International Web Police Closes Under Controversy

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The International Web Police (http://www.web-police.org), a volunteer organization of self-styled crime fighters tasked with monitoring criminal activities on the World Wide Web, ceased its operations indefinitely on 6 October 2004 amidst controversial allegations that its founder and president, Peter Hampton, has been convicted twice in the past of pedophilia by the State of California.

While the official explanation offered by the Hampton camp is that the site has been closed due to lack of funding, sources close to Hampton claim that the decision to halt operations was made to prevent his prior criminal convictions from becoming public knowledge.

Hampton has also ceased operations of several other sites under his direction, including InterGOV International (InterGOV.org), Scamwatch.com, ileta.Net, icc-911.com, Interdac.com and IGSpecOps.Net, all of which claimed to protect the safety of Internet visitors.

Ironically, one of the primary objectives of Hampton's organizations was protecting minors from sexual predators prowling the World Wide Web. Through his InterGOV website, Hampton created such projects as 'Lost Child', an agency which allegedly assisted with the recovery of missing, lost, abducted or runaway children, and 'International Child Center', a blanket program which claimed to have been established for the "protection of all children worldwide from the heinous crimes now rampantly being perpetuated through the medium of the Internet".

Hampton's InterGOV International organization also created the 'Youth Watch', 'InterGOV Junior' and 'IWP Explorers' programs which were aimed to secure the safety of young teens online. In an interview with MSNBC reporter Molly Masland on July 23, 1998, Hampton stated his personal reasons for sponsoring these programs, saying, "I have a horrible temper and when these guys go messing around with little girls or other innocent people, it really kills me."

The allegations regarding Hampton's criminal record were put forth by Captain Chet Bowen of the Pearl River Police Department in Louisiana, who confirmed that Hampton was convicted of child molestation charges in California on December 23, 1985 and February 2, 1986, the very year in which he founded the InterGOV organization and its affiliated programs. According to former volunteers, InterGOV International and its agencies had several minors in its membership who communicated with Hampton on a daily basis via the Web Police irc chatroom and online messenger programs. Hampton also organized annual child safety conferences which claimed to focus on "Child Safety on the Internet" addressing all issues relating to child endangerment online which included child predators.

Watchdog organization WPW (Web-Police-Warning.com) has published speculation that Hampton may be endeavoring to reopen the InterGOV site by installing a new replacement in his former position. WPW has reported that it will continue to monitor the situation, updating the story as new developments come to light.

Online Sources: Web Police Warning website http://www.web-police-warning.com
MSNBC News Hanging ‘em high in cyberspace.

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Suz Westerlund