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SnoopTec...

UK government funds development of methods to snoop on photos on your device


Link Here16th November 2021
Full story: UK Government vs Encryption...Government seeks to restrict peoples use of encryption
The UK government has announced that it is funding five projects to snoop on your device content supposedly in a quest to seek out child porn. But surely these technologies will have wider usage.

The five projects are the winners of the Safety Tech Challenge Fund, which aims to encourage the tech industry to find practical solutions to combat child sexual exploitation and abuse online, without impacting people's rights to privacy and data protection in their communications.

The winners will each receive an initial 85,000 from the Fund, which is administered by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and the Home Office, to help them bring their technical proposals for new digital tools and applications to combat online child abuse to the market.

Based across the UK and Europe, and in partnership with leading UK universities, the winners of the Safety Tech Challenge Fund are:

  • Edinburgh-based Cyan Forensics and Crisp Thinking, in partnership with the University of Edinburgh and Internet Watch Foundation, will develop a plug-in to be integrated within encrypted social platforms. It will detect child sexual abuse material (CSAM) - by matching content against known illegal material.
  • SafeToNet and Anglia Ruskin University will develop a suite of live video-moderation AI technologies that can run on any smart device to prevent the filming of nudity, violence, pornography and CSAM in real-time, as it is being produced.
  • GalaxKey, based in St Albans, will work with Poole-based Image Analyser and Yoti, an age-assurance company, to develop software focusing on user privacy, detection and prevention of CSAM and predatory behavior, and age verification to detect child sexual abuse before it reaches an E2EE environment, preventing it from being uploaded and shared.
  • DragonflAI, based in Edinburgh, will also work with Yoti to combine their on-device nudity AI detection technology with age assurance technologies to spot new indecent images within E2EE environments.
  • T3K-Forensics are based in Austria and will work to implement their AI-based child sexual abuse detection technology on smartphones to detect newly created material, providing a toolkit that social platforms can integrate with their E2EE services.

 

 

Offsite Article: Endgame for end-to-end encryption...


Link Here4th April 2021
Full story: UK Government vs Encryption...Government seeks to restrict peoples use of encryption
Wired has reported that the Home Office is actively exploring legal and technical mechanisms to compel Facebook and WhatsApp to break end-to-end encrypted messaging

See article from openrightsgroup.org

 

 

Problem snooping...

The Gambling Commission consult on a despicable proposal requiring bookies to investigate the financial standings of their online customers


Link Here6th February 2021
The Gambling Commission has a problem. It holds gambling business in utter contempt and thinks that bookies are suitable private companies to forcibly and invasively snoop into people's financial affairs.

The Racing Post editor explains better than the Gambling Commission how this proposal will pan out:

Nothing to worry about, then. Just a perfectly normal proposal that a non-governmental quango staffed by unelected, unaccountable bureaucrats -- not even civil servants -- will determine a loss level at which you and I should be subject to checks on our personal finances. Just a demand that in order to continue betting if a couple of 25 each-way punts go awry, we must share payslips and bank statements with our bookie.

Well! Most punters would tell any betting operator asking for such invasive details of one's financial affairs to go whistle, but imagine for a second that you would subject yourself to such an illiberal and demeaning process. How would your capacity to bet be assessed? The Gambling Commission's consultation document gives some clues, and its suggestions should horrify punters and anyone who cares about the rights of the individual to manage their own affairs without overweening state interference.

First, it is essential to note that while proponents of affordability checks would have you believe these can take place seamlessly and without any inconvenience to punters by utilising information betting operators already hold or can access from credit agencies, the Gambling Commission states this is not the case, noting we would want to be clear that it is still likely that operators will need to collect information directly from customers.

So, let's say you are a daily 10 punter and after a fortnight of middling-to-poor results you hit the prospective 100 threshold for affordability checks. You reluctantly and with grave reservations hand over your most sensitive financial documents for review. How does the operator decide if you are barred from betting for the rest of the month and subject to punting restrictions for evermore?

According to the Gambling Commission, the most relevant way of assessing your capacity to bet before beginning to experience harms is through assessing what it calls discretionary income. This is what you have left each month after spending on essentials like taxes, bills, food and housing. Crucially, however, the commission adds it would not be expected that anyone could spend their entire discretionary income on gambling without experiencing harms.

As such, the Gambling Commission is not just suggesting your financial affairs should be subject to the sort of scrutiny you might find uncomfortable coming from your spouse, never mind Sky Bet, but that the sum of money you have left after meeting all obligations and purchasing all essentials still cannot be used as you see fit. This is a naked admission that this is not about affordability, but about prohibitionism and control.

Meanwhile there as an additional takeout from reading the consultation paper:

  • Bettors should simply never use bookies forums. The bookies are expected to crawl through people's conversations looking clues about people's mental state. So if you comment that you are a bit depressed that your bet failed you may find that you get banned on grounds of clinical depression.
  • Similarly bettors should think very carefully about what they tell bookies via helpline conversations or via messaging services. It is clear that the bookie's staff will be listening to every word wondering if what you say can be interpreted as some sort of clue about personal or financial difficulties.
  • Bettors should also consider whether using self control mechanisms such as staking limits or time outs may be interpreted as some sort of admission that bettors need to be closely surveilled.

 

 

Surveillance backdoors...

The European Commission decides that EU privacy regulations will not apply to the surveillance of internet users when this is aimed at preventing child abuse


Link Here14th September 2020
The European Commission adopted a proposal for a Regulation on a temporary derogation from certain provisions of the ePrivacy Directive as regards the use of technologies by number-independent interpersonal communications providers for the processing of personal data and other data for the purpose of combatting child sexual abuse online .

A growing number of online services providers have been using specific technological tools on a voluntary basis to detect child sex abuse online in their networks. The law-enforcement agencies all across the EU and globally have been confronted with an unprecedented spike in reports of child sexual abuse material (CSAM) online, which go beyond their capacity to address the volumes now circulating, as they focus their efforts on imagery depicting the youngest and most vulnerable victim. Online services providers have therefore been instrumental in the fight against child sexual abuse online.

MEP David Lega commented:

I welcome this legislative proposal that allows online services providers to keep making use of technological tools to detect child sexual abuse online, as a step forward in the right direction to fight against child sexual abuse online. The cooperation with the private sector is essential if we want to succeed in eradicating child sexual abuse online, identifying the perpetrators and the victims. It is our responsibility as legislators to ensure that online services providers are held responsible and prescribe a legal obligation for them to make use of technological tools to detect child sexual abuse online, therefore enabling them to ensure that their platforms are not used for illegal activities.


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