A Winnipeg web-browsing program that combats the dissemination of child sexual abuse images has expanded its global reach.
The New Zealand classification office is now working with the Canadian Center for Child Protection’s Project Arachnid, a web-browsing tool that tracks these images online and issues takedown notices.
The collaboration has been underway for a few years, officials said. New Zealand’s independent state agency announced the one-year pilot project on Wednesday. There are plans to train three of its employees to analyze the data collected by the web crawler and assess suspected images of child sexual abuse.
Joining the project gives New Zealand officials access to Project Arachnid databases so they don’t duplicate image classification efforts and have more information to work with in order to delete images faster.
“We have to watch these images; we need to categorize them so that we can start sending (takedown) notices on them. “said the CEO of the Canadian center, Lianna McDonald.
The web crawling tool processes tens of thousands of frames per second. Because of its speed, Project Arachnid now has a backlog of around 35 million images of suspected child sexual abuse that need to be filed, McDonald said.
Since its launch in Winnipeg in 2017, the tool has led to approximately nine million takedown notices issued to internet providers around the world.
“We are really starting to make a dent on this issue,” McDonald said.
Including New Zealand, 12 international agencies are now part of the Arachnid project.
McDonald said the Winnipeg-based center hopes to continue having conversations with governments and expanding its reach. He is optimistic that the pilot with New Zealand will continue after the end of the first year.
“We feel, for the first time, more optimistic that we are making progress on an issue that was fundamentally out of control. It’s exciting to see what Arachnid can do in terms of cleaning up the internet,” said McDonald’s.
“And most importantly, the message he sends to survivors, victims and children who have had to live with the fact that they have no control over their worst times in their lives is circulating online. hope now. ”