Law Enforcement Gets Microsoft PhotoDNA for Free
Article by George Norman
On 20 Mar 2012
Redmond-based software giant Microsoft announced that it is taking yet another step in the fight against child sexual exploitation by partnering up with NetClean, a global leader with extensive experience in working with police authorities to develop technical solutions to stop the spread of child sexual abuse content.

The aim of the partnership between Microsoft and NetClean is to provide the PhotoDNA signature-based, image-matching technology to law enforcement agencies for free. With PhotoDNA on their side, law enforcement and police authorities can use this technology to aid them in their sex abuse investigation, identify victims more easily, rescue them, and bring wrongdoers to justice.


PhotoDNA is being made available through a new version of NetClean Analyze (technology offered for free that is already used by law enforcement in numerous countries around the world), by integrating it into the Child Exploitation Tracking System (CETS for short; a collaborative global law enforcement program supported by Microsoft technology for child pornography investigations), and through direct licensing (the technology can be licensed directly by law enforcement agencies with the technical capacity and resources required to manage PhotoDNA source code integration).

“We can’t allow people to keep trading these horrifying images online when we have the technology to help do something about it,” said Stuart Aston, Chief Security Officer at Microsoft UK. “Without innovation and public demand for technology companies and electronic service providers to play a more productive and proactive role in the fight against online child exploitation, the technological advantage will remain with the abusers rather than those working to protect abuse victims. Law enforcement agencies are doing incredible work to fight child sexual exploitation every day, and we are proud to join with NetClean to support that mission.”

“This technology saves time and resources, but most importantly, it saves kids,” said Christian Sjöberg, founder and CEO of NetClean. “We are arming law enforcement with tools that can help them better investigate child exploitation cases and get these horrible criminals off the streets. NetClean Analyze Digital Investigator (DI) and PhotoDNA aim to help expedite their efforts to put an end to child pornography.”

PhotoDNA is technology developed by Microsoft alongside Dartmouth College, technology that aids in uncovering and removing photos of child sexual exploitation. The PhotoDNA technology was donated by Microsoft to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) to help fight the distribution of child-exploitation images. Microsoft implemented PhotoDNA in several of its products, mainly Bing, SkyDrive and Hotmail. Facebook also adopted the PhotoDNA technology.

Tags: Microsoft, PhotoDNA, NetClean, Law enforcement
About the author: George Norman
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Law Enforcement Gets Microsoft PhotoDNA for Free
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