Technology

chat, online safety, pedophiles, child exploitation

Project Seeks to Detect Predators in Chat Rooms

August 18, 2008 02:44 PM
by Emily Coakley
Researchers in Britain are working on a program to monitor chat rooms for people preying on children.

Staying Ahead of Predators

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A new program is trying to develop software that could monitor chats in an effort to find pedophiles. According to Scientific American, the Isis Project is underway to build a continually updating list of terms that are commonly used by those trading child pornography, and by pedophiles pretending to be kids to win their potential victims’ trust. When the software recognizes these code words, officials will key in on conversations and potentially stop predatory behavior as it’s happening.

One of the eventual goals for Isis is to be able to tell when someone is posing as a child during a chat and alert authorities, reports Scientific American.

The project raises concerns about privacy, among other matters, if governments required social networking sites to install the software developed by the project.
John Morris, general counsel for the Center for Democracy and Technology, tells Scientific American: “A huge problem with any sort of mandate is it is very hard to define what a social-network site is without sweeping in every blog in this country and Ebay and Amazon, all of which allow you to have profiles about yourself.”

Reference: Staying safe while meeting people online

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