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New alliances strengthen fight against illegal imagery

Image Analyser : 20 June, 2007  (Company News)
Image analysis and e-mail content cross-reference with Internet Watch Foundation adds additional layer to prevention of obscene images entering the workplace.
Commtouch has announced two new industry alliances to combat the abuse of children on the Internet, and to enable pornography-related compliance. The alliances are with the Internet Watch Foundation and Image Analyzer, two organisations that are active in fighting online child abuse images and pornography in the workplace.

Both alliances enable Commtouch licensing partners to offer compliance-related features to their customer base.

* Commtouch Anti-Spam licensing partners can subscribe to have their email-streams cross-referenced with the IWF child sexual abuse URL list to help prevent the distribution of illegal content in emails, together with their ongoing spam classification.
* Commtouch partners can utilize Image Analyzer software in conjunction with the Anti-Spam solution to eliminate traffic containing pornographic images.

"In addition to the moral imperative to eradicate online child abuse images, enterprises face a serious threat from pornography, due to both the legal risk and the fact that it can be a severe resource drain," said Commtouch CEO Gideon Mantel. "We are committed to working with both IWF and Image Analyzer to eradicate online exploitation, while assisting enterprises to enhance their compliance with sexual harassment and other legal statutes. Several of our partners have already begun offering these special protections in their security products."

"Illegal online content is a worldwide problem and global cooperation is vital to combating this abuse." explains Peter Robbins, IWF CEO. "We are very pleased to welcome Commtouch to join our self-regulatory approach to fighting this insidious crime."

IWF is an independent hotline in the UK, whose aim is to minimize the availability of potentially illegal Internet content, especially child abuse images hosted anywhere in the world. Since its inception a decade ago, IWF has processed an average of 1,000 reports of abusive online content per month. More than 31,000 websites have been found to contain potentially illegal child abuse content. Commtouch has integrated the IWF list into its real-time Anti-Spam service, allowing all of its OEM partners to offer the anti-child abuse feature to their customers.

"In today's world, enterprises face potential sexual harassment suits, and even criminal prosecution, if they do not make every practical effort to prevent their employees from accessing or spreading sexual content deemed offensive via the corporate infrastructure," said Crispin Pikes, CEO of Image Analyzer. "We are pleased to offer to many of Commtouch's licensees the opportunity to utilize this crucial compliance technology in protecting their customers."

Image Analyzer provides a detection engine developed for accurate and fast scanning of images using algorithms that uniquely evaluate colors and shapes to categorize images as clean, pornographic or suspect.

Legislation such as the US Federal Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA), EU directive 2000/31/EC and other child protection laws increase the need for compliance solutions. In addition, based on US Title VII, corporations have faced sexual harassment suits by employees who have been exposed to pornographic content at work via their co-workers. To protect themselves from such legal action, companies need to prove that they have taken all reasonably practical measures to avoid the act complained of.
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