PhotoDNA

Microsoft’s PhotoDNA: Leading the Fight Against Child Sexual Abuse Imagery

By | Partners, Technology For Good | No Comments

Courtney Gregoire works as a senior attorney in Microsoft’s Digital Crimes Unit, where she fights technology-facilitated crime against vulnerable populations including children and the elderly. Her blog post is part of Thorn’s hashing series in April, which highlights the benefits of hashing technology for industry, law enforcement, nonprofits, and service providers as they work to detect and remove child sexual abuse material online.

Microsoft’s Digital Crimes Unit is dedicated to helping fight the online exploitation of children.  One persistent, horrendous crime is the distribution of child sex abuse imagery  on the Internet. The children victimized in this material  are first harmed when their abuse is perpetrated and recorded. They are further victimized each time that record is distributed. Last year, thanks to PhotoDNA, the technology industry was able to disrupt the distribution of over 4 million images, a 4-fold increase over 2014.

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Child Sexual Abuse Material

Eliminating Child Sexual Abuse Material: The Role and Impact of Hash Values

By | Partners, Technology For Good | No Comments

John Shehan is the Vice President of the Exploited Child Division at the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children. He also serves as Vice President to INHOPE, a network of international hotlines combatting child sexual abuse online, and as an advisory board member to the College of Humanities & Behavioral Sciences at his alma mater, Radford University. His blog post is part of Thorn’s hashing series in April, which highlights the benefits of hashing technology for industry, law enforcement, nonprofits, and service providers as they work to detect and remove child sexual abuse material online.

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hashing

Introduction to Hashing: A Powerful Tool to Detect Child Sex Abuse Imagery Online

By | Child Abuse Imagery, Partners, Technology For Good | No Comments

Last month, Thorn Digital Defender Del Harvey wrote about Twitter’s use of PhotoDNA, a technology developed by Microsoft that computes hash values of child sexual abuse material (CSAM). The tool applies a unique fingerprint to identify an individual photo to detect suspected material online and then supports law enforcement to report and investigate it.

The basics of hashing technology

This month, we want to highlight the benefits of hashing technology for industry, law enforcement, nonprofits, and service providers as they work to detect and remove child sexual abuse material online. But let’s start with what hashing is and why it is a useful technology for Thorn and our partners.

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protecting children online

Women in Tech: How a Summer Job Led to a Career Protecting Children Online

By | Partners, Technology For Good | No Comments

As VP of Trust & Safety at Twitter, Del Harvey leads an international team that works to define policy and to ensure user safety and security in the challenging realm of modern social media. She is also a member of the global INHOPE Advisory Board, which deals with illegal content online. Her blog post is part of Thorn’s “Women in Tech” series in March, which highlights women who have dedicated themselves as Digital Defenders of Children.

When I tell people what I do at Twitter – namely, head up the department that works to ensure user trust, protect user rights, and keep people safe – they often ask me how I got into that line of work. I have the same answer every time: It started with a summer job back when I was 18.

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machine learning

Women in Tech: Applying Machine Learning to Stop Abuse on the Dark Web

By | Partners, Technology For Good | No Comments

The following post was submitted by Rebecca Portnoff, who is a Thorn Research Fellow. Rebecca is also a PhD student at UC Berkeley in Computer Science, specializing in Security and Machine Learning. Her dissertation focuses on using Machine Learning and Natural Language Processing to analyze, classify and identify criminal elements on the Dark Net.

This blog post is part of Thorn’s “Women in Tech” series in March, which highlights women who have dedicated themselves as Digital Defenders of Children. Read More

deterring sex trafficking demand

Deterring Sex Trafficking Demand with the Help of Technology

By | Child Sex Trafficking, Deterrence, Technology For Good | No Comments

Recently, our CEO Julie Cordua and I attended a Demand Abolition and Cities Empowered Against Sexual Exploitation (CEASE) Network convening, which brought together over 150 police officers, prosecutors, survivor leaders and advocates all dedicated to reducing the demand for commercial sexual exploitation. We were excited to present on trends in the online sex marketplace, showcase Spotlight, our human trafficking investigations tool, and learn about new ways technology is being used to combat sex trafficking demand. Read More

child safety

Women in Tech: Dedicating a Career to Online Child Safety

By | Partners, Technology For Good | No Comments

Einat Clarke is a Senior Counsel at Google, the President of the Technology Coalition, Inc., an industry trade association dedicated to eradicating online child sexual exploitation, and a contributor to Thorn’s Tech Task Force. Her blog post is part of Thorn’s “Women in Tech” series in March, which highlights women who have dedicated themselves as Digital Defenders of Children.

When I graduated from college, I was proud to introduce my parents to my favorite pre-law professor. My dad took the opportunity to thank my mentor and then asked her if she could guide my future path as a lawyer by teaching me how to be calm, unemotional and dispassionate about law. I’m sure my face turned all kinds of crimson, but then my professor countered: “I can’t teach her how to be unemotional about the law, because I don’t know how to be unemotional about the law.”

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digital defenders

Women in Tech Join Digital Defenders to Protect Children

By | Partners, Technology For Good | No Comments

When I graduated from college, I was set on becoming a CMO of a Fortune 100 company.  I believed the private sector had the opportunity to create positive change in the world and that was where I wanted to invest my professional time.  When I started working at Motorola, my determination strengthened. I could see how wireless had the potential to connect billions of unconnected people and create opportunities around the world.   Read More