Feeds

US.gov builds huge child porn database

Wouldn't be allowed in UK

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

A huge database system designed to find sexually abused children is under development in the US. But legal restrictions mean that the project is unlikely to be replicated in the UK.

The US Justice's Department Child Victim Identification Program will include a catalogue of thousands of illicit pictures seized from suspects and collected from the Web. This could make the Justice Department the "owner of the world's largest collection of child pornography, AP reports. This database represents an attempt to link images of abuse with the names of victims and the date of abuse.

The system creates a fingerprint system of indecent images which will allow investigators to determine if images seized are the subject of previous cases. Image recognition software will be used to match new pictures with previously referenced images. It is hoped the system will make it easier for police to identify and locate sexually abused children.

The database cannot be directly browsed. And only pictures linked to a particular investigation can be viewed at any one time. Police won't have direct access to victims' identities, either. In the case of possible matches, investigators will be given only contact details for a particular investigating officer.

These measures are designed to stop abuse from unscrupulous law enforcement agents and attempts by crackers to break into the system and steal indecent images. However, the more joined-up such database systems become, the greater the potential for misuse and abuse.

UK laws preventing the exchange of indecent images, for whatever purpose, mean the system (or something similar) is unlikely to be used in Britain.

Security expert Neil Barrett, who has advised the police in numerous Internet paedophilia inquiries, said: "swapping pictures backwards and forwards is illegal in the UK. The law does not provide an exception for police."

In the UK a checksum is of captured images is obtained. It is this data, and not images, which is exchanged between law enforcement agencies in Europe to see if an image has been the subject of a previous prosecution. Europol administers the scheme, used by police to assess the strength of evidence obtained during an inquiry.

Barrett believes the European system is preferable not least because of the risk of images being intercepted - which he believes is inherent in the US system. ®

Related stories

UK police swoop in child porn raids
Police swoop on Internet paedophiles
On stats and chatroom paedophiles
Child porn list leaked to Sunday Times
Net porn policeman jailed for 18 months
Child porn 'librarian' jailed for 2 years
Watch out! There's a chatroom paedophile about

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
DOUBLE BONK: Testy fanbois catch Apple Pay picking pockets
Users wail as tapcash transactions are duplicated
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Google Glassholes are UNDATEABLE – HP exec
You need an emotional connection, says touchy-feely MD... We can do that
YARR! Pirates walk the plank: DMCA magnets sink in Google results
Spaffing copyrighted stuff over the web? No search ranking for you
In the next four weeks, 100 people will decide the future of the web
While America tucks into Thanksgiving turkey, the world will be taking over the net
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.