Children's Secretary Ed Balls and Home Secretary Jacqui Smith announced today the launch of the UK Council for Child Internet Safety, with support from organisations including Google, Yahoo, BT, Microsoft and Facebook and a brief to deliver a "Child Internet Safety Strategy" to Gordon Brown early in 2009.

The organisations listed above, and many more, will work closely with government to deliver recommendations from Dr Tanya Byron's report from March 2008 on 'Safer Children in a Digital World'

Positive, huge challenge

Dr. Byron said of the move that it was "extremely positive, giving kids the opportunities to learn to have fun and communicate in ways that previous generations could only dream of."

She added that the internet presents "a huge challenge to parents and other adults involved in the welfare of children" and that "setting up UKCISS was a key recommendation in my report and I'm delighted that the Government along with industry, education, law enforcement, and the children's charities have acted so promptly to make this a reality."

Responsibilities, issues, inappropriate content

The group will also look at ways of improving public awareness of child safety issues online, promote responsible online advertising to children and "provide specific measures to support vulnerable children and young people, such as taking down illegal internet sites that promote harmful behaviour."

They will also look into ways and means of "tackling problems around online bullying, safer search features, and violent video games."

The Council for Child Internet Safety will establish a voluntary code of practise for user-generated sites such as YouTube to agree a time limit for takedown of inappropriate content.

For the full low-down you can check out the government's press release at www.dcsf.gov.uk, which announces the launch of the UK Council for Child Internet Safety.