For all the emphasis on Open systems, the OpenGardens blog has always been a pragmatic voice in the Open debate .. specifically that – as we continue to open up and liberalise, there are certain threats which we have to acknowledge and combat – for instance I said a while ago that while I support open APIs, uncontrolled access to APIs is an invitation to scammers and paedophiles. – especially because the mobile device is a personal device and unlike the PC, the risks are higher

In that context, I am happy to support this UK Government initiative ‘Safer Children in a Digital World’. which was brought to my attention by Dr Mike Short. Mike is on the advisory board of this initiative. More details below. Thanks Mike for bringing this to my attention and keep up the good work!


29 September 2008


Some of the biggest names from industry and charities have joined forces

with the Government, parents and young people to help keep children safe

online, Children’s Secretary Ed Balls and Home Secretary Jacqui Smith

announced today.

The new UK Council for Child Internet Safety (UKCCIS) will unite over

100 organisations from the public and private sector working with

Government to deliver recommendations from Dr Tanya Byron’s report

‘Safer Children in a Digital World’.

Reporting directly to the Prime Minister, the Council will help to

improve the regulation and education around internet use, tackling

problems around online bullying, safer search features, and violent

video games. This unprecedented coalition of experts and organisations

will ensure that parents and young people have a voice in the

development of a Child Internet Safety Strategy, to be delivered early

next year.

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


* 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.

Speaking at the launch of the UKCCIS at the Science Museum in London,

Children’s Minister Ed Balls said:

“Today’s launch is a significant achievement and I thank all members of

the Council for their support and commitment. We want to help children

and young people to make the most of what all digital and interactive

technologies can offer. By putting in place the right support for

children, young people and parents we can reduce much of the anxiety

that exists around the internet. UKCISS will enable everyone from

parents to industry, Government, education, and children’s welfare

organisations to play their part in keeping children safe online.”

Home Secretary Jacqui Smith said:

“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.

“The new UK Council builds on this by bringing together over one hundred

organisations all committed to keeping children safe online. By working

in partnership we can intensify our efforts to protect young people.”

Review author Dr Tanya Byron said:

“Every parent will know that know that video games and the internet are

a part of childhood like never before. This is extremely positive;

giving kids the opportunities to learn to have fun and communicate in

ways that previous generations could only dream of. But it can also

present a huge challenge to parents and other adults involved in the

welfare of children.

“That this why we need industry, regulators and parents to work together

to protect children against the risks. Setting up UKCISS was a key

recommendation in my report and I’m delighted that the Government along

with industry, education, law enforcement, and the children’s charities

have acted so promptly to make this a reality.

“The Council will be a powerful union of some of our key players giving

support to parents and guidance to children as they come more and more

accustomed to the virtual world – it will also give families, teachers

and most importantly children and young people the ability to input

experiences and concerns. The UK is a world leader on internet safety

for children and I look forward to others adopting this partnership


Culture Secretary Andy Burnham said:

“We all know the number of benefits the internet has brought to our day

to day lives. But it has also raised questions about how we can and

should protect the public, and particularly children, in this online

space. To our very great benefit, we’ve embraced the online world

wholeheartedly, but we must ensure that what is unacceptable offline

should not be acceptable online. The UK Council for Child Internet

Safety will allow all stakeholders to work together in finding

appropriate ways of maintaining the standards of the online material

that young people have access to.”

Matthew Bishop at MICROSOFT said:

“The internet opens a door into all our homes. It is perhaps the single

greatest innovation for expanding the horizons of knowledge and

creativity. But, as with all human growth and exploration these benefits

come hand in hand with elements of risk, especially for children. As an

industry, and as a company, we are working hard to ensure that the

internet is as safe an environment as possible. All of us who are

concerned for the welfare of children, or have children of our own,

welcome the formation of this council and its objective of protecting

young people in the digital world.”

The Government also announced today the successful appointees to the

Council’s Executive Board. Chaired by DCSF and HO Ministers, the Board

includes senior representation from across Government, industry, the

third sector, law enforcement and the devolved administrations. UKCCIS

will report annually to the Prime Minister at the Child Internet Safety


Editor’s Notes

This press notice relates to ‘England’

1. In September 2007, the Prime Minister asked Dr Tanya Byron to lead an

independent review to help parents and their children get the most from

new technologies while protecting children from inappropriate or harmful

material. The focus was on the internet and video games.

2. Her report, ‘Safer Children in a Digital World’, was published in

March 2008:

3. The Government accepted all of Dr Byron’s recommendations and

published The Byron Review Action Plan in June 2008 to set out how the

Government intends to implement the recommendations. The Action Plan can

be found at:

4. The establishment of a UK Council for Child Internet Safety was a key

recommendation in Dr Tanya Byron’s Report. The Council is a multi

stakeholder forum within which all those with an interest in Child

Internet Safety are able to come together to develop a strategy for

improving child internet safety based on two core elements: better

regulation – in the form of voluntary codes of practice that industry

can sign up to – and better information and education for children,

young people, parents and carers. The Council will be chaired by DCSF

and Home Office and be supported by a cross Government secretariat.

5. The Council will be the largest ever coalition of internet safety

experts, bringing together some of the biggest names in industry,

children’s charities, law enforcement, Government as well as children,

young people and parents. The current membership of the Council is at

Annex B.


6. The Executive Board to the Council will be chaired by Home Offfice

and DCSF Ministers and is expected to meet on a quarterly basis. Its

role will be to provide strategic support and direction to Council

activity, hold the Chairs of the working and sub groups to account and

ensure progress against the strategy is secured. The membership of the

Board is at Annex A.



  1. charles says:

    It is an overprotection of children..