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Posted by Damien Biddulph on Tue 13th Feb 2018

Internet giant takes on UPS and FedEx as it seeks full control over package delivery

Image result for amazon delivery

Amazon delivery lorries could become a more common sight

Amazon is reported to be testing a service to ship its sellers' goods directly, putting it into competition with delivery firms such as UPS and FedEx.

According to an unnamed source quoted by Reuters, Amazon has just started running its "Shipping with Amazon" service in Los Angeles amid reports that trials are already under way in London.

The new scheme is thought to be due for a full launch later this year.

Under "Shipping with Amazon", the company will send a lorry to pick up sellers' packages, and take them either directly to an Amazon fulfilment centre, or to postal services or couriers depending on what's most cost-effective, according to the Reuters source.

Considering Amazon's size, scale and reach, such a delivery service could encroach on the businesses of established courier companies. Indeed, the rumours about "Shipping with Amazon" sent shares in UPS and FedEx tumbling on Friday.

However, if Amazon believes it can take a large chunk of their business it is mistaken, said FedEx spokesman Patrick Fitzgerald.  Amazon's plan "demonstrates a lack of basic understanding of the full scale of the global transportation industry," he said.

"There is tremendous opportunity in the business-to-customer market and more growth coming to the sector and UPS, irrespective of how other companies shift strategies," said Glenn Zaccara, a spokesman for UPS.

While it has not yet commented on the reports this would not be the first time Amazon has tried to change the way goods are delivered. Ongoing plans include the use of drones and self-driving cars. Drones have already been tested in the skies of the UK and have the potential to be much faster and cleaner than the current use of trucks, especially in cities, according to Amazon. 

In 2016, the UK government gave permission to Amazon for the testing of drones, covering deliveries in rural and suburban areas. That approval followed similar permissions by the US Federal Aviation Authority.

Source: v3.co.uk
 
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Posted by Damien Biddulph on Tue 13th Feb 2018

Image result for winter olympics 2018

It has now been confirmed that the 2018 Winter Olympics was the subject of a cyberattack. On Sunday, game organizers verified rumors that the Olympics were hacked during Friday’s opening ceremony. However, the source of the attack has yet to be revealed. While systems including the internet and television services were affected on Friday evening, organizers assured media that the breach “had not compromised any critical part of their operations,” according to a Reuters report.

Cybersecurity experts noted in January that there were early suggestions that Russia-backed attackers may have been planning a hack as a retaliation against the nation’s ban from the Pyeongchang Games. The Russian federation has not been allowed to compete as a result of anti-doping regulations (though Russian athletes have been taking part of the games as the Olympic Athletes from Russia, or OAR).

That said, Russia has fervently denied any suggestion of hacking. A few days before the Olympics began, the government noted that any claims linking Russian operatives to hacks on Pyeongchang were “unfounded.”

North Korea may also serve as a prime suspect, given the games’ proximity to the long-isolated nation. However, the North Korean team marched alongside the South Korean delegation for the first time at an Olympics opening ceremony since 2006, perhaps as a symbolic olive branch.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC), for its part, is staying mum on the issue. “Maintaining secure operations is our purpose,” said IOC spokesman Mark Adams. “We are not going to comment on the issue. It is one we are dealing with. We are making sure our systems are secure and they are secure.”

Adams added that while he did not know who was behind the attack, “… best international practice says that you don’t talk about an attack.”

Luckily, it would appear that the hack was short-lived and quickly addressed. “All issues were resolved and recovered yesterday morning,” Pyeongchang organizing committee spokesman Sung Baik-you told press. “We know the cause of the problem but that kind of issues occurs frequently during the Games. We decided with the IOC we are not going to reveal the source (of the attack),” he added.

Still, news of the attack makes a number of sponsors even warier, having already been concerned about the possibility of such an event at the Olympics. A number of sponsors have insured themselves against hacks, and now, it would seem as though that was a very necessary precaution.

Source: digitaltrends.com
 
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Posted by Damien Biddulph on Mon 12th Feb 2018

Would enable US authorities to click their fingers to access data held by US companies overseas

Image result for Teresa May

 

Prime Minister Theresa May has come out in support of new laws introduced to Congress this week that would enable US authorities to more easily access data held overseas by US corporations. 

It comes as  the US Department of Justice (DoJ) case against Microsoft, in which the DoJ has for years been trying to extract information from an account held in a Microsoft data centre in Ireland, rumbles on. 

