Monday 14th of June 2021

WhatsApp launches privacy campaign in UK after backlash  

  • The social network has launched its first major privacy-focused advertising campaign in the UK following uproar from users against changes to its terms and condition. 
  • The platform also said it is standing firm against pressure from governments, including the UK, to compromise on the way that it encrypts messages. 
  • “The first step of keeping people safe is, you have to have strong security, and we think governments shouldn’t be out there trying to encourage tech companies to offer weak security,” WhatsApp boss Will Cathcart told the BBC 
  • WhatsApp uses end-to-end encryption, which means messages can only be read on the device which sends one and the device which receives it. WhatsApp itself – and by default its parent company Facebook – cannot view or intercept them, and neither can law enforcement. 
  • For the full story, select here.


 Ransomware is biggest online threat to people in UK, spy agency chief warns 

  • GCHQ cybersecurity boss sounds alarm over extortion by hackers who are mostly based in former Soviet states. 
  • Lindy Cameron, chief executive of the National Cyber Security Centre, will say in a speech today that the phenomenon, where hackers encrypt data and demand payment, is escalating and becoming increasingly professionalised. 
  • Speaking to the Royal United Services Institute (Rusi) thinktank on Monday, Cameron will say that while spying online by Russia, China and other hostile states remains a “malicious strategic threat”, it is the ransomware crisis that has become most urgent. 
  • Ransomware incidents have soared over the past two years globally as criminal gangs operating from countries such as Russia and other former Soviet states, which turn a blind eye to their activities, generate tens of millions of dollars by extorting money from companies. 
  • For the full story select here.

Children’s access to online porn fuels sexual harassment, commissioner says 

  • Curbs on children’s access to online pornography need to be brought in urgently to stop the spread of an activity that is partly to blame for normalising sexual harassment in schools, according to England’s new Children’s Commissioner. 
  • Dame Rachel de Souza is urging governments and tech companies to introduce age verification checks.  
  • She warned that access to hardcore pornography was shaping children’s expectations of relationships and was partly to blame for thousands of testimonies of sexual harassment by schoolchildren published on the Everyone’s Invited website over the last few months. 
  • She told the Observer: “We can’t ignore that, nor should we. One area I’m clear on is that online hardcore pornography warps boys’ expectations of normal relationships and normalises behaviours that girls are then expected to accept, and it’s just too easy for children to access.” 
  • For the full story select here.

Government ‘must act quickly’ to tackle harassment in Scotland’s schools 

  • Findings from an Ofsted study into sexual harassment and abuse in England’s schools shows the need for a similar review in Scotland, the Scottish Greens have said. 
  • Ofsted has concluded that that sexual harassment has become “normalised” among school-age children after the survey found nine in 10 school-age girls in England are frequently given sexualised labels or sent explicit images. 
  • The Greens have proposed that Scotland launch a similar review into the scale of sexual harassment and abuse in schools and colleges here. 
  • The party’s education spokesperson Ross Greer said: “To their credit, the UK Department for Education acted decisively in response to disturbing allegations by launching this review, whose initial findings are alarming but sadly not surprising. It is clear Scotland must immediately follow this approach. Sexual abuse and harassment in schools is certainly not a problem unique to England.” 
  • For the full story select here.