October 16, 2014 – L-3 ASA announced today that together with its partners, NetClean and Hubstream, it has successfully implemented the first phase of the national Child Abuse Image Database to aid in the fight to protect children from exploitation. The centralised database has now been implemented on UK police technical infrastructure, allowing authorised users to train on the system and to upload existing images and intelligence, before the system is rolled out to all UK forces. The next phase of the programme will include tools for the analysis, grading and uploading of images by officers in the field. The highly secure system will be made available to 46 UK police forces and law enforcement agencies.
“This is an important milestone for the protection of children,” commented L-3 ASA president and CEO Vince Kerr. “For the first time, police will have a national system that can be used to detect, analyse and identify indecent digital images.”
Under the two-year, £720,000 contract, awarded through the Government’s G-Cloud framework, L-3 ASA provides project and service management for the advanced system, which uses unique identifiers (hash sets) and metadata to identify and classify images and video. It enables law enforcement agencies to search content on seized devices for child abuse images and to quickly differentiate between new and existing material, allowing them to focus resources accordingly. It will also improve the ability of authorised officers in the National Crime Agency and police forces to identify and safeguard victims and work with Internet providers to ensure indecent images are removed from the network.
With the implementation of the database, the Government is on track to meet its target of having the Child Abuse Image Database set up by the end of 2014. Besides helping law enforcement bring offenders to justice, the system is also expected to save an estimated £6 million per year by speeding up police processes. The number of illegal images of children has increased exponentially since 1990, when the Home Office estimated there were 7,000 hard copy images in circulation. Today, due to the ease of circulation via the Internet, that number is estimated to be in the millions.
Notes to Editors
L-3 ASA, a UK-registered company, provides a full spectrum of life-cycle support for Information Communication Technology (ICT) systems. Its experience includes the service management of secure civil and military systems that require high levels of resilience and operational availability. L-3 ASA supplies and supports UK national law enforcement solutions used for the ingestion, analysis and dissemination of high-grade criminal intelligence by police forces and other government agencies, both in the UK and internationally.
The NetClean Analyze Suite and Hubstream Intelligence systems have been used primarily in the field of combating child sexual abuse. Together, they are able to detect, block, flag, alert and analyse illegal digital images. They use advanced techniques and tools such as hash sets, grading, geo-searching, visual similarity search, image occurrence searching, object matching and association of metadata and markers.