Home Secretary Suella Braverman has hit out at the extremist nature of mass protests on the streets of the UK against the backdrop of the Israel-Gaza conflict as “hate marches” and vowed she would not hesitate to change terror legislation to tackle “utterly odious” bad actors.
The minister was speaking after an emergency Cabinet Office Briefing Rooms A (COBRA) security meeting chaired by British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak at 10 Downing Street this week.
She said: "To my mind there is only one way to describe those marches: they are hate marches.
"What we've seen over the last few weekends, we've seen now tens of thousands of people take to the streets following the massacre of Jewish people, the single largest loss of Jewish life since the Holocaust, chanting for the erasure of Israel from the map."
She also reiterated her call for the police to take a “zero-tolerance approach to antisemitism” and warned of a "large number of bad actors who are deliberately operating beneath the criminal threshold in a way which you or I or the vast majority of the British people would consider to be utterly odious".
“We keep our laws under review. If there is a need to change the law, just as we did in relation to Just Stop Oil protests, I will not hesitate to act,” she added.
It came as the British Indian minister hosted an event with the Internet Watch Foundation and committed to clamp down on the spread of artificial intelligence (AI) generated child sex abuse material.
Taking place in the lead up to the UK government’s AI Safety Summit, Braverman addressed attendees, many of which have come together to sign a statement pledging to cooperate to mitigate the spread of AI-generated images depicting children being abused.
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She noted: “Child sexual abuse images generated by AI are an online scourge. This is why tech giants must work alongside law enforcement to clamp down on their spread. The pictures are computer generated but they often show real people – it’s depraved and damages lives.
“The pace at which these images have spread online is shocking and that’s why we have convened such a wide group of organisations to tackle this issue head-on. We cannot let this go on unchecked.”
This week, the UK is hosting the first-ever major global AI Safety Summit at Bletchley Park on November 1 and 2. The summit will turbocharge global action on the safe and responsible development of frontier AI around the world – bringing together key nations, technology companies, researchers, and civil society groups.
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From India, Union Minister of State for Entrepreneurship, Skill Development, Electronics & Technology Rajeev Chandrasekhar is in the UK to discuss ways in which AI can be harnessed to transform lives of citizens.