A New Zealand Muslim group reported a threat that explicitly mentioned March 15 just weeks … The internet was flooded with anti-Muslim rhetoric.
COVID-19 does not seem to be going away anytime soon, especially in cities where cases keep increasing. While this is bad news for our industry in general, people are being creative with how they are spending their time, with live streams, hybrid performances, drive-ins, and other clever solutions. And the internet continues to amuse and divert as well as present good learning experiences. Here are some options for Tuesday, July 7, 2020 and into this week and next.
Training and Webcasts:
• July 7 @ 6pm Central: Harman Professional Training: Performance Manager 2.x Advanced with Juan Soothill: This webinar will explore advanced workflows for JBL Performance Manager software, such as building arrays without LAC files, manually building cardioid subwoofer arrays and importing subwoofer EDS files from LAC into Performance Manager. Register Here.
• July 8 (day 2): Digital Production Workshop: A Case Study of NYU Tisch Drama’s The Clouds: An in-depth look at the making of Tisch Drama’s New Studio On Broadway Physical Acting Ensemble’s production of The Clouds. This free two-day comprehensive workshop is open to the public and will be broken down into a series of sessions exploring the creative and technical aspects of producing this fully remote production. Monday, July 6, 1– 5:30pm via Zoom and Wednesday, July 8, 1– 5:30pm via Zoom. More Info and Registration.
• Friday, July 10 @ 3pm Eastern: Live Design & USITT present A Conversation On Diversity And Anti-Racism In Entertainment Design. Moderated by David Stewart, USITT Board member and production manager for Disney Parks Live Entertainment, with lighting designer Xavier Pierce, lighting/projection designer Roma Flowers, lighting designer Porsche McGovern, lighting designer/event coordinator Ebony Madry, lighting designer Rachael Blackwell, and production manager Lawrence Bennett. Register Here.
Looking Ahead, Register In Advance:
• July 8 @ 6pm Central: Harman Professional Learning Sessions: Performance Manager Application For Concerts & Festivals: Juan Soothill, Harman audio expert, presents the elements of his design for the BayDreams 2020 festival in New Zealand, including setup with JBL Performance Manager and Line Array Calculator software, as well as networking with Crown VDrive. Register Here.
• July 9 @ 11am Eastern: ETC: Hamilton Lighting Design Discussion With Howell Binkley & Team: Can’t get enough Hamilton? Join the Tony-Award winning lighting team from the Broadway hit, to discuss designing, producing, and touring the show, with lighting designer Howell Binkley, associate LD Ryan O’Gara, assistant LD Amanda Zieve, and programmer David Arch. Listen as they discuss of the secrets of the design, hear some stories, discuss the new Hamilton Programming Project, and cover audience questions. Join us for a lively discussion on lighting one of the world’s favorite shows! Register Here (If you are asked for a password to join, enter: eosfamily).
• July 9 @ 10am Central: Martin Professional Learning Sessions: P3 – Ask the Experts with Wouter Verlinden and Bjoern Stolt. This webinar will provide attendees with a chance to ask Martin product experts everything they want to know about the Martin P3 System Controller platform, including new features coming in version 5.2.0. Register Here.
• July 9 @ 12pm Eastern: Ultratec Special Effects: Learn How To Set-Up Your Own Fog Curtain: A Facebook Live demo. Tony Wikner, senior service technician demonstrates how to set-up the Fog Curtain. Watch the live demo and send in your questions. Watch Here.
• July 9 @ 1pm Eastern: Maestra Music Virtual Technical Workshop Series: Intro To Sound Design with Jessica Paz. Co-presented by TSDCA. Tony Award-winning sound designer Jessica Paz will lead a workshop on sound design in theater. Register Here.
For Your Viewing Enjoyment:
• Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre: Lazarus: Costumes: Mark Eric; lighting: James Clotfelter. Inspired by the life and legacy of Mr. Ailey, hip hop choreographer Rennie Harris – the organization’s inaugural artist-in-residence – connects past and present in a powerful ensemble work that addresses the racial inequities America faced when Ailey founded this company in 1958 and still faces today. The company’s first two-act ballet, Lazarus is set to a soundtrack produced by Darrin Ross, with his original music, and featuring Nina Simone, Terrence Trent D’Arby, Michael Kiwanuka, Odetta, spoken text written and adapted by Rennie Harris that is performed by Wadud Ahmad, Rennie Harris, and the voice of Alvin Ailey. Watch Here (thru July 9)
Special Events On The Horizon:
• July 14-16: USITT Costume Design & Technology Summit: Costumes in the Time of COVID: A Series of Conversations About Costume Education: A three-day conference. Free to USITT members/$20per day non-members (use code 3DAYCDT to get third day free). More info here. Register Here.
