Over the weekend Google announced that the company has spent $5 million in effort to wipe pictures of child sexual abuse from the web and another $2 million to research more effective ways to find, report and destroy the images.
Jacqueline Fuller, director of Google Giving said in the official Google Blog “The internet has been a tremendous force for good – increasing access to information, improving the ability to communicate and driving economic growth, but like the physical world, there are dark corners on the web where criminal behavior exists.”
Part of the $5 million will go towards establishing child-protection groups that have partnered with Google in order to fight the problem groups such as the National Center for Missing, Exploited Children and the Internet Watch Foundation. Google is creating the Child Protection Technology Fund to develop more efficient ways to fight child porn.
Google has begun using “fingerprinting” of child sex abuse images, Fuller said. It will help law enforcement, web companies and advocates find and remove the images, as well as prosecute the individuals who posted them. Fuller wrote: “We’re in the business of making information widely available, but there’s information that should never be created or found, we can do a lot to ensure it’s available online - - - and that when people try to share this disgusting content they are caught and prosecuted.”
Since 2008, Google has been using technology in order to tag images that assist the company in finding them anywhere else they may appear on the Web. Including Google is able to make sure images or Web pages do not appear in search results. Back in 2006, Google joined Microsoft, Time, Time Warner and others in a Technology Coalition targeting child abuse on the web, and donated hardware and software to groups around the world fighting child sex abuse.
According to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children Google’s tip line received 17.3 million images and videos of suspected child abuse in 2011. That was four times what the group received in 2007.
Fuller wrote: “Child sexual exploitation is a global problem that needs a global solution. More than half of the images and videos reported to National Center for Missing and Exploited Children’s (NCMEC’s) are from outside of the U.S. With this in mind, we need to sustain and encourage borderless and communication between organizations fighting this problem on the ground.” Google is taking action and supporting NCMEC CyberTipline that is accessible to 60 countries that helps local law enforcement agencies in effectively executing their investigations.
Google was recently approached about details on how its search and other processes work and have yet to respond to the message.