CRO’s Helpline: a direct line and a European database on online gender-based violence
An official helpline for victims of online violence is active on the CRO Cyber Rights Organization website: “A direct line between survivors of cybercrime and gender-based online violence and the legal and IT cyber assistance activities of our team of international experts”, explains Director Annachiara Sarto.
The new helpline of CRO Cyber Rights Organization
Cybercrime has different faces, ranging between image-based sexual abuse, sextortion, distribution of intimate material and financial fraud. The idea behind the Helpline is to enable the many victims of cyber crime – especially women who are 27 times more exposed to online violence than men – to contact the CRO Cyber Rights Organization directly. Another important step in the fight against cybercrime was accomplished by the international organization based in The Hague, Netherlands, founded by AnnaChiara Sarto together with Andrea Baggio and Juan Ricardo Palacio (CEOs of ReputationUP and HelpRansomware) and also led by researcher and activist Silvia Semenzin (Head of CRO’s advocacy department).
How the helpline is going to work.
As activist Silvia Semenzin explains: “Thanks to this Helpline, we will be able to directly help people who contact us for IT and legal support regarding any cybercrime that has violated their freedom and online dignity”.
Indeed, it is a simple format that anyone can find on the website, intuitive and fast, in which the survivor will be able to explain, anonymously, to CRO’s legal experts and IT technicians, the nature of the crime or violence suffered. “For this purpose”, continues Silvia Semenzin, “we have set up the possibility for survivors to upload files for direct exchange of useful material, enabling side-by-side operations that CRO provides to victims of digital crime”. The organization’s strength is based on years of experience in online reputation and cybersecurity for businesses and governments, combined with a strong ethical defense of human and digital rights.
A look at online gender-based violence
A crackdown on cybercrime to concretely re-establish the importance of cyber rights issues at the national and European levels. Increasingly disheartening are the numbers outlining the many forms of digital violence. According to a study conducted by McGlynn and Rackley (Birmingham University), for example, out of 1160 cases analyzed of non-consensual dissemination of intimate imagery, only 11% of the reported abuses resulted in the prosecution of the perpetrator, 7% in a police warning, 5% in a community resolution, while in 61% of the cases no action was taken.
“We will start to act from that 61%. We are proud to be able to help survivors of online gender-based violence”, claims Silvia Semenzin, “we also think that this Helpline is an important container of stories and testimonies that will help us to develop new methodologies on the front of fighting cybercrime and assuring the survivors with justice and the best practices to mitigate the violence against their digital and human rights”.
A large European Database on online violence
A digital space reserved to collect personal experiences of gender-based violence and lives in the balance due to, for example, the non consensual dissemination of personal and intimate imagery. CRO Cyber Rights Organization will also aim to categorize and anonymously process reports and requests from victims by launching one of Europe’s largest databases on the following online crimes: non-consensual dissemination of intimate imagery, online child protection, GDPR violations, cyberbullying, online gender-based violence, hate speech, doxing, deep fake porn, sextortion, cyber stalking, catfishing, identity theft and financial fraud.
Director Annachiara Sarto concludes: “We will put at the service of cybercrime survivors the most impressive European support machine, both on the legal and IT fronts. Finally, an authoritative European dike that will put the cyber rights and digital human rights of citizens of all states at the center of the international agenda”.
Pompeo: The Biden administration allowed the Chinese and Russians to come together
Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Fox News weighs in on the Biden administration’s response to the meeting between Presidents Xi and Putin:
– To hear the White House place this down as if it’s unimportant is a strategic mistake. They often speak in riddles but this is no riddle.
– The Biden administration allowed the Chinese and Russians to come together and presents a risk to every American citizen.
– A couple things we should think of…1,000 nuclear weapons to add to the Chinese arsenal.
– Now two members of the U.N. Security council join against the United States of America. Bad for the United States as well.
– I think we may be in a situation again where this administration has drawn a ‘red line’ and the Chinese communist party has crossed it willy-nilly.
– We spent a lot of time thinking our way through how to separate the Chinese communist party and Russia. They have now found a way to come together…
– The economic engagement between the two is important and will impact the United States and jobs all around our country. And we should be absolutely on point in pushing back against what it is they’re trying to do.
– We aren’t victims but have to be.
TIME: Will China create a better world?
China is everywhere in global politics. China is “ubiquitous,” a retired Senior Colonel Zhou Bo of China’s PLA told in a conversation with TIME magazine. On March 10, in an agreement brokered by Beijing, Iran and Saudi Arabia agreed to normalize relations, after seven years of bitter rivalry in a deal that sidelined the U.S. Earlier, on February 24, China put forward a 12-point proposal for peace in Ukraine. On March 20, President Xi Jinping arrived in Moscow, where he discussed the situation in Ukraine with Vladimir Putin.
