Ref: 1627185

Original Listing

Company: 1627185

Salary: £31,339 - £38,580

Closing Date: Closing date: 17 Apr 2019

Location: This position is based at 70 Whitehall, London

Band B2 - Policy Advisers, Internet Harms (Ref: 3685)



We are looking to recruit two policy advisers to join the Internet Harms Team.

The Government has committed to make the UK the safest place to be online and deny terrorists and criminals safe spaces to operate online. This team has been created to help deliver that commitment. It is based in the Cabinet Office, supported by the Economic and Domestic Affairs Secretariat (EDS) and the National Security Secretariat (NSS), but working independently to support the Prime Minister and the Cabinet Secretary. The team plays a leadership role on internet harms across Whitehall, working closely with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), the Home Office, Foreign Office, and security and law enforcement agencies, and bringing the centre (No10, HM Treasury, and other parts of Cabinet Office) together to speak with one, clear voice.

These exciting and high profile roles will help drive policy development across the online harms landscape - from preventing sexting, trolling, and fake news at one end of the spectrum, through to tackling extremist and terrorist content at the other. You will support the delivery of national security priorities around access to data, encryption, and countering disinformation campaigns by hostile states. While the policy issues are disparate, the technology companies involved are often the same (Facebook, Twitter, Google and others), many of whom you will have opportunities to work with towards the common goal of making the internet safer.

Each of the policy advisor roles will own a strategic engagement portfolio: either international partners or the major tech companies. You’ll be working with the Foreign Office and DCMS to develop a clear set of Government ‘asks’ of the tech sector, or on a strategy to bring together like-minded governments. Through your management of the monthly cross-Whitehall Internet Harms Directors meetings you will help to increase Whitehall’s collective impact.

Your role will involve:

Leading on priority policy areas, including: the implementation of the Online Harms White Paper, and passage of any subsequent legislation; disinformation and its effects on democracy; preventing terrorists’ use of the internet; and strategic questions about the possible role of technology companies’ business models in exacerbating harm.
Leading on strategic engagement, either internationally or with the tech sector. Monitoring global and industrial developments; briefing the Prime Minister, the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, and the Cabinet Secretary for meetings; and building relationships with DCMS’s strategic engagement team and the FCO, including UK posts overseas such as the British Embassy in Washington and the Consulate General in San Francisco.
Secretariat support for monthly, Cabinet Office-chaired directors’ meetings, attended by senior officials from all departments and agencies with policy and operational interests. This will include anticipating potential policy issues, resolving departmental tensions, setting and managing work programmes, briefing the chair, attending and recording discussions, and holding departments to account for actions.
Drafting updates for the responsible Director General and for the Cabinet Secretary on progress in delivering the Prime Minister’s commitments on internet harms.
Owning the internet harms comms script, drawing on departmental comms
teams, and supporting the Prime Minister’s speeches and press releases.
Deputising for the Deputy Director and Band As, as required.

The ideal candidate will: have experience of responding to a broad and varied set of challenges; be adept at developing strong relationships with a wide range of colleagues at all grades; be able to show insight, energy, and reasoned judgement; have the communication skills to boil down complex issues and communicate them clearly; and be resourceful and dynamic in responding to changing circumstances and demands.

The post provides an excellent opportunity to develop skills and experience in a wide range of disciplines, in an area which commands significant interest at the highest levels of Government. You will engage with the major players in this field across the UK and internationally. General interest in the relationships between digital, national security, and social policy areas is welcomed, but it is not a requirement and we will provide opportunities for you to develop the knowledge you want and need. You will be able to work flexibly, in whichever way works best for you, and you will be supported in finding and maintaining work-life balance.

The posts are likely to be most suitable for existing Band B2s (SEO and HEO equivalent) looking to expand their experience, but we will consider very strong candidates for the post on promotion.

These posts are designated ‘reserved’ and are only available to UK Nationals. Applicants should either hold or be willing to undertake Developed Vetting security clearance.