Friday, September 5, 2014

The seamy side of Internet Security

I've worked in this business for 30 years, but it's always been on the technical side.  That gets rather antiseptic, really nothing but ones and zeros, a place where the Bad Guys don't shoot back.  But a comment yesterday left by Lotta Joy led me back to her blog.

Guys like me like to thing that we're fighting the Good Fight, and in a sense that's true.  But boy, howdy - not like she's doing:
One night he watched me as I sat in the computer room in Indiana, wanting to be better informed regarding just what the hell I was doing wearing a full headset and my fingers flying across the keyboard of my desktop while making rapid notes in shorthand.

What was I doing?  Pretending to be 14 years old.

I would clock in and go to the internet site I was trolling that night; a chat-room full of young kids, some in their teens, some YOUNGER, chatting. 

The second I would arrive, my screen would be hit with splashes of colors.  Tan was usually a confirmed child under the age of 17.  These I would not answer. Yellow splashes identified those over 21 who were wanting to "chat" with LOTTA JOY.

Yes.  That's where my online name came from - my years of trolling for perverts who were trolling for me:  a young, innocent, 14 year old......or so they thought.

Red splashes signified men who were already being actively investigated.
This is a hard read, written by someone who can only be described as a heroine:
The particular night I'm talking about, I opened a conversation with the young girl, while ignoring the man.  I was aware she was stepping into dangerous territory and, as I had planned, the man "conditioning" her quickly turned his attention to ME.  She was now safe.

When he requested we go into a 'private chat' and Joe  started following the conversation, he ended up getting physically ill.  I couldn't blame him.  I always had the same reaction.

I wasn't too happy either, having the man I loved witness the things I had to pretend to be interested in, in order to lull the man into a sense of safety with a child.
Actually, the word "heroine" doesn't really do full justice to this.  And the feelings I had on reading this are best described as white hot rage.  I can't imagine JayG's response, thinking that these scum might be after BabyGirlG.  I expect that Jay would know precisely how to handle it, and I suspect that more than a couple of all y'all would drive up with me to help him.

Orwell said it well when he said that people sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.  Sometimes it's gentle women, doing a dirty but sadly necessary job.

If you only read one thing today, this should be the top of the list.


Dave H said...

Heroes come in all shapes and sizes.

I wouldn't be very good at that job. There wouldn't be anybody left to prosecute by the time I got to the face-to-face meeting.

lotta joy said...

I can only say I read this post with my mouth hanging open, when I wasn't saying "WOW", and calling Joe to my side.

I cannot imagine ANYONE using the word "heroine" where I'm concerned. Far, far, from reality. It doesn't even come near the axiom "It's a dirty job, but someone has to do it."

It was the depths of darkness for me, and if I could be suckered in, knowing full well what I was dealing with, I have only FEAR for children.

It literally got to the point where I was losing sight of the fact I was an ADULT and NOT vulnerable or in danger. I was emotionally morphing into a child's mind, due to one particular predator's approach starting to pull ME under his spell.

This was when I knew I was in trouble emotionally. If this grooming had an effect on ME, imagine what chance a child has. NONE.

Aaron said...

Yep, there are quite a few different undercover LEOs doing this kind of work.

Our county and the two neighboring counties have had a lot of success catching and prosecuting these scum when they try to meet the "little girl" in person and instead meet a couple nice large sheriffs with handcuffs awaiting them.

It's a rough job indeed, but I'm glad and grateful that they're doing it.

Borepatch said...

lotta joy, I chose the word intentionally. I expect that there's a non-trivial risk of PTSD for the people who do this.

There's a word for people who put themselves at risk to save children. I used that word. ;-)

Weetabix said...

Blech. Thanks for your service, Lotta Joy. I'm sorry it was necessary.

Old NFO said...

Yep, she IS a heroine for stepping up and doing the right thing!!!

newrebeluniv said...

I frequently hear the arrest stories that result from this and wonder why there is anyone who falls for that. Any non-retarded pervert has to know that there are no 14 year-olds who just can't wait to meet 40 year-old fat guys.

From a practical perspective, the easy defense should be, "judge, since there were no real 14 year-olds involved, no law was broken. I'll show myself out". There may even be some non-trivial number of police attempting to trick each other, not knowing that they are in a chat room of all undercover police and no real perverts. And then the small number of undercover police using undercover to hide their own perversions.

Whisper Mist said...

Indeed - these people who give of themselves in order to save lives are the true heroes. It was never her intention to be in the spotlight, but sometimes it helps to heal old wounds. As a friend of Lotta Joy, I thank you for this recognition.

lotta joy said...

newrebeluniv: I believe answering comments on another person's blog is presumptuous, but in your case I'll risk it. Our chat room names are registered, eliminating any agent to agent crossover. Perverts may sometimes be less than brilliant, but we are present to catch predators with stellar abilities to exert control and deception on those less able to detect danger and B.S.

AT NO TIME is the conversation EVER initiated by the agent. The predator initiates EVERY contact and proceeds at his own risk.

Brigid said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Goober said...

Evil is sadly not a rare or unique condition.

Even worse is listening to these NAMBLA and pedo-types try to justify what they’re doing as perfectly normal and natural and not criminal. Most of them truly think that all men are afflicted with the same sickness that they are afflicted with – the attraction to children – and that only they are telling the truth about themselves and are some sort of vanguard for repressed manhood everywhere.

None seem to believe it when other men explain patiently to them that, no, scooter, we’re not attracted to children, and you’re a sick fuck.

R.K. Brumbelow said...

Hmm my first reply is gone i the wind. Unfortunately I paid the price for it already so here goes the 2nd reply:

lotta joy keep up the good fight, do not get sucked in. When I worked as a forensics tech it was too easy to get sucked in and take it personally. That and the resultant nightmares are the big reason I don't do security work anymore.

There is only so much brain bleach to go around and I used up a few lifetimes supply before I could do it no longer. I worked for a PI and had to reconstruct monster's machinations for our clients to assess the threat and give advice on how to proceed.

You are a stronger person than me to have to be exposed to that crap day in and day out and not want to extract some righteous indignation, when I got to hat point I knew I had to leave it all behind.