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Internet: Safety

Question for Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

UIN HL10851, tabled on 30 November 2020

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of (1) any governance and regulatory gaps in online harms protections that will emerge at the end of the transition period for the UK’s departure from the EU, and (2) the risks to young people from any further delay to the publication of proposed online harms legislation.

Answered on

9 December 2020

As the Government has transposed all relevant legislation, there will not be any gaps in online harms protection at the end of the transition period. The government is also working at pace to deliver online harms legislation next year, which will introduce comprehensive protections for young people.

The Government transposed the revised Audiovisual Media Services Directive into domestic law on the 30th September and the Regulations came into force on the 1st of November 2020. UK-established video sharing platforms are required to take appropriate measures to protect minors from content which may impair their physical, mental or moral development, and all users from illegal content.

The AVMS Directive aligns well with the Government’s plans to tackle online harms, in particular in its requirements on UK-established video sharing platforms to have systems in place to protect users, especially minors. It should be noted that the video sharing platform regime will be repealed and will be superseded by the online harms regulatory framework, once it comes into force.

The Government is firmly committed to making the UK the safest place to be online and is working at pace to introduce this legislation. We will publish the Full Government Response to the Online Harms White Paper consultation later this year, which will contain more detailed proposals on online harms regulation and will be released alongside interim voluntary codes on tackling online terrorist and child sexual exploitation and abuse content and activity. This will be followed by legislation, which will be ready next year.