March 31, 2024

A UK parliamentary committee that’s spent almost half a year scrutinizing the government’s populist yet controversial plan to regulate Internet services by applying a child safety-focused framing to content moderation has today published its report on the draft legislation — offering a series of recommendations to further tighten legal requirements on platforms. 

Ministers will have two months to respond to the committee’s report.

The committee broadly welcomes the government’s push to go beyond industry self regulation by enforcing compliance with a set of rules intended to hold tech giants accountable for the content they spread and monetize — including via a series of codes of practice and with the media regulator, Ofcom, given a new major oversight and enforcement role over Internet content.

In a statement accompanying the report, the joint committee on the draft Online Safety Bill’s chair, Damian Collins, said: “The Committee were unanimous in their conclusion that we need to call time on the Wild West online. What’s illegal offline should be regulated online. For too long, big tech has gotten away with being the land of the lawless. A lack of regulation online has left too many people vulnerable to abuse, fraud, violence and in some cases even loss of life.

“The Committee has set out recommendations to bring more offences clearly within the scope of the Online Safety Bill, give Ofcom the power in law to set minimum safety standards for the…

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