The US site TechCrunch, specializing in new technologies, reveals Thursday, January 10 that the search engine Bing allowed, until very recently, easy access to child pornography. Launched nearly a decade ago by Microsoft, Bing is now one of the most used search engines in the world.
Alerted to the problem by an anonymous Internet user, TechCrunch has called on the start-up AntiToxin, which works on systems to protect children from sexual predators, to investigate - because no way for his journalists to do the research themselves issues. TechCrunch warns its readers:
"Do not look for the terms mentioned in this article on Bing or elsewhere, it would be illegal. AntiToxin is very legally supervised and works with the Israeli authorities to carry out its research properly and submit its findings to the police. "
The results of this survey, conducted between December 30 and January 7 from English keywords, are overwhelming. Terms like "porn kids" or "nude family kids" "All bring out illegal images of child sexual exploitation" in the "images" tab of Bing, laments TechCrunch. Specifying that the same keywords do not show images "Clearly illegal" on Google.
AntiToxin was interested in keywords related to Omegle, a site for video chat with strangers selected at random, and used by minors. And noted on this occasion that he was coming to Bing to suggest keywords leading to child pornography. Thus, when a user searches for the term "omegle kids", Bing automatically suggests keywords like "omegle kids girls 13" for example.
When one of these images is selected, Bing even goes so far as to suggest others of the same type
"The results include images (...) of minor girls and boys posing naked or partially naked, and taking part in various sexual acts, alone or with others, involving other minors and / or adults", writes AntiToxin in his report. When one of these images is selected, Bing will even suggest others of the same type to the user.
Bing is well able to recognize certain queries as problematic: "omegle child porn" ("child pornography") does not give any results, for example. But his system is easily circumvented: the term "omegle CP" (CP meaning "child porn", or child pornography), gives him child pornography.
"These results are clearly unacceptable and do not meet our standards and regulations"Bing's manager, Jordi Ribas, told TechCrunch. "We reacted immediately to remove them, but we want to avoid any other problem of this type in the future. " The company assured TechCrunch that it had set up a team dedicated to this issue.
"However", says the American site, "AntiToxin has found that while some of the search terms mentioned in its report have been properly cleaned up, others are still reporting illegal content. "