We saw this one coming!
Watch out NZ, wouldn’t be surprised if we’re next:
- A new internet watchdog could block harmful websites from Britain
- The regulator could also remove non-compliant websites from search results
- The Online Harms White Paper has been accused of paving the way for
- Former culture secretary John Whittingdale drew parallels with China and Russia
Published: 07:15 AEST, 11 April 2019 | Updated: 20:48 AEST, 11 April 2019
Draconian laws designed to tame the web giants will not limit press freedom, the Culture Secretary said yesterday.
In a letter to the Society of Editors, Jeremy Wright vowed that ‘journalistic or editorial content would not be affected’ by the proposals.
And he reassured free speech advocates by saying there would be safeguards to protect the role of the Press.
The Government is facing accusations that its Online Harms White Paper paves the way for totalitarian-style censorship.
The 98-page document laid out plans for an internet watchdog that would have the power to block websites from Britain if they did not adhere to its rules.
The regulator could also remove non-compliant websites from search results and app stores, and stop users from accessing them via links on social media. The plans are designed to force lawless web firms to remove harmful material from their platforms.
But they have sparked fears that they could backfire and turn Britain into the first Western nation to adopt the kind of censorship usually associated with totalitarian regimes.
Former culture secretary John Whittingdale drew parallels with China, Russia and North Korea. Matthew Lesh of the Adam Smith Institute, a free market think-tank, branded the white paper a ‘historic attack on freedom of speech’.
But yesterday Mr Wright sought to reassure news chiefs that the Government would preserve Press freedoms and ensure its plans ‘did not have unintended consequences’.
‘This Government absolutely upholds the core principle of freedom of expression, recognising the invaluable role a free Press plays in our cultural and democratic life,’ he said. ‘We are seeking to build sufficient safeguards into our proposals to protect those freedoms.
‘The Government’s stance on Press regulation has not changed…