Britain Proposes Broad New Powers to Regulate Internet Content
Posted in: Government & Policy at 11/04/2019 12:41
Britain proposed sweeping new government powers to regulate the internet to combat the spread of violent and extremist content, false information and harmful material aimed at children. The proposal, announced on Monday, would be one of the world’s most aggressive actions to rein in the most corrosive online content.
The recommendations, backed by Prime Minister Theresa May, take direct aim at Facebook, Google and other large internet platforms that policymakers believe have made growth and profits a priority over curbing harmful material. The government called for naming an internet regulator with the power to issue fines, block access to websites if necessary and make individual executives legally liable for harmful content spread on their platforms.
U.K. unveils sweeping plan to penalize Facebook and Google for harmful online content
British regulators on Sunday unveiled a landmark proposal to penalize Facebook, Google and other tech giants that fail to stop the spread of harmful content online, marking a major new regulatory threat for an industry that’s long dodged responsibility for what its users say or share.
The aggressive, new plan — drafted by the United Kingdom’s leading consumer-protection authorities and blessed by Prime Minister Theresa May — targets a wide array of web content, including child exploitation, false news, terrorist activity and extreme violence. If approved by Parliament, U.K. watchdogs would gain unprecedented powers to issue fines and other punishments if social-media sites don’t swiftly remove the most egregious posts, photos and videos from public view.
Online laws threaten freedom of speech of 'millions of Britons'
Critics of the government’s flagship internet regulation policy are warning it could lead to a North Korean-style censorship regime, where regulators decide which websites Britons are allowed to visit, because of how broad the proposals are.
The mooted legislation, launched on Monday in the Online Harms white paper, covers any website that “allows users to share or discover user-generated content, or interact with each other online”, a definition which potentially covers vast tranches of the internet.
Facebook, Google face widening crackdown over online content
Tech giants like Facebook and Google came under increasing pressure in Europe on Monday when countries proposed stricter rules to force them to block extreme material such as terrorist propaganda and child porn.
Britain called for a first-of-its-kind watchdog for social media that could fine executives and even ban companies. And a European Union parliamentary committee approved a bill giving internet companies an hour to remove terror-related material or face fines that could reach into the billions.
You were warned and you didn't do enough: UK preps Big Internet content laws
The UK government has started the legislative process for new online content laws that would make internet giants like Google and Facebook liable for the material that appears on their platforms and establish a new regulator to oversee them.