Tag: Online Safety Bill

British Government Replaces Online Safety Bill’s ‘Legal but Harmful’ Duties

The UK government has watered down powers in its legislation regulating online spaces but some free speech advocates still fear the bill is a “censor’s charter.” On Tuesday, the government announced that “legal but harmful” duties are being replaced in the Online Safety Bill, with culture secretary Michelle Donelan saying they would have “stifled” free speech….


Encouraging Self-Harm Online Will Become Criminal Offence Under UK’s Online Safety Bill

Online encouragement of self-harm will be criminalised under an updated version of the Online Safety Bill, the UK government has said. Culture secretary Michelle Donelan said the update would create a new offence that would target communications that encourage someone to physically harm themselves, making it illegal to do so, and bringing it in line…


New Amendment to Online Safety Bill Will Criminalise ‘Deepfake’ Pornography

Sharing “downblouse” images and pornographic “deepfakes” without consent could be criminalised in England and Wales. On Friday, the government announced that it will put forward an amendment to the Online Safety Bill, which would criminalise the sharing of a person’s intimate images without their consent. This includes those who share “deepfakes,” or explicit images or…


Online Safety Bill Will Return to UK Parliament Next Month

Upcoming planned legislation to regulate online spaces is returning, the British government confirmed. On Thursday, Commons leader and Conservative MP Penny Mordaunt outlined the forthcoming parliamentary business in the House of Commons, which included a date for the Online Safety Bill. Its remaining stages are due to be provisionally debated on Dec. 5. The bill…


UK Coroner Urges Separate Platforms for Adults and Kids After Ruling Online Content Contributed to Death of Teen

A coroner has issued recommendations including separate social media platforms for adults and children, following an inquest into the death of a London schoolgirl. Molly Russell, a 14-year-old girl from Harrow, northwest London, who her father said showed no obvious signs of mental illness, took her own life on Nov. 21, 2017. She had viewed…


New UK Prime Minister Says She Will ‘Tweak’ Online Safety Bill

Newly appointed Prime Minister Liz Truss has confirmed that planned legislation to regulate online spaces will return, though signaled that it could be watered down in response to concerns about regulatory overreach and restrictions on free speech. During her first session of Prime Minister’s Questions in the House of Commons on Wednesday, Truss announced the…


UK’s Truss Says She Will ‘Tweak’ Online Safety Bill

Newly appointed Prime Minister Liz Truss has confirmed that planned legislation to regulate online spaces will return, even as she signaled that it could be watered down in response to concerns about regulatory overreach and restrictions on free speech. During her first session of Prime Minister’s Questions in the House of Commons on Sept. 7,…


UK Online Safety Bill Likely to Impinge on Free Speech: Poll of Tech Experts

A survey by BCS, the Chartered Institute for IT, has found almost six out of 10 experts in the field believe the British government’s Online Safety Bill will have a detrimental impact on freedom of speech. Last month, after Prime Minister Boris Johnson resigned, the government put the legislation on hold until his successor will be…


Rapid Rise in Self-Generated Child Abuse Imagery Since Lockdowns in UK: Report

New data shows a significant increase in the number of British primary school children generating their own sexual abuse imagery since lockdowns. Internet Watch Foundation (IWF), which published the data, is a UK-based organisation with the goal of finding and removing images and video online child abuse. IWF is an independent charity funded by members…


British Government Puts Online Safety Bill on Hold

The government has announced that the new Online Safety Bill has been put on hold until a new prime minister is in place in the autumn, a move which has won praise from free speech supporters. The planned legislation on online spaces has been increasingly criticised by top Tories for handing “unprecedented censorship powers” to…