Edinburgh-based digital forensics startup, Cyan Forensics, has secured its first major partnership in the US with the National Centre for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC).
The partnership with NCMEC is the company’s first step to introducing its tool to social media companies, network operators and US law enforcement.
Cyan Forensics’ software helps police detect indecent images of children in minutes, speeding up the time it takes to search seized devices.
Digital evidence is vital to investigations into child sexual exploitation, and investigations often take months due to delays caused by backlogs of devices waiting to be searched. Cyan Forensics’ software could help speed-up the process by quickly scanning devices for any recognised content, and can be used before it enters a potential queue of backlogged devices.
Moving forward, both Cyan Forensics and NCMEC will work together to evaluate the startup’s technology, as well as its ability to detect images already known to the organisation.
The NCMEC’s Child Victim Identification Program helps to identify child victims who appear in child sexual abuse material. So far, the program has reviewed more than 283 million images and videos and has a record of more than 17,000 child victims identified by law enforcement.
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The partnership announcement marks a groundbreaking month for the Napier University spin-out. In early July, the Home Office announced Cyan Forensics’ tech would be made available to police forces across the UK.
As one of three pioneering new tools to be rolled out in the fight against child sexual exploitation, the firm will play a “key part” in improving the capability of the Child Abuse Image Database (CAID).
Additionally, Cyan was included in the latest cohort to join the GovStart 2019 Accelerator programme; an initiative to help tech startups transform the public sector.
Commenting on the partnership, Cyan Forensics co-founder and CEO, Ian Stevenson, said: “This is a partnership of shared values, and we are delighted to be working with such a respected force in the fight against child abduction, abuse, and exploitation.
“Cyan Forensics can support NCMEC with the great work it is already doing to help protect children both on and offline. We are proud to be associated with an organisation at the forefront of the field, and look forward to discussing how we can help other future partners across America.”
John Clark, president and CEO of NCMEC, added: “Timing is often critical in these cases, and we’re excited at the prospect of new technology that could provide faster access to information that will help rescue children from abuse. Cyan Forensics’ technology has the power to make a big impact in the fight against online child sexual abuse imagery.”