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December 14, 2023

Facebook encryption risks children’s safety, National Crime Agency warns

  • Police could lose most of the reports they receive about children at risk on Facebook because of a move to encrypt the platform.
  • It said Facebook’s owner Meta will not be able to spot key signs of abuse, and the alerts it gets from a US child safety hotline could reduce by 92%.
  • When messages are encrypted, only the sender and receiver can read them.
  • Meta said it would try to flag risky accounts using artificial intelligence.
  • The National Crime Agency (NCA) is concerned that children go onto Facebook pretending to be adults, while paedophiles “masquerade as children” to get in contact with them.
  • The NCA director general, Graham Biggar, stated that he wanted more people to go to prison for watching pictures and videos of child abuse.
  • The NCA also wants the government to make it an offence to run a website to enable men to exchange child abuse images.
  • For more, please visit the BBC News website.

Snapchat now lets subscribers share AI-generated snaps 

  • Snapchat Plus subscribers how have the ability to create images based on a text prompt and send them to friends.
  • Those who subscribe to the $3.99 plan can use the feature by tapping the “AI” button from the toolbar on the right side of the camera interface.
  • This opens a window where users can type a prompt or choose from one of the premade options.
  • From there, Snapchat’s AI will spit out an image based on the prompt allowing users to edit and add a message before sending it off to friends and family on the app.
  • Snapchat is rolling out other AI-powered tools for subscribers, including a way to make a subject of a photo appear farther away from the camera, by using AI to fill in the background.
  • Users can try the feature by taking a close-up, pressing the “crop” icon in the camera interface, and selecting “extend.”
  • For more, please visit The Verge website.

Belfast: Fake model agent who targeted children online jailed

  • A man who posed as a model agent to persuade children and young women to send him sexually explicit images before threatening to share them online has been jailed for two years, and a further three years on licence.
  • The judge reported that his offending had a profound impact on his “young and vulnerable” victims.
  • Belfast Crown Court heard that one 12-year-old victim threatened to take her own life if he released a sexually explicit recording of her, to which he typed the reply: “Ha ha ha.”
  • Other victims, include a 19-year-old woman who contacted police in May 2014 to say naked images of her had been posted online without her consent.
  • The judge stated his criminality was “a nasty, planned and prolonged set of offences in which there was real harm willingly and knowingly caused to these victims over a lengthy period of time.”
  • She added that the offending involving the 12-year-old were “particularly abhorrent.”
  • He was also made subject of a SOPO (Sexual Offences Prevention Order) and placed on the sex offenders register for life.
  • For more, please visit the BBC News website.