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2 March 2017
By Rebecca Avery

Government launches major new drive on internet safety

Ministers have begun work on a new Internet Safety Strategy aimed at making Britain the safest country in the world for children and young people to be online. Culture Secretary Karen Bradley is leading the new cross-Government drive on behalf of the Prime Minister – with a green paper expected in the summer. A report has been commissioned to provide up to date evidence of how young people are using the internet, the dangers they face, and the gaps that exist in keeping them safe. Sonia Livingstone is leading this work together with Professor Julia Davidson and Dr Jo Bryce, on behalf of the UK’s Council for Child Internet Safety (UKCCIS) Evidence Group. Ministers will also hold a series of round tables in the coming weeks with social media companies, technology firms, young people, charities and mental health experts to examine online risks and how to tackle them. The round tables are also expected to examine concerns around issues like trolling and other aggressive behaviour including rape threats against women and will involve ministers and officials from departments across Government including the Home Office, Department for Education, Department of Health and Ministry of Justice as part of a coordinated effort to make the internet safer. The work is expected to centre on four main priorities:
  • How to help young people help themselves
  • Helping parents face up the dangers and discuss them with children
  • Industry’s responsibilities to society
  • How technology can help provide solutions.
The focus will be on preventing children and young people from harm online and making the internet a safer place. Further information on the UK Digital Strategy can be found here.