Moscow, 8 APR — “News. Economy” the British Ministry for culture, media and digital industry and sport (DCMS) proposes to create a special, separate regulator, which will control only the sphere of high technologies, including social networking and the Internet. The main purpose of this regulator is a rapid response to “online threats” from extremists, including through the dissemination of their propaganda.
On Monday the UK government published a new policy document outlining tough stance against “harmful content” on the Internet. Definition of malicious content widely. The document also talks about the serious penalties that plans to introduce for technology companies, if they do not comply with the new regulatory framework.
“The era of self-regulation for Internet companies is gone, — said on air of bi-Bi-si the Minister of culture, media and digital industry and sport Jeremy Wright. — Independent actions of participants in the industry to combat online threats has not been applied properly or were not as far away as necessary”. The office of Mr. Wright prepared the proposals, which are subject to public discussion within the next three months.
In particular, it is planned that the new regulator will create a “code of conduct” for social networks and Internet companies, for violation of which he will be able to impose fines. Mr. Wright stressed that the calculation of fines can be built on the current system of the General EU regulation on personal data protection (GDPR) and up to 4% of the annual turnover of the company.
The document also set out some more stringent punitive measures being considered by the government.
The new regulator will have a few standard powers, including notification to companies that violate the principles regarding malicious content, as well as the requirement that companies send their reports on measures that have been adopted in order to cope with the violation.
According to the document, the new Agency will deal with the sites that distribute illegal content (promoting terrorism, child pornography, etc.) and engaged in the sale of illegal goods. Under the watchful gaze of the regulator will also be the sites involved in cyberbullying (electronic harassment), trolling and spreading fake news. The sponsors also propose to oblige the social network to remove content that promotes suicide.
The most important of the “major” powers is the ability to levy fines. But the conditions which were announced by Jeremy Wright, a very severe — the maximum fine the new regulator may be compared to the level of fines GDPR (General regulation on data protection) for violations of confidentiality. For comparison, the fine for Facebook at the rate of 4% would be $2.2 billion if you consider the total income of the company for the year 2018 in the amount of $56 billion.
Google, whose revenues last year amounted to almost $137 billion, can be fined up to $5.5 billion, similar to the case when the EU decided to fine Google for the fact that she is abusing the dominance of its Android platform.
After the transfer of powers, it is reported that the regulator “is likely” going to need another powerful weapon in the Arsenal. The following describes three more punitive measures that the government is considering as additions to the powers of the regulator.
First, is the ability to make a decision that the company has stopped any technical opportunities that “directly or indirectly facilitate access” to the offending content of the resource. This means that if a web site violates the new rules, the regulator may force Google to lower the search results.
The regulatory authority also may be granted the right to exert pressure on the app stores, specifically on Apple and Google to those excluded from the directory or removed from the search applications that contain any malicious content.
Another solution to the problem of access to harmful content is given in the document is that the regulator can force Internet service providers to block unwanted resources, so they were not available in the UK. Apparently, this will be the final punitive measure after the company had committed “serious, repeated and flagrant violations of requirements” and are unable to remedy the situation after repeated warnings and notifications.
The document States that the VPN will present the terms to bypass the lock resources, but it is noted that the use of this method is for advanced users only. However, the document States that the threat of blocking through the ISPs will still act as a powerful medium.
The third measure, which considers the government — individual responsibility individual managers. “This will mean that certain individuals will be held personally accountable in the event of serious breach by the company of statutory duties”, — the document says.
The punishment for these violations may result in civil or even criminal fines. However, it is not clear what leaders fall under this responsibility. The government is also considering whether to force companies to appoint a representative in the European economic area, who will liaise with the new regulatory body.
Read more •••