Reining in Online Abuses
Online platforms today are being used in deplorably diverse ways: recruiting and radicalizing terrorists, buying and selling illegal weapons and underage prostitutes, cyberbullying and cyberstalking, revenge porn, theft of personal and financial data, propagating fake and hateful news, and much more. Technology companies have been and continue to be frustratingly slow in responding to these real threats with real consequences. I advocate for the development and deployment of new technologies that allow for the free flow of ideas while reining in abuses. As a case study, I will describe one such technology — photoDNA — that is currently being used in the global fight against child exploitation. I will also describe the technological, legal, and policy obstacles that we faced prior to deployment and how lessons from this work can inform future efforts. I will also describe ongoing efforts in countering extremism online.
Hany Farid is the Albert Bradley 1915 Third Century Professor and Chair of Computer Science at Dartmouth. His research focuses on digital forensics, image analysis, and human perception. He received his undergraduate degree in computer science and applied mathematics from the University of Rochester in 1989 and his Ph.D. in computer science from the University of Pennsylvania in 1997. Following a two year post-doctoral fellowship in brain and cognitive sciences at MIT, he joined the faculty at Dartmouth in 1999. He is the recipient of a Alfred P. Sloan Fellowship and a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship and is a fellow of the National Academy of Inventors. He is also the chief technology officer and co-founder of Fourandsix Technologies and a senior advisor to the Counter Extremism Project.