Online Safety Bill Policy Hub

The Online Safety Bill Policy Hub is a place for members of the public, campaigners, politicians and experts to take action, and find out more about the issues around the Online Safety Bill.

don’t scan me: Stop the spy clause!

Join our campaign to protect privacy in the Online Safety Bill.

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Defend democratic expression

Join our campaign to protect free speech in the Online Safety Bill.

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ORG’s Analysis, Blogs and Letters to Government

Online Safety Bill: US and UK campaigners warn of dangers of age verification
SOAS ICOP Policy Briefings – Online Safety Bill “spy clause” requires chat platforms to scan private messages, by the Open Rights Group, 5 December 2022
Policy briefing – Online Safety Bill third reading
Policy briefing – Criminal liability for content harmful to children
Policy Briefing: Who is checking on your chats in private online spaces
SUBMISSION TO PARLIAMENT Addressing automated, arbitrary, algorithmic censorship in the Online Safety Bill June 2022
Save online free speech coalition – Letter to Michelle Donelan MP
Small boats and silent protest: Prior restraint in the Online Safety Bill
Legal opinion finds Online Safety Bill may breach international law


LibertyLiberty wins landmark Snoopers’ Charter case
United NationsSpecial Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression
United NationsSurveillance and human rights : report of the Special Rapporteur on the Promotion and Protection of the Right to Freedom of Opinion and Expression
Council of EuropeFreedom of Expression Online
Council of EuropeRecommendation CM/Rec(2016)5[1] of the Committee of Ministers to member States on Internet freedom
Council of EuropeRecommendation CM/Rec(2018)2 of the Committee of Ministers to member States on the roles and responsibilities of internet intermediaries
Council of EuropeArtificial Intelligence
Graham SmithMapping the Online Safety Bill
Graham SmithOnline Harms and the Legality Principle
Graham SmithHarm Version 3
Gavin Millar QCWhy the Online Safety Bill threatens free speech
Gavin Millar QC Written Evidence 2021 
Dan Squires KCOpinion on prior restraint provisions within the Online Safety Bill

Content Moderation

Emma J LlansoNo amount of “AI” in content moderation will solve filtering’s prior restraint problem
Graham SmithShould We Be Building Online Prior Restraint Machines?
CDT ResearchDo You See What I See? Capabilities and Limits of Automated Multimedia Content Analysis
CDT ResearchOutside Looking In: Approaches to Content Moderation in End-to-End Encrypted Systems
Council of EuropeContent Moderation Best practices towards effective legal and procedural frameworks for self-regulatory and co-regulatory mechanisms of content moderation Guidance
EDRiCopyright: European Court of Justice strictly limits the use of upload filters
Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation Missing Pieces: A note on Terrorism Legislation in the Online Safety Bill

Monitoring private messages / the encryption debate

Hal Abelson, Ross Anderson, et al“Bugs in our pockets ” The Risks of Client-Side Scanning ( paper)
Harold Abelson, Ross Anderson, et alKeys Under Doormats Security Report – MIT Press
Susan Landau“Bugs in our pockets ” The Risks of Client-Side Scanning (blog post)
Kaspar Rosager Ludvigsen, Shishir Nagaraja, and Angela DalyYASM (Yet Another Surveillance Mechanism)
Riana PfefferkornClient-side scanning and Winnie-the-Pooh Redux 11 May 2020
Alec MuffettWhy we need #endotendencryption and why it’s essential for our safety, our children’s safety and for our children’s future
Alec Muffette2e Primer
Patrick BreyerChat Control – The End of the Privacy of Digital Correspondence
Paul RosenzweigThe Law and Policy of Client-Side Scanning
James Ball in Rolling StoneRevealed: UK Govt Plans Publicity Blitz to Undermine Privay of your Chats
German governmentChatKontrolle: Bundesregierung Loechert EU-Kommission mit Kritischen Fragen
Barker, G et alThe Economic Impact of Laws that Weaken Encryption
Brian Barrett, Lily May NewmanApple Backs Down on its Controversial Photo-Scanning Plans
Global Encryption Coalition45 organizations and cybersecurity experts sign open letter expressing concerns with UK’s Online Safety Bill – Global EncryptionCoalition

Age Assurance

Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO)Information Commissioner’s opinion: Age Assurance for the Children’s Code 14 October 20
ISP ReviewGov Confirms Second Try at UK Internet Age Verification System
International Association of Privacy ProfessionalsAge verification and data protection: Far more difficult than it looks
eSafety Commissioner – AustraliaAge verification – eSafety Commissioner – Targeted Consultation Thematic Analysis of age verrification submissions
Abhilash Nair, Cansu Caglar (EU Consent project)Age Verification and Child Protection: An Overview of the Legal Landscape

Legislative Documents

Parliament Online Safety Bill As amended in Public Bill Committee 28 June 2022
Parliament Online Safety Bill : Government Bill  As Introduced to the House of Commons, 17 March 2022
DCMSOnline Safety Bill Supporting Documents 17 March 2022 – ECHR Memorandum and Impact Assessment 31 January 2022
DCMS Ministerial Statement on Harmful ContentOnline Safety Update Statement made on 7 July 2022 Statement UIN HCWS194

The Story So Far

Online Safety Bill: Triple shield or triple surveillance?

Update on the Parliamentary amendments The Online Safety Bill is back in Parliament.
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Continuing the campaign against the Online Safety Bill

This week the Online Safety Bill came back to Parliament.
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Global encryption coalition warns of Online Safety Bill dangers

70 organizations, cyber security experts, and elected officials sign open letter expressing dangers of Online Safety Bill On 24 November, seventy civil society organizations, companies, elected officials, and cybersecurity experts, including Global Encryption Coalition members, published an open letter to British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak highlighting their concerns with the threat that the United Kingdom’s Online Safety Bill poses to end-to-end encryption.
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Can our new Prime Minister be trusted with free speech and privacy?

As Liz Truss flies to Balmoral tomorrow to meet the Queen, who will ask her to form a government, what can we expect for our free speech and privacy rights?
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Could debate on immigration be suppressed?

A little bombshell, hidden deep within the gargantuan piece of legislation that is the Online Safety Bill, could have the effect of suppressing public debate around immigration.
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The Online Safety Bill puts a spy in your pocket

The deployment of client-side scanning on private messaging systems was trailed in a research paper published by the technical directors of GCHQ and the National Cybersecurity Centre (NCSC).
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Online Safety made dangerous

From the government press release, and without seeing the text of the Bill, there are already things we can say about the Online Safety Bill.
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The Online Safety Bill: punishing victims

The government has today announced two new regressive and unworkable additions to the Online Safety Bill.
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