• July 20-25: ALD Academy. A.LD Boot Camp: Learn To Be An Assistant Lighting Designer: A week-long workshop on zoom with a great roster of lighting designers and speakers Hosted by Tim Deiling and Rob Casey. Details Here.
• Themed Entertainment Creative Workshop Series: Sponsored by The Bezark Company. This is an unprecedented, multi-disciplinary, accelerated workshop series developed and led by some of the best minds in Themed Entertainment. Details Here.
• Elation Virtual At Home Demos: Overview of the key features and unique benefits of some of Elation’s newest lighting products, a demonstration that gives lighting pros an opportunity to assess if a luminaire is right for their needs. Products showcased include the Fuze Spot™, Fuze Pendant™, Fuze Profile™, Fuze SFX™, Smarty Max™, Artiste Van Gogh™, Artiste Monet™, Dartz 360™, CW Profile HP™ and WW Profile HP™ ellipsoidals, along with the Magma Prime™ hazer from Magmatic atmospheric effects. Watch Here.
• GLP 10 Out Of 10 With Neil Austin: This week’s episode of “10 Out Of 10” features West End & Broadway lighting designer Neil Austin, whose projects include Harry Potter And The Cursed Child and Ink, for which he received Tony awards for Best Lighting of a Play in 2018 & 2019 respectively. Watch Here.
• Strand Lighting: Theatre Systems Design Basics. Presented by Bobby Harrell. Watch Here.
• frame.work videos are now online, a conference for video professionals. Watch Here.
• ETC Story Q&A with Tom Littrell: thoughts from Outreach and Training Specialist Tom Littrell on LEDs. Read Here.
• Unreal Interactive Demo. Watch Here.
• TDF Stages, list of streaming performances updated daily.
• Scott Parker: A lot of training videos to choose from. Watch Here.
• Get A Grip On Lighting Podcast: Leadership Under Covid: Kevin Poyck just had his legs under him as CEO and president of Signify’s Americas Market Group when the outbreak threw his business into chaos. He shares his thoughts on virtual offices, managing at a distance, and the shape of post-pandemic normalcy. What really brought him to our show today was a recent study at Boston University that confirmed how effective a new Signify UVC lamp really is, which leads to a vintage Philips UV disinfection manual and the modern rush for germicidal lamps. It’s time for us all to turn a page as we proceed out of our current crisis. Listen Here.
• Technically Speaking, USITT Podcast: Featuring 2020 Barbizon Lighting Company Jonathan Resnick Lighting Award winner, Jasmine Lesane, a lighting designer & director dedicated to realizing visions through innovative design solutions, and a recent grad of Carnegie Mellon’s School of Drama. Listen Here.
• Light Talk With The Lumen Brothers: A podcast and a place where lighting designers can feel free to express what really annoys them about the industry, lighting education, and the art of stage lighting design. Listen Here.
• LD At Large With Chris Lose: Recent episodes include Michael Berger, Seth Robinson, and Rob Koenig. Listen Here.
• The Evolution of Special Effects With John Canning of Digital Domain: Tyler Gates and Sophia Moshasha catch up with John Canning, executive producer at Digital Domain, to talk about how animation and special effects in media production have evolved to become higher quality, less costly, and easier to achieve with immersive technology. Listen Here.
Premier of Australia’s Victoria gives update on COVID-19
Start: 07 Jul 2020 05:15 GMT
End: 07 Jul 2020 12:00 GMT
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – The premier of Australia’s Victoria, Daniel Andrews, holds news conference to update the COVID-19 situation in the state.
