4NSEEK

Logo 4NSEEK

Financing, work and call program

Project 4NSEEK “Forensic Against Sexual Exploitation of Children” is co-financed by the European Union (UE) through the financing program Internal Security Fund - Police, ISFP-2017-AG-CYBER call.

Duration

The estimated timeframe of the Project is from January 2019 to December 2020.

Motivation and justification

The objective of this call is to finance projects in the area of Cybercrime and Child Sexual Abuse. In this regard, the projects must address the sexual exploitation of children (with special attention to the identification of victims and child sexual tourism), including:

  • Developing capacity and expertise of law enforcement and judicial authorities. This includes, for instance, the development of investigative and forensics tools to address the challenges posed by the use of encryption by criminals and its impact on criminal investigations and supporting law enforcement authorities' engagement in the area of Internet governance;
  • Fostering cross-border cooperation among law enforcement and judicial authorities. This includes, for instance, the setting up of mechanisms facilitating swift access to seized evidence or intelligence (or both) across borders;
  • Fostering cross-border cooperation between law enforcement/judicial authorities and private entities. This includes, for instance, the establishment of mechanisms supporting public-private cooperation.

INCIBE, as a national reference entity for the development of cybersecurity and under the Collaboration Framework Agreement between the State Secretariat of Digital Advance and the Secretary of State for Security of the Ministry of the Interior, collaborates closely and proactively with the Spanish LEAs in criminal investigations. Part of this collaboration focuses on the fight against child sexual abuse, initiated under the European ASASEC project.

Benefits

The main benefits of this call are:

  • Promote international police cooperation in this specific type of crime, providing a common tool and organizing activities for coordination, share good practices and receive advanced training.
  • The awareness and prevention of this cybercrime. This dissemination will be carried out in Spanish, English and Portuguese through the most suitable channels focused on minors, adolescents, families and educators.
  • Improve the capabilities of the forensic tool 4NSEEK, (initiated under the European project ASASEC and currently used by Spanish FCSE in registers) to collect digital evidence related to child sexual abuse.
  • The free provision of the forensic tool 4NSEEK, to all the FCSE participants in the project, as well as to other interested police.

Aims

The main objectives of the project are:

  • The promotion of international police cooperation with the use of common forensic tools and procedures, as well as advanced training in this matter that will materialize in the event Cybersecurity Summer Bootcamp 2019 and 2020 editions.
  • The improvement of the 4NSEEK forensic analysis tool specialized in child abuse including innovative improvements based on the needs of the police officers involved, reinforced by the scientific research of the participating Universities.
  • The preparation and dissemination of guides and other materials to detect and prevent the sexual abuse of minors through a group of experts in this type of crime, composed of psychologists, social workers, educators, legislators, police and prosecutors.

Consortium

The 4NSEEK Project has a consortium formed by:

Spanish National Cybersecurity Institute (INCIBE)

(Coordinator)

INCIBE

It is an organization dependent on the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Business through the Secretary of State for Digital Progress and consolidated as a reference entity for the development of cybersecurity and digital trust for the citizens, academic and research network, professionals, companies and especially for strategic sectors.

With an activity based on research, the provision of services and coordination with the agents with competences in the field, INCIBE contributes to build cybersecurity at a national and international level.

Its contribution to this project is based on the coordination of all partners and participates in all lines of the same: police training programs, the development of the forensic analysis tool and the development of awareness guides.

ULe

(Beneficiary)

Universidad de León

The University of León is a Public University established on 1979. It has two campus: one in the city of León and another one in Ponferrada, both in the province of León. It has 9 Faculties and 3 Schools of Engineering, where 40 Bachelor Degrees and Double Degrees, 36 Official Master Degrees,16 Doctorate Programs and 21 Own Titles are taught. Nowadays, it has approximately 13000 students. Since it was established, the University of León has been committed to internationalization, attracting, over the last few years, students from more than 40 countries thanks to the different mobility programs in which it participates. In addition, the University of León has agreements for student mobility with more than 300 universities around the world.

In the 4NSEEK Project, the research group GVIS (Group for Vision and Intelligent Systems), formerly known as VARP (Artificial Vision and Pattern Recognition) will work on behalf of the University of León. This group has been carrying out research in the fields of Artificial Vision and Machine Learning since 2003.

In particular, its contribution to 4NSEEK will consist of applying and developing methods based on Computer Vision, Machine Learning and Deep Learning for detecting Child Sexual Abuse (CSA) content in images and videos. In particular, models for detecting CSA based on the contents, file names, or other metadata of the multimedia files of the images and videos will be evaluated, or even a combination of the above.

