Online Communities Fight Back Against Child Porn

Oct 22, 2014

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Smartphones, cloud services, email, thumb drives and other technological advances have added to the rise in the sharing of pornographic child exploitation images, but technology companies won’t let offenders get away with it that easy.

Although Google has taken a lot of criticism for scanning emails, they have their reasons. Google, among several other companies, is scanning for child abuse images- all in an effort to combat it.

Google’s scanning endeavors recently caught sex offender, John Skillern, with three pornographic images of children in his Gmail.

As mentioned above, Google isn’t the only one that is scanning and flagging pornographic images. Facebook, Twitter, Microsoft Outlook, Bing, and Microsoft’s SkyDrive, all use PhotoDNA.

PhotoDNA is Microsoft’s scanning system that assigns a certain number to specific images that have already been identified by child abuse prevention groups.  Once a pornographic image has been uploaded or shared via Internet, the system will recognize the match and notify authorities.

For images that have not been tagged by PhotoDNA, internet users can flag the inappropriate content and it will be taken down and tagged.

The online community has created a pseudo giant neighborhood watch; all tech companies now report found images. Groups such as the Internet Watch Foundation and National Center for Missing and Exploited Children have reported nearly 100 million images and videos, while Facebook has a flagging system for any user to access.

Despite the efforts of the technology and all the users, the number of images being shared hasn’t decreased; however, it has improved authorities’ ability to detect images and offenders.

Tech companies and the government are trying to control this issue on a large scale, but individuals can control it on a smaller scale in their own homes and on their own devices. Net Nanny blocks any (according to your personal settings) inappropriate images from being sent, shared, or viewed.  If there has been an attempted visit to an ‘illegal’ website, notifications will be sent to the administrator immediately.

Help stop the growing concern and protect your family.

Source: http://www.illawarramercury.com.au/story/2488476/what-tech-companies-are-doing-to-stop-child-porn/?cs=298