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.