A Supercomputer Goes Porn-Hunting: Fighting Pedophiles the Geeky Way

As the world’s second most powerful computer, the Jaguar has been called on to do many things, particularly for the US Department of Energy. In 2011, it will be asked to use its tremendous power to fight crime.

It’s going pedophile hunting.

Scientists from Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee where Jaguar is housed are working with local and national law enforcement to put Jaguar’s incredible processing abilities to work with Artemis, a program that finds pornographic images and videos on computers and networks. Named after the Greek goddess of the hunt, the program quickly scans computers for flesh-colored pixels that could be pornography.

“Across the globe criminals are using technology to facilitate the sexual exploitation of children,” said Grier Weeks, executive director of the National Association to Protect Children, or PROTECT. “Police are overwhelmed and outnumbered. These Oak Ridge scientists are the good guys we’ve been waiting for. Their computers will become child rescue engines.”

It can take the search process down from weeks to hours, expediting arrests and prosecutions. It could also prevent crimes like the murder of Somer Thompson.  A cyber crimes unit began forensic analysis on Jarred Harrell’s computer on October 9, 2009. 10 days later he allegedly kidnapped Thompson.

Artemis on Jaguar may be able to prevent such cases as early as late-2011.

“With the current process, it could take weeks for law enforcement to track someone down,” said Robert Patton, a scientist at Oak Ridge who, along with Carlos Rojas, runs the Jaguar and pedophile project. “Right now we could probably do it in a few days. What we want is to do it in a few hours.”

While Artemis is already being used directly on suspects’ computers and has been involved in 30 arrests, Jaguar is not expected to be ready to use it until the end of 2011. Currently, Patton’s team is testing and simulating on Jaguar.

Investigators are eager to see it live as soon as possible.

By JD Rucker

+JD Rucker is Editor at Soshable, a Social Media Marketing Blog. He is a Christian, a husband, a father, and founder of both Judeo Christian Church and Dealer Authority. He drinks a lot of coffee, usually in the form of a 5-shot espresso over ice. Find him on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest.

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