The Clarifying Lawful Overseas Use of Data (CLOUD) Act is due to be considered by the US Senate this month. The proposed legislation won't be one-way traffic, though, and would also enable authorities in the UK to more easily access information held in the US. 

Downing Street spokesperson said that May stressed the "great importance" of the new data law after she spoke to President Trump on Tuesday evening. 

"With it, law enforcement officials in the US and the UK will be empowered to investigate their citizens suspected of terrorism and serious crimes like murder, human trafficking, and the sexual abuse of children regardless of where the suspect's email or messages happen to be stored," the spokesperson said. 

The result of the talks ended in the Prime Minister and President Trump agreed the passage of the act through the US legislative system was vital for our collective security. 

US Senator Orrin Hatch called the CLOUD Act "landmark legislation" that addresses an "increasingly pressing problem". 

In a statement issued by Hatch on Tuesday, he said: "In today's world of email and cloud computing, where data is stored across the globe, law enforcement and tech companies find themselves encumbered by conflicting data disclosure and privacy laws. 

"We need a common sense framework to help law enforcement obtain critical information to solve crimes while at the same time enabling email and cloud computing providers to comply with countries' differing privacy regimes.

"The CLOUD Act creates such a framework and will also help set a precedent for our allies as they deal with this problem too."

Source: v3.co.uk
 
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Posted by Damien Biddulph on Wed 7th Feb 2018

Katie Price has told MPs of the "horrific" social media abuse targeted at her son Harvey, and how she wants to protect him from it.

The model and reality TV star is campaigning for online abuse to be made a criminal offence.

Image result for katie price

MPs launched an inquiry into online abuse after a petition started by Ms Price was backed by 200,000 people.

Harvey, who is 15-years-old, is partially blind, autistic and has Prader-Willi syndrome.

Ms Price, who has four other children, told the Commons petitions committee only Harvey had been singled out for cruel mockery including "a lot of racial abuse".

"They know he hasn't got a voice back and they mock him more... I just think they find him an easy target - just to pick on.

"But I'm his voice. I'm here and I am going to protect him."

he said she had complained to the police but they had been unable to take action because there were no specific laws in place to deal with online abuse.

"The most horrific things.... have been said about my son," she told the MPs, and she had realised through her petition that others face similar harassment.

Her mother, Amy Price, suggested "the law is out of date - it's got to be policed more".

Katie "has always been in the limelight" and she has "got used to it," she added, but the abuse of Harvey "does upset you and you do feel emotional - it's hard".

In response to the suggestion that she invited the insults by posting pictures of her son, Katie Price said "I'm proud of Harvey" and it was important for disabled children to have visibility.

She said the criminalisation of online abuse shouldn't just be restricted to the targeting of disabled people.

"I know I'm here because it started off because Harvey and his disabilities but this isn't just for people with disabilities as well, it will help everybody."

She added: "Like me or hate me, I'm here to protect others."

'I'll be back'

She said it was important to protect freedom of speech and there needed to be a discussion about how bad abuse could get before it was considered criminal.

She also argued for a register of people found guilty of online abuse, saying: "If they are big enough to go behind their computers and say these things then I want them named and shamed."

After 40 minutes facing MPs' questions, she said: "I know you lot sitting there agree with me, really.

"We know we all agree but we just have to get the government to do it."

If nothing happened, she joked, she would be "like Arnold Schwarzenegger - I'll be back."

The Petitions Committee is looking at the impact of online abuse - particularly on people with disabilities - responsibility for protection, whether technology companies are doing enough.

It is also examining whether the law needs to be changed, how to define online abuse and what support is given to victims.

The government's minister for women, Victoria Atkins, said she had become disillusioned with social media.

"I've come off Twitter because I was so fed up of it. I was fed up with the death threats and the nastiness, from people who often live many, many miles away from my constituency," she told BBC Radio 5 live's told Emma Barnett.

It comes as Prime Minister Theresa May also announced proposed new laws to stop people being intimidated in public life.

In a speech marking the centenary of women getting the vote, she made an appeal for "tolerance and respect" and said it was unacceptable for anyone to face threats over their political views.

The PM added that she was considering a new offence to protect politicians and their families.

Source: bbc.co.uk
 
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Posted by Damien Biddulph on Mon 5th Feb 2018

Florin and Mariuca TalpesImage copyrightBITDEFENDER

Image captionFlorin and Mariuca Talpes own and run one of Romania's most successful companies

As bullets whistled down the streets and tear gas swirled through the air like a toxic fog, Florin and Mariuca Talpes knew that their lives would never be the same again.

Little did the couple know then that they'd go on to become two of their country's most successful business leaders.

It was back in December 1989 that Florin and Mariuca were caught up in the Romanian revolution.

"We were on the streets while bullets and tear gas were around us," says Mariuca, who was 26 at the time.

"We had two twin boys, they were three then... I said to Florin I have to go home and take care of them."

Thankfully, they their sons were unharmed in the violent overthrow of the dictator Nicolae Ceausescu and his communist administration.

But suddenly Mariuca and Florin, then 32, faced an uncertain economic future.

As the state apparatus disintegrated, they were unsure if they would keep their jobs in the government's computer research institute; or if they did, whether they would be paid.

So they both quit in January 1990 to set up their own company.

Tanks outside a government building in Bucharest during the Romanian revolutionImage copyrightGETTY IMAGES

Image captionUp to 1,200 people are estimated to have been killed during Romania's 1989 revolution

In a country where private enterprise had been banned under the communists, neither of them had any experience of running a business, but they thought it was a risk worth taking despite some opposition within their families.

Today their business, Bitdefender, is one of the world's most popular providers of cyber-security and anti-virus software. With annual revenues of more than $120m (£85m) the firm is valued at $600m.

It was Mariuca's mother who opposed their decision to set up their own business 28 years ago in the immediate aftermath of the revolution.

"My mother was shouting 'are you crazy!'," remembers Mariuca, 54.

However, her father, a Romanian actor, gave the couple $300 to help get their venture off the ground.

The original team back in 1990Image copyrightBITDEFENDER

Image captionThe couple started their business from the front room of their apartment

The early version of the business was called Softwin, and the idea was that it would offer software support services to companies in the West.

Their first client came from France, and Florin admits that he and Mariuca had to learn the hard way that in the free market the customer had to be completely happy because he or she could simply go elsewhere - something that wasn't the case under communism because there wasn't any competition.

"We had to learn quickly what it means to have an unsatisfied client, and what to do in order to satisfy it," says Florin, now 60.

"Because we had come from the communist system which didn't necessarily put an accent on quality... it was like a cold shower."

Mariuca adds: "It was a culture shock."

Bitdefender's Japanese websiteImage copyrightBITDEFENDER

Image captionBitdefender's website is available in 20 different languages

Thankfully for Florin and Mariuca and their team they were quick learners, and rather good at computing programming.

Soon another Western firm got in touch to see if Softwin could fix a computer tennis game they were making. They were struggling to make the ball move fluidly.

Florin says: "We solved it the next night, and in two days we went to them with the solution."

Softwin continued to grow until 2001 when it morphed into the even more popular Bitdefender, with growth led by positive reviews and word-of-mouth recommendations as internet use proliferated around the world.

Bitdefender's team in 2001Image copyrightBITDEFENDER

Image captionBitdefender's workforce has grown to 1,400 people today from less than 50 in 2001, here

Today, Bitdefender has 500 million customers (59% members of the public and 41% companies), who pay to download its software from its website.

Mariuca admits that sometimes being Romanian has been a hindrance, because of the negative opinion some in the Western world have of the country.

"I think many Westerners thought we were coming out from the trees, being a poor country... uneducated."

But she adds that within the IT industry Romanians have an excellent reputation because there are a large number of Romanian computer specialists who have left the country to work abroad.

Florin and Mariuca Talpes celebrating winning a ballroom dancing trophy with their sonsImage copyrightBITDEFENDER

Image captionThe couple, pictured here with their sons, are national champion ballroom dancers

Regarding Bitdefender's products, Florin says that it always has to work hard to make sure it stays ahead of the cyber-criminals.

"When we started, the attackers were activists or kids who wanted revenge. Nowadays it is organised crime. It is an industry; cyber-crime.

"People have all their devices connected to the internet, and all are like doors and windows for thieves."

Rik Turner, senior analyst at consultancy firm Ovum, says that Bitdefender has played a "canny game" by being in both consumer and business markets, and by "doing licensing with other security vendors so that they can use its tech in their broader product portfolios".

On a day-to-day basis Florin, who holds the chief executive title, leads Bitdefender while Mariuca now looks after an educational software company called Intuitex.

The couple also make time for a hobby that they are passionate about - ballroom dancing. They are in fact national Romanian champions in their category.

"The dance lessons are us recharging," says Florin.

