Breakfast seminar: Netclean’s battle against child sexual abuse using novel technology

Earlier this morning the Head of Netclean, Anna Borgström, visited Chalmers School of Entrepreneurship for an important and inspiring presentation about how they are battling child sexual abuse using novel technology.

Its hard to imagine that back before 1980 it was legal for private individuals to consume, possess and distribute content containing child sexual abuse. It took three whole decades to finally have the legislation in place that criminalised it in full. The problem is however still very difficult to mitigate and statistical evidence shows that at least 1 out of 1000 people still possess material containing child sexual abuse. With the emergence of Internet and new technology, this material is easily spread throughout the world to become part of private collections – that in turn can be sold further to other abusers.

NetClean was founded by Chalmers alumni’s Christian Berg and Mattias Shamlo in 2003 and has since then led the way in this battle by combining world leading technology with thorough knowledge of how child sexual abuse is distributed and consumed. Today it constitutes one out of three companies in the  Safer Society group – which has more than 55 employees, projecting sales of about 80 MSEK and their solutions are used by companies, government agencies and Internet Service Providers in more than 110 countries worldwide.

NetClean has developed several advanced products, whereas one is to analyse and uniquely code material containing child sexual abuse that is being found by law enforcements all over the world. These codes are collected into a database that is then used to create detection services applied to e.g. large global organisations. Because, however scary it may sound, a majority of the child sexual abuse consumption, possession and distribution is carried out by individuals at their workplace.

Companies, organisations and law enforcement is today much more aware and motivated to take action than 10 years ago. They understand they have an opportunity and responsibility to change the future of children” says Anna Borgström, Head of Netclean. 

Borgström brought up three crucial factors for improvement. First, we need to increase innovative cross segment collaboration between companies, law enforcement and technology providers.

We need to let go of prestige, be transparent and understand that every image counts. ” – Borgström.

Second – we need to continue the development of innovative technology. Even though the issue with distribution have increased with technology, it can also be used to mitigate it. Lastly, we need to continue to expand our knowledge together. That goes – not only for law enforcement, politicians, technology providers, etc. – but for you and me as well.