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“What we have shown today is that while these offenders felt anonymous in some way because they were using the Internet to communicate, the technology was actually being used against them,” Davies said. “Everything they did online, everyone they talked to or anything they shared could be, and was, tracked by following the digital footprint.”

Australian Federal Police commander Grant Edwards said suspects arrested in Australia ranged in age from 19 to 84 and used the Internet to “prey on children with anonymity, with subterfuge and with camouflage.”

He said the oldest suspect identified by Australian authorities was an 84-year-old man living in Thailand who is suspected of abusing children.

Children, Edwards said, “should be able to use the Internet safely, without fear of being approached or groomed by these online predators.”