Bitdefender now has 1,400 employs across offices in 11 countries and its headquarters in Bucharest. Some 40% of its business is in North America.

While the business has a number of outside investors, Florin and Mariuca maintain a majority share.

He says: "In life and in business you are constantly experiencing, and you have to adapt quickly, you have to learn as quickly as possible, and be as agile as possible."

Source: bbc.co.uk
 
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Posted by Damien Biddulph on Tue 30th Jan 2018

Business Insights

24/01/2018

2017 saw more and more businesses realising they are one step (or more) behind, and deciding to undertake new Digital Transformation Projects – a trend which is only most certainly going to grow throughout 2018.

Today, a majority of knowledge workers believe they are only as productive as they were three years ago, mainly because they haven’t had the most up-to-date tools or solutions needed. When we think how quickly the digital revolution is pumping out wave after wave of updated products, that’s a long time!

A few items that should be high on your Digital Transformation agenda:

The move towards fully integrating Collaboration tools into the workforce

2018 brings us closer to a time where working from home will just be work, conference/meeting rooms will become the living rooms of the office, and shared communication/instant messaging platforms will be the go to for staff, instead of email or phones to talk within the building. These methods of communication, be it Spark, Skype for Business, WebEx, or any of the numerous other platforms.

These platforms make teamwork easier, communicating quicker and, well, collaborating much more straightforward (the clue’s in the name!). However, one oversight many businesses make when implementing collaboration tools is measuring their success. Measuring their uptake means you can spot potential roadblocks to your new digital business transformation – whether that’s staff knowledge gaps, certain departments pushing back, or some areas of the organisation not needing the tools at all.

When most collaboration platforms charge you per user licence and only hold/store a few months’ worth of historic data, having a tool in place to give you data, analytics and reports will enable and aid in a transformation rollout. It also means you can carry out the new changes in the most cost-effective manner, having visibility of where the ROI is held and where you can cut extra costs – particularly if you use a tool that can report on and analyse your overall Unified Communications channels, as well as the disruption to O365 email usage too.

Better utilisation of valuable business data

In 2018 we’ll see businesses making more of their data, exploring its business value, and making it available to those internally who need it – and when they need it. A holistic view of the business, with data at the centre of that. With SaaS, cloud storage and data analytics platforms/software, cost and storage are no longer a large concern for IT departments, and the focus has become the value of the data instead. These systems can also deliver data more quickly and in a user-friendly format – meaning businesses can work faster and smarter.

As businesses keep up with the times, and undertake Digital Transformation Projects, they realise the role of data is becoming more vital in achieving success, both in the long-term as well as the short-term. The predominant focus will become analysing the data in ways that are most valuable to a business, and this will be where successful businesses will evolve. The analytics and reporting tools will play a big part in this field, and choosing the right one(s) will be key.

Exploiting SaaS and Managed Service solutions

Businesses will realise that where they lack the time, skills and resources inhouse for certain processes, they will benefit from using SaaS and Managed Services. This also gives them the opportunity to benefit from the industry’s constant evolution – allowing them to stay current in a digital world without forking out the cashflow to get there. Using SaaS or a Managed Service will allow businesses more time, energy and resource to direct where its more needed.

Luckily, Tiger Communications can help you with any of the above, find out more here.

Author: Teila Hurlock, Business Intelligence at Tiger Communications.

Source: bbpmedia.co.uk
 
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Posted by Damien Biddulph on Tue 30th Jan 2018

Openreach CEO Clive Selley describes programme as "one of the fastest broadband deployments in the world"

Government claims it has reached national 95 per cent superfast broadband target

Superfast broadband is now available to 95 per cent of residential and business premises across the UK, the government has claimed today, which it suggests is up from 29.4 per cent in 2010. Wales has reach the 94 per cent mark, it added. 

Most households and businesses can now access broadband connections of more than 24Mbps, the government claims. "We need to get this caveat in very quickly, the 95% target is not a consistent 95% across all communities in the UK," it said.

Areas such as Epsom, Tamworth, Worthing and Watford are pushing into the 99 per cent coverage zone, while the City of London (50.3 per cent), Orkney Islands (66.8 per cent), Western Isles (71 per cent) and Kingston upon Hull (71.7 per cent) all lag behind.

 

However, the government was keen to push its £1.7 billion in funding for the roll-out of superfast broadband to areas deemed "not commercially viable", which it claims has helped reach more than 4.5 million UK premises that would otherwise still be without half-decent broadband.

