UK Parliament Forms ‘Super Committee’ to Review Proposed ‘Online Safety Bill’

LOS ANGELES — The UK Parliament has formed a joint “super committee” to pore over the government’s proposed Online Safety Bill and has called for public comment on the legislation.

The Evening Standard reported that Damian Collins, the former chair of the House of Commons Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) Select Committee, will chair the super committee and noted “MPs and peers would go through the Bill ‘line by line’ to make sure it was ‘fit for purpose.'”

“The announcement comes after the Commons DCMS Committee confirmed on Tuesday it was launching a separate, new inquiry into the government’s approach to tackling harmful online content and the Online Safety Bill,” noted the Evening Standard. “Under the government’s proposed legislation, online platforms such as social media sites and search engines can be punished for failing to protect their users from harmful content, with fines of up to 10% of annual global turnover among the potential penalties, with the regulation overseen by Ofcom.”

The current scope of the proposed legislation has prompted concerns about legislative abuse.

“The Online Safety Bill is about finally putting a legal framework around hate speech and harmful content, and ultimately holding the tech giants to account for the role their technology plays in promoting it,” Collins said. “The next step in this process is the detailed scrutiny of the draft bill.”

“This is a once-in-a-generation piece of legislation that will update our laws for the digital age,” he added.

The joint committee is expected to report its findings by December.

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