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Regulations proposed by the UK government to limit the spread of 'harmful' content could lead to the lawful speech of millions being censored, civil rights groups warn.
The chiefs of five prominent organisations have spoken out about their issues with the Online Harms White Paper, issued on Monday, in an open letter to the Guardian.
Experts - Report - Sites - UK - Citizens
Experts say that the report, which proposes taking sites offline to UK citizens if they fall foul of new regulators, would be 'disastrous if it proceeds in its current form.'
The white paper also suggests levying massive fines on companies like Facebook and Google and their employees if they fail to meet up to regulatory requirements.
Part - Effort - Spread - Child - Abuse
It's part of an effort to crack down on the spread of child abuse images, terrorism, revenge pornography and hate crime online.
But they have sparked fears that they could backfire and turn Britain into the first Western nation to adopt the kind of censorship usually associated with totalitarian regimes.
Signatories - Letter - Antonia - Byatt - Director
Signatories of the letter include Antonia Byatt, director of the English PEN, the worldwide writers’ association; Silkie Carlo of Big Brother Watch; Thomas Hughes, executive director of free speech group Article 19; Jim Killock, executive director of the Open Rights Group and Joy Hyvarinen, head of advocacy at Index on Censorship.
In it, they said: 'The lawful speech of millions of people would be monitored, regulated and censored.
Result - Approach - China - State - Censors
'The result is an approach that would make China’s state censors proud. It would be very likely to face legal challenge.
'It would give the UK the widest and most prolific internet censorship in an apparently functional democracy.'
MailOnline - Monday - Jim - Killock - Director
Speaking to MailOnline on Monday, Jim Killock, executive director of Open Rights Group and one of the signatories of the letter, said: ‘We are talking about the potential for...
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