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Spot the paedo

A SECRET computer program created by Google is helping to track down paedophiles on the internet.
 
The amazing new technology lets investigators speedily TRAWL through a suspect’s computer and FIND horrific images—even when hidden in a seemingly innocent video.
 
They can also MATCH a child’s face shown in a video to similar images discovered around the world.
 
This often enables cops to rescue the tragic kids and break up secretive paedo networks.
 
The system can even RECOGNISE background scenes in an abuse clip—such as posters, views from windows, furniture or carpets—to provide clues or evidence against suspects.
 
In the past year, British investigators have used the device to identify 20 child victims. And in America, the anti-paedophile agency has traced thousands.
 
Google’s system is so sophisticated it can even spot matches in an image’s pixels after paedophiles have tried to retouch or alter it. The program was developed by scientists who devised some of the internet search engine’s most popular services —including its photo library Picasa and popular YouTube.
 
It was first dreamed up by Shumeet Baluja, a senior researcher at Google’s Washington office. He was called in by the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) and discovered their agents were having to plough through hours of horrific video footage.
 
Shumeet decided to create a system which would allow them to do the task automatically.
 
He said: “I did it because I’m a parent. It was traumatic to see what they have to deal with.”
 
He and a few colleagues worked on the project during the 20 per cent paid spare time which Google allows its employees to develop their own ideas. His high- speed software enabled agents to analyse 8.7m pics last year, compared to 5m the year before.
 
Google also helps Britain’s Child Exploitation & Online Protection Centre but the agency’s undercover work is secret.
 

 

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