Online Safety Bill introduced in Parliament
Commenting on the Bill, Antony Walker, techUK Dep. CEO said:
"techUK welcomes the publication of the long awaited Online Safety Bill and supports its objective to make the UK the safest place to go online while upholding free speech and enabling innovation.
"According to the Government’s own estimate more than 24,000 companies will be in scope of this new legislation.
"A key test of the Bill’s success will be whether it can enable these 24,000 ‘in scope’ companies and the regulator to make quick and effective decisions.
"The Online Safety Bill can meet this test if it is clear about what it is asking companies to do, if it enhances existing company systems and processes and if it avoids an over- expansion of scope.
"The government has recognised that this is a highly complex piece of legislation that seeks to find a delicate balance between sometimes competing objectives.
"If we get this balance right, we will have a world-leading system for online content regulation. If we get the balance wrong we will fail citizens and consumers.
"We urge MPs and Peers to engage with businesses to understand the practical implications for the broad range of companies that will have to implement this legislation. To succeed the Bill must deliver on all of its objectives."
Antony Walker is deputy CEO of techUK, which he played a lead role in launching in November 2013.
Antony is a member of the senior leadership team and has overall responsibility for techUK’s policy work. Prior to his appointment in July 2012 Antony was chief executive of the Broadband Stakeholder Group (BSG), the UK’s independent advisory group on broadband policy. Antony was closely involved in the development of broadband policy development in the UK since the BSG was established in 2001 and authored several major reports to government. He also led the development of the UK’s world leading Open Internet Code of Practice that addresses the issue of net neutrality in the UK. Prior to setting up the BSG, Antony spent six years working in Brussels for the American Chamber of Commerce following and writing about telecoms issues and as a consultant working on EU social affairs and environmental issues. Antony is a graduate of Aberdeen University and KU Leuven and is also a Policy Fellow Alumni of the Centre for Science and Policy at Cambridge University.
As Head of Public Affairs, Ed leads techUK’s strategic engagement with Whitehall, Westminster and beyond. He regularly engages government ministers, members of the UK’s parliaments, metropolitan mayors, and senior civil servants on the role of technology in the UK’s economy and society.
Ed joined techUK in 2021. He has a background advising companies, trade associations and public bodies on government relations and public affairs and has worked in the UK, Brussels, Asia Pacific and Southeast Asia. He has a degree from the University of Manchester in politics and languages.
Margherita is Communications Manager at techuk, working across all communications and marketing activities and acting as point of contact for media enquiries.