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Innovation in cybersecurity as a post-pandemic government priority

10 minute read
In response to the new reality imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic and the increased risk of cyber breaches, Especially on children, The governments of Vietnam and the United Kingdom are striving for innovative solutions. The former created a website to enhance security and receive reports, The second launched a competition for projects aimed at preventing the exploitation of children online.
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In response to the new reality imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic and the increased risk of cyber breaches, Especially on children, The governments of Vietnam and the United Kingdom are striving for innovative solutions. The former created a website to enhance security and receive reports, The second launched a competition for projects aimed at preventing the exploitation of children online.

The COVID-19 pandemic at the beginning of 2020 was spreading in the world at escalating rates, This forced governments to take extraordinary measures to protect their citizens, who in turn adopted different lifestyles. Pursuant to the decisions on education, work from home and social distancing, Virtual life in the parallel world has become an indispensable necessity.

School closures are estimated to have affected more than 1.5 billion children and adolescents who use the internet to learn, play and communicate with their peers. However, the presence of the Internet in the daily lives of children and adolescents is directly linked to the risks it holds for them. such as exploiting and manipulating them to send inappropriate posts, or exposing them to violent content, and even falling victim to fraud or bullying. These risks are similar, albeit different, In Vietnam, for example, 15 million children under the age of 16 live, They use audiovisual content sites, social networks and games, This makes them more vulnerable to cybercrime.

Therefore, The government has launched an experiment that adopts a collaborative approach, The Vietnam Online Child Protection Network partnered with the Information Security Authority of the Ministry of Information and Communications to launch a multi-stakeholder website. Through this platform or hotline, Users can report cases of child abuse for the network to see and take response measures. The site also provides a special section for "expression of opinion", Its pioneers – even children – can share their ideas for decision-makers to take into account when formulating new policies. In the news section, The site provides advanced technologies and constantly updated information on the issue of "online security" locally and globally, It is also equipped with a "tools" section that provides children with useful ideas and programs to participate in online health activities. This is part of a program launched by the Prime Minister to protect children and develop a system of local applications and products to provide education and entertainment online.

This network brings together 24 units, It includes representatives of many local and foreign agencies, companies and organizations specialized in this field, In addition to representatives from government bodies such as the Ministry of Labor, People of Determination and Social Affairs, The Ministry of Public Security, The Ministry of Education and Training, and the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.

In the United Kingdom, The authorities have launched their own experience in this regard, But with a different approach. In conjunction with the hosting of the summit of the seven industrialized countries, The government has allocated funding to develop innovative technologies to control the spread of child abuse material of all kinds through social media and messaging platforms protected by end-to-end encryption technology, which is commonly used in many fields such as banking. Which is widely spread in messaging applications, It encrypts communication data between sender and receiver, Including photos, written messages and recordings. Thus, cannot be accessed by any third party; This makes it difficult to track down and arrest criminals.

Therefore, The government is working on a draft law on "online safety", To establish a regulatory framework that criminalizes child abuse and racist violations and prosecutes perpetrators, It also established the Safety Technology Challenge Fund, A competition worth more than £005,000 was launched for projects that offer new ways to achieve this goal.

After consultations of a political nature with local and international partners from the public and private sectors, The government announced the victory of 5 projects, Owners will receive seed funding to implement their technological innovations and bring them to market, This is under the supervision of the Ministry of Interior and the Department of Technology, Culture, Media and Sports. The sources of the winning projects have varied, They were from the private sector, academia and government agencies, It also varied in its approaches, It included, for example, new software features based on artificial intelligence, It can run in the background of encrypted messaging apps to monitor and report violations, Algorithms match content to pre-existing illegal material. Other ideas have been to estimate users' ages and use facial recognition technology to identify offensive or harmful images before uploading them. One project focused on preventing the live transmission of video material involving violence or assault of any kind. Through artificial intelligence technologies suitable for all smart operating systems.

New projects will undergo a period of idea development and evaluation of their effectiveness and ability to overcome challenges. The structure of providing the strongest project with additional funding. Whereas, the projects are required to offer practical solutions to combat the exploitation and abuse of children without compromising the rights to privacy and data protection, The main challenge has been to achieve this equation.

The Safety Technology Challenge Fund will foster innovations and provide them with the necessary support and funding to help contain cases of child abuse. The UK government also hopes that the 'Online Safety' bill will change how inappropriate content is dealt with and commit companies involved to a new duty towards their users. This is in line with the country's call for global cooperation towards this endeavor.

In Vietnam, The ministerial program has presented many initiatives and solutions to use advanced technologies to increase safety, The Ministry of Informatics and Technology is also compiling proposed ideas for a draft code of conduct for the protection of children in the virtual world.

References:

https://www.unicef.org/eap/press-releases/children-increased-risk-harm-online-during-global-covid-19-pandemic-unicef

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-funds-new-tech-in-the-fight-against-online-child-abuse

https://www.opengovasia.com/vietnam-unveils-online-child-protection-website//
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