0515GMT – News conference starts
BROADCAST: DO NOT USE AUSTRALIA / NEW ZEALAND / PAPUA NEW GUINEA
DIGITAL: DO NOT USE AUSTRALIA, NEW ZEALAND, PAPUA NEW GUINEA-BASED INTERNET SITES, MOBILE PLATFORMS OR SITES OF MEDIA ORGANIZATIONS BASED IN THOSE COUNTRIES, NVO CLIENTS / SMH.COM.AU/ NEWS.COM.AU)
Source: AUSTRALIAN POOL
Aspect Ratio: 16: 9
Topic: Politics / International Affairs
Audio: NATURAL / ENGLISH
Editorial Support: +44 20 7542 2244
The post ADVISORY HEALTH-CORONAVIRUS / AUSTRALIA-VICTORIA – UPDATED– appeared first on Analogik.
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While lovers of Cadbury’s Caramilk might be desperate to get their hands on the chocolate, they’re not just content to eat it in block form.
Caramilk fans have been using the chocolate – a delicious blend of caramel and white chocolate – to make everything from cheesecake to cookies and even cocktails.
But by far the best recipe out there has to be the Banana Caramilk Cake which takes it to the next level.
The recipe, from New Zealand fruit company Dole, is an OTT banana cake containing Caramilk ganache and vanilla buttercream icing topped with chopped up Caramilk – delicious.
Recipe below, as well as our picks of the best other Caramilk recipes out there.
RELATED: New Caramilk chocolate leaked online
BANANA CARAMILK CAKE
For the cake:
250g butter, at room temperature
1 cup golden caster sugar
4 eggs, at room temperature
2 tsp vanilla extract
4 ripe bananas, large, peeled and mashed
2 tsp baking soda
½ cup hot milk
3 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
½ block of Cadbury Caramilk, broken into squares
For the Caramilk ganache:
1 block (190g) Cadbury Caramilk
For the vanilla buttercream icing:
100g butter, room temperature
2 cups icing sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp milk
½ block of Cadbury Caramilk, chopped, to decorate
1. Preheat oven to 180°C bake. Line two medium (22cm diameter) cake tins with baking paper.
2. Beat butter and sugar until creamy. Beat in eggs, one at a time, then vanilla and bananas.
3. Dissolve baking soda in hot milk, add to mixture and stir to combine.
4. Sift in flour and baking powder and fold gently into mixture until just combined. Do not overmix.
5. Divide mixture between prepared tins and smooth tops. Gently press squares of Caramilk chocolate into the cake batter.
5. Bake for 45 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean and the top is golden and springy to the touch. Allow to cool in tins and then turn out.
6. While the cakes are cooling, prepare the Caramilk ganache. In a bain marie, gently heat the cream over a low heat until small bubbles begin to appear.
7. Remove the cream from the heat and add the chocolate. Stir gently until the chocolate is almost fully melted.
8. Use a whisk to combine the two until the ganache becomes glossy. Cool in the refrigerator and stir occasionally. It will gradually thicken over time – it can take around two hours to get to the desired texture. Any remaining ganache can be stored in the refrigerator for three to four days.
9. When the ganache is cool, prepare the vanilla buttercream. In a medium bowl, cream butter with icing sugar, adding ½ cup at a time.
10. Add in vanilla and milk and beat with an electric beater until well smooth and fluffy. You may need to add more milk to reach desired consistency.
11. Once the cake is cool and the Caramilk ganache thick enough to hold its shape, spread the ganache on the top of one cake, gently place the second on top and ice with the buttercream as desired.
12. Drizzle the remaining ganache over the iced cake, and gently arrange chopped and whole pieces of Caramilk on top.
Will keep in a sealed container in a cool place for two to three days.
CARAMILK CHEESECAKE SLICE
335g butternut snap cookies
125g butter, melted
125ml thickened cream, plus 80ml extra
450g Cadbury Caramilk chocolate, chopped
500g cream cheese, at room temperature, chopped
140g caster sugar
2 tsp vanilla bean paste
1. Line a 20 x 30cm slice pan with baking paper, allowing the paper to overhang the two long sides.
2. Place the biscuits in a food processor and process until fine crumbs form. Add the butter and process until combined. Transfer the biscuit mixture to the prepared pan. Use a straight-sided glass to spread and press the biscuit mixture firmly over the base and side of pan. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge to chill.
3. Meanwhile, place 125ml cream and 250g of chocolate in a small saucepan over low heat. Cook, stirring, until the chocolate has melted and the mixture is smooth. Set aside to cool slightly.
