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New Council for Internet Safety in the UK

The Government has taken the first step to establish a new UK Council for Internet Safety (UKCIS)

Expanding the scope of the UK Council for Child Internet Safety (UKCCIS), and guided by the government’s Internet Safety Strategy, UKCIS will work to improve the online safety of everyone in the UK, particularly the needs of groups who are often disproportionately targets of online abuse.

Today the Government has opened the application process to appoint members of the UKCIS Executive Board, offering experienced and committed organisations or individuals the chance to help make the UK the safest place in the world to be online.

UKCIS will bring together a partnership of more than 200 organisations representing government, regulators, industry, law enforcement, academia and charities.

Margot James, Minister for Digital and the Creative Industries said:

Only through collaborative action will the UK be the safest place to be online. By bringing together key stakeholders, from the tech giants to the third sector, UKCIS will be the cornerstone of this effort; driving the development of technical solutions and equipping UK citizens to tackle online harms.

David Wright, Director of the UK Safer Internet Centre at SWGfL, a charitable trust that specialises in online safety, said:

To build a safer internet, we need to work across sectors and disciplines, making sure we learn from the experiences of a wide variety of citizens. We welcome the new opportunities provided by the UK Council for Internet Safety, and look forward to working closely with the new Council”.

Priority areas of focus will include online harms such as cyberbullying and sexual exploitation; radicalisation and extremism; violence against women and girls; hate crime and hate speech; and forms of discrimination against groups protected under the Equality Act, for example on the basis of disability or race.

The proposal to expand the remit of the UK Council for Child Internet Safety was outlined in the Government’s Internet Safety Strategy Green Paper in October 2017. The new Council will have specific objectives reflecting children and young people’s special needs for care and protection, and will build on the pioneering work of UKCCIS in this area. The Executive Board will contain representatives of children’s organisations.

Reflecting a cross-government approach to internet safety, the UKCIS Executive Board will have three co-Ministerial chairs from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, Home Office and the Department for Education. It will also include representatives from the Devolved Administrations of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

The application process opens today and will close at 1pm on 3 September 2018.

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