from the thin-end-of-the-wedge dept.
Angry Jesus writes:
"The Irish Times reports that Google has given high level censorship powers to government security agencies in the UK.
Google has given British security officials special permissions for its YouTube video site, allowing them to have content instantly reviewed if they think that it threatens national security. They already had the power to request removal illegal content, now they can flag legal but "unsavory" content en masse.
They are in part a response to a blitz from UK security authorities to persuade internet service providers, search engines and social media sites to censor more of their own content for extremist material even if it does not always break existing laws."
The UK government plans to penalize tech companies like Facebook and Google that fail to curb the spread of harmful content on their platforms. As promised, the country is seeking to empower an independent regulator to enforce the rules which target violent material, posts encouraging suicide, disinformation, cyber-bullying, and child exploitation. Over the coming weeks, the government will consult on the types of punishments available to the new watchdog, including fines, blocking access to sites, and holding senior members of tech companies accountable for their failures.
Both Facebook and Google have previously denied responsibility for the content published on their sites, evoking the communications act in the US to overcome lawsuits accusing them of enabling terrorism and spreading extremist views. But calls for big tech to be regulated have grown in recent years following a spate of controversial incidents, the most recent of which was the live-streaming of the mass shooting in New Zealand on Facebook.
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