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Microsoft is being proactive in the fight against online child pornography. The company is partnering with a Swedish-based company to create Microsoft PhotoDNA — an image-matching tool to help law enforcement agents in child sex-abuse investigations.

Microsoft, along with NetClean, a company known for its own technology that catches online abusers, will offer the software to law enforcement agencies for free in an effort to help agents sift through new online photographs to tag child abuse perpetrators.

“By arming law enforcement with this powerful technology, our goal is to help expedite investigations, limit officer exposure to the corrosive effects of viewing child rape images, and strengthen law enforcement’s ability to quickly identify and rescue victims and get child abusers off the street,” Bill Harmon, associate general counsel in Microsoft’s Digital Crimes Unit wrote in a blog post.

There have been over 65 million videos and images of child sexual exploitation cases reported since 2002, according to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Microsoft hopes its newly developed technology will make searching for child abusers an easier and less graphic process.

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Currently Facebook uses the digital tool to help prevent child pornography from spreading onto its social network.

Photo via Flickr/hansol

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