Today, the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children® (NCMEC) is announcing an expanded partnership with Verisign, a global provider of domain name registry services and internet infrastructure, to help protect children online.
Verisign donated to NCMEC the use of a new software tool, built in-house by Verisign technologists, which will improve the process of acting against domain names that lead to websites that are hosting child sexual abuse material (CSAM). The tool takes a URL, automatically scours publicly available databases, and helps identify the most effective path to get that content removed. The tool will help to automate and accelerate an important part of the process in finding and removing CSAM from the internet.
NCMEC’s CyberTipline is the nation’s centralized reporting system for the online exploitation of children. In 2022, NCMEC’s CyberTipline received more than 32 million reports of suspected child sexual exploitation, most of which was CSAM. NCMEC staff review the reported imagery and then a notification is made to the Electronic Service Provider (ESP) where the image or video is located. This new tool from Verisign will help expedite the process to notify ESPs and get that content removed.
“As the nation’s leading child protection organization, we’re thrilled to have Verisign expand its role in supporting our mission,” said Michelle DeLaune, NCMEC president and CEO. “They have a reputation for prioritizing a safe internet and have been proactive in fighting online child sexual exploitation. The donation of this tool enhances our ability to contact hosting providers and request child sexual abuse material be taken down. Speedy removal is critical for survivors who are negatively impacted by the recirculation of images and videos of their abuse. Verisign’s contribution of this powerful tool, along with Verisign’s multiyear financial commitment, will be valuable in helping us achieve our mission. We also look forward to expanding our continued collaboration with the appointment of a senior Verisign executive to our Board of Directors.”
To find out more about NCMEC’s work to fight CSAM online, visit: https://www.missingkids.org/theissues/csam.