The Canadian Centre for Child Protection has developed a new tool to combat the growing proliferation of child sexual abuse material on the Internet. This automated crawler, called Project Arachnid, helps reduce the online availability of child sexual abuse material and break the cycle of abuse.
Project Arachnid detects images and videos based on confirmed digital fingerprints of illegal content. This innovative tool detects content at a speed exponentially faster than current methods. Over only a six week period, Project Arachnid:
When child sexual abuse material is identified, a notice is sent to the hosting provider to request its immediate removal.
Commissioner Bob Paulson, RCMP:
“The RCMP is proud of the work that we’ve accomplished alongside our partners at the Canadian Centre for Child Protection (C3P) through Project Arachnid and we remain committed to combatting online child sexual exploitation,” said RCMP Commissioner Bob Paulson. “Child sexual abuse and exploitation are particularly horrific crimes and the RCMP works diligently with its partners at the municipal, provincial and federal levels to increase efforts to rescue victims and help bring those to justice who misuse technology to victimize children.”
Commissioner J.V.N. (Vince) HAWKES, Ontario Provincial Police:
“Our shared responsibility is to protect children. Diligent police work, effective information sharing, and greater public education and awareness are vitally important to rid our world of those who prey upon the most vulnerable people in society. The OPP and the Provincial Strategy to Protect Children from Sexual Abuse and Exploitation on the Internet supports the excellent work conducted by our partners at the Canadian Centre for Child Protection to ensure the victims of sexual abuse are identified, heard and supported.”
Chief Constable Mark Saunders, Toronto Police Service:
“Crimes against children, particularly ones of sexual violence, are some of the most horrific cases our officers deal with. The life-long impact on victims cannot be understated. The Toronto Police Service is a proud partner of the Canadian Centre for Child Protection. We applaud their research efforts and the creation of projects, such as Arachnid, that will help the fight against child exploitation.”
Chief Constable Jeff McGuire, Niagara Regional Police Service:
“The Niagara Regional Police Service welcomes every opportunity to partner with community agencies in the support and protection of children. Our Service has worked closely with The Canadian Centre for Child Protection for a number of years, in a combined effort to identify child victims of online sexual exploitation and abuse. The Internet Child Exploitation Unit will continue work in collaboration with the Centre, providing information as part of a new initiative – Project Arachnid. By expanding our efforts together to identify victims, we remain committed to pursuing those who choose to harm the most vulnerable members of our community.”
Chief Constable Adam Palmer, Vancouver Police Department:
“I commend the Canadian Centre for Child Protection for this new research and the innovative techniques they continue to develop to help protect children from online predators. Increasing public awareness is key to protecting children and the most vulnerable members of society. Online crime isn’t contained by borders so it’s very important for agencies across the country and from around the world to partner together and collaborate to share expertise and resources.”
The need for Project Arachnid was based upon Cybertip.ca witnessing the growing proliferation of child sexual abuse material and was further validated by the Canadian Centre’s International Survivors’ Survey.
This survey was developed to better understand the unique challenges faced by survivors whose abuse as a child was recorded and in many instances distributed online. As of January 2017, 128 survivors from around the world have contributed valuable information about their experiences. Some of the preliminary results1 include:
The survey continues to be available and we encourage other survivors to participate in this important initiative.
1. All numbers are based on the report released January 17, 2017 titled Survivor's Survey Preliminary Report and are subject to the explanations and limitations set out in the report. Percentages are rounded to the nearest whole number and are subject to change in the final report. Not all survivors responded to all questions in the survey, so not all percentages are based on 128 responses.