One of the most disturbing crimes of our day is child pornography. It is a significant problem that can be seen in the rise of arrests and the proliferation of content available on Internet.
High profile cases exist in recent months, including the arrest of a University of Utah professor while flying Delta Air Lines.
The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children says over 65 million images and videos of child sexual exploitation have been reviewed since 2002. Most shocking is that 10 percent of that content shows infants or toddlers.
In an effort to fight child pornography, Microsoft has announced a partnership with NetClean, a company that specializes in developing technical solutions to stop the spread of child sexual abuse content.
It is very difficult for law enforcement agencies to track down victims due to the massive amount of pictures and videos on the web. But by partnering with NetClean, Microsoft will offer a tool for agents to use in prosecuting offenders.
The PhotoDNA digital tool by NetClean uses an approach similar to biometrics and facial recognition software. The software compares images found on web sites or computers to known copies of child pornography and then identifies files that match.
This technique is so sophisticated it can even identify images that have been altered. Thus, detection and processing of hardcore images and the associated criminal investigations will occur faster, easier and will be less graphic for law enforcement agents.
It’s gratifying to see large software companies get involved in the fight to help keep the Web safe. The best part is that child pornography purveyors will be easier to find and prosecute.
Russ Warner is President & CEO of ContentWatch, maker of the top-rated desktop and mobile web filter Net Nanny (www.netnanny.com). He is used as an expert source in the national press on a regular basis and speaks regularly on the topic of Internet Safety. Warner was most recently asked to speak at the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas on what parents can do to help their children navigate the digital age. Under Warner’s leadership, ContentWatch leads an ongoing Internet safety campaign and has conducted seminars for the local Utah media, the Utah Coalition Against Pornography, and numerous schools.