Microsoft with NetClean made its “PhotoDNA” image matching technology available to law enforcement at no cost to help enhance their child sex abuse investigations – empowering them to more efficiently identify and rescue victims and bring abusers to justice.
The scale of the online child pornography problem and the amount of data associated with these types of investigations is massive. Since 2002, the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) has reviewed more than 65 million images and videos of child sexual exploitation reported by law enforcement.
“PhotoDNA is an image-matching technology developed by Microsoft Research in collaboration with Dartmouth College. It creates a unique signature for a digital image, something like a fingerprint, which can be compared with the signatures of other images to find copies of that image. NCMEC and online service providers such as Microsoft and Facebook currently use PhotoDNA to help find, report and eliminate some of the worst known images of child pornography online, helping identify thousands of these horrific images that would previously have gone undetected,” Microsoft revealed.
PhotoDNA will be available to law enforcement at no charge via:
- “NetClean Analyze. PhotoDNA is being made available through a new version of NetClean Analyze, a free technology already used by law enforcement in many countries worldwide. The new version will also include functionality to support connections between NetClean Analyze and the Child Exploitation Tracking System (CETS) where appropriate.
- The Child Exploitation Tracking System (CETS). PhotoDNA is being integrated into CETS, a collaborative global law enforcement program supported by Microsoft technology for child pornography investigations. CETS helps law enforcement agencies follow hundreds of suspects at a time and eliminate duplication, making it more efficient for the agencies to follow up on leads, collect evidence and build cases against suspected child pornographers. CETS is currently used by agencies in Australia, Brazil, Belgium, Canada, Italy, the United Kingdom and the United States.
- Direct licensing. Certain law enforcement agencies with the technical capacity and resources required to manage PhotoDNA source code integration themselves can license the technology directly for use in child sexual exploitation investigations. At this time, the Netherlands Forensics Institute and the New Zealand Department of Internal Affairs have licensed the PhotoDNA source code,” Microsoft informed.
Watch the video from Microsoft’s Digital Crimes Unit: