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Gov Says New Online Safety Bill Will Keep People Safe, But Not Everyone Is Convinced | Science and Technology News

The government says its new internet laws will help keep children safe and fight racism and other abuses.

The online security bill includes:

  • Ofcom, the new online regulator, can fine companies up to £ 18million or 10% of their annual worldwide turnover (whichever is greater) if they fail to remove content damaging
  • Ofcom having the power to block access to sites
  • New due diligence rules requiring tech companies to take action not only against dangerous content, but also against legal but harmful content, such as news about suicide and self-harm
  • The threat of criminal prosecution against top executives if tech companies fail to live up to their responsibilities, with new rules revised every two years
  • Tech companies will need to take responsibility for fraudulent user-generated content, including financial fraud such as romance scams or bogus investment opportunities.
  • Protection of “democratic content”, ie platforms will not be able to discriminate against political views and content otherwise prohibited will be allowed if it is “democratically important”

Pressure has been mounting for years on the government to act against online abuse.

The issue came to light after a large group of sports, athletes and organizations recently participated in a social media boycott, protesting the lack of action taken against online abuse.

Digital Secretary Oliver Dowden said the “revolutionary laws” “will pave the way for a new era of accountability for technology and bring fairness and accountability to the online world.”

FILE - In this August 11, 2019, a photo file of an iPhone displays the Facebook app in New Orleans.  Facebook, Twitter and YouTube were quickly put to the test early Wednesday, November 4, 2020 after President Donald Trump told a crowd of enthusiastic White House supporters that he would challenge the presidential election results.  Social media platforms have been working for months, if not years since the last presidential election, to prepare for Trump's unfounded election claims fr
Facebook is one of the platforms likely to be closely monitored by the authorities. Pic: AP

“We will protect children on the Internet, crack down on racist abuse on social networks and through new measures to safeguard our freedoms, create a truly democratic digital age,” he said.

Interior Minister Priti Patel added: “It’s time for technology …

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This notice was published: 2021-05-12 02:27:00