Senior Colonel Zhou Bo spoke about what the “watershed moment” means for China and the world. He said:
– For Beijing, the war in Ukraine is a trigger for new security arrangements in Europe that will have to be made before peace returns. China’s proposal on peace in Ukraine is a big step forward. The success on mediation between Iran and Saudi Arabia will encourage China to make more proposals, but the challenge is always to find road maps. With reform and opening up, as Deng Xiaoping said, China was trying to get across the river by feeling the stones on the riverbed, but now China is entering the ocean.
– We are talking about Global China. When Boris Johnson talked about Global Britain, it was probably more rhetorical. But Global China is definitely real. China is ubiquitous. China’s influence is everywhere. The PLA’s operations overseas are carefully chosen to be humanitarian in nature, but as your strength grows, people have higher expectations for you. We are talking about the world. This is the ocean we are wading in.
– China does have some sympathy with Russia on how this war came about because of NATO expansion, despite NATO’s promises on no expansion from time to time. China understands why Russia is resentful. When China stresses sovereignty must be respected, it also tries to look at it from a more comprehensive perspective. Countries like South Africa, Brazil, or India are taking similar positions like China on this.
– There is no doubt that China wants to see a ceasefire because China’s interests were damaged in Europe. Because of China’s neutrality, China’s relations with Western capitals have soured. This is ludicrous because China has nothing to do with this war.
– It does not make any sense that China, which has not provided weapons to Russia since the outbreak of the war, would change its mind, especially at a time when they have actually announced a peace plan. Why would Antony Blinken say that? By saying it, Blinken was actually giving a pre-emptive warning because China providing military support would be the worst fear of the U.S. But it’s totally impossible.
– The American presence in the region is not as strong as before, but the U.S. will not go away. But on this issue China is doing what the U.S. cannot do. Why? Because the U.S. doesn’t even have diplomatic relations with Iran. It cannot become a mediator between the two sides. The U.S. has allies in the region. It has to adopt double standards. Therefore, China can do a better job, but this is not an attempt to replace the U.S.
– If there were a war between Saudi and Iran, this would damage China’s interests, both economic interests and energy security, profoundly. So China needs to prevent a war and that may explain its new role.
– China depends on energy imports from the Middle East, which make up 40-50% of Chinese energy imports. We are trying to diversify, but that is the situation for now… At the same time, China’s activity in the Middle East now comprises almost everything, from building infrastructure to launching satellites to energy imports, therefore its stake on peace and stability in the Middle East has become higher.
– This is the first time China becomes directly involved in regional security. The biggest question of the 21st century is, if China’s rise is inevitable, will China create a better world? My answer is, at least it can make a safer world. At least it will make much less harm than the U.S.
War in Ukraine: Congress adopts a declaration of condemnation
The Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe unanimously adopted on 21 March 2023 a Declaration to mark the one-year anniversary of Russia’s war against Ukraine, presented by the Congress President and Rapporteur on The Russian Federation’s war against Ukraine, Leendert Verbeek (Netherlands, SOC/G/PD).
President Verbeek said that the Congress declaration is a clear message of condemnation of this brutal war and a strong reaffirmation of the Congress’ unwavering solidarity with Ukraine, its people and communities : “we must continue to show our Ukrainian friends, colleagues and peers – the elected leaders that are engaged in a battle for their lives, their citizens, their towns and their futures – that they are NOT forgotten and that we will do everything in our power now, and in the future, to support them.” President Verbeek also stressed that the declaration reiterated the Congress’ resolute support for Ukraine’s sovereignty, political independence and territorial integrity within its internationally recognised borders.
The debate was preceded by a video message from the Ukrainian Commissioner for Human Rights, Dmytro Lubinets. “The solidarity of our partners strengthens the stability of our resistance to the aggressor and our strong confidence in victory”, he underlined while speaking about the difficult humanitarian situation in Ukraine. He also stressed the importance of mechanisms for the protection of citizens’ rights on the local level for everybody. He described how his office was implementing this approach by opening representative offices of the Commissioner in each region.
In his speech, the Congress President praised the “extraordinary courage and resilience of the Ukrainians and their leadership as they relentlessly defend their country at the frontline and the home front. “The Congress commends the solidarity and unity of Europeans, their cities and regions. We call on all to continue to mobilise and provide large-scale financial, security and humanitarian assistance to their Ukrainian counterparts”, he highlighted.
During the debate, Congress members supported the creation of a special international tribunal for the crime of aggression against Ukraine and the setting up of an international compensation mechanism for the injury, damage and loss incurred by the State of Ukraine as well as natural and legal persons in Ukraine. “It is imperative to hold Russia accountable for all crimes and justice must be done for all the victims.”, stressed President Verbeek.
“The Congress stands by the Ukrainian people at this historically decisive time for Ukraine and the world and believes in a common, democratic future based on respect for international law and a just peace.”, he concluded.
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