Online child pornography: a growing problem Before the Internet, research and sharing of child pornography and child abuse images were relatively difficult because pedophiles, to promote abuse, had to create relationships between them. It was a world of physical exchanges, in which pedophiles had to meet in a real environment and (…)
Online child pornography: a growing problemBefore the Internet, research and sharing of child pornography and child abuse images were relatively difficult because pedophiles, to promote abuse, had to create relationships between them. It was a world of physical exchanges, in which pedophiles had to meet in a real environment and somehow discover a mutual affinity for the sexual exploitation of children. For countless aspects, the Internet has represented a remarkable progress, but the greater possibility of connection between people has also caused the rapid growth of the problem of child pornography. To date there are millions of online child pornography images that have children as their subject. Although law enforcement agencies around the world work hard to combat child exploitation and the spread of child pornography online, investigators have to deal with huge amounts of data with limited resources.
The fight against child abuse and the commitment to online safety are our primary objectives in an environment where the pitfalls can be numerous. Our constant high attention and thanks to the availability of PhotoDNA, from today we have a new tool to conduct our investigations even more effectively – he declared Antonio Apruzzese, Director of the Postal Police and Communications. The collaboration with Microsoft, which from 2006 to today has already produced excellent results, will guarantee further goals in the fight against pedophilia. Thanks also to the CETS system, Apruzzese concludes – over 10,000 surveys have been coordinated with the following investigative results: People arrested 422 Reported persons 7584 Searches 6548 Websites attested and obscured in Italy 179 Child pornography sites included in the 1086 black list Monitored websites 361787.
For this reason it is important to point out an innovative technology that allows law enforcement to fight it sexual exploitation of minors by identifying and providing assistance to victims in increasingly rapid times: this is the promise of PhotoDNA, the new tool created worldwide by Microsoft and NetClean.
PhotoDNA an image matching technology, developed by Microsoft Research in collaboration with Dartmouth College, able to create a unique signature for a digital image, like a fingerprint, which can be compared with the signatures of other images in order to find copies of the specific image. Online service providers, such as Microsoft, currently use PhotoDNA to research, report and eliminate some of the worst known child pornography images online.
PhotoDNA, davailable free of charge for law enforcement, integrated in the CETS program (Child Exploitation Tracking System), the tool donated by Microsoft to the Postal and Communications Police to allow the latter to track any attempts at online child pornography, effectively investigating individuals and suspicious Internet sites. This new application represents the vanguard of the collaboration between the police forces and the industrial world, and once again underlines Microsoft's commitment in the search for security for the Internet world.
Microsoft has always been committed to initiatives to make the Internet a safe place. In fact, our company feels the responsibility of guaranteeing safe solutions and, thanks to the development of this innovative technology, it has a new opportunity to help the police to counteract one of the most odious crimes that exists, child pornography. The police forces do an extraordinary job every day to combat the exploitation of children and we are proud to contribute today with a new free tool, PhotoDNAsaid Pietro Scott Jovane, CEO and President of Microsoft Italy. We are pleased to be able to put at the disposal of an important cause such as the fight against pedophilia, a technology originally created for greater security for online providers.