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Online Safety Bill – Outsourced Platforms

When the Government first announced plans to regulate online discussion platforms I wondered whether small organisations would be able to outsource the compliance burden to a provider better equipped to deliver rapid and effective response. Clause 180(2) of the Online Safety Bill suggests the answer is yes: The provider of a user-to-user service is to […]

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Online Safety Bill – Educational Institutions

[21/6: Added more examples of public engagement] [22/3: Updated analysis of why read-only access fits within the para 8 exemption] The Government has now published its Online Safety Bill: the text that will be debated, and no doubt amended, in Parliament. Compared to last summer’s draft, this is somewhat clearer on whether platforms operated by […]

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Draft Online Safety Bill

The Government’s Online Safety Bill proposes to impose duties on “user-to-user services” to deal with harmful (including both lawful and unlawful) content and to protect free speech while doing so. Unlike most operators of on-line discussion platforms, educational institutions already have legal duties in both areas: through legislation on safeguarding, preventing radicalisation, and free speech. […]

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Online Harms White Paper

Tertiary educational institutions have a very specific role in promoting free speech, whether verbal, in writing or on-line. This is set out in general in the Education (No.2) Act 1986, with specific limitations – monitored by the sector regulators – to manage the risk of radicalisation in the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015 and, for […]

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Regulating Online Harms

This morning’s Westminster e-Forum event on regulating Online Harms contained a particularly rich discussion of both the challenges and opportunities of using regulation to reduce the amount of harmful content we see on the Internet. The Government published a white paper in April 2019 and an initial response to comments in February 2020. A full […]

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Online Harms White Paper

The Government’s new White Paper on Online Harms is strikingly wide in both the range of harms identified, and the range of entities asked to play a part in reducing them. The White Paper envisages that harmful content could be spread through any online facility that allows individual users to share content, to find content […]