Online Safety Bill Second Reading briefing

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ORG analysis and highlights concerning the Online Safety Bill and its adverse impact on human rights and the free internet

About Open Rights Group

Open Rights Group (ORG) is the leading UK-based digital campaigning organisation. We work to protect fundamental rights to privacy and free speech online, including data protection, the impacts of the use of data on vulnerable groups, and online surveillance. With over 20,000 active supporters, we are a grassroots organisation with local groups across the UK. We have worked on this Bill throughout the ‘online harms’ processes and consultations, and both Digital Economy Acts (2010 and 2017), accurately highlighting which parts of both DEAs would prove extraordinarily difficult to implement practically or fairly.

Parliament must set robust safeguards for freedom of expression
This is a Bill that seeks to make the online world ‘safer’ but relies largely on content removal and censorship to deliver it. It creates new risks to personal security and safety by downgrading privacy. Furthermore it relies on algorithms and Artificial Intelligence to combat problems caused by algorithms and Artificial Intelligence. By attempting to ‘fight fire with fire’ we can assume the results will be at best patchy, and at worst, corrosive of free expression and privacy.

This Bill vastly over-reaches its original remit. It mandates Internet services to police their platforms for some 28 criminal offences, including firearms, assisting illegal immigration, financial services, and harassment. It is literally asking private companies to enforce the law online on behalf of the

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