Microsoft works with Demi and Ashton in new initiative to protect children

Posted by Pamela Passman
Corporate Vice President, Global Corporate Affairs

I am proud to work for a company like Microsoft that has a long-standing commitment to protecting children. I am especially pleased to be able to share that Microsoft is participating in a new collaborative effort with other technology companies, advocates and the Demi and Ashton Foundation (DNA) to find new ways to put technology to work protecting children from sexual exploitation and abuse.

Today, I joined Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher, the co-founders of the DNA Foundation, at the annual Clinton Global Initiative meeting in New York City to discuss this effort.  At the event, the DNA Foundation launched their “Real Men” campaign to raise awareness about the issues of child sex trafficking and exploitation. They also shared some information about the work Microsoft and others have been exploring with them in a task force to develop creative technological solutions to help address this horrible problem.

[Pamela Passman speaking at the Clinton Global Initiative Meeting]

 

Our work with the DNA Foundation is just one of the ways that Microsoft is already investing to help combat technology-facilitated crimes against children. For example, in December we donated Microsoft’s PhotoDNA technology to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children to help disrupt the spread of online child pornography. Working with NCMEC, we are now using PhotoDNA on Bing and Windows Live to help begin to stop the online redistribution of the worst known images of child rape and we are talking to other online service companies interested in joining us. Microsoft has also developed and invested in the Child Exploitation Tracking System (CETS), unique software that provides valuable information-sharing and collaboration tools for law enforcement in a number of countries around the world to assist in child exploitation investigations. We have also established the Microsoft Digital Crimes Unit, a team of lawyers, investigators, technical analysts and other specialists working in cooperation with our Trustworthy Computing and Global Corporate Affairs groups at Microsoft to combat digital crime, including crimes against children. We continue to invest in important programs like these on the cutting edge of online safety and cloud security, in partnership with child safety advocates, technology industry leaders, governments and law enforcement worldwide, to help make the Internet safer for everyone.

However, there’s still a lot of work that needs to be done. The number of children who are sexually exploited is staggering (see: http://www.justice.gov/criminal/ceos/prostitution.html) and too often it’s an issue that’s kept out of the public spotlight because frankly it’s hard to talk about.  Thanks to the DNA Foundation, the abused and exploited children have a new powerful voice to speak for them and Microsoft is honored to be a part of it.

This is a very exciting partnership for Microsoft.  By teaming with Demi and Ashton, people with immense passion and commitment, we hope to take the fight against child exploitation to a new level. We believe there are real opportunities for technology to help confront this problem and Microsoft will continue to use its knowledge and expertise to work with organizations like the DNA Foundation, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and others to advance new innovation, ideas and strategies that can be effectively used to combat child sex crimes online.

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