to their own viewing preferences.

"They make contact through online forums and the like, and they basically order a type of child abuse to take place in another country," Gaughan told The Australian newspaper.

"They facilitate a payment and then, while the person's sitting in the lounge watching on their Skype or whatever it may be, the child is being sexually assaulted the way they asked that child to be sexually assaulted, live-streamed."

According to the newspaper one Australian man has already been convicted over one such arrangement, based in the southern Philippines, and police were exploring whether any other Australians had been clients of the network.

Police accused the man of transferring several thousand dollars to the Philippines to pay for "bespoke" child abuse broadcasts. He was sentenced to seven years' jail last year but is appealing, The Australian said.

Gaughan said a police crackdown on pay-per-view child sex sites had prompted the shift to peer-to-peer sharing on sites like Skype, where abuse was "pretty much made-to-order".

Condemning the actions as "perverted", he said an abuser could make a request such as "a five-year-old boy and I want 'X' to happen to a five-year-old boy. That's what they're asking for and that's what they're getting".

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