4. Use electric beaters to beat the cream cheese, sugar and vanilla until smooth. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition until combined. Add the chocolate mixture and beat well to combine. Pour mixture over the biscuit base.
5. Preheat oven to 180C/160C fan-forced. Place slice in the oven and bake for 30-35 minutes or until just set. Turn off oven. Leave the cheesecake in the oven, with the door slightly ajar, for two hours or until cooled completely (this will prevent cheesecake layer from cracking). Place in the fridge for three hours to chill.
6. Place the extra cream and remaining chocolate in a small saucepan over low heat. Cook, stirring, until the chocolate has melted and the mixture is smooth. Set aside to cool slightly. Pour over the cheesecake layer. Place in the fridge for two hours or until set.
7. Use baking paper to carefully lift the slice from the baking pan. Use a sharp knife to cut into pieces.
This recipe from Foodie Mumma Ren is so simple yet delicious, you’ll wonder why you hadn’t thought of it before.
½ block of Caramilk chocolate
Dash of pouring cream
Fruit such as strawberries, banana or churros to serve with
Combine Caramilk with cream and microwave for 30 to 45 seconds, then serve and enjoy.
CARAMILK NO-BAKE SLICE
This recipe from Just A Mum is a cult favourite with Caramilk fans – and it’s not hard to see why.
250g packet of plain biscuits
75g desiccated coconut
½ cup (60g) coarsely chopped walnuts
155g Caramilk block (one whole block less one row, save that for topping)
100g butter, cubed
395g can sweetened condensed milk
1 block plus a row of Caramilk chocolate
1 tsp vegetable oil
1. Prepare a 25cm square slice dish or baking tin with greaseproof paper and set aside.
2. Using a food processor roughly crush the biscuits to a fine crumb
3. Roughly chop your walnuts and set aside also.
4. In a large saucepan slowly melt together the chocolate, butter and condensed milk, stirring often to ensure it does not catch until butter completely melted and ingredients blended together.
5. Allow the mixture to cool slightly, then add to this the crushed biscuits, coconut, walnuts and mix thoroughly.
6. Pour mixture into the prepared pan and using the back of a large spoon spread it around and flatten mixture until it is completely smooth and packed tight.
8. Put the biscuit base in the fridge to cool for 30 minutes while you prepare the topping
1. Place the chocolate in a medium sized microwave-proof bowl
2. Heat for 30 second bursts, stirring in between until the chocolate is completely melted and smooth.
3. Add the oil to the chocolate and combine well then pour over the cooled biscuit base.
4. Place back in the fridge for a minimum of 30 minutes to set completely, ideally four hours
5. Bring the slice to almost room temperature before slicing to ensure it does not crack.
6. Slice using a sharp knife and store in an airtight container until ready to serve.
CARAMILK CHOCOLATE CRACKLES
4 cups Rice Bubbles
1 cup icing sugar
1 cup desiccated coconut
3 blocks of Caramilk
1. In a large bowl, mix the Rice Bubbles, icing sugar and coconut together.
2. Slowly melt the Caramilk in a metal bowl over boiling water. Add to Rice Bubbles mixture, stirring until well combined.
3. Spoon mixture into paper patty cases and refrigerate until firm.
Originally published as Next-level Cadbury Caramilk recipe
From stunning coastal routes to unmissable sailing events, Janneke Kuysters shares her top tips for cruising Australia
“It doesn’t matter where you choose, you can’t go wrong in Australia. There are so many wonderful cruising grounds,” says Hank Rosendal, a Dutch-Australian sailor. His Amel 53 Tempest is currently moored in Albany, West-Australia. And he’s right: you could sail a lifetime around Australian shores and still not see everything.
So for a foreign cruiser there is a difficult choice: how much time do you want to spend in Australia and what can you do and see? Classically, on a trip around the world, cruisers sail from the islands of the South Pacific to New Zealand for the cyclone season: a tough crossing but with the rich rewards of New Zealand hospitality and boat maintenance facilities.
From New Zealand many go back north to Vanuatu or New Caledonia and then on to the Indian Ocean. For those a short pitstop in Australia in either Cairns, Thursday Island or Darwin is logical. Visits to the Whitsunday Islands and the Great Barrier Reef will add the wonderful experience of tropical Australia.
