Microsoft steps into child-protection training

Microsoft has teamed up with Interpol and the International Centre for Missing and Exploited Children (ICMEC) to launch a training program for law enforcement workers who investigate computer-related crimes against children.

Between eight and 10 courses will be run each year worldwide, the company said Monday. The first of these is being held at Interpol's headquarters in Lyon, France, this week.

The four-day conference is called the Conference on Computer-Facilitated Crimes Against Children and will cover investigating child predators, collecting evidence and computer forensic information, and seeking private industry assistance in investigations, Microsoft said.

Microsoft MSN Policy Director and cochair of Microsoft's Children's CyberSafety Council Pam Portin was due to open the conference with a keynote speech on Monday morning, and the company's Legal and Corporate Affairs Attorney Samantha Yorke will close the event on Thursday, a Microsoft spokesman said Monday.

Microsoft is also contributing some money to the course, as a cosponsor, the spokesman said.

Law enforcement officials from 36 countries are expected to attend the course, Microsoft said.

The training courses are part of an international action plan set out at the Global Forum in Child Pornography, which was held in Dublin in October 2002, it said.

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