My gut tells me that the charity is right to be concerned. Any time we find ourselves in this much agreement that “something” must be done in the US, we usually end up doing something that doesn’t spend a lot of time considering the unintended consequences, and with a scheme to regulate the internet being considered in the UK, there will absolutely be some unintended consequences. As even their tech reporter states:
“Everyone agrees that something – something! – must be done about the ravages of ‘online harms’.
“The concept only has one small weakness, which at this late stage of the debate I am embarrassed to even mention; no-one knows exactly what a harm is.”
These are things that have to be well defined and considered deeply before passing a new law, not something to create a hashtag over and call it a day. There are real consequences to online business, and individuals when you start to define what’s allowed and what isn’t.
This is not easy. It shouldn’t be easy, and it shouldn’t be taken lightly in a move to be seen as “doing something”.