Child Abuse Imagery

Fight Child Sexual Exploitation Today: Be an Advocate

By | Child Abuse Imagery, Child Sex Trafficking | No Comments

Here at Thorn, one part of our work is equipping law enforcement with the technology they need to help identify children exploited through sex trafficking or child sexual abuse imagery faster. This work would not be possible without the policies that protect child victims and hold perpetrators accountable. As our Strategy and Operations Director, Brooke Istook, shared earlier this year, you can start addressing these issues right where you live—by learning about the laws in your country, state, or city. Read More

Philip Holzenspies

Child Safety Solutions: Hackathon Elevates Image Hashing

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

Philip Hölzenspies is a Software Engineer at Facebook. He also works to maintain the platform’s PhotoDNA infrastructure, which helps accelerate the identification, removal and reporting of child abuse imagery.

In the (online) Child Safety space, tech companies get to forget about being companies for a bit and focus on what really matters. People who work in this space in tech companies know this, sort of. It is invigorating, though, to experience it so acutely during a cross-company Child Safety Hackathon. This type of event provides a rare networking opportunity to meet people and share insights with those working in the same space. While conferences on child safety cover a much wider range of highly critical areas — law enforcement, signals for social workers, post-traumatic pastoral care, etc. — they’re far removed from the day-to-day job of a software engineer. A hackathon like this provides the opportunity to share war stories, personal drivers and innovative solutions that are tied to this work. Read More


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. Read More

Microsoft Expands PhotoDNA to Fight Child Abuse Imagery

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Advances in connectivity, data storage, file sharing and smartphone technology have contributed to an explosive increase in child sexual abuse imagery, making it easier for those who share abusive content to connect and form communities. Traditionally, identification and classification of child sexual abuse imagery (CSAI) has been performed separately by online photo sharing companies, with some companies unable to implement image identification and classification at all. This lack of collaboration duplicates efforts and reduces the effectiveness and speed of identifying, removing and reporting child sexual abuse material, potentially slowing victim assistance. In an effort to fight this growing problem, the tech industry is working together like never before—this is where PhotoDNA comes in. Read More

Global Collaboration to Combat Child Abuse Imagery Online

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Earlier this year, Thorn was asked to join the Advisory Board of INHOPE – The International Association of Internet Hotlines, which works with industry and law enforcement partners to ensure that child abuse imagery on the Internet is taken down as quickly and effectively as possible. This week, we were excited to attend the Prevention and Awareness Joint Law Enforcement / INHOPE Conference in The Hague, bringing together a diverse group of individuals from around the world who are committed to combating child exploitation and removing child sexual abuse material from the Internet. We were able to connect with hotlines from across the globe, NGOs, technology industries, and law enforcement.  Read More

National Child Abuse Prevention Month

By | Child Abuse Imagery, Child Sex Trafficking | No Comments

As Child Abuse Prevention Month comes to a close, we want to call attention to the long-lasting effects of abuse. Fighting child sexual exploitation and trafficking, we are aware that child abuse and neglect are often precursors to a life of exploitation. Breaking out of a cycle of violence is extremely difficult, and part of why we focus on intercepting these crimes against children so that they have a fighting chance for a balanced, happy life.

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