East coast cruising
But in the past decade more and more cruisers have viewed Australia as a destination in itself. And that opens up a whole new perspective. The tough 1,000-plus miles crossing from the Pacific Islands to New Zealand is no longer necessary – a downwind cruise of around 700 miles from New Caledonia to the east coast of Australia is much more comfortable.
The boat can be safely left in Australia while you fly home, or you can keep sailing. The most important thing to consider is to stay below 30°S; the official cyclone belt lies to the north of this latitude. Instead of having to wait for the cyclones to pass, cruisers can sail on and explore Australian waters.
There are myriad choices to make depending on the distances you are willing to cover. Two popular options are to make landfall near Brisbane in Queensland and sail south to Sydney and back, or to continue sailing to Tasmania.
Article continues below…
“No pizza today.” When this announcement is made at Port Cygnet Sailing Club, all conversations among members in the clubhouse…
Buying a boat, sailing across the Atlantic and then exploring the Pacific, before selling it for the purchase price in…
South African cruiser Brent Grimbeek has chosen this second option: “I love the diversity that the Australian east coast has to offer. Most of the distances between ports are short, so we daysailed our Lagoon 44 Impi from port to port. Crossing Bass Strait is always a challenge, but the effort is richly rewarded by the stunning nature and landscapes of Tasmania.”
His wife Ana adds: “There is the annual Go West rally between New Caledonia and Australia. Although we have made this crossing a few times now, we enjoy participating in the rally: it makes entry into Australia easier and it is fun to meet like-minded people.”
British solo sailor Thom D’Arcy sailed his Vancouver 28 Fathom along the east coast from Bundaberg to Sydney and back up north, all the way to Darwin. “I’m very pleased I took Fathom to Sydney. The sense of achievement on entering such an iconic port is fantastic.”
For those with a taste for speed and endurance, sailing south along the east coast of Australia can be ‘spiced up’ by entering the Sydney Hobart Yacht Race. Paul Billingham, Commodore of the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia explains: “We encourage foreign yachts to participate in ‘the Hobart’ as part of their trip around the world and extend all the necessary help and support to make it happen for them.”
There is also a lesser used track to cruise around the south of Australia and up the west coast. After studying the weather patterns closely, we saw that the tough westward crossing of the Great Australian Bight is feasible in the summer months of February and March.
A succession of high-pressure systems chases the prevailing south-westerly winds away and makes for periods of four to seven days of nice easterly winds. A cruise ‘along the bottom’ of Australia not only gives the opportunity to visit Tasmania’s lesser known cruising areas on the wild west coast, but also puts cities such as Adelaide within reach.
Bruce Roach, Commodore of the Royal South Australian Yacht Squadron, says they welcome visiting cruisers. “The south coast of Australia is a very rewarding cruising ground, from Adelaide to the natural beauty of the Gulf St Vincent and Spencer Gulf with its many anchorages,” he adds.
During our cruise around the south of Australia we experienced this warm hospitality first-hand: the generosity of the Australians to visiting yachts is one of the rewards of sailing off the beaten track in such a vast country. Once across the Bight, Western Australia offers a whole new cruising experience. Long reefs stretch along the coast, so careful navigation is needed.
Cities like Perth and Fremantle offer all possible facilities to visiting yachts, and from the west coast of Australia there are two options: start crossing the Indian Ocean as early as possible after the cyclone season or sail north to Indonesia.
In Australian sailing vocabulary, ‘cruising’ doesn’t mean bluewater cruising, but is mainly coastal daysailing from port to anchorage. Coastal sailing in Australia therefore comes with lots of interesting options, often seen as luxuries by foreign cruisers, such as streaming internet up to 25 miles offshore and ample provisioning (around every corner there is a supermarket and an ATM).
We joked how cruising the east coast is ‘sailing with a watch in your hand’, as a lot of the entrances are river mouths with sandbars across them, requiring careful calculation to cross the bar at the turn of the tide. The navigational challenges can be roughly summarised in three words: current, depressions and sea breeze.
First the current. Along the east coast of Australia there is a southbound current of up to four knots which makes for fast sailing to the south, but rather tedious work when sailing up north, unless you use the countercurrent close inshore. Along the south coast the Leeuwin current flows east at a rate of 0.5 knots. On the west coast the Leeuwin current is stronger and flows south at a rate of about one knot.
