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New Zealand

New Zealand police frustrated with new grooming laws

New Zealand police frustrated end-to-end encryption on social media platforms remains a major barrier to identifying online sex offenders, despite new laws covering online grooming I’m here.

The Child Exploitation Crimes Amendment Bill was recently passed, making it illegal for adults to lie about their age or identity to meet or communicate with minors in an attempt to harm them.

Previously, defendants had to meet, travel to meet, or arrange or persuade them to travel to meet the targeted youth. The new law is a major change in policy that expands the scope of crimes related to child exploitation.

But police have expressed concern that end-to-end encryption of online chat streams puts privacy above protection, making it more difficult to identify and track online sex offenders.

As part of the Virtual Global Task Force (VGT), New Zealand Police have called on social media platforms to recognize their responsibility to protect children and prioritize robust safety systems to protect children from online sexual abuse. I’m here.

End-to-end encryption is used by platforms such as Facebook, Signal, and WhatsApp to protect messages and data sent from one device to another, ensuring that only the intended recipient can open the message. can. This protection makes it difficult for law enforcement agencies to access communications that they believe are committing crimes.

In 2022, the government established an inter-agency working group to analyze the issue, tasked with producing a final report by mid-2023. VGT is made up of 15 law enforcement agencies working with industry and non-governmental organizations focused on child sexual abuse.

Many child abusers use Facebook

David Wilson, one of Britain’s most prolific child sex abuse offenders, uses Facebook to contact thousands of children by pretending to be a teenage girl, according to the Task Force. I was. He manipulated the victim into sending sexually explicit materials and, in some cases, blackmailed the victim into abusing his brothers and friends.

Wilson’s prosecution may have been successful because law enforcement was able to access evidence contained in more than 250,000 messages through Facebook. In an end-to-end encrypted environment, this case is unlikely to be detected.

In 2020, Justice Minister Andrew Little and the Five Eyes Security Group called on social media companies to allow the government access to encrypted data. Australia recently voted to force companies to share data protected by encryption, citing that more than 95% of its counter-terrorism targets use encrypted communications. passed a law to allow

Police encourage parents to talk to and supervise their children’s online activities and to research and understand app settings, including privacy settings. They encourage parents to be approachable when a child needs help and emphasize that it is okay to talk to a parent or other trusted adult if something doesn’t feel right. increase.




New Zealand Police Statement on End-to-End Encryption

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https://cathnews.co.nz/2023/04/24/new-zealand-police-are-frustrated/ New Zealand police frustrated with new grooming laws

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