Software to Prevent Child Abuse

Investigators estimate that there are currently more than 15 million photographs and videos of child abuse victims circulating on the Internet, or in the Darknet. By the time this material has been tracked down and deleted, pedophiles have long since downloaded it to their computers. Seeking and tracking hundreds of thousands of illegal media files in the suspect’s computer was tedious and extremely time-consuming process for investigators, until now.

Researchers from Fraunhofer Institute come up with an automated assistance system, called “desCRY”, that can detect child-pornographic images and video, from among even large volumes of data.
desCRY search results

The desCRY software uses novel pattern-recognition processes to navigate through digital photos and videos in search of illegal content, no matter how well-hidden it may be. The heart of the software consists of intelligent pattern-recognition algorithms that automatically analyze and classify images and video sequences combining technologies such as facial and skin-tone recognition with contextual and scene analyses to identify suspicious content.

The software searches all of the files in a computer, e-mail attachments and archives included and has many types of filtering allowing for a wide variety of search options. It can perform content-based data sorting and filtering, for instance. This way, investigators can sort files by person, object or location, for example. 
The algorithms use up to several thousand characteristics that describe properties such as color, texture and contours in order to analyze whether an image depicts child abuse. If the system is run on a standard PC, it classifies up to ten images per second, drastically accelerating the investigation works.

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