June 23, 2016 Thorn, in partnership with Crimes Against Children Research Center, released a first of its kind study on the emerging threat of sextortion and its impact on victims.

Full article on CNN Money: A disturbing look inside the world of online sextortion

April 22, 2016 Thanks to a powerful ‪‎Project Vic‬ technology that analyzed a suspect’s photos online, investigators found and arrested a child abuser — and rescued his 14 victims.

Full article on CNN: How child predator was caught by tiny clue in photo he posted online

March 28, 2016 Startups are leveraging technology to change people’s lives — in more ways than one. SMASHD explored the ways that tech is fighting back against the global problem of sextortion, including Thorn’s Spotlight tool.

Full article from SMASHD: New Slaves: Tech Against Human Trafficking

February 3, 2016 Thorn was nominated for the Crunchie Awards’ Biggest Social Impact in 2015 award along with five other organizations. In its 9th year, the awards from TechCrunch highlight the tech community’s achievements each year.

Full article on TechCrunch: Meet The Organizations Vying For The Crunchie Award For Biggest Social Impact In 2015


November 12, 2015 The launch of the Thorn Innovation Lab in Silicon Valley was featured on CNN Money, spotlighting our work with tech innovators to make an impact in the fight against child sexual exploitation. Our new lab will tap into engineers and data scientists, who will experiment with new technologies to identify and deter criminal behavior directed at children online.

Full article on CNN: Ashton Kutcher launches tech lab to fight child sexual exploitation


November 12, 2015 TechCrunch takes a closer look at the past, present, and future of Thorn. Author Drew Olanoff also highlights the launch of Thorn’s new Innovation Lab in San Francisco. Building on our mission to drive technology innovation to fight child sexual abuse, this new think tank will bring together engineers, data scientists, and more to build innovative tech solutions to fight child sexual exploitation.

Read the full article here: Thorn To Set Up An Innovation Lab In Silicon Valley To Fight Child Sexual Exploitation

September 30, 2015 Cloudera’s Data Impact Awards honor organizations having an impact within sector as well as society at large using CDH, a dynamic open source Hadoop-based distribution. Cloudera recognized Thorn and Digital Reasoning in the Social Impact category for the Spotlight tool, which has become a leading investigative tool for child sex trafficking investigations in the United States.

Read the full article here: Cloudera Announces 2015 Data Impact Award Winners


September 13, 2014 TechCrunch discusses how non-profit companies like Thorn are better equipped than most for-profit companies to attack specific issues like child sex trafficking. The article’s author and CEO of Formation 8, Joe Lonsdale highlights Thorn’s passion and devotion to stopping the spread of this content. He also recapped Thorn’s recent Hackathon, for which he was a co-host and judge.

Read the full article here: Technologists’ Duty Can Go Beyond For-Profit Industries


July 28, 2014 HuffPost Impact put a spotlight on the prevalence of child sex trafficking in the U.S., featuring numbers from Thorn’s National Survey, including the statistic that 70% of child sex trafficking victims say that they were at some point sold online. HuffPost Impact’s article also explores the relationship of victim and abuser.

Read the full article here: 70 Percent Of Child Sex Trafficking Victims Are Sold Online: Study.


March 24, 2014 Thorn’s Executive Director, Julie Cordua, was featured by Nicholas Kristof in The New York Times, shining a light on the misperceptions that often surround child pornography, also known as child abuse imagery. “People don’t have an understanding of the kind of content and how horrific it is … This is the documentation of the worst kinds of abuse against a child.”

Read the full article here: He Was Supposed to Take a Photo.


April 16, 2014 Bloomberg News spotlights how tech companies and organizations are working together to put an end to child pornography across the internet, including Thorn’s work to combat increasing availability on peer-to-peer networks. “The problem with peer-to-peer is it’s the Wild West, and even though everything is visible and trackable you’ve just got so much volume.”

Read the full article here: Pedophiles Lured by Avatar as Technology Battles Child Porn.

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January 15, 2014 Thorn’s Executive Director Julie Cordua sat down with Telescope Magazine to talk about the role of technology in the sexual exploitation of children — and how Thorn is leveraging the same technology to combat the issue. “Technology was introducing new dimensions to the crimes of trafficking and exploitation in general, and yet we saw that there was no one organization focused on leveraging technology to stop these crimes and protect these kids.”

Read the full article here: Julie Cordua in Telescope Magazine.

Julie Cordua, Thorn Executive Director

November 25, 2013 Thorn’s executive director Julie Cordua published an article in the Huffington Post on the significant step taken by Google, Microsoft and other technology companies recently to fight child pornography on the Internet. In the piece, she addressed the various strategies employed by Thorn to prevent children from being bought and sold on the Internet. “Our job is to tip the scales,” Cordua wrote. “To put the best and brightest minds to work and ensure that technology is used to fight back against perpetrators, reverse these trends and protect our children.”

Read the full article here: Creating an Army of Digital Defenders.


July 25, 2013 Thorn’s director of programs Claire Schmidt participated in a discussion hosted by the U.S. Department of State on technology and human trafficking. Schmidt talked about Thorn’s work in researching how technology is being used in the recruitment as well as in the rescue of child trafficking victims.

Watch the full discussion here: Conversations with America: Technology as a Tool in the Fight Against Human Trafficking.


July 5, 2013 Thorn’s unique approach to combat child pornography on the Internet was featured in a story in the Telegraph newspaper. As a digital defender of children, Thorn has been instrumental in working with global technology companies including Facebook, Google, Twitter and Microsoft, to launch a coordinated effort to identify and remove images of child pornography online using Microsoft’s PhotoDNA software.

Read the full story here: Internet giants planning to wipe out child abuse images.


April 10, 2013 The White House blog mentioned Thorn in a post about the first White House Forum to Combat Human Trafficking, which took place on April 9, 2013. The forum connected policy experts, survivors, service providers, academics, law enforcement and government officials to find solutions to end trafficking.

Read the recap of the forum here: Working together to end human trafficking.

Polaris Project

March 29, 2013 Mashable published a story on the “BeFree” text program that victims and community members can use to reach specialists at the National Human Trafficking Resource Center. Along with the Polaris Project, Thorn partnered with the Salesforce Foundation and Twilio to develop the program, which integrates text messages to NHTRC’s hotline.

Read about the initiative here: ‘BeFree’ text shortcode helps victims of human trafficking.

Texting Increases Human Trafficking Victims’ Access to Help

March 28, 2013 — Human trafficking victims across the country can now send texts to get help and escape modern-day slavery, Polaris Project and Thorn: Digital Defenders of Children announced today. Victims and concerned citizens can now send text messages to “BeFree” (233733) and instantly connect with the National Human Trafficking Resource Center (NHTRC) hotline (1-888-373-7888), operated by Polaris Project.
 Read the full story here

Thorn Launch Brings Technology Innovation to the Fight Against Child Sexual Exploitation

Los Angeles, Calif., November 15, 2012 — The DNA Foundation today announced a new name and refined mission for its organization. DNA will now be known as THORN: Digital Defenders of Children. The foundation will focus on the role technology plays in crimes involving the sexual exploitation of children – including the buying and selling of children for sex around the world, soliciting sex with children, and the proliferation of child pornography across the Internet. THORN’s goal is clear — to disrupt and deflate predatory behavior in the fight to end child sexual exploitation.

Read the full story here