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.