New UK Group Aims To Protect Children Online

    September 29, 2008

A new online watchdog group has been created in the UK to help protect children from harmful content on the Web such as bullying and pornography.

Department for Children, Schools and Families

The UK Council for Child Internet Safety (UKCCIS) will bring together more than 100 organizations from both the public and private sector to work with the government and make recommendations about how to keep children safe online.

The council will report directly to the Prime Minister with the goal to help improve the regulation and education around Internet use, addressing problems around online bullying, safer search features, and violent video games.

The coalition includes Google, Microsoft, Facebook and Bebo and will ensure that parents and young people have a voice in the development of a Child Internet Safety Strategy.

Specifically the strategy will:

  • establish a comprehensive public information and awareness and child internet safety campaign across Government and industry including a ‘one-stop shop’ on child internet safety; 
  • provide specific measures to support vulnerable children and young people, such as taking down illegal internet sites that promote harmful behaviour;
  •  promote responsible advertising to children online; and
  •  establish voluntary codes of practice for user-generated content sites, making such sites commit to take down inappropriate content within a given time.

"We are determined to do all we can to ensure that the internet environment is safe for children to use. Earlier this year, the Home Office published the first ever social networking guidance developed with industry, charities and law enforcement," said Home Secretary Jacqui Smith.