Byron Review's internet enforcer goes into action
Promises child net protection strategy within a year
The UK government is today launching the UK Council for Child Internet Safety with support from BT, Microsoft, Facebook and over 100 other organisations and companies.
The talking shop will deliver a "Child Internet Safety Strategy" to the Prime Minister early next year.
It will also work to improve public awareness of issues surrounding child safety online, and promote responsible online advertising to children.
The group also promises to "provide specific measures to support vulnerable children and young people, such as taking down illegal internet sites that promote harmful behaviour".
The Council for Child Internet Safety will also establish a voluntary code of practise for user-generated sites to agree a time limit for takedown of inappropriate content.
Parents worried about their children's safety on the ever-shifting net will be pleased to know that the executive committee of the quango will be meeting as regularly as once a month.
The official announcement by Home Secretary Jacqui Smith and Children's Minister Ed Balls is later today.
The move was recommended by Tanya Byron's review on protecting children from digital and online threats.
It includes Google and Yahoo!. The former has been regularly slated in the UK for being less than fast in deleting unpleasant material from its YouTube operation, defending itself by saying its users self-police the site. Still, Yahoo! and Google have some experience collaborating with governments to police material on the net. Sadly, this is mainly with the Chinese government.®
Biased representation and evidence base
I have read through the list of board members. As you would expect the industry interests and child protection organisations are well represented. Of more concern is the omission of anyone opposed to unnecessary censorship despite the inclusion of at least one group that actively promotes wide ranging censorship. We will of course be making our views known.
There is only one justification for censorship. Evidence that it is necessary to prevent harm. Unfortunately many people do not bother to distinguish between evidence and prejudice.
I think its a slippery slope for internet censorship. Children are generally very IT tech savvy and will manage to bypass most filters/blocks if they really want to see something. All this will do is eventually restrict sites for adults.
I for one look forward to only being able to view
Nailing jelly to the wall
The UK can only regulate UK websites. They can issue a take down notice to UK based websites promoting suicide but there it won't effect websites outside the UK. So, the content will still be out there - just moving it to another country.