UKSIC frustrated by continued Online Safety Bill delays

01 Nov 2022 UK SIC

The UK Safer Internet Centre (UKSIC) has expressed its frustration at continued delays to the Online Safety Bill.

Talks over the bill, which currently sits at report stage in the House of Commons, were due to resume today (Tuesday 1 November) but, during a Westminster Hall debate last week, it was mooted at having been removed from the timetable.

A spokesperson for the UKSIC has said: “These constant delays to Online Safety Bill discussions are frustrating and unacceptable. Children and victims alike are being left out in the cold by the neglectful actions of government – who continue to shelve these vital talks.

“To ensure young internet users are kept safe from online harm, we desperately need a robust and clear Online Safety Bill. Each delay could potentially be fatal, and we should be learning from the findings of the Molly Russell inquest and the recent IICSA report to ensure more is done to protect people from the dangers of the internet – not continuing to push back and delay passage of such an important piece of legislation.

“We’ve had three Prime Ministers since talks were initially pushed back in July and the recent Westminster circus has obstructed much needed progression and conversation. We also find it disappointing that one of the first acts of the new government is to delay discussions further.  

“UKSIC partners work tirelessly to protect young people from online harm and abuse whilst creating a safer internet for all. However, our work cannot have its full impact without government support and a revised Online Safety Bill – as it continues to ignore key issues, such as impartial dispute resolution, in its current guise.

“We are calling for clarity on the future of the Bill and a realistic timeline as to when we can expect it to become legislation. Further delays put our children and other vulnerable internet users at risk. We can’t allow these continuous pauses to derail it any further.”

The IWF and SWGfl have also issued statements.

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