Government boosts board for UK Council for Internet Safety

The businesses and organisations involved in the scheme will help inform a paper identifying potential online harms to children

Child browsing internet on smartphone

The government has announced the companies joining its UK Council for Internet Safety (UKCIS) executive board that will ensure online safety is a priority across the UK.

Companies included are Apple, the BBC, Childnet, Facebook, GCHQ, Google, the ICO, Internet Matters, Microsoft, National Police Chiefs' Council, NSPCC, Ofcom, Parentzone, TechUK, Twitter and UKIE. ISPs and mobile networks will hold a rotating position on the executive board, with BT, Sky, TalkTalk, Three, Virgin Media, Vodafone all confirmed to take part.

"Only through collaborative action will the UK be the safest place to be online," Margot James, Minister for Digital and the Creative Industries said. "By bringing together a wealth of expertise from a wide range of fields, UKCIS can be an example to the world on how we can work together to face the challenges of the digital revolution in an effective and responsible way."

The UKCIS has been set up to develop a more uniform approach to online safety. It will also develop the Online Harms White Paper the government is planning to write in order to identify, analyse and find solutions to online harms children are exposed to. Subjects expected to be covered in the report include cyberbullying and sexual exploitation, radicalisation and extremism, violence against women and girls, hate crime and hate speech and other forms of discrimination against groups identified in the Equality Act.

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"We are delighted to sit on the Executive Board of UKCIS where we are able to represent parents needs in keeping their children safe online," CEO of Internet Matters Carolyn Bunting said. "Online safety demands a collaborative approach and by bringing industry together we hope we can bring about real change and help everyone benefit from the opportunities the digital world has to offer."

The government opened up applications for businesses and other parties to join the UKCIS board in July and will now comprise more than 200 organisations, including representatives from the government, regulators, industry, law enforcement, academia and charities.

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