SOFTWARE developed by one of Scotland’s most promising young tech firms has received a major endorsement that it can work quickly and effectively to identify child sexual abuse materials and “safeguard children”.

Cyan Examiner was developed by Edinburgh-based Cyan Forensics and its triage tool was assessed by the National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) in the US, one of the pivotal bodies in the global fight against child sexual exploitation.

John Clark, its president and CEO, said NCMEC believed Cyan Examiner would also cut time and aid enforcement – building on an agreement the two organisations signed last year to work together to tackle online sexual exploitation of children.

The non-profit group’s CyberTipline is America’s centralised reporting system for child sexual exploitation and receives reports of suspected abuse from the public and electronic service providers. Information is then made available to law enforcement in the US and more than 130 countries around the world.

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Last year it received 16.9 million reports which included 69 million images, videos and other files from electronic service providers related to child sexual exploitation.

The UK Home Office has already adopted Cyan’s technology, which it described as “game-changing”.

“Timing is critical in any case involving the safety of a child and for law enforcement working on cases of child sexual exploitation, the volume of content and devices that must be reviewed can mean days or even weeks of work,” said Clark.

“We believe this technology can cut the time needed to point investigators in the right direction to more directly safeguard children.”

Ian Stevenson, Cyan’s CEO and co-founder, said: “NCMEC is one of the foremost bodies in the US fighting to prevent child sexual exploitation, and their impact and relationship with US law enforcement cannot be underestimated. This backing will help get our tool into the right hands with greater speed.

“Cyan is working towards a world where there is no place that harmful digital content can be easily hidden or shared, and a key step is aiding law enforcement in catching paedophiles and terrorists.

“We are passionate about providing the tools to enable faster and more effective triage to bring justice more quickly against these crimes.”