Microsoft software to help fight child pornography

Microsoft is helping to join the fight against child pornography with technology developed by its Microsoft Research division. Today, the company announced it is teaming up with software company NetClean to provide its PhotoDNA image matching software for free to law enforcement officials, specifically to combat child pornography.

PhotoDNA was developed to help match one image with others that are similar. The technology makes a unique digital image signature that can be compared to the digital signatures of other images to find matches. The software was created for online service providers such as Facebook to help find and eliminate child pornography images. However, Microsoft later received requests from law enforcement groups to have PhotoDNA be made available to them.

Microsoft states:

By arming law enforcement with this powerful technology, our goal is to help expedite investigations, limit officer exposure to the corrosive effects of viewing child rape images, and strengthen law enforcement’s ability to quickly identify and rescue victims and get child abusers off the street.

The tool will be offered in a number of different ways. PhotoDNA will be included as part of the NetClean Analyst toolset and will also be integrated into the The Child Exploitation Tracking System, a global law enforcement tool. In addition, Microsoft will offer direct licensing of the PhotoDNA source code to law enforcement groups.

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