CPS responds to Online Safety Bill votes

Following last night’s votes in the House of Commons, Matthew Feeney, Head of Technology and Innovation at the Centre for Policy Studies, said:

‘Now the House of Commons is on the brink of passing the Online Safety Bill to the House of Lords, it is there we need to focus our hopes and efforts to improve the Bill. Although the government removed the controversial and widely criticised ‘legal but harmful’ provision from the bill before Christmas, it remains the case that – as currently drafted – this legislation poses a significant threat to free speech, will encourage businesses to remove legal and valuable content from their platforms as they err on the side of caution, undermine encryption services we all rely on to protect our privacy, and discourage investment in the UK’s growing technology sector.

‘Big firms will stomach the cost while smaller firms are driven from the UK and the chilling effect on free speech will be felt by all. The Online Safety Bill, while well-intentioned, is a cure worse than the disease.’

Notes to Editors
  • For further information and media requests, please contact Josh Coupland on [email protected] or 07912 485655.
  • The Centre for Policy Studies is one of the oldest and most influential think tanks in Westminster. With a focus on taxation, economic growth, business, welfare, housing and green growth, its goal is to develop policies that widen enterprise, ownership and opportunity.

Date Added: Wednesday 18th January 2023