Snapchat blackmailer jailed

  • An extremely manipulative man who hacked into girls’ Snapchat accounts and blackmailed them into sending him intimate images has been jailed
  • The offender, aged 27, of Chafford Hundred, Essex, admitted to 65 offences between December 2016 and March 2020
  • Essex Police said the offender targeted 574 victims across the UK, Australia, Hong Kong, Romania, and other countries by hacking into their accounts on the picture-sharing service
  • He was sentenced to 11 years in prison
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Victim of deepfakes calls for change in law 

  • A woman who has been the victim of deepfake pornography is calling for a change in the law
  • Last year, Helen Mort discovered that non-sexual images of her had been uploaded to a porn website which invited users to edit the photos, merging Helen’s face with explicit and violent sexual images
  • Speaking to BBC Radio 5 Live’s Mobeen Azhar, Helen said she wanted to see the creation and distribution of these images made an offence
  • “This is a crime which in many cases is going on invisibly,” Helen said. “Those images of me had been out there for years and I didn’t know about them, and I’m still having nightmares about some of them now. It’s an incredibly serious form of abuse.”
  • Deepfakes are realistic computer-generated images or video, based on a real person
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Calls to cut data prices for low-income families amid new lockdown restrictions 

  • Internet providers are under pressure to do more to help low-income families afford data packages for their children to take part in remote learning
  • It follows a decision to close UK schools to most pupils to enforce new coronavirus lockdowns
  • The children’s commissioner for England told the BBC that “broadband companies really need to step up”
  • Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer added he thought the cost of data was “a big problem”
  • “We’re asking people to endure very tough restrictions and there has to be the other side of that contract,” he told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme
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GCSE and A-level exams cancelled 

  • This summer’s GCSE and A-level exams have been cancelled for students in England
  • Exams regulator Ofqual and the Department for Education (DfE) will work together to consider how to grade pupils in a way that reflects their hard work, the department said
  • Education Secretary Gavin Williamson is due to outline to MPs on Wednesday a package of support for young people following the closure of schools and colleges to all but vulnerable children and those of key workers
  • Ahead of the statement in the Commons, the DfE said it recognises this is “an anxious time for students who have been working hard towards their exams”
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Thousands of children sent to unregulated care homes 

  • Thousands of the most vulnerable children have been sent to unregulated care homes during the pandemic at a cost of millions to the taxpayer, a Guardian investigation has found
  • Council bosses say they have nowhere else to put those most at risk as there are not enough places for the number of children in need, which has soared during the Covid crisis
  • The result is young people are placed in supported living facilities not monitored by Ofsted and therefore deemed a safety risk, which have been described as one council chief as the ‘wild west’
  • Anne Longfield, the Children’s Commissioner for England, said the children’s care system had been “left to slip deeper into crisis” this year and that children were now being put at risk of “abuse or exploitation” after being let down by the authorities
  • For the full story, click here