Britain is 'at war' with tech giants and online safety bill is needed
Britain is ‘at war’ with tech giants and proposed online safety bill is desperately needed, says Lord Stevenson
- Labour peer called on colleagues to make the most of a ‘very strange situation’
- Paying tribute to teen Molly Russell, he encouraged them to minimise ‘dissent’
Britain is ‘at war’ with Big Tech and Parliament must act like it to pass the Online Safety Bill, Lord Stevenson has urged.
The Labour peer called on colleagues to make the most of a ‘very strange situation’ of having near complete cross-party support for the legislation.
Paying tribute to teenager Molly Russell and other victims of online harms, he encouraged them to minimise ‘dissent’ and work together to ensure it was delivered in time.
Speaking in the House of Lords during the Bill’s second reading on Wednesday, he said: ‘That is a big ask; I do not think it has been done, except during wartime. But we are at war – at war with these people who are trying to run our lives, and we should try to get together and defeat them.’
Peers also took the opportunity to highlight the importance of following the Online Safety Bill ‘swiftly’ with legislation to tackle competition within digital markets and protect consumers.
Britain is ‘at war’ with Big Tech and Parliament must act like it to pass the Online Safety Bill, Lord Stevenson has urged. [File image]
Paying tribute to teenager Molly Russell, pictured, who ended her life after viewing suicide and self-harm content online, Lord Stevenson encouraged colleagues to minimise ‘dissent’ and work together to ensure it was delivered in time
READ MORE: Coroner in Molly Russell inquest calls for separate social media platforms for adults and children
Lord Black of Brentwood, who is deputy chairman of the Telegraph Media Group, said the two went ‘hand in hand’ and would level up the playing field between platforms and UK news publishers.
Lord Stevenson of Balmacara said the chamber found itself in the ‘unusual’ position where there was ‘no political divide’ over the Bill’s ultimate aim.
Platforms had ‘failed’ in regulating themselves and continued to use business models that relied on ‘the engagement of users at all cost, regardless of what holds their attention’.
The Digital Markets, Competition and Consumer Bill will protect Britons from online fraud while also empowering a new regulator to rein in tech giants.
Lord Black said UK news publishers had been operating within a ‘deeply dysfunctional’ digital market for years and were not paid fairly for their content.
He urged the Government to ‘ensure speedy implementation’ of the new regulator, the Digital Markets Unit, as a vital step in protecting the future of journalism.
He said: ‘It will be a world-leading digital regulator alongside this world-first in online safety, paving the way for a sea change in how platforms operate and ensuring the sustainability of journalism.’
Source: Read Full Article