Microsoft Donates Software to Fight Online Child Porn

image_pdfimage_print

Law enforcement agencies will have free access to a new tool developed by Microsoft used to identify, track down and rescue victims of sexual abuse and child pornography. Microsoft and Facebook currently use the software, PhotoDNA, to find, delete and report child pornography online, Information Week reports.

PhotoDNA, codeveloped by Microsoft and Dartmouth College professor Hany Farid, identifies images using mathematical “signatures” even if the images have been altered, enabling law enforcement officers to find child porn online and track down and prosecute the creators of the images. The software includes the signatures of 15,000 “worst of the worst” images.

Microsoft’s Digital Crimes Unit released the software and integrated it in to other law enforcement software packages. The Digital Crimes Unit also partnered with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children to offer the source code through direct licensing allowing agencies to integrate the software into proprietary applications.

Microsoft claims PhotoDNA has led to thousands of matches and the company uses the system to identify and remove child porn uploaded to its services and to prevent child porn from showing up in results on its search engine, Bing, according to Information Week.

Published by

Ryan Schill

Ryan Schill is the editor of the Juvenile Justice Information Exchange. In 2012 he wrote a comics journalism piece about the ongoing U.S. immigration debate, published in partnership with Cartoon Movement. His 2011 story about a case of misdiagnosed child abuse won first place in the non-deadline writing category of the Society of Professional Journalists Green Eyeshade Awards for Excellence in Journalism. Ryan is completing his MA in professional writing at Kennesaw State University in Georgia, and has a BS in media studies. His research interests include experimental journalism forms, journalism ethics and philosophy, theories of literary journalism and the intersections of social justice and journalism.