Newsletter 28th June 2021 – The fight against Terrorism & Emergency Alerts

Hello 😊

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, launched a new smartphone app on the 24th February 2021 to make it easier for people to report terrorist content online. It’s a pilot of the things to come.

 

Research has found that four out of five Londoners were unsure how to report extremist material online during the pandemic.

The iREPORTit app was funded by City Hall and created in partnership with the national Counter Terrorism Internet Referral Unit. It will empower Londoners and people across the country to report terrorist content online immediately, easily and incognito to the police using their smartphone.

If you have seen material online which you are concerned could be terrorist or extremist, you can also report it at www.gov.uk/act

Head of Counter Terrorism Policing – Neil Basu said.

“Every time a member of public sends the Counter Terrorism Internet Referral Unit a link to material which is terrorist or extremist in nature, they are helping police in the international fight against terrorism.

“So, I welcome this new app which offers the public another way to report material, in addition to the existing reporting tools.

“Specialist officers are ready and waiting to look at each and every single referral sent via the app.

“Where material breaches UK terrorism legislation, they will seek its removal, even if the website host is based in another country, because every piece that is removed from the Internet is no longer out in the ether, potentially radicalising vulnerable people and encouraging them to cause serious harm to others.”  

 

Emergency alerts and make ‘loud siren-like sounds’ issued to your phones in the UK as part of test

Phones across the country are to issue “emergency alerts” as part of a nationwide test, the government has said.

The test could lead devices to make a “loud siren-like sound”, the government has warned.

The tests are part of a government system that allows it to issue warnings about potential dangers or issues by sending them out to people’s phones.

The system is set to launch in summer 2021, according to the UK’s website.

“Emergency alerts will warn you if there’s a danger to life nearby,” its website says. “In an emergency, your phone or tablet will receive an alert with advice about how to stay safe.”

When the system is in place, the emergency services and government bodies will be able to issue alerts through the system.

They will be sent in the case of severe flooding, fires, explosions, terrorist incidents or public health emergencies, the government says.

But before it rolls out, the system will be tested by the government and phones networks to ensure it is functioning as it should.

One of those tests will take place on 22 June, the government has warned, between 1pm and 2pm. It says that there is a “small chance” that people could get an alert during the time, and that they will only be sent to Android devices.

The message that is sent to users will make clear the alert is being sent out as a test.

“This is a mobile network operator test of the Emergency Alerts service. You do not need to take any action. To find out more, search for gov.uk/alerts,” the message will read.

There will then be another test, the following Tuesday 29 June. That will be limited to people in Reading, happen between 1pm and 2pm, and will not only be restricted to Android devices but to other phones and tablets too.

Users can opt out of some of the emergency alerts, including the tests, though the “most important ones” will still be pushed through, according to the government. That will be decided not by subject but importance.

The government stresses that users should keep them switched on “for your own safety” and that a user might think they are opting out of flood warnings but will then find themselves not receiving messages about fires or terrorism.

They can be switched off by heading to settings, finding the “emergency alerts” options and turning of “severe alerts”. The same process will work on both Android and iPhone.

 

Referenced from Microsoft News .com

Phones across UK to issue ‘emergency alerts’ and make ‘loud siren-like sounds’ as part of test (msn.com)

 

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