University of Malta

(Beneficiary)

University of Malta

The University of Malta founded in 1769 is the most prestigious public education institution in Malta. With more than 10,000 students and extensive experience in numerous EU-funded projects under various Programmes including FP5/6/7, Lifelong Learning Programme, Culture 2000, Tempus and various other international and regional programmes.

The Department of Systems & Control Engineering teaches and carries out research in systems engineering and automatic control comprising the areas of systems theory, automatic control, signal processing, and intelligent systems. The Department has a strong track record in signal processing, machine learning and computer vision.

The specific contribution of the University of Malta to the 4NSEEK Project is concerned with research and development in computer vision and machine learning algorithms for the detection of child sexual abuse through the analysis of images and videos.

University of Groningen

(Beneficiary)

University de Groningen

The University of Groningen has an international reputation as a dynamic and innovative institution of higher education, offering high-quality teaching and research. Balanced study and career paths in a wide variety of disciplines encourage the 31,000 students and 5,600 employees to develop their own individual talents. The University of Groningen is proud to be among the global elite with a classification in the top 100 of the Shanghai ARWU, the THE World University Rankings, the U.S. News ‘Best Global Universities Ranking’, and the NTU Ranking.

Bernoulli Institute for Mathematics, Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence is an innovative and research-driven institute in the Zernike campus. Quality has been a top priority and as a consequence, the institute has a strong international reputation.

Its role in this project is to use the meta data of given images and videos and attempt to find matches in databases managed by the LEAs. Meta data can include, but not limited to, sensor pattern noise, file size, file type, autor, and location. We will explore advanced machine learning techniques to come with the best tradeoff between effectiveness and efficiency to assist the LEAs.

Malta Police

(Beneficiary)

Malta Police

The Malta Police Force is the national police force of Malta. It falls under the responsibility of the Ministry for Home Affairs and National Security and its objectives are set out in The Police Act, Chapter 164 of the Laws of Malta. It is the duty of the executive police to preserve public order and peace, to prevent and to detect and investigate offences, to collect evidence and to bring the offenders, whether principals or accomplices, before the judicial authorities.

Its contribution to this project is to test the forensic tool and send feedback about it. In addition, they will participate in training and police cooperation meetings.

Policía Nacional

(Beneficiary)

Policía Nacional

The National Police is an armed institute of civil nature, with a hierarchical structure whose mission is to protect the free exercise of rights and freedoms and ensure citizen security, with scope of action throughout the national territory. This mission is materialized through the performance of the functions attributed by the legal system to the National Police, and in particular those provided for in Organic Law 2/1986, of March 13, of Security Forces and Bodies.

Its contribution to this project is to test the forensic tool and send feedback about it. In addition, they will participate in training and police cooperation meetings.

Guardia Civil

(Beneficiary)

Guardia Civil

The Civil Guard is a Public Security Corps of military nature and national scope that is part of the State Security Forces and Bodies. The main mission of the Civil Guard will be to guarantee the protection of citizens against criminal acts that may threaten them, ensure compliance with the law, bring to justice those who fail to comply, defend the free exercise of rights and freedoms and preserve citizen security.

Its contribution to this project is to test the forensic tool and send feedback about it. In addition, they will participate in training and police cooperation meetings.

APAV

(Beneficiary)

Portuguese Association for Victim Support (APAV)

The Portuguese Association for Victim Support (APAV) is a private charitable organisation, recognised by law with statutory objective to inform, protect and support citizens who have been victims of crime. It is a non-profit organisation assisted by volunteers, which supports victims of crime, in a personal, sensitive and professional way, through the provision of free and confidential services. Founded on 25 June 1990, it has offices nationwide, with headquarters in Lisbon

Its contribution to the 4NSEEK project is based on dissemination and awareness work in Portugal.

Beneficiaries

The main target group and beneficiaries of this project are:

  • The whole society (parents, educators, children, social services ...) will benefit from all the actions of the project to fight against the sexual exploitation of children, and directly, from the actions of awareness and prevention of this cybercrime.
  • LEAs will be able to reinforce cooperation and cross-border coordination, using the latest techniques and technologies. They will have a tool in a mature state that will help them increase the efficiency of their research and will have the opportunity to receive advanced training and share useful experiences to improve the fight against this type of crime.

Relevance and innovation

The 4NSEEK project has a strong innovative character. The technological solution developed will make use of the most advanced techniques and tools in forensic analysis, using, for example, artificial vision algorithms and automatic learning in its multimedia analysers to facilitate the Security Forces or bodies the resolution of cases related to child pornography.

Cofinanciado por el Mecanismo Conectar Europa de la Unión Europea