Michael Drury and Julian Hayes write for The Times on Government’s ‘Online Harms’ Regulation

The Times speaks to BCL solicitors

BCL partners, Michael Drury and Julian Hayes write for The Times, discussing the fierce debate between regulation and free speech from the government’s recently published ‘Online Harms’ white paper.

Here’s a short excerpt from the article*:

“Ministers published their long-awaited white paper on online harms earlier this week, which had been foreshadowed by Theresa May’s promise that “the era of social media firms regulating themselves is over”.

The proposals will fuel the often fierce debate between regulation and free speech. The paper is breathtaking in its scope, aiming to tackle the online contribution to a plethora of social ills, from terrorist activity and gang-related violence to self-harm, disinformation and addiction to technology.

The government proposes a new framework for regulatory oversight of social media companies such as Facebook, Google and Twitter. It also goes further, affecting all organisations on whose platforms user-generated content is shared or online interaction takes place, including public discussion forums and even retailers that invite onlineproduct reviews.”

*This article was originally published on the 11th May 2019. You can read the full article on The Times website.

Michael Drury is a partner at BCL with a diverse practice, ranging from extradition to representing individuals in regulatory proceedings brought by the FCA; acting in criminal investigations by the SFO; and is a leading expert on surveillance and investigatory powers as well as information law and cybercrime.

Julian Hayes is a Partner specialising in all aspects of corporate crime and regulatory work. As well as dealing with high profile fraud and corruption matters, including investigations with an international dimension, he has considerable experience of advising corporates on data protection and cybercrime issues.