The government has announced a £600,000 investment in a new system to combat online child pornography.
Project Arachnid can identity and remove indecent images from websites ‘at an unprecedented rate’ according to the Home Office.
Developed by a division of the Canadian Centre for Child Protection, the system can be deployed across websites, forums, chatrooms and so on to instantly detect illegal images. If it finds anything, it automatically forwards a removal order to the website’s owners.
The Home Office says that social media firms will be able to deploy Project Arachnid to sweep their platforms for illicit material.
The system uses lists of digital fingerprints to search for known images of child pornography, and will eventually expand to include fingerprints from authorities in Canada and the US.