Monday 22 February 2010


John Carr graduated in law from the London School of Economics and Political Science.  He writes and consults about internet safety and security.  John is one of the world’s leading authorities on children's and young people’s use of the internet and associated new technologies. Based in London John works extensively across the UK and in many parts of the world.  He has also worked on issues of digital inclusion, particularly around older people's use of technology.

John's ability as a writer has also been more widely recognised. In 2022 in the UK, his book, "Escape From The Ghetto", published by Hodder, was shortlisted by the Royal Society of Literature for the Christopher Bland Prize. In the USA it was published by Pegasus Books and received a starred review in the "Kirkus Review". "Escape" has been translated and published in Dutch, Spanish, Danish,  Polish,  Italian and Romanian. The UK's Audible version of the book was narrated by Sir Simon Russell Beale.

John is Secretary of the UK's Children's Charities' Coalition on Internet Safety (CHIS) and was formerly the Senior Technical Adviser (Online), to Bangkok-based global NGO ECPAT International. He is Chair of the Advisory Board of "EU Consent", formerly an EU funded project, now funded  via the UN's End Violence Against Children programme.  The project will work on a global basis. It is establishing an international framework for online age verification solutions. It will also allow sites to obtain parental consent if that is a legal or policy requirement. John led the campaign to get age verification made a legal requirement for online gambling web sites operating in the UK. It became law in the Gambling Act 2005. 

John was the Expert Adviser to the European NGO Alliance for Child Safety Online (eNACSO) which was administered first by Save the Children Denmark and then by Save the Children Italy. Within the UK he was a Member of the  Government's Task Force on Child Internet Safety from 2001 until it was reconstituted in 2008 as the Executive Board of the UK Council for Child Internet Safety (UKCCIS). He remained a Member of the UKCCIS Board until 2018.  From 2011-2021 John was a member of the British Board of Film Classification Advisory Panel on Children's Viewing. John has acted as a consultant to the Office of the Children's Commissioner for England. He is also a former  Director of the Internet Watch Foundation, the UK's internet hotline and is a former member of the Advisory Board of INHOPE, the international association of  internet hotlines. He has acted as an adviser to ethical investors with significant shareholdings in tech businesses.

John is or has been a Senior Expert Adviser to the United Nations (International Telecommunication Union). In March 2023 he was engaged by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime in Vienna  to assist with to an examination of the potential role of financial institutions in promoting greater online child safety. John  has been an Expert Adviser to the European Union and the European Network and Information Security Agency and has been an adviser to the Council of Europe in relation to the online aspects of the Lanzarote Convention.  In  August 2022 he was further engaged by the Council of Europe to lead a project in Moldova.  John  has been an adviser to the UK Government on matters connected with domain name registrations under  auspices of the remit of the Public Safety Working Group of the Governmental Advisory Committee of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN).

In June, 2012, John was appointed as a Senior Visiting Fellow at the London School of Economics and Political Science. This was extended and renewed in 2015 and 2018.

In January 2014 John was appointed to the Strategic Reference Group established by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary in relation to their national inspection of how the police service manages internet-enabled child sexual exploitation cases. He  was a member of the Academic Network established by the Chief Constable of Norfolk, then the national ACPO lead on child abuse investigations. John is a former member of the Europol Platform for Experts.

At different times John has been engaged professionally to advise or assist several major high tech companies including Newscorp and Fox Interactive Media, where he was a Vice President of MySpace and later a consultant. John has also worked for Yahoo UK & Ireland, Google, Phorm (UK), Vodafone, Lego, 02, Ask.FM, the Motion Pictures Association of America, Disney, 21st Century Fox, NBC, SafeToNet and YOTI,  ICF (a Brussels-based consultancy), UNICEF Albania, UNICEF Georgia and UNICEF India. 

In June, 2010, John was honoured by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II with an OBE. In November, 2011, John received an award for "Outstanding Achievement" in the field of online child safety from the Washington DC based Family Online Safety Institute. In 2006, he was named by the New Statesman as one of 50 global “Modern Heroes”. In 2003 John was also named by New Media Age as one of the UK’s 50 most influential people in the new media industries.

John regularly contributes to TV and radio programmes on the subject of online safety and security. He was also formerly the internet columnist for Prospect magazine and has written about the internet for The Observer, The Times, The Daily Telegraph, New Statesman, The Guardian and many other journals, both in the UK and overseas.

Pro bono he has been a Director of the charity Horsesmouth (see an online mentoring social network, the Technical Advisory Committee of Breakthough Breast Cancer and the Advisory Board of Digital Trust. Along the way John was also a Founding Trustee of DEMOS, one of the UK’s leading independent Think Tanks.

John is a former member of Microsoft’s Policy Advisory Board for Europe, the Middle East and Africa and a former member of  the Advisory Council of the Family Online Safety Institute in Washington DC, USA. He is a former member of the Advisory Council of Beyond Borders, Canada.

A partial list of John's publications include, in December 2023, as a guest columnist in The Economist's "By Invitation" section, where he wrote about encryption.  He wrote the chapter on the global history of online child safety in the Oxford University Press  Handbook of Cyber Security. It appeared in November, 2021.    "How the privacy debate risks compromising child online protection"  was  published by the Thomson Reuters Foundation in 2021,  "Privacy Lawyers need to up their game" was a chapter in "The future of Childhood in the Digital World", published in 2020. "A Brief History of Child Safety Online: Child Abuse Images on the Internet" (2017) was published by Wiley Blackwell.  The internet of toys - the impact on children of a connected environment" appeared in the Journal of Cyber Policy in 2017. "When 'free' isn't - business, children and the internet"  appeared in 2016 He was a co-author of "One in Three: Internet Governance and Children's Rights."  which was published by UNICEF in 2015 . In 2015 John was the sole author of  “The Digital Manifesto”  having previously been a joint author in 2009. The Role of the Internet in the Commission of Crime”  was published in (2004)   "Child pornography, child abuse and the internet" came out in 2003.  A "Theme paper on child pornography"    was published in 2001  and presented at the 2nd World Congress on the commercial sexual exploitation of children in Yokohama, Japan.