The second challenge is the depressions. They flow in a steady succession from west to east, bringing troughs and fronts. The quality of the available forecasts is high, so you can make good use of the wind the depressions generate to propel you in the right direction. Going against the prevailing winds makes for tough conditions though, because in the shallow coastal areas steep wind-waves build up very quickly.
Australia’s hot interior generates sea breezes. Again, if you study them and use them to your advantage, it can make for some fine passages. But you need to be careful. Sea breezes can easily last for 12 hours and reach over 25 knots on top of the prevailing winds.
Timing and distances
The cruising season in southern Australia is at its best in January, February and March. That means that you can sail to Australia from, for instance, New Caledonia in September. This gives you the time to cruise at leisure down the coast and make some trips overland too. We went to Ayers Rock/Uluru.
You can spend the summer in Tasmania and sail back up in March, to be in time for the end of the cyclone season by the time you reach Queensland again. If you decide to go along the Bight, you need to leave Tasmania at the end of January to time your crossing of the Bight in February or March.
Cruising Australian shores has been very rewarding for us: the wildlife, nature, diversity and hospitality left us in awe.
Entry in Australia
Australia has the reputation of being a tough country to enter. In reality, if you prepare yourself and your boat, there is no need to worry. The process is fairly straightforward and all necessary information is easy to find on the government websites.
Before arriving in Australia, every crew member needs to have a visa. There are two types. The e-visitor visa which is valid for three months. It is free of charge and can be extended. The other type is valid for one year (multiple entry) and costs AU$140. Both can be applied for online.
When you have been in certain countries in the Pacific for more than three months, you will need to have a chest X-ray before you arrive in Australia. Check the online forms carefully for the conditions.
For your boat there are two important steps. First, the cruising permit. This is issued on arrival and is valid for one year, with the option of extending it to three years. With this cruising permit as proof of being a ‘yacht in transit’, buying parts for the boat or having repairs done is exempt from sales tax (GST in Australia).
The second step is the biosecurity inspection. Fresh fruit, meat, dairy and eggs are not allowed. Importantly, the boat also needs to be without any pest infestation, such as fruit flies, termites, or growth on the hull. Australian agri- and aquaculture is strictly protected and the inspections are thorough.
At AU$60 per 15 minutes increments, it pays to prepare the boat in the port of departure, cleaning and making all surfaces accessible makes for a quick inspection. On average, the cost is AU$300 for the inspection.
Where to enter? There are roughly three options, depending on your cruising plans. If you want to do ‘Australia light’, the port of Bundaberg is the best. It is just below latitude 30°S, so you can wait for the cyclone season to pass north of you before you head to Cairns or further north.
If you want to cruise the east coast, ports further south such as Brisbane, Southport or even Coffs Harbour are attractive. If your focus is on Tasmania, you could even choose to enter in Sydney.
About the authors
Dutch couple Wietze van der Laan and Janneke Kuysters are sailing around the world in their Bruce Roberts 44 Anna Caroline. They love high latitude cruising and exploring areas which are slightly off the beaten track.
First published in the August 2019 edition of Yachting World.
Ensuring the safety of children online has never been a greater concern. The Covid-19 pandemic has forced millions of children to increase their time spent on the internet as lessons and social interactions have become facilitated online.
The Covid-19 crisis has become a perfect storm for online criminals. Millions of children engaged in online learning, alongside all ages spending longer online, creates an opportunity for exploitation. Children are often unsupervised during this extended screen time; they might be lonely or struggling without the support networks of school and peers, and sexual predators are exploiting these vulnerabilities.
There has been a sharp rise in discussions of child abuse on the dark web since the lockdown began. The Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) has blocked 8.8 million attempts by UK internet users to access child abuse images and videos during lockdown and the number of people seeking help for sexual thoughts about children has doubled in the same time period, according to a UK charity.
This threat to online safety for children is not an issue impacting the UK alone. Recognising that online safety risks have no borders, Dr Howard Taylor, the Executive Director of End Violence, Julie Inman Grant, the Australian eSafety Commissioner, and Dr Joanna Rubinstein, the President & CEO of Childhood USA joined together to pen an open letter, outlining the risks children face and calling upon the tech companies, governments and families to take more action.
