In an effort to catch criminals, the FBI operated operated a website that distributed thousands of child porn images and videos to those very criminals, according to a new investigative report published by USA Today

The report says that the secret FBI operation ran the website Playpen for nearly two weeks in 2015, when the site had 215,000 registered users and around 9,000 files showing children as young as kindergarten age that those users could download directly from the FBI.

It's reportedly the third time that the FBI has busted a child pornography website and quietly continued operating it to try to catch the people using the website, wrote reporter Brad Heath, citing Justice Department court filings. 

In a tweet that made it obvious where his own opinion of this kind of FBI sting operation falls, Edward Snowden posted an image that highlighted some of the more shocking aspects of the whole investigation. 

Justice Department spokesman Peter Carr defended the agency's point of view on committing such a crime for what it sees as a greater good, calling it a "difficult decision."

“The government always considers seizing an illegal child pornography site and removing it from existence immediately and permanently. While doing so would end the trafficking of child pornography taking place on that one website, it would do nothing to prevent those same users from disseminating child pornography through other means.”

Others pointed out that while that may be true, that there are other means of finding the people who commit such a crime that are less harmful to the young victims.