Published: Sun, September 23, 2018
Industry | By Terrell Bush

Britain preparing to set up internet regulator

Britain preparing to set up internet regulator

The government is understood to be considering introducing a mandatory code of practice for social media companies to make them liable for content published on their platforms. The new regulator could have the power to impose punitive sanctions on social media platforms that fail to remove illegal material including extremist content, child abuse images and hate speech, according to Buzzfeed News.

Buzzfeed News reported on Thursday that it had obtained details of government proposals, which form part of legislation now being drafted ahead of an official announcement later this year. But the United Kingdom could be one of the first countries to put a regulator in place to govern the internet. It did not say how it obtained them.

Ofcom's head, Sharon White, said that tech companies ought to be regulated in the same way as the mobile phone and broadband industries, saying that certain principles from broadcasting regulation could be relevant as lawmakers consider issues around online protection.

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These developments have stemmed from the United Kingdom governments vocal frustration with the inability or unwillingness of tech firms to react appropriately in a voluntary capacity to what the government views as unacceptable online behavior.

However, the government has faced criticism and doubt around whether it will be able to enforce regulations on predominantly U.S. companies. While details of the proposals have come to light, the department for Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport (DCMS) has said it is not ready to share any information at this time and will publish the white paper in the winter.

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