No state censorship of online speech

What’s legal to say should be legal to type – a government regulator shouldn’t control your speech, online or off – yet the new Online Safety Bill could lead to just that, or worse.

The bloated Bill contains so many risks to free speech that it’s hard to know where to start.

For starters, the appointment of a state speech regulator – appointed and directed by government – will create a sprawling bureaucracy of speech police. The Home Office and the DCMS will direct what speech must be removed, filtered and monitored.

For another thing, the Bill’s provisions to block websites, apps, or services which refuse to cooperate with the speech regulator’s orders could put household names like Wikipedia, Reddit and Tumblr in the crosshairs.

Meanwhile, tech giants with the resources to surveil all user content would grow ever stronger. And perhaps the most shocking power, the Bill could force private messaging apps to monitor all user communications, including your private conversations with family and friends, on the assumption that we are all engaging in criminal conduct.

Feel safer yet?

By contrast, Open Rights Group (ORG) favours a rights-based approach to making the Internet safer. We’re part of a coalition of free expression organisations meeting with the Government to find a way to address online harms without sacrificing our digital rights.

Political pressure is building on Parliament to advance the Online Safety Bill. When the time comes, ORG will need your help to campaign for a better, rights-based approach to making the Internet safer.

Sign our pledge to help stop state censorship of online speech!

protect free speech online

When the time comes, ORG will need your help to campaign for a better, rights-based approach to making the Internet safer.

Sign the pledge

The Story So Far

Online Safety Bill: Will the upload filter ban images of protest?

What’s legal to say should be legal to type – a government regulator shouldn’t control your speech, online or off – yet the new Online Safety Bill could lead to just that, or worse. The bloated Bill contains so many risks to free speech that it’s hard to know where to start. For starters, the […]
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Can our new Prime Minister be trusted with free speech and privacy?

What’s legal to say should be legal to type – a government regulator shouldn’t control your speech, online or off – yet the new Online Safety Bill could lead to just that, or worse. The bloated Bill contains so many risks to free speech that it’s hard to know where to start. For starters, the […]
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Could public debate on immigration be suppressed by the Online Safety Bill?

What’s legal to say should be legal to type – a government regulator shouldn’t control your speech, online or off – yet the new Online Safety Bill could lead to just that, or worse. The bloated Bill contains so many risks to free speech that it’s hard to know where to start. For starters, the […]
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MPs must rethink this dire Bill

What’s legal to say should be legal to type – a government regulator shouldn’t control your speech, online or off – yet the new Online Safety Bill could lead to just that, or worse. The bloated Bill contains so many risks to free speech that it’s hard to know where to start. For starters, the […]
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Internet policy is broken

What’s legal to say should be legal to type – a government regulator shouldn’t control your speech, online or off – yet the new Online Safety Bill could lead to just that, or worse. The bloated Bill contains so many risks to free speech that it’s hard to know where to start. For starters, the […]
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The Online Safety Bill: punishing victims

What’s legal to say should be legal to type – a government regulator shouldn’t control your speech, online or off – yet the new Online Safety Bill could lead to just that, or worse. The bloated Bill contains so many risks to free speech that it’s hard to know where to start. For starters, the […]
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Joint Committee advice cannot fix flawed Online Safety Bill

What’s legal to say should be legal to type – a government regulator shouldn’t control your speech, online or off – yet the new Online Safety Bill could lead to just that, or worse. The bloated Bill contains so many risks to free speech that it’s hard to know where to start. For starters, the […]
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Online Safety Bill will not tackle monopoly abuse

What’s legal to say should be legal to type – a government regulator shouldn’t control your speech, online or off – yet the new Online Safety Bill could lead to just that, or worse. The bloated Bill contains so many risks to free speech that it’s hard to know where to start. For starters, the […]
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Online Safety Bill: Sweeping Ministerial Powers

What’s legal to say should be legal to type – a government regulator shouldn’t control your speech, online or off – yet the new Online Safety Bill could lead to just that, or worse. The bloated Bill contains so many risks to free speech that it’s hard to know where to start. For starters, the […]
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What’s the Harm in the Online Safety Bill?

What’s legal to say should be legal to type – a government regulator shouldn’t control your speech, online or off – yet the new Online Safety Bill could lead to just that, or worse. The bloated Bill contains so many risks to free speech that it’s hard to know where to start. For starters, the […]
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Online Safety Bill: Kill Switch for Encryption

What’s legal to say should be legal to type – a government regulator shouldn’t control your speech, online or off – yet the new Online Safety Bill could lead to just that, or worse. The bloated Bill contains so many risks to free speech that it’s hard to know where to start. For starters, the […]
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Weakening privacy will fuel online harms

What’s legal to say should be legal to type – a government regulator shouldn’t control your speech, online or off – yet the new Online Safety Bill could lead to just that, or worse. The bloated Bill contains so many risks to free speech that it’s hard to know where to start. For starters, the […]
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Papers please: nationality checks for the British internet?

