LONDON, April 11, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- The growing intention to legislate against online child sexual exploitation and abuse (CSEA) is not enough to stem the rising threat, according to a new report from PA Consulting, the global innovation and transformation consultancy.
Despite their diverse outlooks and a clamour for action to better protect our children online, PA's report found that government bodies, law enforcement, industry and the third sector all agree there's an opportunity to re-think how the key players collaborate.
PA's report, A tangled web: rethinking the approach to online CSEA, is based on interviews with senior officials and experts from international organisations including the Home Office, Facebook, Twitter, the Internet Watch Foundation, the National Police Chiefs' Council and the National Crime Agency.
How to enhance the collective response
PA proposes a single front door for coordination, in the form of an Online Harms Safety Centre (OHSC). The OHSC would harness the collective firepower of organisations across the online harms landscape including preventing extremism, intolerance, self-harm and suicide.
The OHSC would be set up by government but then run independently. It would mirror the model used by the National Cyber Security Centre, bringing government and technology companies together to protect our technology infrastructure. It would be quick to establish, adaptive to change, and run on a lean staffing model including seconded experts from across the threat landscape.
The OHSC would focus on three areas:
- educate children and better prepare them for online interactions by using preventative real-time technology. As part of this, social media companies should adopt the use of in-app technology to offer children information that will help a whole generation build their digital resilience
- regulate the surface web, where paedophiles share images, stream live child abuse and pose as young people to groom potential victims
- and disrupt the dark web, where conspiratorial networks and paedophiles share 'tradecraft,' CSEA imagery, and hints and tips on evading detection.
Nick Newman, defence, security and public safety expert at PA Consulting and author of the report, says: "We need to urgently address the growing threats to our children online. The threat is evolving fast and a unified, consistent and cost-effective approach is especially challenging given the collective response draws on a diverse and highly complex stakeholder landscape.
"We see the potential to create a single point of coordination that oversees the end-to-end online CSEA response across three distinct threat areas: where the physical world meets the online world; the surface web; and the dark web. Such a model would create a 'single point of truth' that draws upon the expertise of those across the landscape, better protecting children from online harms and building towards a positive human future."
To download the report, visit: www.paconsulting.com/TheTangledWeb
Notes to the editor
About PA Consulting
An innovation and transformation consultancy, we believe in the power of ingenuity to build a positive human future in a technology-driven world.
As strategies, technologies and innovation collide, we create opportunity from complexity.
Our diverse teams of experts combine innovative thinking and breakthrough technologies to progress further, faster. Our clients adapt and transform, and together we achieve enduring results.
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About A tangled web: rethinking the approach to online CSEA
In late 2018, PA commissioned a survey of senior representatives from Government, law enforcement organisations, the technology industry and third sector organisations to help improve understanding of the collective responses to online CSEA. Representatives of the following 16 organisations participated in the survey that informed this report: WePROTECT Global Alliance Secretariat, Home Office (Tackling Exploitation and Abuse Unit), NPCC (Child Protection), NCA-CEOP, Government agency: Serious and Organised Crime Team, Anglia Ruskin University (Policing Institute for the Eastern Region (PIER)), NSPCC, Barnardo's, The Children's Society, IWF, Australian eSafety Commissioner's Office, Microsoft, Facebook, Twitter, Amazon Web Services and Crisp Thinking.
About PA's work to fight CSEA: PA is a founding partner of the WePROTECT Global Alliance (currently led by the UK government) to stop online child sexual abuse and have produced the Global Threat Assessment report, to drive a global response to protecting children. Note: this is pro bono work and not a commercial initiative for PA. Our work included the development an AI based tool that helps children assess the level of risk using the equivalent of the green cross code.
SOURCE PA Consulting