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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18 Comments

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BumbleBritches57 said,
LOL, Google and Tineye have had similar algorithms for years.

Microsoft's PhotoDNA isn't trivial software by any means.
It has been thoroughly tested by the Toronto city police as well as other agencies.

The original research paper is probably still available on MSR website, as it's based on work from MSR China.

I wonder what are the parameters: how to sort "real" child pornography from pictures of someone' s children or relatives?

Fritzly said,
I wonder what are the parameters: how to sort "real" child pornography from pictures of someone' s children or relatives?

It probably has "harm detector®" technology...

GS:mac

I wouldn't ever be able to fight child pornography because I wouldn't be able to handle exposure to it. Hats off to the law enforcement folks who go after these bad guys.

PmRd said,
Sounds like you need actual images of child porn for this to work in the first place.. I can be wrong

Yup, sounds like it works like tineye or google images. Why not just use tineye or google images? -.-

no-sweat said,

Yup, sounds like it works like tineye or google images. Why not just use tineye or google images? -.-

The only difference I see is that you can compare multiple images, and it's a desktop app instead of a web app, otherwise, the exact same.

Lol you guys totally missed the point. He's implicating that Microsoft maintains a database of all child porn images on the web with which they compare these other images.

M_Lyons10 said,
Sounds good to me. Anything that can help keep these people from harming more kids...

well except off course that the tool doesn't actually prevent anything from happening in the first place other than allowing image host sites to filter uploads. production, which is the real source isn't affected whatsoever.

neonspark said,

well except off course that the tool doesn't actually prevent anything from happening in the first place other than allowing image host sites to filter uploads. production, which is the real source isn't affected whatsoever.


Their next step for distribution is independent storage (torrents) or zip'ing them up.

GS:mac