Google Building A New System To Ban Child Porn On The Web

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googleInternet giant Google is to create a global database of child abuse images which it will share with its rival companies in a bid to eradicate child pornography from the web.

The company disclosed that its engineers are working on new technology which will, for the first time, allow internet search engines and other web firms to swap information about images of children being raped and abused.

The new database, which is expected to be operational within a year, will allow child porn images which have already been “flagged” by child protection organisations such as the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) to be wiped from the web in one fell swoop.

Google is also setting up a £1.27 million ($2 million) fund available to independent software developers to produce new tools to combat child pornography, it announced.

The company’s new projects were heralded by independent child protection experts as important, game-changing developments in the war against child pornography.

It comes after web search companies, including Google, have come under intense political pressure to crack down on child porn.

The new system will work by sharing data on images which have been identified as illegal and then flagged, or “hashed”, using software originally created in 2008.

The lack of an industry standard means data on images earmarked in this way is difficult to share, and therefore hard to eradicate completely.

“We are creating an industry-wide global database of ‘hashed’ images to help all technology companies find these images, wherever they might be. They will then be blocked and reported.” Scott Rubin, Google’s spokesman, said.

David Drummond, Google’s chief legal officer, said: “Since 2008, we have used ‘hashing’ technology to tag known child sexual abuse images, allowing us to identify duplicate images which may exist elsewhere.

“Each offending image in effect gets a unique fingerprint that our computers can recognize without humans having to view them again.

“Recently, we have started working to incorporate these fingerprints into a cross-industry database. This will enable companies, law enforcement, and charities to better collaborate on detecting and removing child abuse images.”

Credit: The Telegraph

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