Baroness Joanna Shields, UK Minister for Internet Safety and Security, welcomes further strengthening of the international response to internet extremism and child sexual exploitation (CSE), and focuses on making sure that agencies are well equipped to challenge the abusers.
We are living in a remarkable time in which technology is enriching people’s lives and changing the way we interact with each other. The internet offers endless benefits and opportunities to our kids that we never experienced. But this very idea – that the internet and emerging technologies are a force for good, which bring people together and advance understanding – is being undermined by those who use these tools to spread hateful messages and violent provocations, or to harm and exploit children. As Minister for Internet Safety and Security and the Prime Minister’s Special Representative on Internet Crime and Harms, I am focused on ensuring we have the tools in place to stop these criminals in their tracks.
Technology empowers equally and tragically. Social networks and communications apps that are a ubiquitous, and for many invaluable, part of our everyday lives have become the modus operandi for extremists. Meanwhile, criminals with a sexual interest in children are using the internet to join forces with other offenders to abuse children on a mass global scale, without ever stepping outside their own borders. I am sorry to say that these two groups have proven highly adept at exploiting emerging technologies to commit truly heinous crimes.
We continue to make great progress in preventing and tackling these crimes in the physical world, but we have to evolve our approaches and act as a united global community to address these new digitally-enabled offenders.
The criminals we are working to tackle know only too well how to exploit the opportunities provided by the digital world…
Baroness Joanna Shields
UK Minister for Internet Safety and Security