Google Announces New Safeguards Against Child Porn

The Atlantic Wire
Google Announces New Safeguards Against Child Porn
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Google Announces New Safeguards Against Child Porn

Google chairman Eric Schmidt announced a number of changes to the company's perpetual efforts to combat child pornography on on its services in an op-ed published in the Daily Mail on Sunday. In addition to the standard steps of removing images from search results, he outlined a number of new technologies developed in collaboration between a number of companies.

Schmidt said that the company now has at least 13,000 queries and search terms which automatically trigger warnings from Google and certain charities alerting users that the content may be illegal. Schmidt also outlined how technology from their otherwise-competitor Microsoft is helping them apply unique identifiers to illegal images, and how YouTube is developing a similar system for video content:

computers can't reliably distinguish between innocent pictures of kids at bathtime and genuine abuse. So we always need to have a person review the images. 

Once that is done – and we know the pictures are illegal – each image is given a unique digital fingerprint. 

This enables our computers to identify those pictures whenever they appear on our systems. And Microsoft deserves a lot of credit for developing and sharing its picture detection technology. 

But paedophiles are increasingly filming their crimes. So our engineers at YouTube have created a new technology to identify these videos. 

We're already testing it at Google, and in the new year we hope to make it available to other internet companies and child safety organisations.

Schmidt claims that more than 200 staffers are working on curbing the problem. British Prime Minister David Cameron told the Mail that if the tech companies themselves were insufficiently addressing the problem, I will bring forward legislation that will ensure it happens. Pornography has been a major issue for Cameron this year; back in July, he proposed measures for British ISPs to block adult content by default.

This article was originally published at http://www.theatlanticwire.com/technology/2013/11/google-announces-new-safeguards-against-child-porn/71690/

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