New Cyberware Designed to ID, Thwart Child Predators

From the time the Internet began, it has provided sexual predators and pedophiles with a means to more easily locate victims. But new cyberware developed by a Spanish scientist could turn the tables on predators, making it easier for law enforcement to locate them and prevent further crimes from taking place.

A team at University of Deusto in Spain, led by 28-year-old Dr. Carlos Laordan, has created a history-making piece of technology designed to engage would-be pedophiles in chat rooms — and then collect essential data on them. Dr. Laorden’s program, Negobot, could change the way sexual predators are identified and caught.

The chat program is designed so the bot approaches each conversation like a game with the object of keeping the other person chatting long enough to determine if they are a potential pedophile. It appears online as an emotionally vulnerable 14-year-old girl in a chat room, and uses current slang as well as typos and deliberate grammar errors to make the Negobot persona more believable.  As the conversation progresses, the program attempts to set up a face-to-face meeting with the predator, which would then allow police to move in on the suspect.

Dr. Laorden is quick to point out that this is not a substitute for police efforts, but rather a complement to current efforts to curb predators who find their victims online. Opponents argue that the program is a form of entrapment, but given the amount of sexual exploitation of children that occurs online, this seems more like a promising tool in protecting our children.

 

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