What’s legal to say should be legal to type – a government regulator shouldn’t control your speech, online or off – yet the new Online Safety Bill could lead to just that, or worse. The bloated Bill contains so many risks to free speech that it’s hard to know where to start. For starters, the […]
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How the Online Safety Bill lets politicians define free speech

What’s legal to say should be legal to type – a government regulator shouldn’t control your speech, online or off – yet the new Online Safety Bill could lead to just that, or worse. The bloated Bill contains so many risks to free speech that it’s hard to know where to start. For starters, the […]
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Age verification in the Online Safety Bill

What’s legal to say should be legal to type – a government regulator shouldn’t control your speech, online or off – yet the new Online Safety Bill could lead to just that, or worse. The bloated Bill contains so many risks to free speech that it’s hard to know where to start. For starters, the […]
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Encryption in the Online Safety Bill

What’s legal to say should be legal to type – a government regulator shouldn’t control your speech, online or off – yet the new Online Safety Bill could lead to just that, or worse. The bloated Bill contains so many risks to free speech that it’s hard to know where to start. For starters, the […]
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Racists must be prosecuted, not moderated

What’s legal to say should be legal to type – a government regulator shouldn’t control your speech, online or off – yet the new Online Safety Bill could lead to just that, or worse. The bloated Bill contains so many risks to free speech that it’s hard to know where to start. For starters, the […]
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Access denied: Service blocking in the Online Safety Bill

What’s legal to say should be legal to type – a government regulator shouldn’t control your speech, online or off – yet the new Online Safety Bill could lead to just that, or worse. The bloated Bill contains so many risks to free speech that it’s hard to know where to start. For starters, the […]
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Duty to Censor: What’s legal to say should be legal to type

What’s legal to say should be legal to type – a government regulator shouldn’t control your speech, online or off – yet the new Online Safety Bill could lead to just that, or worse. The bloated Bill contains so many risks to free speech that it’s hard to know where to start. For starters, the […]
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Online abuse: Why management liability isn’t the answer

What’s legal to say should be legal to type – a government regulator shouldn’t control your speech, online or off – yet the new Online Safety Bill could lead to just that, or worse. The bloated Bill contains so many risks to free speech that it’s hard to know where to start. For starters, the […]
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Endgame for end-to-end encryption

What’s legal to say should be legal to type – a government regulator shouldn’t control your speech, online or off – yet the new Online Safety Bill could lead to just that, or worse. The bloated Bill contains so many risks to free speech that it’s hard to know where to start. For starters, the […]
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#SaveAnonymity: Together we can defend anonymity

What’s legal to say should be legal to type – a government regulator shouldn’t control your speech, online or off – yet the new Online Safety Bill could lead to just that, or worse. The bloated Bill contains so many risks to free speech that it’s hard to know where to start. For starters, the […]
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Save Online Speech Coalition Launches

What’s legal to say should be legal to type – a government regulator shouldn’t control your speech, online or off – yet the new Online Safety Bill could lead to just that, or worse. The bloated Bill contains so many risks to free speech that it’s hard to know where to start. For starters, the […]
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Speech offences: what’s illegal offline should be illegal online

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Trump takedowns need accountability

What’s legal to say should be legal to type – a government regulator shouldn’t control your speech, online or off – yet the new Online Safety Bill could lead to just that, or worse. The bloated Bill contains so many risks to free speech that it’s hard to know where to start. For starters, the […]
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Online Harms: Encryption under attack

What’s legal to say should be legal to type – a government regulator shouldn’t control your speech, online or off – yet the new Online Safety Bill could lead to just that, or worse. The bloated Bill contains so many risks to free speech that it’s hard to know where to start. For starters, the […]
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Winners, losers, and unanswered questions

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Online Harms: Blocking websites doesn’t work – use a rights-based approach instead

What’s legal to say should be legal to type – a government regulator shouldn’t control your speech, online or off – yet the new Online Safety Bill could lead to just that, or worse. The bloated Bill contains so many risks to free speech that it’s hard to know where to start. For starters, the […]
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The DCMS Online Harms Strategy must ‘design in’ fundamental rights

What’s legal to say should be legal to type – a government regulator shouldn’t control your speech, online or off – yet the new Online Safety Bill could lead to just that, or worse. The bloated Bill contains so many risks to free speech that it’s hard to know where to start. For starters, the […]
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