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Wednesday, 18 January 2017 06:02

New search tool digs into darkest corners of the Internet

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A new Canadian-made Internet search tool that detects child sexual abuse images online has logged more than five million unique web pages with 40,000 images in the past six weeks alone, the Toronto Star has learned.

Project Arachnid, created by the Winnipeg-based Canadian Centre for Child Protection, is searching 150 web links a second for child abuse imagery in an effort to have it removed from public view, a form of lingering abuse for victims.

When the search tool identifies illegal material, the centre sends notices to the site host requesting its removal.

“If we can make this content more difficult to find, the breadth of exposure for victims will diminish over time,” says Signy Arnason, director of Cypertip.ca, a project of the Centre which receives tips about child abuse from across the world.

One of the most powerful findings from an international survey of 128 child abuse victims being released today by the centre is the lifelong impact that exploitative images published online can have on victims, including ongoing paranoia and fear of being stalked, sleeplessness, poor self-image, “powerlessness” and “shame and humiliation.”

“The fact that images/videos of a child’s sexual abuse were created at all, not to mention that they may still be possessed by the abuser and be publicly available for others to access, has an enormous negative impact on the individual,” the study says. “The impact can perpetuate into adulthood and may reduce the ability of an individual to recover and function in society.”

Among respondents, 73 per cent said they worry about being recognized; 88 per cent believe it has affected their education/academics; 91 per cent believe it has affected their employment; and 93 per cent believe it has affected friendships.

Author : ROBERT CRIBB

Source : https://www.thestar.com/news/world/2017/01/17/new-web-searcher-digs-into-the-internet-darkest-corners.html

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