News – Technology more.

12/01/2021: Safeguarding in the digital age: Protection of children from online harms ‘an unmitigated disaster’

There has been an “unmitigated disaster” in the regulation of child protection in the digital world, Baroness Beeban Kidron, the chair and founder of 5Rights Foundation, told CYP Now’s Safeguarding Children in the Digital Age 2021 conference. Speaking about the systemic problems in the technology sector, Kidron said: “Unless we start to understand how the tech itself is driving the problem and deal with it upstream, in the design and regulation of services, we will always be playing catchup while the kids pay the price.”

Children and Young People Now

12/01/2021: Grave threat’ to children from predatory internet groomers as online child sexual abuse material soars to record levels

Predatory online groomers are a “grave and widespread threat” to children in their bedrooms as new figures reveal the record-breaking scale of child sexual abuse imagery on the internet. A record number of reports of online child sexual abuse have been processed by the UK’s Internet Watch Foundation (IWF). The IWF, the UK charity responsible for finding and removing images and videos of child sexual abuse from the internet, has also seen a dramatic 77% increase in the amount of “self-generated” abuse material as more children, and more criminals, spend longer online in 2020.

Internet Watch Foundation

06/01/2021: Disadvantaged pupils offered free data in bid to tackle digital divide

The Department for Education is partnering with broadband providers to offer disadvantaged families free data to support home learning during the latest Covid-19 lockdown. But education experts and children’s campaigners believe the move does not go far enough to address the digital divide disadvantaged pupils face.

Children and Young People Now

21/12/2020: Facebook child abuse detection hit by new EU rules

Facebook has switched off some of its child abuse detection tools in Europe in response to new rules from the EU. The company said it has had no choice but to do so, since the new privacy directive bans automatic scanning of private messages. The change only applies to messaging services rather than all content uploaded to Facebook. However, there is no change in the UK, where measures are “consistent with applicable laws”, Facebook said.

BBC

15/12/2020: Online harms law to let regulator block apps in UK

UK watchdog Ofcom is set to gain the power to block access to online services that fail to do enough to protect children and other users. The regulator would also be able to fine Facebook and other tech giants billions of pounds, and require them to publish an audit of efforts to tackle posts that are harmful but not illegal. The government is to include the measures in its Online Harms Bill.

BBC

15/12/2020: EU Digital Services Act set to bring in new rules for tech giants

The European Union is set to unveil new rules it says will “overhaul” the digital market, including how tech giants operate. A pair of laws – the Digital Services and Digital Markets Acts – will be announced later on Tuesday. They are expected to be the biggest revision in 20 years, focusing on competition and making platforms responsible for hosted content. There are also likely to create heavy fines for violations of the rules.

BBC

15/12/2020: Online harms bill: firms may face multibillion-pound fines for illegal content

Social media companies will need to remove and limit the spread of harmful content or face fines of billions of pounds, the UK government has announced, as it finally reveals the details of its proposed internet regulation. The online harms bill, first proposed by Theresa May’s government in April 2019, sets out strict new guidelines governing removal of illegal content such as child sexual abuse, terrorist material and media that promotes suicide, which sites must obey or face being blocked in the UK.

Guardian

15/12/2020: How extreme porn has become a gateway drug into child abuse

Michael Sheath has been counselling people with what he describes as “deviant sexual interests” for a long time. “I have been working with men who abuse children for 33 years. For the first 15 years I worked with child molesters and I still do that, but now I also work with downloaders of child abuse imagery and online groomers.”

Guardian

15/12/2020: UK Government Announce New Rules to Online Harms Bill

The UK Government have announced today that there will be new rules introduced with how online tech firms are held accountable towards certain online content. Social media platforms and other firms will now have a duty of care to protect children from online harms and look to remove any illegal content that may be shared from users including child sexual abuse material, terrorist content and suicide material. There will also be more focus on protecting children from harmful content like bullying, grooming and pornography as well with hefty fines given if action is not taken.

South West Grid for Learning

14/12/2020: Tech giants face fines on suicide posts: Social media firms could face huge penalties for failing to tackle content that encourages self-harm

Social media firms such as Facebook and Instagram could face multi-million pound fines under laws to ban content that encourages suicide and self-harm. The Government wants to draw up offences banning the spread of such material, which has been implicated in deaths around the world. Molly Russell, from north-west London, killed herself aged 14 in 2017 after viewing self-harm images on Instagram, leading to her father Ian campaigning for greater protections online.

Daily Mail

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