On 12 May 2021, the Draft Online Safety Bill was published along with Explanatory Notes, an Impact Assessment and a Delegated Powers Memorandum. A Joint Committee of both Houses is considering the Bill and will report by 10 December 2021.
The Bill creates a new regulatory framework to address illegal and harmful content online. In relation to such content, the draft legislation imposes duties of care on content-sharing platforms (such as social media sites) and search engines. It also imposes duties on providers in relation to the protection of users’ rights to freedom of expression and privacy. OFCOM will be given powers to oversee and enforce the new regime, including dedicated powers concerning terrorism and Child Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (CSEA).
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