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Technology Against Child Abuse

Julie Cordua Talks About Using Digital Tools to Stop Child Abuse

— October 23, 2019 — Keynote Trends
Julie Cordua is the CEO of a technology company that works to eliminate child sexual abuse from the Internet called Thorn. She recently delivered a talk about methods to exponential eliminate child pornography from the web, an issue that is only continuing to grow online with "more than 45 million images and videos of child sexual abuse material [being] reported to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children" in 2018 -- double the amount from the year prior.

Cordua points out that abusers have quickly capitalized on new technologies to exploit children, however, law enforcement is not yet up to speed to catch these criminals. Thankfully, Thorn created a technology that uses the "hash" -- a string of unique numbers based on the content's coding -- of this horrific content. This allows law enforcement or companies that host content to remove the image or video from their platform without having to look through it individually.

The issue, however, is that the hashes are sitting isolated from each other in databases around the world. Moreover, law enforcements don't know if these videos "represent children who have already been rescued or need to be identified still." Thorn's technology -- which for obvious reasons is top secret -- allows officers to be instantly notified when a sexually explicit content of a new child is posted online. Thus far, it's reduced the time of rescue for a child by 65 percent and Cordua hopes that there can be "a future where every child can simply be a kid."