According to The Daily Telegraph, UK ministers want to imprison social media bosses for up to two years if they don’t hunt down, find and delete harmful content. They claim they’re worried about content that would harm children, such as self-harm videos.
There is always a good reason to seize control.
Michelle Donelan, the Technology and Science Secretary, announced the changes to the online safety bill, which will make senior managers at tech firms criminally liable for persistent breaches of their duty of care to protect children from harmful material.
It will swing into effect if company bosses continue to ignore requests by the regulator, Ofcom, to correct flaws in their technology that cause serious harm to children.
Ofcom already fines the tech giants up to 10 percent of their global turnover for breaches. The regulator can also block the firms’ access to UK users.
More than 50 MPs are calling for bosses to face jail.
Don’t worry; if they decide the social media boss acted in good faith, they won’t have anything to worry about a thing.
It’s designed for bosses who “have consented or connived in ignoring enforceable requirements, risking serious harm to children.” And the UK government gets to decide if they connived.
Social media bosses will have to trust them!
Other Government amendments will force firms to publish assessments of the risk to children on their sites from illegal content and harmful material. It had previously been proposed these would only have to be shared with Ofcom.
Controlling and coercive behavior will be treated as a “priority” offense, and companies will have to proactively search for it on their platforms and prevent it, rather than waiting for someone to flag it to them.
Any disinformation by a foreign state that could destabilize the UK will be treated similarly.
The bosses of WhatsApp and its rival Signal have co-signed an open letter warning that the plans contained in the Online Safety Bill will open the door to “indiscriminate surveillance.”
The bill would give the regulator, Ofcom, the power to order companies to use technology to identify illegal material on encrypted services.
The companies argue there is no way to break encryption while retaining privacy.