Ministerial role

Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Internet Safety and Security


The minister is responsible for:

  • working to remove terrorist, radicalising, and extremist content from the internet
  • making the internet a safer place for children by curbing online abuse, exploitation, bullying and access to harmful content
  • promoting safe, open access to the internet for everyone

Current role holder: Baroness Shields OBE

Baroness Joanna Shields was appointed Minister for Internet Safety and Security in May 2015. In December 2016 she was appointed as the Prime Minister’s Special Representative on Internet Crime and Harms and became solely a Home Office minister. Her role is unpaid.


Baroness Shields earned her Bachelor of Science degree at The Pennsylvania State University in 1984 and her Masters in Business Administration at George Washington University in 1987. She received a Doctorate in Public Service, Honoris Causa, in May 2016 from the George Washington University.

Political career

Baroness Shields role was appointed Minister for Internet Safety and Security at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport in May 2015. She became a joint minister at the Home Office in December 2015, and was reappointed to the post in July 2016. She became a life peer in the House of Lords in September 2014. Baroness Shields holds dual UK-US citizenship.

Career outside politics

Before becoming a minister, Baroness Shields was Prime Minister David Cameron’s Digital Advisor and the CEO and Chair of Tech City UK, where she was responsible for leading efforts across the UK to support, develop and catalyse the digital economy. During her tenure, she launched a number of successful initiatives, including the TechNation, the Digital Business Academy, Future Fifty and HQ-UK.

From 2013 to 2015 she led a UK-US taskforce to combat online child sexual abuse and exploitation. In May 2014, she launched WeProtect, a global initiative bringing together government, law enforcement, industry and NGOs from 62 countries to create breakthrough solutions for protecting children around the world from these horrific crimes.

Baroness Shields began her career in Silicon Valley and spent over 25 years building some of the world’s best-known technology companies, holding senior executive roles at Electronics for Imaging, RealNetworks, Google, Aol and Facebook. She also led several start-ups to successful acquisitions, including Bebo, Decru and Veon.

Most recently, she was Vice President and Managing Director of Facebook Europe, Middle East and Africa, leading the company’s international growth to over 1 billion users.


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  1. Baroness Shields' speech at the National Security Agency

    • Speech
  2. Countering online radicalisation and extremism: Baroness Shields' speech

    • Speech
  3. Baroness Shields closing speech at the Global Counter Terrorism Forum

    • Speech
  4. Baroness Shields opening speech at the Global Counter Terrorism Forum

    • Speech
  5. Baroness Shields appointed as the PM's Special Representative on Internet Crime and Harms and becomes solely a Home Office minister

    • News story
  6. An Internet for Children and Young People

    • Speech
  7. Baroness Shields’ speech at INTERPOL Specialists Group meeting

    • Speech
  8. New ministerial team at DCMS confirmed

    • Press release
  9. Baroness Shields speaks at United Nations launch of the End Violence Against Children Global Partnership & WePROTECT Initiative Fund

    • Speech
  10. Baroness Shields calls for united action in tackling online extremism

    • Speech