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Indecent images of young people


Answer

Zoom is a video conferencing app. Zoom Bombing is a cyber attack on your video call where an individual or a group of people enter it without the permission of the host. These individuals then display offensive or explicit images in order to cause distress to the recipients.

During the coronavirus emergency period, video conferencing is helping many people to work remotely and allows us to stay in touch with our families and friends. Unfortunately as worldwide use of video conferencing increases, so has the reporting of cyber attacks.

The links in Related Information provide details of how to secure your Zoom meeting and prevent unwanted joining.

If you have experienced zoom bombing, this can be reported to Zoom and depending on the nature of the content, your Local Police Force.


Answer

Possession of indecent images of children is an offence, as is the manufacture and distribution of them. You should not forward the images to anyone, even the Police, it is a very serious matter.

The Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) is the UK Internet Hotline for anyone to report online child sexual abuse imagery anonymously.

IWF works internationally to make the internet safer. They help victims of child sexual abuse worldwide by identifying and removing online images and videos of their abuse.

Please see Related Information for a link to their website.


Answer

Pop-up messages are caused by scripts buried in web pages or sent via the "Messenger" service. Preventative steps that you can take include -
  • disabling the messenger service on your local workstation,
  • the use of anti-virus/firewall software that prevents pop-ups.

Below is some basic advice for preventing pop-ups:

If using Windows 10 - 

  1. Open Internet Explorer,
  2. Click Tools,
  3. Click Internet Options,
  4. Select the privacy tab then tick the box: "Turn on pop-up blocker".

Below is some basic advice for what action to take when a pop-up is on your screen:

  1. Disconnect from the Internet.
  2. Bring up the Task Manager programme:
  3. Right-click the taskbar itself (bar with the start button on it),
  4. Select Task Manager from the context menu,
  5. Select the Applications tab,
  6. Right-click the pop-up window and all Internet Explorer applications (must be done one by one)
  7. Select End Task from the context menu.
  8. If this does not remove the pop-up window then reboot your workstation

If you have any serious concerns over the images you are seeing then contact your local police, via their 101 number. Additionally, the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) is the UK internet Hotline for anyone to report online child sexual abuse imagery and non-photographic child sexual abuse images anonymously.

IWF works internationally to make the internet safer. They help victims of child sexual abuse worldwide by identifying and removing online images and videos of their abuse. Please see Related Information for a link to their website.

Remember - If you know or believe a child is at immediate risk or in danger, dial 999


Answer

It depends on the circumstances as to whether the police can become involved, however, if the video or photo is of a child (a person under the age of 18) and is indecent, then the police will become involved regardless of the circumstances (see below).

Revenge porn is the publication of explicit material portraying someone who has not consented to the image or video to be shared. It is an offence to disclose a "private sexual photograph or film" without the consent of the person depicted in the content, and with the intent to cause them distress.

A person found guilty of this offence will face a fine or even imprisonment.

If the circumstances do not fit the above offence, i.e. there is no intent to cause distress but the photo/video is, for example, on one of the social networking websites, you could speak to the administrator of the internet site who may remove the material. Otherwise, you would need to obtain a restraining order from the courts to order the removal of the material. You should seek advice from the Citizens Advice Bureau or a solicitor about this matter before going ahead. 

With regards to showing photo/video footage of yourself without your permission and there is no intent to cause distress, if you are over 18, the footage needs to be classed as grossly offensive or indecent, obscene or menacing character (the legal threshold of which is quite high and would not normally cover what could be classed as merely offensive).

If you are under 18 then the footage needs to be classed as indecent before the police can become involved.


Answer

The offence of revenge porn occurs when a person publishes/ shares/ discloses a private sexual photograph or film, without the consent of the person who appears in the photograph or film, intending to cause that person distress. It is not enough that the person appearing in the photograph or film is distressed, as there must be an intention to cause that person distress, hence the offence being referred to as revenge porn. It is not an offence if the photograph or film is shown only to the person who appears in the photograph or film. It does not have to be published on the internet, it can be sent via text message or shown in person.

There are some defences to this offence -

  • That the material was disclosed as journalistic material and it was in the public interest to do so.
  • That the material had been previously disclosed for money (for example someone selling a sex tape of themselves to a newspaper) and that there was no reason to believe that the person appearing in the image or video had not consented to that disclosure.
  • That the disclosure was necessary to prevent, detect or investigate crime.

A person found guilty of this offence may face a fine or even imprisonment. If you believe that you have been the victim of revenge porn then contact your local police via their website, or by dialling 101. A victim of revenge porn can also get advice from the revenge porn helpline, see link in related information.

For circumstances that do not fit the above see Q697 for further information.


Answer

Cyberbullying is any form of bullying that takes place online. This could be blackmail/threats, abusive comments, spreading rumours, sharing embarrassing pictures or creating fake profiles on social networking sites.

Though there is no specific offence of cyberbullying, you could be found guilty under an existing offence. For example, sending someone threatening, abusive messages can lead to an offence of harassment (Q770) and posting sexual photographs of someone without their consent could be a criminal offence under the revenge porn law. (Q834).

Victims of Cyberbullying may be unaware as to what help is available to them. If the bullying is taking place on a social networking site (Facebook, Twitter etc.) you should contact them directly as they have policies in place to remove inappropriate material and if necessary, the bully's account, see link in related information.

If you are a child/young person then contact Childline for more help and guidance, see link in related information.

The behaviour could potentially amount to a criminal offence, we would suggest that you contact your local policing team via the non-emergency 101 number and report the matter.

Contact your local police force

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