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Search and mobile superpower Google is working on new technology that would effectively purge all images of child pornography and abuse from most of the Web.

Google disclosed new efforts to fight online child exploitation in a blog post yesterday. The company committed $5 million to “eradicate child-abuse imagery online” and started a $2 million Child Protection Technology Fund to encourage the development of better tools to destroy child porn.

While money allocations to the cause are important, the technology Google is building to combat child porn is even more so. Google is working on a new database of flagged images of child porn and abuse that can be shared with other search engines and child-protection organizations. The database will help create systems that automatically eliminate that sort of content.

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“Recently, we’ve started working to incorporate encrypted ‘fingerprints’ of child sexual-abuse images into a cross-industry database,” Jacquelline Fuller, the director of Google Giving, wrote in the blog post. “This will enable companies, law enforcement, and charities to better collaborate on detecting and removing these images and to take action against the criminals.”

If the database is effective, any flagged image would not be searchable through participating search engines or web-hosting providers. And maybe best of all, computers will automatically flag and remove these images without any human needing to see them.

Google hopes the new database is operational in less than a year, according to The Telegraph.

“This announcement is inspiring for those who are at the forefront of tackling child sexual-abuse content,” Susie Hargreaves, the chief executive officer of the Internet Watch Foundation, told The Telegraph. “We know that the best way to tackle what is some of the most horrific content online is by working with others from all over the world to combat this on a global platform.”

Google logo photo via John Koetsier/VentureBeat

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