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UK charity sees surge in child abuse image reports
by Paul Hill
The UK’s Internet Watch Foundation, a charity which focuses on fighting child sexual abuse content online, has announced that it saw a record number of reports of suspected child sexual abuse material reported to its hotline. The increase in reports has partly been attributed to the coronavirus lockdown which meant more people were home and were able to report content they came across.
According to the IWF, September saw the highest number of reports it has ever seen. It processed 15,258 reports from the public in September 2020 compared to 10,514 in September 2019. While it's likely there's more illegal content online, the IWF also cautioned that it had received more false reports than it was used to receiving.
Commenting on the upswing in reports, Hotline Director Chris Hughes said:
The charity said that public reporting accuracy had fallen from 35% in January to 26% in September which ultimately means that it was dealing with thousands of reports which were not within IWF’s remit. Hughes also commented on the false reports, saying:
The IWF allows people to report ‘child sexual abuse content’ and ‘non-photographic child sexual abuse images’ according to its home page. Given the increase in false reports, the IWF requests that people ensure the content they’re reporting is something the charity can help with otherwise it will be wasting analysts' time.
O2 and Hubbub partner to help connect the vulnerable
by Paul Hill
O2 and the charity Hubbub have formed a partnership to help vulnerable citizens in the UK get online with a donated smartphone. They are aiming to donate 10,000 unused smartphones to the vulnerable in the worst-off areas of the country and supply them with unlimited minutes, unlimited texts and 6GB of data per month for one year.
The partners will initially focus on the London Boroughs of Lambeth, Lewisham, and Southwark which are areas with high levels of inequality, poverty, exclusion and unemployment. A national rollout will follow to cover Manchester, Bristol, Leeds, Swansea, and Glasgow. The full rollout will be completed by Spring 2021.
While O2 and Hubbub are focusing on those who are shielding, the elderly, refugees, domestic abuse survivors and those in low household incomes in this campaign, O2 did reveal in September that connectivity was vital for 20% of businesses up and down the country during the first lockdown. It hopes that the donated devices and mobile plans will help people connect to essential services, support them with education and employment, and stay in contact with friends and family.
Commenting on the initiative, Mark Evans, Chief Executive of O2, said:
If you have a currently unused but working smartphone that you would like to donate to help support this programme, head over to Hubbub’s phone gift page. If you do not have an old smartphone to give away, you can still help by donating money to Hubbub which will cover the cost of a Giffgaff SIM card with unlimited calls, texts, and 500MB of data.
By Jay Bonggolto
Google Assistant now lets you donate directly to nonprofit organizations
by Jay Bonggolto
Google today added a new feature to Assistant that allows you to make donations to various causes. The Center for Policing Equity is the first nonprofit organization to benefit from the new feature.
The group promotes police transparency, equity, and accountability through research. To donate to them, simply launch Google Assistant and say "Donate to racial justice". The digital assistant will then help you send money to the Center for Policing Equity in support of its advocacy.
Assistant will also remind you that all funds will proceed to your intended recipient, meaning that Google won't take a share from donations made through the service. Today's announcement coincides with the 57th anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, which supported the civil and economic rights of Black Americans.
The donation feature is Google's latest effort to throw its weight behind the fight against racial inequality. In June, the search giant announced more than $175 million in "economic opportunity package" to support black business owners, startup founders, job seekers, and developers.
By Namerah S
Hot Rod Red pre-order charity event announced for the Red Magic 5G
by Namerah Saud Fatmi
Chinese smartphone manufacturer nubia has announced that it will contribute one percent of the total sales of the Red Magic 5G made in this week to a U.S. non-profit organization - but only for the upcoming Hot Rod Red color variant. The recipient of this donation is a charitable organization called Child's Play which describes itself as 'a game industry charity dedicated to improving the lives of children with toys and games'.
The charity event is centered around the launch of a new color option of the 5G gaming smartphone which is set to launch on June 8, 2020. Pre-orders are currently open for the shade and the donations will be made exclusively from bookings of the upcoming color variant, from now until 8:00 AM EST on June 8, 2020.
Initially intended for launch at MWC, nubia was forced to unveil the Red Magic 5G at a local event due to the cancelation of the Barcelone-based event. The Chinese gaming smartphone sports 90Hz AMOLED display which supports a 144Hz refresh rate. Powered by the Snapdragon 865, the Hot Rod Red variant of the phone comes with 8GB RAM and 128GB of storage.
The Red Magic 5G is also available in two other shades, Eclipse Black and Pulse, with the former equipped with 8GB RAM and 12GB internal storage and the latter available with 12GB RAM and a whopping 256GB of internal storage space. The lower coupling of specs is priced at $579 while the maxed-out version costs $649.
Pre-orders for the phone in the new color are currently open and can be placed through the official website. Meanwhile, sales are already open for the other two color variants. It must be noted that the ongoing Hot Rod Red pre-order charity event is only available to residents of the U.S. and Canada.
Amazon announces renewable energy projects to help meet its targets
by Paul Hill
Amazon has announced five new renewable energy projects that will help it source 80% of its energy needs from clean sources, its goal for 2024. The five new projects will be built in China, Australia, and the United States. Aside from its 2024 goal, the firm aims to use 100% renewable energy by 2030 and expects to be net-zero carbon by 2040.
Commenting on the company’s plan, Kara Hurst, Vice President of Sustainability at Amazon, said:
Details of the new projects are as follows:
China: A 100 megawatt (MW) solar project in Shandong. Once finished, it will generate 128,000-megawatt hours (MWh) of clean energy annually. Australia: A 105 MW solar project in New South Wales. This project is expected to generate 250,000 MWh of clean energy per year once complete; Amazon says this is enough to power the equivalent of 40,000 average Australian homes. Ohio, U.S.: Amazon is planning two new projects in this state, a 200 MW solar project and an 80 MW solar project. Virginia, U.S.: A new 130 MW solar project will be the firm’s 12th in Virginia. Combined, the U.S.-based projects will have enough capacity to power the equivalent of 69,000 average U.S. homes each year. The announcement of these projects comes just days after Greenpeace lambasted Google, Amazon, and Microsoft for developing AI tools for oil and gas companies. As a response, Google announced that it wouldn't sign-off on any contracts like those going forward.