Google is stepping up its fight against child pornography, announcing its intention to take action through "hashing" technology, which allows it to tag known child sexual abuse images and then identify, block, and report the images and their duplicates across the web.
"We're in the business of making information widely available, but there's certain 'information' that should never be created or found," Google Giving director Jacquelline Fuller wrote on Google's blog. "We can do a lot to ensure it's not available online — and that when people try to share this disgusting content they are caught and prosecuted."
According to cnet.com, Google plans to have a database of hashed child porn images — which can be shared with other tech companies, law enforcement and charities — up and running within the year. The database will allow child porn images which have been "flagged" by child protection organizations to be wipe from the web all at once, The Telegraph reported Sunday.
According to Google, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children's Cybertipline received 17.3 million images and videos of suspected child abuse in 2011, which is four times more than what their Exploited Children's Division saw in 2007. The need for companies to take action is growing, Google's post said.
"Behind these images are real, vulnerable kids who are sexually victimized and victimized further through the distribution of their images," Fuller wrote. "It is critical that we take action as a community — as concerned parents, guardians, teachers and companies — to help combat this problem."
Other tech companies like Microsoft, which helped to develop the hashing technology, and Facebook, which uses it across its network, also play a part in the ongoing fight against child pornography, cnet.com reported.