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UK waters down online restrictions after free speech outcry

KION

By JILL LAWLESS
Associated Press

LONDON (AP) — The British government has abandoned a plan to force tech firms to remove internet content that is harmful but legal after the proposal drew strong criticism from lawmakers and civil liberties groups. The U.K. on Monday watered down its Online Safety Bill, an ambitious but controversial attempt to crack down on online racism, sexual abuse, bullying, fraud and other harmful material. In its original form, the bill gave regulators wide-ranging powers to sanction digital and social media companies like Google, Facebook, Twitter and TikTok. Critics expressed concern that a requirement for the biggest platforms to remove “legal but harmful” content could undermine free speech. The Conservative government of Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has now dropped that part of the bill.

Article Topic Follows: AP National Business

Associated Press

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