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Updates to the Online Safety Bill

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Updating the Online Safety Bill

“Making the UK the safest place in the world to be online”

Online Tech elements

To recap

The Government and Ofcom are working together on a draft ‘Online Safety Bill’ to minimise online harmful content by imposing legislation on those providing online services or platforms. This pushback requires updates to the Online Safety Bill before it can be considered for application.

Go to our previous blog for more information on the topic!

What now?

The draft bill for the proposed bill has been met with another report of recommendations. The draft legislation has fallen short of the intended standard at this stage.

In December 2021, further remarks were made suggesting:

  • Increases to the scope of the bill.
  • Areas of ambiguity need to be clarified.
  • Definitions need to be reframed.

These updates to the Online Safety Bill must be carefully thought out, to ensure the protection and safety of online users.

To revisit the scope of the bill, visit the Government’s website.

Why?

To protect freedom of speech and tackle online content effectively, a fine balance must be struck.

A key stage in monitoring the efficacy of the legislation will be to ensure there are no gaps or loopholes in the bill. Loopholes left open will be exploited by those creating, sharing or downloading harmful content.

There is some criticism over the comments from parliament regarding the bill. The Department of Culture, Media and Sports (DMCS) feel there is a strong outline to the scope of the duty of care, and rules to ensure the protection of freedom of speech and privacy.

These concerns aim to ensure content isn’t taken down excessively, or without substantial reason.

Impact

The bill goes back to the DMCS for further review, which will put it back to Parliament in March 2022.

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