Postal Police, cyberbullying and child pornography: arrests and complaints in Puglia

Child pornography and online grooming, cyberbullying and sextortion. And, again, protection of the country’s critical IT infrastructures, fight against online scams, revenge porn, cyberterrorism, financial crimes via the web and much more.

There are many areas in which the investigators of the Postal and communications police. Computer crimes are growing hand in hand with the development of technologies and the increasing access to the Internet of users of all ages and social classes.

In such a complex and constantly evolving framework, the “Apulia” Cyber ​​Security Operations Center based in Bari, and employees Operational sections of Foggia, Brindisi, Taranto and Lecce, during 2022 they provided their contribution to the results achieved on a national scale. It’s the same Police post to draw up a balance sheet of the operations in Puglia (or born in Puglia and then branching off elsewhere).

Among the various, the operation stands out “Revelatum”, in the context of the fight against online child pornography, which has seen them involved 72 suspects, recipients of as many search decrees throughout the national territory. The investigation, launched at the end of 2020, started from the analysis of computer traces connected to a link relating to a cloud certified on the file hosting platform.

The regional offices of the Police postinvolved in the executive phase of the operation and coordinated by Cncpothey complained 59 people for possession and dissemination of child pornography; another seven were arrested in flagrante delicto for possession of a large quantity of material made through the exploitation of minors.

Last October, then, the Cosc of Bariwith the Maritime border police, arrested a man at the port of the Apulian capital who was entering Italy with digital media following which about 5 thousand videos and images were found depicting minors, even of an early age, victims of sexual abuse. During the operation, an intense activity of exchanging material on the network and through messaging channels was also documented.

The Cosc of Puglia it also provided its operational contribution to the success of the operation “Gotha” conducted by the Cosc for Eastern Sicily, with the coordination of the postal and communications police service, which unmasked a series of pirated Iptv distribution centers located in Sicily, Puglia and the Marches.

The operation culminated in the morning of November 10 with the execution of 52 searches against as many subjects residing in Italy and abroad, belonging to a transnational criminal association, structured according to a top-down organizational model with the aggravating circumstance of the mafia method, aimed at committing various crimes including the broadcasting of television schedules with conditional access, through the so-called Iptv (Internet Protocol Television).

Since 2016, the activity has generated an ascertained turnover of approximately 10 million euros, creating a loss of profit for the companies that provide the pay TV service.

Another case should also be mentioned. In the field of countering cyberterrorism, the Bari Cyber ​​Security Operations Centerin collaboration with the Digos of Lecceconducted an investigation that made it possible to identify and report the perpetrator of the computer intrusion in the session of the Trieste City Council, held online in February 2022 via the GoToMeeting platform, disseminating images of subjects (faces not visible ) who exhibited T-shirts with the well-known logo of the “V_V” protest movement, as well as provocative and defamatory phrases with a clear vo-vax and no green-pass orientation, making it effectively impossible to continue the session.

In detail, during 2022 the Operational Center for Cyber ​​Security of Puglia and the Operational Sections, in total, arrested two subjects for online child pornographydenouncing it 34 for the same crime, 32 for crimes against the person, 53 for swindling and financial fraud and 23 for other crimes.

In total, during the year, they were 673 complaints presented to the postal police in the region, 64 patrols employed, 611 post offices controlled and 101 prevention activitiesi.e. events organized at schools, public and private bodies on cyberbullying issues, the conscious use of social networks and other matters related to the postal police which were attended by more than 13,000 people, mostly minors.

Postal Police, cyberbullying and child pornography: arrests and complaints in Puglia