"Providing access to reliable, high speed broadband is probably the single most important thing we can do to ensure the sustainability of our rural communities and businesses and as such it is fantastic to hear that Wales has reached 94% for superfast broadband coverage," said Wales minister Stuart Andrew.

He added: "Wales had a much bigger gap to close than England and so it's really positive news that they've made such giant steps in closing the digital divide, particularly given the very challenging topography in Wales."

Clive Selley, CEO of BT's independent infrastructure arm Openreach - which has benefited the most from government funding for broadband roll-outs - described it as "one of the fastest broadband deployments in the world".

He added that Openreach was "determined to get Britain - the whole of Britain - hooked up to decent broadband speeds", adding that the organisation would "be continuing to expand our network to address the remaining ‘not-spots' through a combination of our own commercial programmes and our partnerships with local authorities and communities".

Commenting on the news, Thinkbroadband explained that the rollout consists of a "mixture of commercial and gap-funded solutions". And many projects are beginning to focus on G.fast and fibre to the premises [FTTP] in commercial areas.

The organisation said superfast roll-outs will continue to improve, potentially reaching 100 per cent within the next few years.

"The hope is that roll-outs will eventually deliver superfast to 97 per cent to 98 per cent of premises before 2020, and the focus of a lot of the work in terms of tracking coverage now from ourselves, Ofcom and DCMS will be looking into how likely that looks and how many premises fall into the USO [universal service obligation] category."

However, people in many rural areas will still be disappointed, it added, such as in "places like Hatherden and Wildhern in Hampshire [that] still have no superfast broadband coverage".

It continued: "The biggest concern people have with the coverage statistics is that they know they cannot get superfast broadband due to the distance from the VDSL2 cabinet, but still presume that Openreach has been paid to deliver it to them and thus feel the projects have been wasting money. "

Source: v3.co.uk
 
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Posted by Damien Biddulph on Tue 30th Jan 2018

Scientists claim to have found a process for turning worn-out batteries back into new ones

Nano-engineers develop technique to restore lithium ion batteries used in smartphones and electric vehicles

Yang Shi & Professor Zheng Chen developed a method to recycle and regenerate cathodes of spent lithium ion batteries. Image copyright David Baillot/UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering

Scientists claim to have developed a battery recycling process that restores worn cathodes in lithium ion batteries, enabling them to be re-used like new. 

Nano-engineers from the University of California, San Diego detailed the process this week, which takes cathodes from used batteries and turns them into new ones.

They explained that the process takes worn-out cathode particles from old batteries, before boiling and heat-treating them. The researchers say there were able to use them to create batteries that operated like new ones. 

 

Zheng Chen, a professor of nano-engineering at University of California, San Diego, led the process. He said it could transform the way batteries are manufactured and recycled. 

If we can sustainably harvest and re-use materials from old batteries, we can potentially prevent such significant environmental damage and waste

"Think about the millions of tons of lithium ion battery waste in the future, especially with the rise of electric vehicles, and the depletion of precious resources like lithium and cobalt - mining more of these resources will contaminate our water and soil,' he explained.

"If we can sustainably harvest and re-use materials from old batteries, we can potentially prevent such significant environmental damage and waste."

Working with the sustainable power and energy centre at UC San Diego, Chen explained that this work could "address economic issues related to battery waste". 

"The price of lithium, cobalt and nickel has increased significantly. Recovering these expensive materials could lower battery costs," he said.

Published in Green Chemistry, this research specifically focused on a battery cathode material called lithium cobalt oxide. It's used in electrical devices, such as smartphones and laptops.

However, the actual method can also be extended to NMC, which is a type of lithium cathode made up of nickel, manganese and cobalt. It, too, is common in consumer electronic devices.

After taking particles from used batteries, researchers exposed them to "a hot, alkaline, solution containing lithium salt" that can be "recycled and re-used to process more batches". They were able to make new batteries in the lab.

Chen added: "We can simply restore the degraded material by putting it through the same processing steps. The goal is to make this a general recycling process for all cathodes." 

Source: v3.co.uk
 
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Posted by Damien Biddulph on Mon 29th Jan 2018

Businesses don't understand how to protect themselves with the move to the cloud, big data and the IoT

Thales warns: businesses are embracing new technologies, but leaving security behind

Thales warns: businesses are embracing new technologies, but leaving security behind

With data breaches climbing to a new record high last year, businesses are turning to emerging technology to protect themselves and their information.

