Computer Crime Research Center


Child-porn surfer caught at Internet

Date: February 04, 2008

A quick-thinking clerk helped stop a man surfing child porn at a downtown Halifax Internet cafe Saturday afternoon.

Rebecca Mason, 22, said through the shop's monitoring system she noticed a customer was looking at a page that had something to do with "naked children."

"I just called the cops," she said. "They went in there, and I guess the guy, like, really quickly backed off the computer."
The 43-year-old man was arrested at the Spring Garden Internet Cafe and charged with possession of child pornography. He will appear in Halifax provincial court Monday morning.

Last Wednesday, The Daily News reported on data from a national survey by Toronto's police department showing that thousands of Nova Scotians are actively involved in trading child pornography.

In 2007, there were 5,515 Internet Protocol addresses involved in the illegal activity.

But there are only seven police officers in the province responsible for these crimes.

"We are overwhelmed," Internet Child Exploitation Unit head Cpl. Dave Fox said last week.

Mason said she couldn't believe someone would be so brazen in a public venue.

"I find it weird when people look at anything naughty in a public Internet cafe - but illegal and naughty?" she said.

Halifax Regional Police Staff Sgt. Don Fox said he wasn't aware of this happening before.

"But has it ever happened? Chances are it has," he said.

Mason said she was able to take screen shots of what the suspect was looking at while waiting for police to arrive.

"I decided not to make him suspicious of anything by going in there afterwards," she said.

When told her actions were heroic, Mason simply replied: "Doesn't child porn count as child abuse, and aren't you legally required to report that?"

Add comment  Email to a Friend

Copyright © 2001-2013 Computer Crime Research Center
CCRC logo