11th May 2021. See
article from bigbrotherwatch.org.uk Mark Johnson, Legal and Policy Officer at Big Brother Watch
The Online Safety Bill introduces state-backed censorship and monitoring on a scale never seen before in a liberal democracy.
This Bill is disastrous for privacy rights and free expression online. The Government is
clamping down on vague categories of lawful speech. This could easily result in the silencing of marginalised voices and unpopular views.
Parliament should remove lawful content from the scope of this Bill altogether and refocus
on real policing rather than speech-policing.
Offsite Comment: Online safety bill: a messy new minefield in the culture wars
13th May 2021. See
article from theguardian.com by Alex Hern
The message of the bill is simple: take down exactly the content the government wants taken down, and no more. Guess wrong and you could face swingeing fines. Keep guessing wrong and your senior managers could even go
Content moderation is a hard job, and it's about to get harder.
Offsite Comment: Harm Version 3.0
15th May 2021. See
article from cyberleagle.com by Graham Smith
Two years on from the April 2019 Online Harms White Paper, the government has published its draft Online Safety Bill. It is a hefty beast: 133 pages and 141 sections. It raises a slew of questions, not least around press and journalistic material and the
newly-coined content of democratic importance. Also, for the first time, the draft Bill spells out how the duty of care regime would apply to search engines, not just to user generated content sharing service providers.
offers first impressions of a central issue that started to take final shape in the government's December 2020 Full Response to consultation: the apparent conflict between imposing content monitoring and removal obligations on the one hand, and the
government's oft-repeated commitment to freedom of expression on the other - now translated into express duties on service providers.
The draft Bill represents the government's third attempt at defining harm (if we include the
White Paper, which set no limit). The scope of harm proposed in its second version (the Full Response) has now been significantly widened.
article from cyberleagle.com
Offsite Comment: The unstoppable march of state censorship
17th May 2021. See article from spiked-online.com
Vaguely worded hate-speech laws can end up criminalising almost any opinion.
Offsite Comment: Drowning internet services in red tape
18th May 2021. See article from techmonitor.ai by
The UK government has unveiled sprawling new legislation that takes aim at online speech on internet services 203 stretching from illegal to legal yet harmful content. The wide-ranging nature of the proposals could
leave internet businesses large and small facing a huge bureaucratic burden, and render the bill impractical to implement.
Offsite Comment: UK online safety bill raises censorship concerns and questions on future of encryption
24th May 2021. See
article from cpj.org
Offsite Comment: Why the online safety bill threatens our civil liberties
26th May 2021. See article from politics.co.uk by Heather Burns
With the recent
publication of the draft online safety bill, the UK government has succeeded in uniting the British population in a way not seen since the weekly clap for the NHS. This time, however, no one is applauding. After two years of dangled promises, the
government's roadmap to making the UK the safest place in the world to be online sets up a sweeping eradication of our personal privacy, our data security, and our civil liberties.