Feeds

Brown launches 'Zip it, Block it, Flag it' net code for children

Get kids to use web by stopping them seeing it

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

Prime Minister Gordon Brown will today be launching a new internet safety strategy for children and young people, drawn up by an unprecedented coalition of Government, industry and charities at the first the UK Council for Child Internet Safety (UKCCIS) Summit in London today.

As Children’s Secretary Ed Balls commented today, taken as a whole, this set of initiatives make up an integrated bundle that "mark a watershed in government and industry cooperation". However, some critics are concerned that this entire initiative reflects little more than a doomed attempt by government to micro-manage use of the internet by young people.

Key planks within the "Click Clever, Click Safe" strategy are:

- An ongoing independent review of internet companies, charities and the Government against new UKCCIS standards

- A new Digital Code "Zip it, Block it, Flag it" for internet safety, which will be adopted by retailers, social networking sites, schools and charities and displayed where appropriate

- Access to a one-stop shop website for internet safety advice hosted by the Child Exploitation and Online Protection centre (CEOP)

- Making online safety a compulsory part of the school curriculum within the personal, social, health and economic education (PSHE) heading, which already includes drug awareness, bullying, sex education, healthy living and personal finance

The "Zip it, Block it, Flag it" campaign is backed by £2m of government investment, and will encourage children to:

Zip: not share personal, intimate details with strangers they have met online, while at the same time closing off some parts of the web to children by using security PINs or other parental controls.

Block: Block emails or any other contact from people or companies they do not know and block children from accessing certain sites.

Flag: Highlight any suspicious individuals, activities or websites to the relevant authority, including site admins, teachers or even police.

The Government also announced today that all 270,000 computers to be provided under the Home Access scheme will incorporate the CEOP Advice, Help, Report button. This is designed to help children and their families quickly report inappropriate content or internet approaches from strangers as well as get help and advice on issues such as cyberbullying, viruses and hacking.

Launching the initiative, Prime Minister Gordon Brown said:

"The internet provides our children with a world of entertainment, opportunity and knowledge - a world literally at their fingertips. But we must ensure that the virtual world is as safe for them as this one.

"Today we are launching our online version of the 'green cross code'. We hope that ‘zip it, block it, flag it’ will become as familiar to this generation as ‘stop, look, listen’ did to the last."

A lone dissenting voice was Anastasia de Waal, of think tank Civitas. Speaking to the BBC, she questioned whether the measures would have much of an impact. She said: "The curriculum is already massively overstretched. It's difficult for teachers to fit everything in."

As a result, teachers would "cover a lot with not much depth". It would be much better for teachers to talk about everyday situations, including websites, rather than teaching it in isolation.

UKCCIS was set up in September 2008 to implement the recommendations from Professor Tanya Byron’s review "Safer Children in a Digital World". It is made up of over 140 organisations, including Google, Microsoft, Bebo and the NSPCC.

This approach, wide-ranging in scope, appears to mirror the inclusive approach set out in the original Byron Review, which talked about the need to match solutions to stakeholder – from parents to industry – rather than focus all efforts on one or other group within the mix. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
The police are WRONG: Watching YouTube videos is NOT illegal
And our man Corfield is pretty bloody cross about it
China hopes home-grown OS will oust Microsoft
Doesn't much like Apple or Google, either
UK government accused of hiding TRUTH about Universal Credit fiasco
'Reset rating keeps secrets on one-dole-to-rule-them-all plan', say MPs
Fast And Furious 6 cammer thrown in slammer for nearly three years
Man jailed for dodgy cinema recording of Hollywood movie
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
e-Borders fiasco: Brits stung for £224m after US IT giant sues UK govt
Defeat to Raytheon branded 'catastrophic result'
Don't even THINK about copyright violation, says Indian state
Pre-emptive arrest for pirates in Karnataka
Yes, but what are your plans if a DRAGON attacks?
Local UK gov outs most ridiculous FoI requests...
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?