The Protech project

An innovative safety tech project

Protech is envisaged to combat the alarming rise in child sexual abuse images and videos circulating on the internet.
Led by the esteemed Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, one of Europe's largest university hospitals.

EU-funded project

In collaboration with experts from the European Union and the United Kingdom, Protech aims to create unique on-device technology that will significantly reduce the viewing and demand for such harmful material.
Launched in March 2023, this two-year, €2 million EU-funded project brings together a diverse team of professionals, including experts in criminology, public health, sexual medicine, software engineering, child protection and internet safety.

Safeguarding against Child Sexual Abuse Material (CSAM)

The heart of Protech lies in its user-centred design, employing cutting-edge machine learning models to provide intervention for individuals at risk of accessing child sexual abuse material (CSAM) online.
The application, which will be voluntarily installed on devices, will monitor internet traffic in real-time.
If child sexual abuse images or videos are detected, the app will block the content from being displayed on the device screen. 

Long-term objectives 

Early intervention

Increase the availability and quality of prevention programmes through early intervention with those at-risk of committing an initial CSAM offence.

Reducing CSAM demand

Preventing further victimisation by those who have already offended, thereby contributing to a reduction in the global demand for CSAM.

Enhancing safeguarding

Protecting victims and alleviating the workload of law enforcement across Europe.
Prof Dr Klaus M Beier Director of the Institute of Sexology and Sexual Medicine

               "Effectively countering the prevalent issue of child sexual abuse and use of child sexual abuse material requires not only legal actions but a broader societal shift toward early prevention. There is a tremendous need to target the heart of the issue — the Dunkelfeld, or people completely unknown to police — where prevention efforts possess the greatest potential.

Within the causer-related preventive approach, every tool which might improve the effectiveness of treating those who willingly seek to avoid engaging in or continuing consumption of child sexual abuse images is urgently required. The development of Salus by Protech serves exactly this purpose."

Prof. Klaus Beier, MD PhD
Director of the Institute of Sexology and Sexual Medicine at Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin
The Protech approach

An Interconnected Approach: Four Stages to Success

The Protech pilot will follow a four-step interconnected approach. 

1. Co-Design and Development of Salus Prototype

In the first stage, we focus on co-design and development to ensure the Salus prototype meets the real-life needs of end-users.
Through a participatory process, we engage with experts and individuals at risk of, or concerned about, viewing child sexual abuse imagery online creating to develop a user-centred safety tech tool that addresses the challenges of online child exploitation head-on.

2. Implementation and Real-Life Piloting

The second stage involves implementing the Salus prototype in real-life settings. We conduct piloting through a longitudinal cohort study of individuals at risk of committing CSAM offenses in five countries - Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Republic of Ireland and the UK.
This pre- vs. post- and control vs. treatment study design allows us to assess Salus' potential in improving outcomes for those at risk of committing CSAM offenses.

3. Public Health Impact and Implementation in Community Settings

Our third stage focuses on evaluating the public health impact of Salus and determining the optimal processes for implementing this groundbreaking concept in community settings across Europe.
By understanding its impact, we can maximise its potential for safeguarding children and preventing CSAM offenses.

4. Integration and Blueprint Development

In the final stage, we integrate project findings to draw out new knowledge on pathways to CSAM offending.
This valuable insight will inform the development of a long-term blueprint that aims to maximise the reach and impact of Protech for prevention aimed at reducing CSAM perpetration within the EU, fostering a safer digital landscape for all.
Protech impact

Long-Term Impact: A Global Contribution

By increasing the availability and quality of preventive tools through for at-risk individuals, the Protech project's anticipated long-term impacts are profound.
We seek to prevent initial CSAM offenses through early intervention. 
We aim to protect potential sexual abuse survivors from further victimisation by those who have already offended.
Offering comfort and protection for survivors who have had images and videos of their abuse shared online.
Ultimately contributing to a reduction in the global demand for CSAM.
Dashboard mockup
Empowered protection

Supporting Law Enforcement and Protecting Victims

Our collective efforts at Protech will further alleviate the workload of law enforcement agencies across Europe, empowering them with insights on advanced safety technology to combat online child exploitation effectively.
Together, we stand as guardians of online safety, shielding innocent children from harm and fostering a digital space where they can thrive without fear.
How can you help

Support the Protech Project

Together, we can make a lasting impact on online safety and protect the most vulnerable members of our society. Join us in our mission to create a safer digital space for children.
Together, let's stand against online child exploitation, protect the purity and the innocence of childhood and shape a brighter future.

Engage & collaborate

If you're in law enforcement, police, academia, prevention, health or tech, we can engage with your stakeholders or speak at events/ conferences.

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