On March 19th, I head to Australia and then to New Zealand. Getting pretty excited about the trip. Just read this online this morning. -Craig

The 50-year-old from Melton will face court this week on counts of possession and transmission of child pornography.
The man was among 22 people arrested in Australia, the United States, England, Canada and Germany.
His computer was seized in November last year and has undergone detailed forensic examination.
The Herald Sun online understands one other Australian has been arrested.

The Melton man was arrested by detectives from the Victoria Police sexual crime squad’s internet child exploitation team.
He was bailed in an out-of-sessions hearing before a bail justice and will appear for a filing hearing in Melbourne Magistrates’ Court on Friday.

Authorities involved in the international investigation have identified and rescued 20 of the children featured in more than 400,000 pictures, video files and other images.

Some of the children, aged as young as five, were portrayed engaged in sexual behaviour.

The images were traded and distributed globally in the online pornography ring, according to US and international authorities.

Queensland police Detective Chief Superintendent Ross Barnett said Australian investigators discovered the ring and infiltrated it under cover in 2006.

“From our perspective, it’s definitely the largest and most sophisticated and disciplined group that we have ever seen operating in this environment,” Supt Barnett said.

US authorities will not say how they eventually broke through several layers of encryption, background checks and other security measures the pornographers used to protect their online user group from being accessed.

The porn ring was run like a business, FBI executive assistant director J. Stephen Tidwell said today, with the lewd images used as currency instead of cash.

“This is beyond a quantum exponential leap for us to see folks that have gone to this much trouble to produce this kind of volume of horrific exploitation of children,” Mr Tidwell said.

Viewers could gain access to the online forum only after passing a series of what Mr Tidwell called “various benchmarks and bars to get over to get into their group”.

He admitted that “with 400,000 (images) we’re going to be at this for years, trying got find the victims”.