Campus News

Computer Science Students Help Combat Child Porn

Story posted March 19, 2009

Three seniors are helping state police and investigators across the globe crack down on those who traffic in child pornography.

Nick Dunn '09, Jeremy Fishman '09 and Tucker Hermans '09 — all computer science majors — created a computer program that recovers deleted child pornography videos from computer hard drives.

Their collaboration came in response to a request for help from Maine State Police Sgt. Glenn Lang, who supervises the computer crimes unit, as reported in the March 19, 2008, edition of the Portland Press Herald.

Read the article.

"The first version was done in four days," Dunn says in the article. "Then I implemented new features at his request."

Lang says the program searches for key words culled from about 8,000 child-pornography videos currently in circulation and that evidence recovered bolsters cases in which investigators may have confessions from suspects but no evidence.

Associate Professor Stephen Majercik, chair of the computer science department, originally fielded the state police request and offered high praise for Dunn, the leader of the student group.

"He is outstanding," says Majercik. "Very smart, very knowledgeable and always willing to help when something needs to be done."

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