Online Safety Bill (December 2022)

Thank you for contacting me about the Online Safety Bill.

I welcome the Government's plans to make the UK the safest place to go online. The Online Safety Bill will give adults control over what they see and engage with online. It will also ensure that children are protected, by allowing parents to see and act on the dangers sites pose to young people.

While the Government has changed some measures in the Bill, I am reassured that the Government has confirmed that the new offences of false and threatening communications will remain in the Bill. The false communications offence will protect individuals from any communications where the sender intended to cause harm by sending something knowingly false, while the threatening communications offence will capture communications which convey a threat of serious harm, such as grievous bodily harm or rape.

Although there is an existing offence in the Communications Act that captures knowingly false communications, I am encouraged that the introduction of new offences will raise the current threshold of criminality.

As the internet becomes an increasingly integral part of our daily lives, I believe it is imperative that action is undertaken to ensure users are protected online and I therefore welcome these new measures.

Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.