Queensland man faces charge for using encrypted app to share child abuse material

A 35-year-old Queensland man has been charged with accessing and transmitting child abuse material using an encrypted application.

The Brisbane Joint Anti Child Exploitation Team (BNE JACET) arrested the man yesterday (3 December) following a report from the United States National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) to the Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation (ACCCE).

The report alleged a person, suspected to be in Queensland, was uploading child abuse material online.

Investigators from BNE JACET, which comprises Australian Federal Police and Queensland Police Service officers, executed a search warrant at the man’s home in Deception Bay yesterday morning and allegedly identified that he had been using Wickr to share child abuse material.

During a search of the home, officers seized two mobile phones and a tablet which allegedly contained child abuse material, as well as two hard drives for further forensic analysis.

The 35-year-old Deception Bay man has been charged with:

  • one count of using a carriage service to access child abuse material contrary to section 474.22(1)(a)(i) of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth);
  • one count of using a carriage service to transmit child abuse material section, contrary to section 474.22(1)(a)(iii) of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth); and
  • one count of possessing or controlling child abuse material or accessed using a carriage service Section 474.22A(1) of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth).

The potential maximum penalty for these offence is 15 years’ imprisonment.

He is due to appear in Brisbane Magistrates Court on 11 December.

AFP Child Protection Operations Detective Superintendent Paula Hudson said the AFP’s international partnerships were vital to stopping those spreading child abuse material online.

“It takes a network to break a network and this arrest today is an example of our strong relationships with international law enforcement,” Detective Superintendent Hudson said.

“Our message to offenders sharing and exchanging child abuse material is that the AFP will not stop investigating those responsible for spreading this abhorrent material and bringing them before the court.”

Members of the public who have any information about people involved in child abuse and exploitation are urged to call Crime stoppers on 1800 333 000.

You can also make a report online by alerting the Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation via the Report Abuse button at www.accce.gov.au/report.

If you or someone you know are impacted by child sexual abuse and online exploitation there are support services available, visit to learn more www.accce.gov.au/support

Advice and support for parents and carers about how they can help protection children online can be found at ThinkUKnow, an AFP-led education program designed to prevent online child sexual exploitation: www.thinkuknow.org.au

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