Perry – Hood targets online predators

The Cyber Crime unit uses Operation Fairplay software to infiltrate online file sharing networks like LiveWire and Gnutella to pinpoint computer users who download or share child pornography. Mississippi was one of the earliest states to use the software and first launched it with the help of a federal grant from the Department of Justice. To ensure the operation continued when the grant expired, Senator Gray Tollison (D-Oxford) introduced Senate Bill 2978 during last year’s legislative session which added an additional fee on traffic violations to fund the Cyber Crime Unit. The legislature passed and Governor Haley Barbour signed the act.

Flint Waters and Hank Asher are the brains and capital behind the Operation Fairplay software. Working with states like Mississippi, Florida, Wyoming and Virginia, their software is targeting those who consume or trade in child pornography. Waters, Asher, and former Mississippi Attorney General Mike Moore are working on the next level of internet child protection through their company TLO. (Moore is also Asher’s attorney in a lawsuit filed against him by Lexis Nexis alleging a violation of a non-compete agreement. Asher has filed a countersuit against Lexis Nexis for one billion dollars in damages.)

Asher’s story could be a movie: a self made millionaire corrupted by money or adrenaline, redeemed to fight crime and inspired to hunt down terrorists.

Brian Perry
Madison County Journal