Microsoft Helps Fight Online Child Sex Crime

Cambodia, which law enforcement experts said on Monday is a top holiday destination for digital child pornographers and chatroom pedophiles, has a police force largely unfamiliar with computers.

US software giant Microsoft, in col­laboration with the British Em­bas­sy and Britain’s National Cri­m­i­n­al Intelligence Service, aims to close the technology gap during two weeks of intensive training in Phnom Penh that started Mon­day.

Jim Gamble, deputy director of  Bri­tain’s National Crime In­tel­li­gence Service, said at a press briefing that his agency will train police on basic investigative and computer evidence-gathering techniques.

“We can do our part to intercept those coming from the UK to in­flict pain on Cambodian children,” Gam­­ble said.

“I would be disappointed if this training did not lead to a series of ar­­rests in the next 12 months. I would like to see operations, in­clu­d­­ing undercover operations,” he said. He added that Cam­bo­d­i­an au­thorities are already monitoring popular Web sites for pedo­philes.

Despite this, the Microsoft team said Cambodia is years away from developing a Microsoft-based sexual offender database such as that currently in use in Ca­­nada.

Microsoft consultant Dirk Hut­chins said basics have to be covered when it comes to computer skills. Microsoft first trained Cam­bo­di­an police in July, as a lead-up to this week’s training, he said.

“The greater portion of those we were training had not used a com­puter before,” he said.

During this week’s training, to­pics including “What Is The In­ter­net?” will be covered.

The training will ultimately in­volve learning about publicly avail­able tools such as Neotrace that can trace e-mails to ser­vers worldwide. Police, however, will not be trained to investigate those communicating in Asian languages.

Although the US this month placed sanctions on Cambodia for fail­ing to combat human trafficking, Gamble said the government is committed to combating child pros­titution.


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