Ashton Kutcher underscored the importance of the fight against child exploitation in his impassioned testimony to the US Senate Foreign Relations committee hearing on Human Trafficking.
Kutcher gave his testimony as the leader of an organization called Thorn, which seeks to undermine the child sex-trade industry using cutting-edge technology. Making the most of online crowdsourcing, Thorn seeks to attract the best and the brightest to the front lines of the dark web and human trafficking efforts which take place globally.
According to statistics available on Thorn’s website, 63% of sex trafficking victims have been sold online or advertised at least once. Per CCN, Kutcher relayed the successes of a new software tool called Spotlight, which Kutcher says, “It's working. In six months, with 25% of our users reporting, we've identified over 6,000 trafficking victims, 2,000 of which are minors. This tool has enhanced 4,000 law enforcement officials in 900 agencies. And we're reducing the investigation time by 60%.”
Thorn have also seen results with another tool called, Solis, designed to speed up investigation of dark-web related crimes by analyzing underground network activity to uncover the identities of minors who are being exploited. Child identification has been cited as a major problem in the fight against child pornography due to the sheer volume of items circulated.
By addressing the problem of traffickers and circulated material directly, Kutcher takes the fight directly to the door or the perpetrators. But there are things you can do in your environment to ensure that your organization isn’t silently complicit in the fight against child exploitation. Having a solid web filtering solution and firewall solution in place is a good first step in that direction. Check back here in a couple weeks to see what best practices you can add for your firewall, to make sure it's as effective as possible.