The 2018 Thales Data Threat Report shows that almost every organisation in the world - 94 per cent - has embraced a ‘transformative technology' like the IoT, blockchain, mobile and the cloud.

Thales questioned 1,200 senior executives in Asia, Europe and North America and found that almost all (99 per cent) are using big data, and similar numbers are implementing IoT technologies (94 per cent) and mobile payments (91 per cent). As-a-service models are also gaining in popularity, with wide adoption of SaaS, IaaS and PaaS.

 

However, the use of these new environments is a factor in the rise in data breaches, Thales warns.

New technologies mean that old security techniques lose their effectiveness, or may no longer work at all. At the time of the 2018 survey, 67 per cent of respondents had been breached, and 36 per cent in the last year. In comparison, 26 per cent had been breached in the last year in the 2017 study.

Report author Garrett Bekker of 451 Research said, "[W]hile times have changed, security strategies have not - security spending increases that focus on the data itself are at the bottom of IT security spending priorities, leaving customer data, financial information and intellectual property severely at risk."

Although nearly 80 per cent of respondents say that data-at-rest solutions are the most effective at preventing breaches (closely followed by network security and data-in-motion), almost 60 per cent are spending the most on endpoint and mobile security. Data-at-rest solutions were at the bottom of 40 per cent of respondents' security budget priorities.

Encryption was another popular technology, acknowledged as the best way to increase cloud security and meet GDPR requirements.

Source: v3.co.uk
 
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Posted by Damien Biddulph on Mon 29th Jan 2018

 

Media captionMinister Matt Hancock tells BBC Breakfast both government and social media companies can do more.

Children at risk of online grooming should be sent automatic alerts as part of the government's internet safety strategy, the NSPCC has said.

The children's charity said existing algorithms could be used to flag suspected groomers to moderators.

A "staggering" 1,316 offences were recorded in the first six months of a new child grooming law being introduced last year in England and Wales.

Minister Matt Hancock said he would be robust with social media companies.

The minister for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport said the government was working on making the UK the safest place in the world to go online and that can and "must" include grooming alerts.

He told BBC Breakfast that as a father of three young children it was something that "really mattered" to him.

Before the new offence of sexual communication with a child was introduced in April, police could not intervene until groomers attempted to meet their targets face-to-face.

Of the cases recorded, the youngest victim was a seven-year-old girl, although girls aged between 12 and 15 were the most likely to be targeted by predators.

Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat were the most common sites used by offenders, making up 63% of all incidents.

The NSPCC, which campaigned to bring in the new legislation, has criticised social media companies for not making the most of the technology they already use to enforce the law.

Algorithms - the calculations that tell computers what to do - are currently used by social media companies to flag up images of child abuse, hate speech and extremist material.

The charity said the same techniques should be used to pick up "grooming language" and then send an automatic alert to both the child and moderators.


Analysis

By Chris Baraniuk, BBC Technology Reporter

A child looking at a laptop screenImage copyrightGETTY IMAGES

Image captionFacebook, Instagram and Snapchat were the most common sites used by offenders

Automatically identifying malicious or illegal content is something that social networks already do, in some measure.

For example, give a machine learning system thousands of nude pictures and it can, much of the time, go on to pick out new examples of nude pictures in the future.

However, the specifics of these algorithms are closely guarded secrets - companies like Facebook don't like competitors to know too much about content filtering, or that they have established a certain way of doing things that they may later decide to change.

But concerns over how much these sites are doing to tackle problematic material are not new. While Facebook already does some work in identifying grooming behaviour, social networks in general may be reluctant to take on too much responsibility in this area.

Should any new anti-child predator system be shown to have failings or loopholes, they could face even greater criticism.


Tony Stower, head of child safety online at the NSPCC, said that despite the "staggering number of offences", government and social networks are not properly working together to stop this crime from happening.

"Government's Internet Safety Strategy must require social networks to build in technology to keep their young users safe, rather than relying on police to step in once harm has already been done," he said.

The NSPCC said an existing voluntary code of practice does not go far enough and has called for a mandatory code to be put in place.

Meanwhile Facebook said it was already using technology to identify grooming behaviour.

Vera Baird, victim affairs lead at the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners, said she expected the number of cases to be higher given the "endemic" scale of online grooming.

She said alerts are "imperative" to prevention, but should be accompanied by sex and relationships education so that children know how to respond to such a warning.

The Home Office said £20m was spent pursuing grooming offenders in 2017.

Source: bbc.co.uk
 
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