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Google has developed AI to help combat child sexual abuse material, gives it free to NGOs
by Paul Hill
Google has announced that it has developed a new AI tool to help organisations tackle child sexual abuse material (CSAM) online. The new AI uses deep neural networks for image processing and can assist reviewers sorting through images to find the most likely CSAM content and get it removed if the content is illegal.
The web giant said that it will be making the tool available for free to NGOs and industry partners via the Content Safety API. Discussing the API, Susie Hargreaves OBE, CEO, Internet Watch Foundation, said:
According to Google, the process of identifying CSAM online is sped up considerably with the new tool. The firm stated that it can help a reviewer find and take action on 700% more CSAM content over the same period of time, in other words, the time it takes to check one piece on content, seven pieces can be checked instead, or 700 pieces could be checked in the same amount of time it takes to check 100 pieces and so on.
If you’re interested in using the Content Safety API service within your organisation, you can reach out to Google via this form.
Sony begins sending copyright warnings to World Cup streamers
by Paul Hill
The World Cup will kick off on Thursday with a match between the host nation, Russia, and Saudi Arabia. As with any TV spectacle, piracy will surely be rife. While many anti-piracy bodies will be trying to bring down live streams during the event, Sony has decided to put its anti-piracy efforts to work preemptively.
Sony has been working through Markscan, an Indian anti-piracy body, to send out preemptive warnings to piracy websites that will be streaming World Cup matches illegally. Sony claims TV, radio, mobile, and broadband broadcasting rights to the event in India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka.
In a warning, Markscan says:
One of the recipients of the warning said, under the condition of anonymity, that the warning will not stop them from streaming and that they plan to stream the entire tournament.
Let us know in the comments whether you’re able to watch the World Cup legally in your country and whether the channel is free-to-air or whether it requires a subscription.
Catalan referendum app removed from Google Play Store
by Paul Hill
Google has now removed the “On Votar 1-Oct” app from the Play Store following a ruling by Spanish courts. The removal only affects Spanish users but it’s still available in other countries; the app publisher updated the app’s description asking those who could, to download the app in order to show defiance against “Google doing political censorship.”
The Catalonia independence referendum, deemed illegal by the Spanish constitution, is due to take place at the start of October. In the past week, the Spanish state has been moving to close down any attempts of a referendum being held. Earlier this month, the High Court in Catalonia issued an order allowing police to take down referendum-related websites which were linked to by members of the Catalan government on social media.
The judge who issued the warning said:
Those behind the 'On Votar 1-Oct' app, which provides the locations of polling stations, said that the app doesn’t violate Google’s terms of service and that Google was simply engaging in political censorship.
With websites being closed, pro-independence force has launched the Referèndum 2017 website atop IPFS (InterPlanetary File System) in order to provide people a decentralized portal with information about where they can vote. Doing this, makes the website more resilient to takedown requests.
Source: The Spain Report
Scotland: Internet porn blamed for the rise in under-18s sex crimes
by Paul Hill
During 2015 and 2016, 407 people were reported for various sexual crimes in Scotland. Experts from The Reward Foundation believe that the sharp rise is due, primarily, to the increase in viewership of internet porn. The reported crimes included rape, attempted rape, sexual assault, other sexual crimes, and sending unwanted sexually explicit messages.
Mary Sharpe from the Scottish charity, The Reward Foundation, said:
With the rising cases of sexual assault being described as an epidemic, a summit titled ‘Children, Young People and Sexual Offending’ is due to take place in Glasgow on Friday. The Deputy First Minister of Scotland, John Swinney, will set out the importance of teaching young people about consent, dignity, and respect, and will get feedback from teachers and other relevant parties at the event in order to better tackle the issue.
The breakdown of the crimes committed is as follows: 120 under 18s were charged with rape or attempted rape, 113 were charged with sexual assault and another 167 were charged with other sexual crimes. Seven 16 and 17-year-olds were reported for sending messages containing sexual content.
Source: Herald Scotland | Internet Porn via Shutterstock
China detains four WeChat users for spreading false rumours about earthquakes
by Paul Hill
The Chinese Ministry of Public Security has been investigating the crimes of spreading rumours online and charity fraud in the past few days in the wake a magnitude 7.0 earthquake which killed 19 people in Sichuan province. Eight of the dead were tourists and an additional 247 people were reported injured.
According to the ministry, rumours have been spread online which said other earthquakes had hit different areas of China; as a result they have caused social panic and harmed social stability. It has also put four people under administrative detention for rumour mongering on the messenger app, WeChat. The ministry has said that it welcomes any reports from the public about users that spread rumours pertaining to fake earthquakes.
In advice to internet users, the ministry has given instructions not to create, believe, or pass on rumours. In addition to rumours, the ministry has launched an investigation into charity fraud which has been taking advantage of people willing to part with cash in order to aid the earthquake victims.
A few days ago, we reported that the Cyberspace Administration of China had put several social media platforms, including WeChat, under investigation for facilitating the sharing of illicit content including rumours; it's unclear if those incidents are related to the earthquake.
Source: People’s Daily | Image via Wikimedia