The prevalence of online child abuse content is abhorrent. Microsoft and the wider technology industry have an opportunity to make a difference in the fight, not only to ensure our technologies and services are not being used to exploit children, but also to spur new innovations to combat these problems more broadly.
This morning, in response to David Cameron’s call-to-action, Microsoft and Google stand united on this issue.
Microsoft has a zero tolerance approach to child sexual abuse content. If society is to stamp it out, then together we need to tackle the core problems of creation, distribution and consumption.
We have long been focused on disrupting child sexual abuse including developing PhotoDNA to strike at the heart of the repeated sharing of the same images time and again across the web.
Since the summer, we have been putting in place stronger processes that go even further in preventing access to child sexual abuse content across the web, Internet search and torrents.
Increased collaboration between Microsoft, Google, others in the industry and the IWF, the Government and CEOP is the best way to combat this vile content. Today is a good step forward in this combined effort.
John Carr, Secretary, Children’s Charities’ Coalition on Internet Safety, said: “Google and Microsoft have really pulled out the stops. This is a very impressive initiative. It is narrowing the spaces in which paedophiles and collectors of child abuse images can operate. The challenge now is to work out how to gauge the effectiveness and learn from the various measures that are being put in place but I am sure there is a will so we can find a way.”
Microsoft has a zero tolerance approach to child sexual abuse content.
November 20, 2013
How is Microsoft tackling child sexual abuse content online?
Preventing child sexual abuse material for known search terms:
Microsoft has introduced stronger process and technology improvements for Bing designed to prevent the spread of child sexual abuse content. With ongoing support from CEOP and IWF, these improvements will prevent child sexual abuse material from showing up in image, video and text search results when known child sexual abuse terms are used by paedophiles.
- These changes are in place across Bing and Yahoo! searches powered by Bing.
- Working with Google and other industry partners, the IWF and CEOP, this will be a constantly evolving approach that tracks the latest terms being used by paedophiles and cuts off access to child sexual abuse material.
- When these search terms are used, clear warning messages are displayed telling people of the consequences of their actions and pointing them to charities, such as stopitnow.org.uk, who can help.
Taking down images and pathways across the internet:
Images: Microsoft will help design the new national image database which will use the unique identifiers (generated by Microsoft PhotoDNA technology) for illegal images to identify and take down these images across online services
- Microsoft’s PhotoDNA technology has been used across the technology industry and by NGOs and law enforcement agencies to identify and take down millions of images. We will work with all those engaged in this effort to use this technology to create a national database of child sexual abuse image signatures to prevent the repeated victimisation of abused children.
Video: We welcome Google’s development of technology allowing copies of child abuse videos to be identified and removed, much as Microsoft PhotoDNA does for still images.
Pathways: Microsoft, Google, IWF and CEOP will take part in a joint work programme to help prevent sharing of child sexual abuse content via torrent. This will mean that Bing will block any known illegal torrent URL for child sexual abuse content from all its search results.
Helping people search the internet safely:
Bing will use the auto-completion and related search facilities to lead people away from child sexual abuse searches.
Microsoft has also recently made a software donation worth just over £2 million to CEOP which includes licences for Windows 8 and Office 2013 as well as more specialist software.
For more information about how Microsoft’s
technology helps to prevent the proliferation of child sexual abuse imagery, please visit: