Government Appoints Joanna Shields As Internet Security Minister

Baroness Joanna Shields step down as Tech City chair to take new government role

Baroness Joanna Shields has been appointed Minister for Internet Safety and Security and has stepped down as chair of Tech City.

In her new role, Shields will be responsible for protecting children from harmful content, exploitation and cyberbullying while working with the Home Office to remove extremist material from the Internet.

The Conservatives pledged in their election manifesto to provide intelligence agencies with the tools they require to foil terrorist plots and to provide police and security services with communications data as well as suspects’ communications in certain cases.

Joanna Shields appointment

800px-Joanna_Shields_2012Within days of the party’s election triumph, Home Secretary Theresa May indicated the controversial ‘Snooper’s Charter’ would be resurrected now that the Liberal Democrats were no longer part of a coalition government.

Baroness Shields was appointed as a minister on May 13 and will serve in the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) alongside BBC licence fee opponent John Whittingdale, who was named new Culture Secretary last week.

Over the past two years, Shields has lead a UK-US taskforce to combat online child sexual abuse and she has 25 years’ experience in the technology industry, having served as Facebook vice-president and managing director for EMEA and held positions at Bebo, AOL, RealNetworks and Google.

She was made a peer in September last year and has served as a digital advisor to Prime Minister David Cameron. Baroness Shields is also a non-executive director of the London Stock Exchange, a position she assumed in Janaury 2014 when she stepped down as CEO of Tech City, but remaining as Chairman.

“It has been a privilege to serve as Chair of Tech City UK,” said Baroness Shields. “I am immensely proud of what the community it serves has accomplished, as well as the development of the team and the organisation. In my time working with Tech City UK, this country has become a digital powerhouse.

“There are 1.5 million people employed in the digital sector with more and more people becoming entrepreneurs.”

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