Monday, 22 February 2010


John Carr writes and consults about internet safety and security. He 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.  John 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 shortlised 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 and Polish with Italian and Romanian editions scheduled for early 2023. In the UK Amazon's Audible version of the book was narrated by Sir Simon Russell Beale.

John is SeniorTechnical Adviser (Online), to Bangkok-based global NGO ECPAT International,  and Secretary of the UK's Children's Charities' Coalition on Internet Safety (CHIS).  He was Chair of the Advisory Board of "EU Consent", an EU funded project which is establishing an international framework for age verification solutions and which would also allow sites to obtain parental consent if that is a legal or policy requirement. He led the campaign to get age verification made a legal requirement for online gambling web sites operating in the UK.It became law in 2005. John  is a member of the Advisory Board of INHOPE, the international association of hotlines.

John was the Expert Adviser to the European NGO Alliance for Child Safety Online (eNACSO) which was administered 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 hotline. 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), 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. He has been an adviser to the UK Government on matters connected with domain name registrations in relation to 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 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, 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, the verification company,  ICF (Brussels-based consultancy), UNICEF Albania, UNICEF Georgia and UNICEF India. He is currently ( August 2022 onwards) engaged by the Council of Europe with a project in Moldova.

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. John was nominated by Microsoft. 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. John 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 member of the Advisory Council of Beyond Borders, Canada.

John’s publications include a chapter on the global history of online child safety in the Oxford Handbook of Cyber Security. It appeared in November, 2021. "The internet of toys - the impact on children of a connected environment".  " Privacy Lawyers need to up their game" a chapter in "The future of Childhood in the Digital World." 2020. "Theme paper on child pornography for the 2nd World Congress on the commercial sexual exploitation of children" 2001), "Child pornography, child abuse and the internet" (2003), “The Role of the Internet in the Commission of Crime” (2004), "Child safety online- a digital manifesto)(2005), Out of Sight, Out of Mind - global responses to dealing with online child pornographic images” (2006).  “The Digital Manifesto” (co-authored) 2009 and (sole) 2015  Co-author "One in Three: Internet Governance and Children's Rights." Co-author. "When 'free' isn't - business, children and the internet" (2016), "A Brief History of Child Safety Online: Child Abuse Images on the Internet" (2017) a chapter in "Online Risks to Children: Impact, Protection and Prevention", published by Wiley Blackwell. See also the Journal of Cyber Policy (July, 2017)