Former Google and Facebook head becomes Internet security minister

News by Doug Drinkwater

Baroness Joanna Shields OBE, formerly head of Bebo, Facebook Europe and Google EMEA, has been appointed UK minister for internet safety and security.

The Telegraph newspaper reports that Shields will become the UK's minister for internet safety and security in the new Conservative government, and adds that she will in particular be briefed with improving online safety in its “war” against child pornography.

She is also expected to play a pivotal role in the UK's battle against cyber-crime and hacking, with the proposed Data Communications Bill – or “Snooper's Charter” – expected to be front of mind.

Shields' appointment, as Parliamentary under secretary in the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, is expected to be announced later today.

Shields hold dual British and US citizenship and joined the House of Lords last September. She has been David Cameron's advisor on the digital economy since June 2014, and is the chair of Tech City UK, which promotes the country's technology industry.

She has worked in the technology industry for more than 25 years, including as vice president and managing director of Facebook in Europe, Middle East and Africa from 2009 to 2012, as well as running social network Bebo from late 2006 until its sale to AOL in 2008.

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