Stop the spread of child sexual abuse videos

Stop the spread of child sexual abuse videos
11 February, 2016 Fredrik Frejme
In NetClean Labs

Stop the spread of child sexual abuse videos

Digital video content has experienced an explosive growth in the last decade. Our viewing habits have also shifted from TVs to digital devices (laptop, tablet and smartphone). The total video viewing time for UK consumers is on average 212 minutes a day, compared to a global average of 204 minutes and a European average of 173 minutes.

While most households enjoy watching funny clips on YouTube or a movie night in with on-demand video service, criminals are taking advantage of this growing trend to spread child sexual abuse content.

Our global law enforcement report highlighted a worrying fact that more child sexual abuse material is in circulation than ever before. Of those surveyed, 8 in 10 (81 per cent) police officers say that the quantity of images and videos that show child sexual abuse has increased during the last three years.

Nearly half (43 per cent) say that violence against children recorded in the images and videos has become more severe. Police officers also added that “more videos, and of young children, are now found. The ratio of video to still images is shifting towards videos.” For most police units, the proportion of videos seized is definitely increasing.

Click and snap: smartphones spur video growth

Mobile phones and videos are becoming increasingly prominent in police investigations. Fifteen years ago, the computer was locked to a desk. Today, most devices are mobile and nearly all smartphones have video recording functions.

Offenders can now easily film and produce videos themselves, resulting in far more self-produced video material being circulated than ever before. As one police officer in the NetClean Report commented, he had “experienced more ‘hands on’ offenders who are creating images and videos themselves.”

While the volume of video content has grown exponentially, the manpower to analyse this content effectively has sadly not improved. On average, only a fraction of the video seized – whether it’s video produced by a surveillance camera or personal smartphone – is analysed, leaving pertinent content that may lead to a breakthrough untouched.

Rather than relying on manual processes, police officers can now use advanced intelligence tools to speed up forensics investigations. Our sister company, Griffeye, has this month launched the Analyze 16.1 with enhanced video analysis capabilities. It enables investigators to comb through the many hours of footage found on any video recording devices, surveillance cameras, police-worn body cameras or even witnesses’ personal smartphones faster than ever.

In our conversations with digital forensic investigators from around the world, we heard first hand how the role of video is continuing to play a large role in child sexual abuse and other criminal cases. While still images remain a critical part of investigations, video can often provide greater details and a more holistic view of the situation at hand.

With the release of Analyze 16.1 by our sister company, Griffeye, we are giving back time to police officers – allowing them to focus their efforts on solving crimes and increasing presence on the streets. No longer do they need to spend hours and hours manually searching through video to solve the case.

Read more about the Griffeye Analyze 16.1 here.