Commenting, Legal and Policy Officer at Big Brother Watch, Mark Johnson said:
“The Government’s revival of plans to give state backing for social media companies’ terms and conditions in the Online Safety Bill is utterly retrograde, brushes aside months of expert scrutiny, and poses a major threat to freedom of speech in the UK.
“The Big Tech giants’ policies frequently change according to corporate and political interests, undermine users’ privacy, and restrict free expression far more than UK laws. For the Government to require the enforcement of foreign companies’ low standards online is to fail in its obligations to protect free expression and privacy, let alone safety, in the UK.
“The Government promised a revised Online Safety Bill that would protect free speech. We welcome the Secretary of State’s willingness to make changes to the legislation but the reheating of a junked policy that merges the censorship powers of the state and Silicon Valley is neither good for civil liberties nor safety online.”
You can find more information about the Government’s proposed changes here. The proposals include a state-mandated obligation on social media companies to “consistently” uphold their terms and conditions; rules which are often not compliant with UK free speech standards.
Spokespeople are available for interviews. Contact Big Brother Watch’s 24h media line on 07730439257 or email email@example.com