Speaking at the state opening of Parliament, the Queen said the UK will lead the way in making sure the internet is safe for all, especially children.
The Queen said: “My Government will lead the way in ensuring internet safety for all, especially for children, whilst harnessing the benefits of a free, open, and secure internet.”
“Legislation will support the voluntary sector by reducing unnecessary bureaucracy and releasing additional funds for good causes [Dormant Assets Bill, Charities Bill].”
Will Gardner OBE, Chief Executive of Childnet and Director of the UK Safer Internet Centre said:
“The commitment to online safety has never been more important, with young people spending more time online than ever before. The introduction of the Online Safety bill is something we at Childnet welcome, and have this commitment outlined in the last two Queen’s Speeches.
“We look forward to the Government bringing forward the Online Safety Bill and continuing to work with them, and with Ofcom, to ensure that work is done to make the internet a great and safe place for children and young people.
“It is now essential that the Government stands by their promise to replace EU funding for the UK Safer Internet Centre (UK SIC). This is due to run out at the end of this year. Losing the UK SIC’s vital contribution will be backwards step for efforts to make the UK a safer place to be online, and it is children who will suffer.”
The UK SIC is a unique partnership of three world-leading charities (SWGfL, Childnet, and the Internet Watch Foundation) working together to deliver critical advice, resources, and interventions to help keep everyone, especially children and young people, safe online.
The UK SIC currently receives £1.3 million of funding from the EU. This amounts to 50 per cent of the Centre’s funding. Without this funding, children could be left vulnerable to online abuse, sexual exploitation, and bullying - all things the UK SIC works hard to prevent and remove from the internet.