Politico – Online Safety Bill raises free speech concerns say civil liberties NGOs

Big Brother Watch Team / June 30, 2021

The Government’s draft Online Safety Bill could carry worrying implications for freedom of speech, civil liberties campaigners have warned.

The groups are anxious that the proposed Bill will wield disproportionate powers to Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden with the guise of protecting them from “harmful” content.

The proposed internet laws will allow him to “modify” a code of practice created by UK media regulator Ofcom.

Mark Johnson, a legal and policy officer at Big Brother Watch, argued that any restrictions on our right to free speech must be in line with U.K. law — decided on through a full legislative process, “not on ministerial fancy.”

“Giving such discretion to government ministers means this legislation will hand over huge amounts of power to the state,” he added, “and opens up this flawed system of regulation to politicization.”

Politico – New UK internet law raises free speech concerns, say civil liberties campaigners