Law enforcement officials hoping to stop child pornography now have a new tool in their investigations. Microsoft has teamed up with NetClean to give their PhotoDNA image matching technology to those investigating child pornography. They’ve decided to give this technology away free.
According to this report from Arstechnica, the software can be used to comb through large collections of digital images to identify child pornography and speed up the forensic process.
More after the break
PhotoDNA was created by Microsoft in conjunction with Dartmouth College. The software functions similarly to facial recognition and biometric systems. It mathematically creates a signature for a specific image and then matches it with like images even if they’ve been resized and rescaled.
The software doesn’t recreate the image or identify individuals in the photo. This means that investigators don’t have to retain copies of the images on their systems. But it can easily identify copies of images even when altered.
This is the same technology that Facebook is using in cooperation with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. PhotoDNA is being offered through NetClean Analyze. Law Enforcement officials can also obtain copies of the source code free to build PhotoDNA into their existing investigative tools.