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Microsoft develops tool to ID pedophiles in online chats

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Technology giant Microsoft has announced a new tool designed to catch pedophiles who target children in online chats.

Code-named Project Artemis, the system, which has long been used by Microsoft to analyze chats held over platforms such as the Xbox, is now being offered to other tech companies.

 

While details are scarce, the tool works by recognizing specific words and speech patterns. Chats that are flagged as suspicious are handed over to human moderators for review. A decision can then be made as to whether the conversation warrants law enforcement attention.

 

Courtney Gregoire, Microsoft’s chief digital safety officer, stated in a recent blog post that the tool will be free for companies that offer a chat function in any of their products.

 

“At Microsoft, we embrace a multi-stakeholder model to combat online child exploitation that includes survivors and their advocates, government, tech companies and civil society working together,” Gregoire writes. “Combating online child exploitation should and must be a universal call to action.”

 

The tool would not work, however, for messaging programs that utilize end-to-end encryption. And as with any such tool, concerns have been raised over the issue of false positives, which would lead innocent users to have their conversations monitored as well.

 

Given recent controversies over companies monitoring their customers’ communications in secret, those who employ the software would likely have to update their terms-of-service in order to gain consent from users.

 

Microsoft admits that Project Artemis “is by no means a panacea,” but argues that its tool represents a significant step forward nonetheless.


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Very good. Pedophiles are a plague. The more they catch and arrest the better.

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You folks frequenting karaoke clubs looking for children are still safe unless caught up in a police sting operation.

 

Carry several thousand baht as a get out of jail free card.

 

Better yet...grow up and stop targeting children...would you like your children molested by a perv?

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36 minutes ago, CNXexpat said:

Very good. Pedophiles are a plague. The more they catch and arrest the better.

 

Agreed on the pedophiles. 

 

But who's next?  Companies wanting to identify whether a job candidate is likely to cause problems so they don't hire them?  Health insurance companies looking for keywords so they know to deny insurance for anyone who searches "depression"?  Political parties looking for counter thinking people to flood them with fake news or keep them from voting?  (Imagine all the Republicans getting a weather forecast for clear skies, with all the Democrats getting a fake tornado warning on election day) 

 

Slippery slope...

 

Edited by impulse
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7 minutes ago, impulse said:

 

Agreed on the pedophiles. 

 

But who's next?  Companies wanting to identify whether a job candidate is likely to cause problems so they don't hire them?  Health insurance companies looking for keywords so they know to deny insurance for anyone who searches "depression"?  Political parties looking for counter thinking people to flood them with fake news or keep them from voting?  (Imagine all the Republicans getting a weather forecast for clear skies, with all the Democrats getting a fake tornado warning on election day) 

 

Slippery slope...

 

I guess/hope the data will stay at Microsoft and if they have a strong suspicion and proofs, they give them to the police.

I also hope all companies learned from the Facebook disaster. 

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33 minutes ago, CNXexpat said:

I guess/hope the data will stay at Microsoft and if they have a strong suspicion and proofs, they give them to the police.

I also hope all companies learned from the Facebook disaster. 

 

One would hope. 

 

But MS employees are notorious for taking something they learned at the company, going off on their own, and doing a startup.  Not hard to imagine the $$$ signs going off in a Microsoft engineer's head when he/she thinks about taking the keyword algorithm and forming their own company to sell the ability to ... whoever has the money. 

 

And that's assuming Microsoft itself isn't planning to cash in on it. Reporting pedo's to law enforcement probably isn't lucrative enough to satisfy their bean counters.  (My guess is that's why it's being offered to other tech companies, as indicated in the OP)

 

Edited by impulse

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