IT Heroes: The T.O. cop who called on Bill Gates

In the weeks ahead, ITWorldCanada will be using this space to applaud individuals who are using information technology to significantly improve the lives of Canadians by profiling nominees for the upcoming IT Hero Awards, presented by the Information Technology Association of Canada (ITAC). Winners in both corporate and community categories will be announced at the ITAC Chairs’ Dinner in Toronto on June 26th.

Name: Paul Gillespie

Location: Toronto

In 2001, Paul Gillespie was a Toronto police officer working on tracking child exploitation on the Internet. Frustrated by seeing child pornographers outpacing the authorities in their use of technology, Gillespie was a member of the team that joined with Microsoft to create the Child Exploitation Tracking System, or CETS, a relational database and investigative tool that is now being used by police forces in 30 locations across Canada and in additional sites in the U.K., Australia, Brazil and other countries around the world to store and share information related to investigations of child abuse on the internet.

After leaving the force in 2006, Gillespie continued to devote his time and career to continuing the work he began with the Toronto Police Service. Through his work with his company, Paul Gillespie Consulting, Gillespie travels the world helping other police forces and governments set up child exploitation investigation units and training officers on the CETS software.

In addition, Gillespie has just been named the Director-in-Residence of the Ontario Institute of Technology in Oshawa’s Centre for Cybercrime Research.

He has also spearheaded the creation of KINSA, the Kids’ Internet Safety Alliance, an organization that engages in advocacy, awareness building, training and research to combat child sexual exploitation on the Internet. To learn more about KINSA, visit

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