What happens to the consumption of child sexual abuse material when millions of people work from home?
Work computers are used to download, consume and share child sexual abuse material, and we know that this criminal behaviour increases when employees remove computers from the office. As the Coronavirus has restricted our daily life and many employees now work from home, we risk seeing an increase in this behaviour.
Due to the closing of schools as a result of the Corona virus, experts agree that children will have an increased online presence and will be at an inadvertent risk. This week the FBI warned parents, educators, caregivers, and children about the dangers of online sexual exploitation and signs of child abuse.
Digital development has enabled offenders to produce and share child sexual abuse material at a previously impossible scale. In addition, the last decade’s development of social media platforms and gaming platforms has enabled offenders to reach children directly, and abuse them over the internet without meeting them in person, adding a new dimension to this crime. Live-streaming services, examined closer in this report, has pushed this development further.
The NetClean Report 2019, the fifth of its kind is now available. This year the report is based on two different enquiries – one with law enforcement and one with businesses. The results, summarised in the report, help us understand the nature of child sexual abuse crime, how it is developing and what we must do to further ensure that we fight it as well as we can.
Last week I was invited to speak at the UN Headquarters in New York, where the Working Group for Child Online Safety met for the launch of the new Broadband Commission report. The launch was hosted by Permanent Mission of Sweden, Childhood Foundation USA, Broadband Commission and End Violence Against Children.
To aid the search for children Europol has set up project “Trace an Object”. It asks the public to view cropped parts of images to see if they recognise objects. This can help place the location of the abuse.
In a previous blog we looked at binary hashes. Now we look at PhotoDNA, a different type of hashing technology that calculates hash values based on the visual content of an image.
In the NetClean Report 2018 we looked at a relatively new technology called Deepfakes; AI technology, which is used to swap one face for another in moving imagery. Here, Christian Berg, founder of NetClean, elaborates on challenges that this technology presents, and what might prevent it from being widely used in the production of child sexual abuse material.
Last week I was invited as a member of the Working Group for Child Online Safety, to attend the ITU/UNESCO Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development annual Spring meeting in Silicon Valley.