Cyber flashing and ‘pile on’ harassment targeted in online law reform proposals

As reported by ITV,  in a bid to stem harmful behavior online, law reforms are now targeting abusive messages, cyber flashing, and “pile on” harassment have been proposed in a bid to stem harmful behavior online. As per the Law Commission, existing safeguards have failed to keep up with changes in how we communicate today. Few definitions:

Cyberflashing: when someone sends an unsolicited sexual image to another device nearby.

“pile on” harassment – where online harassment is co-ordinated against an individual – have become commonplace on the internet, via apps and across social media platforms. Yet online abuse covered under current communications offenses does not adequately address these types of incidents, the independent body said.

Experts Comments

September 11, 2020
Jake Moore
Cybersecurity Specialist
ESET
Cyberflashing can be extremely troubling, so make sure you protect your phones and have Bluetooth connectivity, such as AirDrop, set up for just contact only. Users can make a change to the settings so that anyone can send files, and this is when you can potentially lose control of what is sent to you. The setting allows anyone to send an image to that device where - unlike other messages apps such as WhatsApp or SMS - the photograph automatically appears on the screen without any vetting......Read More
Cyberflashing can be extremely troubling, so make sure you protect your phones and have Bluetooth connectivity, such as AirDrop, set up for just contact only. Users can make a change to the settings so that anyone can send files, and this is when you can potentially lose control of what is sent to you. The setting allows anyone to send an image to that device where - unlike other messages apps such as WhatsApp or SMS - the photograph automatically appears on the screen without any vetting. Anyone who has seen any unsolicited messages must report it to the police or BTP if on the train. It is also worth changing the name of your device to something neutral rather than “your name’s phone”, where people can guess which device is yours.  Read Less
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