Presented to Parliament by the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and by the Secretary of State for the Home Department by Command of Her Majesty on 15 December 2020
Our world is now a digital one. From connecting with loved ones, to the way we do business and deliver public services – almost every part of our lives is at least now partly online.
But the COVID-19 pandemic has shone a spotlight on the risks posed by harmful activity and content online. The pandemic drove a spike in disinformation and misinformation, and some people took advantage of the uncertainty to incite fear and cause confusion. The pandemic has also underlined a much more grave problem; the risks posed to children online. In a month-long period during lockdown, the Internet Watch Foundation and its partners blocked at least 8.8 million attempts by UK internet users to access videos and images of children suffering sexual abuse.
This government is unashamedly pro-tech. We are committed to using digital technologies and services to power economic growth across the entire UK, and ensuring a more inclusive, competitive and innovative digital economy for the future. We are taking action to unlock innovation across digital markets, while also ensuring we keep people safe online and promote a thriving democracy, where pluralism and freedom of expression are protected. To unleash growth we need to ensure there is trust in technology.