Google, Apple, BBC and others join UK Council for Internet Safety

The government has announced that Google, Apple, the BBC and other prominent UK-based tech companies have joined its UK Council for Internet Safety (UKCIS) executive board.

The aim of UKCIS is to ensure that online safety is a priority issue across the UK and the members involved in its board make strides to ensure the safety of UK internet users from harmful content found online.

“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.”

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Apple, Google and the BBC are joined on the board by Childnet, Facebook, GCHQ, the ICO, Internet Matters, Microsoft, National Police Chief’s Council, NSPCC, Ofcom, Parentzone, TechUK, Twitter and UKIE. Mobile networks are also included but will hold a rotating position on the board, split between BT, Sky, TalkTalk, Three, Virgin Media and Vodaphone all slated to take part.

The UKCIS 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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