What threatens minors on the Internet and new regulations attempts
British Home Secretary Suella Braverman warns against Meta Platforms planned implementing end-to-end encryption that will create “safe havens” for paedophiles on the Internet. WhatsApp already offers end-to-end encryption by default, preventing anyone other than a message’s sender and recipient from accessing its content. Meta intends to add this feature for chats on Facebook and Instagram Direct this year. The company’s current policy “seriously prevents” law enforcement from intervening and providing better protection for minor Internet users.
The British Internet Watch Foundation is reporting a “shocking” increase in the number of children being tricked into sending intimate photos of themselves to perpetrators who threaten to share them more widely. In the first half of 2023, the foundation received more reports (191) from victims of such practice than in 2022. IWF believes that many perpetrators of violence are adults posing as young girls who trick teenage boys into believing they are talking to their peers. After obtaining the photo, the perpetrators threaten to release it unless they receive money.
Spanish police have launched an investigation into the distribution of photos of several dozen young, naked girls in the city of Almendralejo in the Extremadura region. Their photos were photoshopped using an AI-based app that removes the clothes of people in the photos. The altered photos were also used to extort the victims’ money. The perpetrators were boys aged 12 to 14.