Google, Microsoft, Twitter, Yahoo and Facebook Combine Forces to fight Child Porn

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The IWF (Internet Watch Foundation) introduced hashes, which are digital fingerprints of images. It makes it easy to identify the vast amount of images online. They also created a hashlist, which is a database of these “hashes” that contain child sexual abuse which have been assessed by analysts from the foundation.

The CEO, Susie Hargreaves said “The IWF Hash List could be a game changer and really steps up the fight against sexual abuse images online She also talked about the purpose of the hashlist where she said “It means victims’ images an be identified and removed more quickly and we can prevent known child sexual abuse images from being uploaded to the internet in the first place

Microsoft, Google, Twitter, Yahoo and Facebook currently use the IWF Hash List  and are members although any internet company that provides services such as uploading, storage, filtering, hosting ,social media & chat, data centres or connectivity services can use the hash list. However, IWF says that eligible members will soon be offered the hashlist. IWF also posted an infographic that shows the Hash List system.

As you can see from the visual aid, the system uses Microsoft’s PhotoDNA which was launched a while ago to aid in identifying these child sexual abuse images so that they can be subsequently removed. IWF’s statement of action mentioned PhotoDNA where they said “Building on the success of technologies such as PhotoDNA and video hashing, we will continue to work on new tools and techniques to help improve the detection and removal of images & videos of child sexual abuse

This is a great initiative and it has a huge potential to root out these vices from the internet. However, their limitations currently are they don’t have hashes for videos which could give this initiative a wider reach to identify these crimes and they need more social network sites to become members so that their initiative can be widely successful.

Source: IWF

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