Research & Insights


GRACE (Global Response Against Child Exploitation)

Cyber Security

The use of the Internet to distribute CSEM is an abhorrent crime. Referrals from Online Service Providers are key to fighting CSE. OSPs, detection technologies and users reporting suspicious material are improving. However, this leads to an increase in the sheer volume of referrals coupled with the increase in the distribution of CSEM online that is pushing MS LEAs to their limits and affecting their capacity to prevent harm to infants and children, rescue those in immediate danger, and investigate and prosecute perpetrators.

The NCMEC process has improved LEA capability. But, a typical CSE case contains 1-3 TBs of video, 1–10 million images. Limited human resources, manual analysis and the 4,000% increase in referrals since 2014 obligates a new approach. GRACE will apply proven techniques in ML to the referral and analysis process while embracing the very technical, ethical and legal challenges unique to fighting CSE.

GRACE will leverage resources already in place at EUROPOL and its 9 MS LEAs and attempt to provide results early, frequently and flexibly, prioritising easy wins in the research plan (e.g. deduplication). By applying Federated Learning approach to the challenge of optimising analysis and information flow, GRACE will enable cooperation between LEAs in improving their own capabilities and harness experiential knowledge.

The results of GRACE will be handed back to EUROPOL and MS LEAs for unrestricted use in their missions, helping to ensure their future technological autonomy.

GRACE partners

Project info

Coordinator : Fundacion Centro de Tecnologias de Interaccion Visual y Comunicaciones Vicomtech
Call & reference : H2020-SU-SEC-2019, 883341
Starting date : 01/06/2020
Duration : 36 Months
Status : Completed

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