Today, the Office of the Prime Minister issued a statement promising to create a ‘legal liability’– which would oblige companies to remove extreme content from their site or platform. According to WIRED, this new ‘legal liability’ could also include the potential for firms to be fined if they fail to remove content deemed extreme.
The statement also promised that the UK would work with France to achieve their goals. This doesn’t come as such a surprise as the French President Emmanuel Macron has many interests in Tech firms and technology such as the promise to ban the use of smartphones in schools leading up to his election.
This comes as the latest in the line of measures which have been taken in the UK which aim to protect citizens from extremism and terrorism. Other steps included the introduction of the Investigatory Powers Act (2016) which resulted in Internet Service Providers having to share all their customers’ browsing data with UK Intelligence services.
I was very disappointed to see this statement today, however it does not surprise me. The Prime Minister has made it clear that protecting the British people is more important than protecting human rights, which is very wrong in my opinion. It might not have angered me so much to see these measures (actually it still probably would) if there had been any effort to reform or change the education system to try and address the complex issue of terrorism. But there has not been any effort to reform education– only censorship.
It also may not have occurred to many people- but censoring our internet to protect against terrorism actually pleases groups such as ISIS- as it is out western values- which are expressed mainly though the internet- that they are opposed to. Therefore education is crucial in the fight against terrorism. But those in power now don’t seem to think so…
Also, who decides what’s extreme?
Thumbnail Credit: ArsTechnica