Up to 27,000 people are involved in daily exchanges of photographs of child sex, some taken of toddlers on the beach, and paedophile information on the electronic highway.
The huge scale and explicitness of the material, which is distributed globally, has shocked police and researchers.
Some of the paedophiles are using "underground" network systems that are harder to access. Material displayed on this outlet includes an advert from a paedophile couple who are offering their daughter - aged eight to 12 - in exchange with a similar aged girl for sexual use. The advertisement is not believed to be an isolated case.
The existence of the vice rings were disclosed yesterday at the British Psychological Society's criminological and legal division's annual conference in Cambridge, but because of the extreme sensitivity of the material no details can be published.Reuse content