New campaign aims to stop more encrypted apps

  • A new government-backed campaign calls on tech giants to stop rolling out end-to-end-encryption (E2EE) on apps.
  • E2EE means that only the sender and receiver can read messages, and these can’t be accessed by law enforcement or the app owners.
  • The No Place to Hide campaign maintains that E2EE makes it harder to detect child abuse.
  • Data from the US National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) suggests that 14 million reports of suspected online child sex abuse could be lost every year if further roll out of encryption is not stopped.
  • Full story, here.


Rise in school cybercrime attacks sparks NCA education drive

  • A new initiative has been launched to divert young people away from criminality.
  • This is after cyber-attacks designed to block access to schools’ networks or websites more than doubled during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Data from the National Crime Agency’s National Cyber Crime Unit (NCCU) showed a 107% increase in reports from the police cyber prevent network.
  • The reports concerned students as young as 9 deploying DDoS (distributed denial of service) attacks from 2019 to 2020.
  • The initiative will educate students who search for terms associated with cybercrime on school computers.
  • Full story, here.


New campaign for spotting signs of online abuse and grooming

  • The Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) is urging parents and carers to spot the dangers as a new Government-backed campaign aims to boost child safety.
  • This follows findings that internet grooming of children surged during lockdown and 2021 was the worst year for online child sexual abuse on record.
  • At least one in 10 children are estimated to experience sexual abuse before the age of 16.
  • The UK Government launched a new campaign and website called Stop Abuse Together, last week.
  • The campaign aims to help parents and carers spot the signs of sexual abuse and keep children safe.
  • Full story, here.

Energy price rises could worsen child poverty

  • The number of UK children growing up in “very deep poverty” has risen to 1.8 million according to the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF).
  • The figure has increased by 500,000 since 2012 and the soaring energy prices rises could hit more families.
  • Energy prices have increased across the UK and could increase by a further 50% in the next few months.
  • The rising costs have the potential to “devastate” the budgets of low-income families.
  • Full story, here.


Support service launches to tackle harmful sexual behaviour in children

  • A government service coordinated by charities will provide advice to professionals working with children in England.
  • The service can be used if professionals encounter inappropriate sexual behaviour displayed by children and young people under the age of 18.
  • The service will operate by telephone or email, for those working in education and safeguarding roles in early years to further education settings.
  • Support to address the “alarming normalisation” of harmful sexual behaviour in children will also be available.
  • Full story, here.


Self-harm guidance to include advice for schools and prisons

  • Staff in schools and prisons in England and Wales are to be included in draft guidance on how to identify people who have self-harmed for the first time.
  • These will be the first new guidelines on self-harm produced by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) for 11 years.
  • A public consultation on the guidance will run until the 1st of March.
  • One in five girls and one in 10 boys aged between 17 and 19 have self-harmed or attempted suicide according to data collected in 2017.
  • However, this is thought to be a severe underestimate because most cases don’t end up in hospital.
  • Full story, here.