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Curtailing free speech and taking away our protection from hackers and thieves...

The UK government announces that its Online Censorship Bill returns to Parliament on 5th December


Link Here26th November 2022
Full story: Online Safety Bill...UK Government legislates to censor social media
The Times is reporting that the government's Online Censorship Bill will return to the House of Commons on December 5th with a few amendments re 'harmful but legal' content.

Rishi Sunak is to introduce a compromise over the Online Safety Bill that will involve users being able to filter out legal but harmful content without it being removed by tech platforms.

The bill  has been paused while the government takes out provisions that alarmed free speech advocates. Of particular concern were sections that would have led to tech platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and Google removing content that was deemed to be legal, but harmful to adults.

The government will also detail a new offence about sharing deep fake porm. Those who share pornographic deepfakes,explicit images or videos that have been manipulated to look like someone without their consent, could be jailed under the proposed changes. It is not clear how the government will take on the international porn websites where faked porn of celebrities is commonplace. Perhaps the government will have to block them all.

Meanwhile the censorship bill is causing further criticisms over governments powers to degrade encryption. This is used to keep British people safe from hackers, blackmailers  and thieves, not to mention snooping by malicious governments most notably China and Russia.

The Open Rights Group explains in an article from openrightsgroup.org :

The Online Safety Bill requires ALL online speech to be monitored for harmful content, including the private conversations you have on your phone with friends and family. Companies like Whatsapp and Signal will be required by law to break end-to-end encryption, so the Government can automatically scan your messages.

They say encryption is dangerous, but the opposite is true. Encryption keeps your information and transactions safe from criminals. It ensures your private messages stay private. If the UK Government can break encryption to read your messages, that means scammers, hackers and foreign governments can too. Save encryption, Protect the security of your phone

If they get their way, your phone will be turned into a spy in your pocket. Billions of personal messages will be ready to be hacked, sold and exploited. The Government's plan to access your private messages will help criminals and make us less safe.

 

 

Rework to the Online Censorship Bill...

The Government is discussing reworking the free speech curtailing censorship of 'legal but harmful' content into something more optional for adults


Link Here20th November 2022
Full story: Online Safety Bill...UK Government legislates to censor social media
The Telegraph is reporting on significant changes being considered by the government to its Online Censorship Bill.

The government is considering backing off from the government defined censorship of 'legal but harmful' content on most websites available in the UK. The government has rightfully been taking stick for these free speech curtailing measures, particularly as the censorship is expected to be implemented mostly by mostly woke US internet giants who clearly don't care about free speech, and will over censor to ensure that they don't get caught up in the expense of getting it wrong by under censoring.

Culture Secretary Michelle Donelan is said to be considering the option for adults to be able to self censor 'legal but harmful' content by clicking a filter button that will order websites to block such content. Of course children will not be able to opt out of that choice. And of course this will men that age and identity verification has to be in place to esnsure that only adults can opt out.

A Culture Department spokesman said:

The Secretary of State has committed to strengthen protections for free speech and children in the Online Safety Bill and bring the bill back to the Commons as soon as possible. It remains the Government's intention to pass the bill this session.

 

 

Offsite Article: Reimagining the Online Safety Bill...


Link Here13th November 2022
Full story: Online Safety Bill...UK Government legislates to censor social media
Graham Smith suggests a few ideas to pare back the unviable monstrosity that currently exists

See article from cyberleagle.com

 

 

Pause for breath...

The Government pauses the Online Censorship Bill to give the new government a chance to consider its business suffocating mountain of red tape and its curtailment of free speech


Link Here27th October 2022
Full story: Online Safety Bill...UK Government legislates to censor social media
PoliticsHome spotted the change to the House of Commons schedule last night, reporting that the Online Censorship Bill had been dropped from the Commons business next week.

A source in the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) told TechCrunch that the latest delay to the bill's parliamentary timetable is to allow time for MPs to read new amendments -- which they also confirmed are yet to be laid.

But they suggested the delay will not affect the passage of the bill, saying it will progress within the next few weeks.

The change of PM may not mean major differences in policy approach in the arena of online regulation as Rishi Sunak has expressed similar concerns about the Online Safety Bill's impact on free speech -- also seemingly centred on clauses pertaining to restrictions on the legal but harmful speech of adults.


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