About us

The UK Council for Internet Safety (UKCIS) is a collaborative forum through which government, the tech community and the third sector work together to ensure the UK is the safest place in the world to be online.

Expanding the scope of the UK Council for Child Internet Safety (UKCCIS), and guided by the Government’s Internet Safety Strategy, UKCIS will help achieve a safer online experience for all users. Priority areas of focus include:

  • online harms experienced by children such as cyberbullying and sexual exploitation;
  • radicalisation and extremism;
  • violence against women and girls;
  • serious violence;
  • hate crime and hate speech and forms of discrimination against groups protected under the Equality Act, for example on the basis of disability or race.

UKCIS is a voluntary, non-statutory body, supported by a small secretariat team in the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).

Objectives

UKCIS will contribute towards the following strategic goals:

  • A safer online experience for the most vulnerable groups. UKCIS will seek to better understand the patterns of abuse of vulnerable groups, identifying areas for cross-sector response. Priority areas include protecting children online; tackling radicalisation and extremism; violence against women and girls; serious violence; hate crime/hate speech and forms of discrimination against protected groups.

  • Products, platforms and services that are ‘safer by default’ for all users. UKCIS will help identify, prioritise and communicate ways in which improved design of digital products and platforms can create an online environment that is safer for all users.
  • Providing parents, teachers and professionals with the tools to recognise and respond to online harms. UKCIS recognises the critical role that intermediaries have in supporting online safety, and will examine opportunities for cross-sector activity to better support their work.
  • A rapid and consistent cross-sector response to emerging evidence of harms. UKCIS will help to ensure a coherent response by highlighting emerging issues revealed by existing systems of reporting; and horizon-scanning for potential issues caused by new technologies.

UKCIS will primarily achieve these goals in practice through prioritising:

  • Evidence and debate: UKCIS will be a forum for expert review and debate of the latest evidence of online harms, and implications for policies and platforms;
  • Enabling hands-on collaboration: UKCIS will coordinate practical, cross-sector projects to address common strategic goals, guided by the framework of the government’s internet safety strategy;
  • Building a community of practice: UKCIS will support and expand the community of practice around internet safety and strengthening communication across sectors.

UKCIS Executive Board

Joint chairs

  • Margot James, Minister for Digital and Creative Industries (DCMS);
  • Nadhim Zahawi, Minister for Children and Families (DfE)
  • Victoria Atkins, Minister for Crime, Safeguarding and Vulnerability (Home Office)

Board members

  • Sam Sharps, Head of Government Affairs, UK & Ireland, Apple
  • Alice Webb, Director, BBC Children’s
  • Naomi Hulston, COO, Catch 22
  • Will Gardner, CEO, Childnet
  • Anne Longfield, Children’s Commissioner
  • Sara Khan, Commissioner for Countering Extremism
  • Rachel Krys, Co-Director, End Violence Against Women Coalition
  • Rebecca Stimson, Head of Public Policy, Facebook
  • Director Compliance, Strategic Policy and External Relations, GCHQ
  • Katie O’Donovan, Public Policy Manager UK, Google
  • Steve Wood, Deputy Commissioner, ICO
  • Mike Ainsworth, Chair, Independent Advisory Group on Hate Crime
  • Carolyn Bunting, CEO, Internet Matters
  • Susie Hargreaves, CEO, IWF
  • Internet Service Providers (rotating between BT, Sky, Talk Talk, Three Virgin, Vodafone)
  • Nicole Dezen, General Manager, Consumer and Device Team, Microsoft
  • Simon Bailey, Lead for Child Protection and Abuse, National Police Chiefs’ Council
  • Rob Jones, Director Vulnerabilities, National Crime Agency - CEOP Command
  • Tony Stower, Head of Child Safety Online, NSPCC
  • Tony Close, Director of Content Standards, Ofcom
  • Vicki Shotbolt, CEO, Parentzone
  • Donald Henderson, Deputy Director, Child Protection, Scottish Govt
  • Anthony Walker, Deputy CEO, TechUK
  • Katy Minshall, Head of UK Government, Public Policy and Philanthropy, Twitter
  • Professor Julia Davidson, UKCIS Evidence Group Chair
  • Dr Jo Twist OBE, Chief Executive, UKIE
  • Christopher Owen, Head of Digital Learning, Welsh Assembly

Officials

  • Sarah Connolly, Director Security and Online Harms, DCMS
  • Sue Whitehouse, Deputy Director, Dept for Education
  • Christian Papaleontiou, Director for Tackling Slavery and Exploitation, Home Office

Minutes of UKCIS Executive Board meetings

UKCIS Executive Board meeting minutes - 27 November 2018 (RTF, 95.9KB)

UKCIS Executive Board Meeting Minutes - 1 May 2019 (PDF, 443KB, 3 pages)

UKCIS Executive Board Minutes 17 July 2019 (PDF, 369KB, 3 pages)