UK proposes strengthening Internet laws to combat Russian disinformation

The UK government said on Monday it was proposing a new law that would require social media companies to proactively address misinformation posted by foreign countries such as Russia.

The law will deal with fake accounts on platforms like Meta‘S Facebook and Twitter was established on behalf of foreign states to influence elections or court proceedings, the government said.

The law is likely to be passed during this session of parliament passing an amendment to link the National Security Bill and the Online Safety Bill, both of which are on the government’s current agenda.

Media regulator Ofcom will put in place codes of practice to help social media companies comply with the law and will have the power to issue fines for violations.

Digital Minister Nadine Dorries on Monday said the Ukraine invasion showed how Russia used social media to spread lies about its actions.

“We cannot allow foreign nations or their puppets to use the internet to wage hostile online warfare unhindered,” she said. “That’s why we’re beefing up our new internet safety safeguards to make sure social media companies identify and root out state-backed misinformation. “

Recently, India too Renew new regulations on social media companies they proposed were then abruptly withdrawn in May, changing nothing but explaining that the law was necessary because the companies violated constitutional rights of the Indians.

In May, the country introduced a draft IT law change requiring companies to “respect the rights afforded to citizens under India’s constitution” and set up a government panel to hear appeals. about companies’ content moderation decisions.

The government published the draft again in June with no changes and put it to public comment within 30 days. But New Delhi first explained its reasoning.

“Some (technology) Intermediaries have acted in violation of the constitutional rights of Indian citizens,” the government said, without naming any specific companies or rights.

© Thomson Reuters 2022

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