July 17, 2020

Zoombombing: A Discussion With Feleena Grosvenor

In this episode of the HJ Talks About Abuse podcast host Alan Collins and colleague Feleena Grosvenor discuss “Zoombombing”; what it is and why it is so dangerous.

Individuals are abusing the necessity of remote working due to COVID-19 and the steep increase of the use of online platforms to communicate such as Zoom by “Zoombombing”. The National Crime Agency recently reported that more than 120 cases of Zoom video calls have been hijacked by those unknown displaying images of child abuse.

Taking, making, sharing and possessing indecent images and pseudo-photographs of people under 18 is illegal.

The term “making” could include:

  • opening an attachment to an email containing an image
  • downloading an image from a website onto a computer screen
  • storing an image in a directory on a computer
  • accessing a website in which images appeared by way of an automatic “pop up” mechanism

 These examples, taken from Government guidance, are possible to occur when “Zoombombing” is committed and it is the person viewing the images, not uploading them, that is at risk of breaking the law.

Some of you may recall late last year the police chief, Robyn Williams, who was convicted for having child sexual abuse images on her phone when they were sent to her via WhatsApp by her sister. (https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2019/nov/19/police-chief-convicted-for-having-child-sex-abuse-video-on-phone-robyn-williams)

For those of you who would like to hear more about this topic we direct you to the BBC news story “my search for the boy in a child abuse video” (https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/stories-51680410) or you can contact Alan Collins or Feleena Grosvenor at alan.collins@hughjames.com or feleena.grosvenor@hughjames.com.

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