February 21, 2024

Sweeping New Powers Could Let the UK Block Big Tech Platforms

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Ofcom, the UK’s communications regulator has gained new, sweeping powers that could allow them to “disrupt” big tech platforms if they don’t comply with the country’s new Online Safety Act.

In November 2023, Ofcom released its first round of proposals for how the act will be implemented and what companies will need to comply. According to Ofcom, failure to comply to the law will allow the regulator to cut off tech companies from payment systems, or block them from the UK.

Editor’s Note: This new Online Safety Act enables governments to “supervise” their citizens, protecting them from “harms” that may befall them from the internet. While it can have a positive impact on protecting children online, it could have a chilling effect on adults who use the internet as a platform for free speech. And since this initiative is starting in the UK, it will set the tone for censorship policies in other countries, including the Philippines.

We have already seen during the COVID scamdemic how censorship and propaganda were weaponized by governments to stop opposition. Do you believe it will never be used for that purpose again?

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