Earlier this week Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Twitter & Yahoo officially joined forces with the Internet Watch Foundation to help fight child pornography online. Utilizing a hash-based platform the companies hope to prevent the ability to upload and share any child pornography online. Microsoft already utilizes this technology within PhotoDNA – a standalone tool which has long been utilized by law enforcement agencies to help track down illegal images online.
IWF will automatically begin creating three types of hashes to meet the needs of the online industry. It will create PhotoDNA (technology developed by Microsoft), MD5 and SHA-1 hashes.
Hashes will only be created from images that the highly-trained IWF analysts have assessed, regardless of whether the image was sourced from a public report, a report from the online industry, an image actively found by our analysts, or an image from the Home Office’s new Child Abuse Image Database (CAID).
All five companies are members of the Internet Watch Foundation, along with Apple, GoDaddy, Tumblr, Symantec, AOL, OpenDNS, Dropbox, and many other more. Alas only these 5 have started implementing this system, for now. I expect as more news is generated around this topic the others will follow suit.
Curious how exactly this hash list will work? Check out the following flow-chart: