Online Harms Bill must protect freedom of speech as well as the young and vulnerable

Responding to today’s Government statement on plans to regulate online harms, Robert Colvile, Director of the CPS, said:

“We are pleased to see the Government is moving in the right direction on online harms, and adopting a more balanced approach as set out by the CPS’s paper in the summer. 

“We recommended treating large and small companies differently, and that the definition of ‘legal but harmful’ should be set out in legislation, and not determined by an unelected regulator. We are pleased our concerns have been taken on board and look forward to seeing this reflected in the Bill in the New Year.

“It is absolutely right to do everything we can to protect the most vulnerable in society online and mitigate threats to national security, but this must be balanced with the need to maintain freedom of expression and to ensure small businesses are not weighed down by excessive regulation.”

Date Added: Tuesday 15th December 2020