Parents, education and awareness
There are several issues parents and caregivers should be aware of when it comes to protecting their children online. A study from the Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation (ACCCE) found that only 21 per cent of parents perceived that child sexual exploitation could happen to their child or a young person that they know. This mindset can leave children vulnerable to any number of dangers online during the pandemic.
Parents should ensure that they know what apps their children are using and in what capacity. For instance, a gaming app may seem harmless but chat functions, links to other games, pup-up adverts to websites and the ability to pay for in-app purchases all add a degree of vulnerability to many innocuous games.
Outside of leisure time, lessons are being given via video conferencing software, many of which have dubious security records. For instance, a Californian church is suing Zoom after a hacker hijacked a bible study group and shared explicit imagery. This is not uncommon, since the beginning of lockdown, incidents of ‘Zoom Bombing’ have increased dramatically, from yoga classes to online lectures. In response, Zoom have increased its security measures and developed end to end encryption for its’ paid users.
Educational resources, which children are relying on for their schoolwork, are being targeted as they are often less secure. Aside from this, parents should be aware of the other dangers which are present inside and out of a lockdown situation, such as children sexting and sharing explicit images to one another which could be used for extortion or bullying
The role of tech firms
The Covid-19 crisis increasing the dangers for children online has, once again, raised important questions for tech firms and the regulators. As well as immediate guardians, what responsibility do the companies themselves have to ensure that children are protected?
Social networks and online games rely on a team of content moderators to identify and remove harmful content. This is a traumatic task which often has damaging psychological effects, due to the nature of the content and the uphill battle faced by these teams to chase and remove large amounts of material. The increase in child sexual exploitation material online places huge pressures on moderation teams who are already overstretched and may have their capacity reduced due to Covid-19. Human moderating teams can only handle so much.
As such, there is a need to begin automating how illegal content is monitored and targeted. Technology used to detect, and flag illicit material exists and is being developed to protect children who are facing online safety threats. Using this technology is a natural step for tech firms who are looking to relieve the pressure on human moderators. Facebook recently introduced new safety measures to protect minors on their messenger platform. The technology enables them to analyse the behaviour of users, and will identify if an adult is sending a large amount of requests to children under 18, for example, as well as offering advice to under 18s on being cautious whilst interacting with adults online.
Intervention from governments is another area of regulation which is important – and complex – area to consider. In 2019, representatives from the ‘Five Eyes’ community (Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the US and the UK) held a digital industry roundtable to discuss the global response to child sexual abuse. Alongside six technology companies (Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Roblox, Snapchat, and Twitter) and experts from civil society and academia to counter child sexual abuse, they developed the Voluntary Principles to Counter Online Child Sexual Exploitation and Abuse. The principles are designed to combat online grooming, child abuse material and safeguard children.
Support from these technology companies, however, represent just part of the online world. There is a massive disparity among companies in their child protection efforts.
Elsewhere, in the Netherlands, the CDA minister is demanding that companies remove child sexual abuse material within 24 hours of a report. Similarly, a French law passed in May 2020 forces social media companies to remove the most harmful content from their platform within the hour. Failure to comply with the legislation could result in a fine of up to 4 per cent of their global revenue for Facebook, Google and Twitter.
Plans for similar legislation has also been discussed in the UK, including a legal duty of care for tech firms. The NSPCC revealed that 55 per cent of online grooming offences in the UK since April 2017 were committed on Facebook-owned apps. This needs to then be viewed against the company’s plans to adopt end-to-end encryption at some point in the future which may make identifying illicit content that much more difficult for current technologies.
The discussion should also be shifted to proactivity, namely ‘baking’ security into online mediums from the outset. Best practice security guides which can be followed by developers to ensure safety whilst platforms are being created are available and further resources are being developed.
Collaboration is crucial
There is still more to be done. Regulation across tech platforms in different territories is not consistent and, as we’ve seen, developing legislation to protect children is not an easy task. Online safety is a broad and complicated topic. It’s shrouded in competing agendas and complicated by the larger conversation on platform regulation, privacy and freedom of speech.
To ensure long-standing and comprehensive collaboration which protects children, governments and innovative tech companies must work together. The Online Safety Tech Industry Association (OSTIA), launched in April 2020, is a partnership between 16 innovative UK technology companies, government departments and charities who share the joint mission of improving internet safety for children. This partnership will bridge the gap between those who are seeking to enact change and those who fear the cost of its implementation, both monetarily and ethically.
