Microsoft child porn tip off leads to arrest of man in Pennsylvania

The flagging of an illegal image by Microsoft has led to the arrest of a man in Pennsylvania, now charged with the sharing of images containing child abuse.

The tip-off was made following the discovery of an image involving a young girl on the man's OneDrive storage account.

According to court documents, the man then tried to send two illegal pictures via a Microsoft live.com email account, his movements again detected by the tech giant.

Police arrested the man, who is in his twenties, on 31 July.

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Yet to enter a plea, the man is currently in a county correctional facility, with a preliminary court appearance scheduled for next week.

A copy of the affidavit outlining the case, which surfaced on a website known for leaking such documents – claims that the man traded child porn images on his mobile and acknowledged his acquisition of the images through a chat app named Kik Messenger.

Having played a part in its development, Microsoft uses a technology called PhotoDNA to match up suspected child pornography with a database of known illegal images.

The case follows recent action by Google, which led to the arrest of a Texan-based man after images of child abuse were found on his Gmail account.

In neither case did the companies notify the police directly. Both handed the information to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children's CyberTipline – the US's centralised reporting system for suspected child sexual exploitation.