Child Rescue Coalition Partners with Pex to Enable Platforms to Identify and Remove CSAM Online

  • April 28, 2021

CRC evaluation demonstrated ability of Pex’s technology to aid fight against child sexual abuse material online

BOCA RATON, Fl. and LOS ANGELES, April 28, 2021

Today, the Child Rescue Coalition (CRC), a nonprofit organization devoted to curbing abusive material online, and Pex, the global leader in digital rights technology, are announcing a partnership to enable content-sharing platforms to better identify and remove child sexual abuse material (CSAM) online.

The announcement comes following an evaluation of Pex’s Attribution Engine by CRC to determine if the technology, leveraged globally by digital rightsholders to properly identify and attribute content they own, could be used to help fight the epidemic of CSAM on user-generated content platforms. The results show the technology exceeded expectations and can serve as an asset to law enforcement agencies and platforms looking to eliminate CSAM online.

Pex’s Attribution Engine can identify and permanently block CSAM on user-generated content (UGC) platforms in real-time and at the speed and scale of the internet, enabling platforms and law enforcement to block CSAM before it is published. It takes less than five seconds for Attribution Engine to identify content as CSAM or other toxic content. The technology is able to identify positive matches on pieces of content as short as one second, and it can also identify videos that have been altered, so reuploads can be blocked and law enforcement can focus on investigating new content and cases. Law enforcement can securely create fingerprints of CSAM on their internal servers and provide only the fingerprints to Pex to be identified against. Pex cannot restore content from the fingerprints and would never see the CSAM.

“This partnership demonstrates that our technology can be deployed to help solve the otherwise intractable problem of CSAM online and ease the suffering of victims,” said Rasty Turek, Chief Executive Officer at Pex. “Platforms and law enforcement have long struggled with containing the seemingly endless streams of this content, and we’re glad to see that our technology is a tool that can aid their important work.”

Over the last 15 years, there has been a 15,000 percent increase in abuse files reported to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children. CSAM is most often disseminated via re-shared content, meaning it is essential that all versions of existing and reported videos, including copies with alterations, can be detected quickly. Pex’s technology is well suited for this, having been implemented by digital rights holders to do the same.

“The rise of sites that have done so much to democratize free expression around the world have also unfortunately spurred a rise in CSAM and toxic content online. We are devoted to creating free technology for law enforcement that enables them to find and stop child predators,” said Glen Pounder, Chief Operating Officer at the Child Rescue Coalition. “Pex’s technology lends itself perfectly to that and we’re glad to partner with them to develop this use case further and help overstretched law enforcement focus their resources. I envisage that the blocking of content from upload will mean less predators spiral down the dark path of consuming child sexual abuse material.”

Based on the results of the CRC and Pex partnership, which tested the Attribution Engine to determine its accuracy and speed, the CRC believes that the Attribution Engine would be a crucial asset to law enforcement and digital platforms in the detection and prevention of CSAM. Its ability to detect significantly distorted audio and video surpasses other available technologies.