OSTIA is supported by Department of Media Culture and Sport, the National Crime Agency, GCHQ, the Home Office, and the NSPCC. One of the association’s first tasks is producing an introductory guide to online safety, aimed at helping those developing new platforms to understand the potential risks and “design in” online safety technology best practices from the outset.
The pandemic as a turning point
Millions of children are at increased risk of harm as they become reliant on the internet during the Covid-19 pandemic. The sharp rise in predators attempting to access explicit material during lockdown demonstrates that the need to protect vulnerable children is immediate and pressing.
Whilst parents have a responsibility to ensure that they are aware of the dangers associated with increased screen time, there is a need for greater collaboration and regulation across tech platforms which is consistent. Child sexual exploitation and abuse is an issue which transcends borders, so any legislation should reflect this.
Addressing online safety will not be a quick fix. But an unexpected consequence of the pandemic could be greater dialogue and commitment across the safety industry – tech companies, charities, government bodies and industry leaders recognising the need to increasingly work together.
Ian Stevenson, CEO of Cyan Forensics
US President Donald Trump has continued his streak of false claims – this time trying to take credit for one of New Zealand’s achievements, which has angered Kiwis.
On Saturday during a speech at Mount Rushmore, Trump shared a list of “accomplishments” the United States has made which was later posted on the White House Twitter account.
“Americans harnessed electricity, split the atom, and gave the world the telephone and the internet. We settled the Wild West, won two World Wars, landed American astronauts on the Moon – and one day soon, we will plant our flag on Mars!,” he wrote.
However, most claims on the list are untrue.
Kiwis were quick to defend Ernest Rutherford, the New Zealander who split the atom in 1917 by converting nitrogen atoms into oxygen, forcing the transformation and creating the nuclear age.
Meanwhile, the Scots were angered to see him try to take away Scottish man Alexander Bell’s achievement of inventing the phone.
He worked on his first telephone mainly in Canada and only became a US citizen six years after his invention.
Trump also claimed that the US settled the Wild West, with the phrase sparking criticism for erasing history and Native Americans.
The US president coined the phrase during his 2020 State of the Union address in February and again used it during his July speech at the 400th anniversary of the first representative legislative assembly at Williamsburg.
Vox journalist Jessica Machado blasted him for using the phrase after his February speech.
“In his retelling of history, the president not only erased the millions of Native peoples prior to Columbus’s arrival in 1492, but suggested that their lands, livelihoods, and existence were something to be tamed and conquered,” she wrote.
One person on Twitter agreed, writing: “By settled the wild west I assume you mean colonised and all but eradicated an already established population of humans, correct?”
Others were upset about Trump’s claim that the US won both the World Wars.
While the US played a vital part in both wars, it only joined World War 1 nearly three years after it started as Germany sank several US merchant ships.
In World War 2 the US again tried to remain neutral but joined the war in its final years after the attack on Pearl Harbour.
New Zealand began restricting the return of its own nationals Tuesday as the country faces an accelerating influx of citizens fleeing coronavirus outbreaks overseas and limited quarantine facilities.
National carrier Air New Zealand put a three-week freeze on new bookings and the government is in talks with other airlines to limit capacity, officials said.
New Zealand has gone 67 days without any cases of coronavirus in the community and its 22 active cases are all in managed quarantine facilities for New Zealanders flocking home from worsening epidemics elsewhere.
There are nearly 6,000 people currently undergoing the mandatory 14-day quarantine in the facilities and another 3,500 are due to arrive this week.
Housing Minister Megan Woods said the government was working to add to its 28 isolation facilities but had to be certain the new sites were fit for purpose.
“Air New Zealand has agreed to put a temporary hold on new bookings in the short term, as well as look at aligning daily arrivals with the capacity available at managed isolation facilities,” Woods said.
“We are seeing rapid growth in the number of New Zealanders coming home as the COVID-19 pandemic worsens,” she added.
“Our number one priority is stopping the virus at the border, so everyone must go into quarantine or managed isolation. The government is also talking to other airlines about managing flows.”
Since New Zealand went into lockdown in March, nearly 27,000 people have gone through managed isolation and quarantine.
The nation of five million has recorded just under 2,000 cases of COVID-19, 22 of them fatal.