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UK gov will have fresh internet safety laws ready in a ‘couple of years’

UK INTERNET SAFETY LAWS will arrive in the “next couple of years” to force the likes of Facebook and other web-based companies to better police the digital realm.

At least that’s according to Digital Secretary Matt Hancock, who revealed his ambitions to usher in new laws that’ll try and tackle cyberbullying, the spread of extremist content, and a collection of other legal and illegal stuff that causes web users harm.

“Digital technology is overwhelmingly a force for good across the world and we must always champion innovation and change for the better. At the same time I have been clear that we have to address the Wild West elements of the Internet through legislation, in a way that supports innovation,” said Hancock.

“People increasingly live their lives through online platforms so it’s more important than ever that people are safe and parents can have confidence they can keep their children from harm. The measures we’re taking forward today will help make sure children are protected online and balance the need for safety with the great freedoms the internet brings just as we have to strike this balance offline.”

Now you’re probably thinking those measure will be some heavy-handed restrictions and policies that come from a government not known to always be au fait with tech.

But you’d be wrong. The Department got Digital, Culture, Media Sport will work with the Home Office and other government departments and industry to knock out a white paper later this year that’ll set out legislation to be brought forward to tackle internet nastiness.

We like the idea of the pen being mightier than the sword, but we’re not sure a fricking white paper is a particularly pro-active move to tackle the rampant abuse and spread of bigoted and racist harassment that pops up on the likes Twitter.

Still, with the white paper, Hancock reckons the new internet safety laws will be ready in a couple of years, which is plenty of time for the digital world to have whacked out about 20 new apps or platforms that act as social bastions for troll and other web-based w**kers.

Hopefully, the flip side to this will be a set of carefully considered laws that curtail online abuse etc, but maintain the spread of useful thought-provoking content and innovation the web enables. µ

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