Google Scans Everyone’s Email for Child Porn, and it just got a man Arrested


That’s because Google actively scans the images that pass through Gmail accounts to see if they match up with known child pornography. Most seem to agree that this is a good thing, but as cyber security consultant John Hawes, of Virus Bulletin, tells the AFP, others may view this practice as a slippery slope. “There will of course be some who see it as yet another sign of how the twin Big Brothers of state agencies and corporate behemoths have nothing better to do than delve into the private lives of all and sundry, looking for dirt,” Hawes says.

Skillern is alleged to have been using Gmail to send images of child sexual abuse, each of which had previously been identified and given a unique digital fingerprint. When those images were sent through Google’s email service, they were identified by its automated systems. From there, Google passed Skillern’s details on to the police via the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC).

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