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17 July 2020 | Podcasts | Article by Alan Collins

HJ Talks About Abuse: Zoombombing: A discussion with Feleena Grosvenor

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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.

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

Author bio

Alan Collins


Alan Collins is one of the best known and most experienced solicitors in the field of child abuse litigation and has acted in many high profile cases, including the Jimmy Savile and Haut de la Garenne abuse scandals.  Alan has represented interested parties before public inquiries including the Independent Jersey Care Inquiry, and IICSA (Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse).

Internationally, Alan works in Australia, South East Asia, Uganda, Kenya, and California representing clients in high profile sexual abuse cases. Alan also spoke at the Third Regional Workshop on Justice for Children in East Asia and the Pacific in Bangkok hosted by Unicef and HCCH (Hague Conference on Private International Law).

Disclaimer: The information on the Hugh James website is for general information only and reflects the position at the date of publication. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be treated as such. If you would like to ensure the commentary reflects current legislation, case law or best practice, please contact the blog author.


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