February 1, 2023

Tech Bosses Face Criminal Fees In UK If Kids Exposed to Harmful Content

‘Online safety bill’ could open door to increased censorship of free presentation

Tech executives whose online platforms routinely fail to protect children from “ on-line harm” will face  criminal charges and up to 2 yrs in jail, after UK ministers reached a offer this week.

Rishi Sunak was facing the prospect of defeat in a Commons vote on Tuesday  after a rebel amendment to the online protection bill won opposition support. However , supporters have now withdrawn the amendment after the authorities agreed to change the legislation. -The Guardian

As part of the agreed upon laws,   senior managers from tech firms who ignore child safety warnings through Ofcom, the UK’s communications regulator,   would be held criminally liable over content material deemed ‘ harmful. ‘ Examples include the promotion of self-harm and eating disorders.

So essentially, anything ‘ they’ don’t like and deem ‘ harmful. ‘

Tech executives who can prove they are yet to “ acted in great faith to comply in the proportionate way” will be able to escape charges.

The rebellion had been led by Miriam Cates and Sir Bill Cash, with the support of mature figures including Iain Duncan Smith and Priti Patel. The online safety bill results to the Commons on Wednesday but  the changes, which were first reported by the Daily Telegraph, will be laid straight down when the legislation moves to the House of Lords. -The Guardian

According to child protection charitable organisation NSPCC, the threat associated with liability will help create ‘ culture change’ within tech firms.

“ By committing to senior manager liability the culture admin has sent a strong and welcome signal that she is going to give the online safety costs the teeth needed to drive the culture change within the cardiovascular of tech companies that will help protect children from future tragedies, ” said Rich Collard, the associate head of child safety on the web policy at the NSPCC.

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