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.
Every year, immigration officials discover more than 8,000 children who’ve come to the states unaccompanied. These kids have to figure out how to find and pay for their own lawyers while facing deportation.
Microsoft has partnered with actress Angelina Jolie to grant $3 million to Kids in Need of Defense (KIND), an organization based in Washington, D.C. that helps young people who are facing the immigration system alone.
KIND has helped almost 1,900 kids originating from more than 35 countries in the past year. More than 1,900 attorneys have received training from KIND in an effort to build a national pool of lawyers for unaccompanied kids in the U.S.
For the full news release, click here.