Online Harms White Paper Launched

The government are consulting on plans for an online code of conduct, a duty of care and a regulator who will hold tech companies to account

This morning the Home Secretary Sajid Javid, and Secretary of State for the Department for Culture, Media and Sport Jeremy Wright QC launched the government’s online harms white paper set to create a duty on internet companies to do ‘all that is reasonable’ to protect vulnerable people from online harm. Codes of conduct will set out what is reasonable and what is expected. The white paper also announces a regulator, possibly funded by a levy on tech giants, tasked with ensuring this code of conduct is met.

Rachel Krys, co-director of EVAW said:

“We recognise the frustration felt by the Home Secretary at the failure of tech firms to respond to the ever growing need to ensure that the internet is a safe place for all, but particularly the women and girls who are most likely to be targeted in acts of cyber stalking, cyber flashing, image based abuse and online grooming.

“We know that violence against women and girls perpetrated online is an extension of real world behaviour and entitlement. Any regulator would need to have effective powers and real teeth in order to take giant tech companies to task. All too often these monopolies behave as if they have no responsibility in preventing or tackling the abuse enabled by their platforms.”

The consultation is now open. EVAW will be responding and we will circulate our response in advance of the deadline on 1st July to help others write their submissions.

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