Microsoft reportedly working to help ban online child abuse images

Microsoft is rumored to be working with many other technology companies in a large effort to rid the Internet of child abuse images. The program reportedly involves using Microsoft's PhotoDNA software, which has been used in the past by law enforcement personnel for that same purpose.

The Times reports that the other tech companies that are part of this new project include Google, Twitter, Facebook and three other unnamed businesses. Each company has its own separate system for taking down child abuse images, but this new project will have all of them working together to form one single database devoted to child abuse photos.

The story says that all of the companies will make use of Microsoft's PhotoDNA software, which can create a unique digital image signature for each child abuse image. It can then be compared to the signature on images found on other websites to find any matches. The large database of images will be maintained by the charity group Thorn: Digital Defenders of Children. Law enforcement groups in the U.S. and U.K. will be sent those photos.

So far, only Google has confirmed it is participating in the photo database effort. Microsoft has yet to confirm its involvement, although it does say it does participate in Thorn's online protection task force.

Source: The Times via Business Insider | Stop child abuse image via Shutterstock

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16 Comments

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I already did my part. I clicked 'Like' on a Facebook picture that said "hit like if you're against child cruelty".

McKay said,
I already did my part. I clicked 'Like' on a Facebook picture that said "hit like if you're against child cruelty".


And yet it still goes on, despite a click on a computer? That makes no sense at all. I would have expected it to have stopped by now.

It's still going on?! That post told me Facebook would donate a Gajillion $ to Child Abuse Prevention per like.

McKay said,
It's still going on?! That post told me Facebook would donate a Gajillion $ to Child Abuse Prevention per like.
Well, if you can't trust random strangers on the Internet, who can you trust?!

Im on the fence with these sort of things, On one hand I expect freedom but on the other i hate paedophiles... It's a catch 22 really, No doubt the cause is good but as others have said...I just don't trust the government, Once bitten twice shy.
I also agree with the statement about kids with smart phones, I think this is the biggest threat to children from paedophiles, Apps like Instagram and vine which these kids think are cool can be abused by the dirty kind for their own sick pleasure. In my eyes most of the images on line wouldn't be there if the parents just did their job and controlled what their young kids are uploading/sharing. (Im not saying all cp is from the kids themselves all im saying is look at any 13-16 year olds Facebook and you can see CP 24/7, it's disgusting)

This is hard to do as parent let their young child possess a smart phone. Children may not know what they did and parent did not know what their children up to with their phone assume they are just playing angry. Just a swap they just let their children exposed to the hazard from the web. Smart phone just not appropriate for children.

Hell yeah! This something Google should be doing... Totally agreed!

Edited by Shaharil Ahmad, Jul 6 2013, 8:33am :

As opposed to going after child porn rings that are all over the world, this project is so dangerous, who will draw the line of what is child porn and what is not, I foresee family pics and innocent people being framed over false positives.

As somebody who has had to work with child abuse images, I fully support this.

PhotoDNA isn't going to 'go off' on your personal pictures, and even if it did a simple check would identify that it isn't CP. These aren't innocent pictures, these are pictures that are clearly WRONG.

God, just thinking about it gives me flashbacks to some of the images I've seen.

You know, if we could all actually trust companies/govt to just do what they say with the data, of course I could support such an effort. The problem is they always overstep and use it for any and everything else they choose. Sorry, but I don't support any of these programs anymore because I just don't trust any of them to do the right thing by me. Can you imagine being falsely accused (maybe pictures of your own kids in the tub or something) and having some stupid company drop a dime on you to some even stupider roidhead LE? Sadly, I don't store stuff online, I run my own server and they can all kiss my a$$. I'm surprised they just used the ol "protect the children " bit without some scary "terrorism" BS to go with it. Rant over.

Rahm Emanuel says Never let a tragedy go to waste. The effort sounds "sincere" but they'll abuse it to their purpose.. they always do.