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After years of debate from parliament, on 17th March 2022 the UK Government have published their long-awaited draft Online Safety Bill from May 2021.
The Bill creates a new legislation for identifying and removing illegal and harmful content from the internet. The aim of the bill is to prevent the viewing of harmful content by the residents of the UK.
What is the UK online safety bill?
The Online Safety Bill is a proposed Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom intended to improve internet safety.
Who does the bill protect?
The main objectives of the bill are as follows:
- Stop the spread of illegal content such as images of child abuse, terrorist material and hate crimes, including racist abuse.
- Places a duty of care on internet companies which have user-generated content listed, such as social media platforms and search engine providers to limit the spread of illegal content on this service.
- Protecting Children & Adults from harmful material.
Top internet safety tips
- Check the URL is secure
- Always check the senders email addresses
- Shop with reputable online retailers
- Use a safe and trusted payment method
- Use privacy settings
- Use long unique passwords
- Use a Password manager
Who does the Bill apply to?
- User-to-User – Services which allow users to upload and share user-generated content such as large social media platforms, online marketplaces, and online forums as well as gaming sites.
- Search Services – Search engines which enable users to search multiple websites and databases.
The factsheet for the bill can be found on the government’s website below:
Online Safety Bill: factsheet – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
The official UK Online Safety Bill can be found below:
Prison sentences & Fines
Within the Bill is the recommendation that technology firms must appoint a “Safety Controller” who would be made liable for an offence if there were “repeated and systemic failings”.
The rule has been pushed by the new Digital Secretary Nadine Dorries – who warned of potential prison sentences for serious offenders.