Temporal Patterns of Pedophile Activity in a P2P Network: First Insights about User Profiles from Big Data

Raphaël Fournier and Matthieu Latapy

International Journal of Internet Science ARTICLE IN PRES S 2015, 10 (1), ISSN 1662-5544

Recent studies have shown that child abuse material is shared through peer-to-peer (P2P) networks, which allow users to exchange files without a central server. Obtaining knowledge on the extent of this activity has major consequences for child protection, policy making and Internet regulation. Previous works have developed tools and analyses to provide overall figures in temporally-limited measurements. Offenders’ behavior is mostly studied through small-scale interviews and there is few information on the times at which they engage in such activity. Here we show that the proportion of search-engine queries for pedophile content gradually has grown by a factor of almost 3 in three years. We also find that during the day, certain hours are, on average, privileged by seekers. Our results demonstrate that P2P networks are actively used to search for pedophile content and we find new and large-scale results on pedophile offenders’ profile, indicating that a substantial proportion is well-integrated into family life and professional work activities.