Baroness Shields will become a full time Home Office minister and the Prime Minister’s Special Representative on Internet Crime and Harms after 18 months at DCMS and a year as a joint Minister for Internet Safety and Security.
During her time at DCMS, Baroness Shields has continuously strived to make the internet safer for children and has established strong ties between government and the industry on this vital agenda. She led the development of legislative proposals to deliver the manifesto commitment to require age verification for pornographic content and co-chaired the UK Council for Child Internet Safety, which developed a child online safety guide for social media and interactive services that ensure web applications are ‘safe by design’.
Baroness Shields has continued to drive the WePROTECT Global Alliance, which has brought together more than 70 member countries, leading NGOs and charities to combat child sexual exploitation and abuse. Through the international reach of WePROTECT Baroness Shields has established a strong international platform to tackle online child sexual exploitation. The model national response and the End Violence Against Children Fund are assisting countries to develop their capabilities to tackle what has become an international crime of our age.
Alongside this, she has led projects in the Home Office looking into extremist content online and how terrorist propaganda moves across networks. Baroness Shields will be continuing to lead these projects and other international aspects of online safety.
Fighting internet crime and harms such as online child sexual abuse as well as dangerous content and extremist propaganda requires both a robust national and global response. In order to maximise the UK’s efforts in tackling internet crimes and harms globally, Baroness Shields will be relinquishing her domestically-focused role to adopt a more focused international approach on internet safety and security working with global technology companies and other governments to protect UK citizens.