Just back from several trips and I see the Government are going full on Middle East dictatorship back in Blighty.
Let's ignore Brexit for a bit, as there will be plenty on that this week.
Instead, the hand-wringers in chief have been getting upset about the internet and people saying stuff on it. 'Wont someone think of the children?" is the refrain and so of course now we have a new regulatory consultation. I can see some small merit in trying to stop social media from posting terrorist vids and livestreams - who wants that? However, state security and terrorism has been used by the Government since WWII to restrict freedom - who remembers not so long ago RIPA legislation being used by councils to spy on childrens' parents to see where they lived and if they could qualify for local schools.
So, of course, the Government instead have been taking their lines from their favourite companies, Google (who employ the ex-Conservative digital guru's, natch) and Facebook. Unsurprisingly as market leaders they are really keen on regulation to defend their dominant position. They are advocating lots of control that only they have the resources to police.
The form of this proposed regulation is fairly draconian covering:
"The plans cover a range of issues that are clearly defined in law such as spreading terrorist content, child sex abuse, so-called revenge pornography, hate crimes, harassment and the sale of illegal goods.
But it also covers harmful behaviour that has a less clear legal definition such as cyber-bullying, trolling and the spread of fake news and disinformation."
So, this website will be in real trouble, hate crimes are fast becoming the UK equivalent of the US wire fraud - basically, anything the Police or your enemies want to stitch you with is a hate crime. Trolling too covers anyone leaving a comment that is a little bit mean and Fake News, well what is one person's fake news is another's facts - it is the modern world (Let's think of an immediate example, crashing out of the EU will mean medicine supplies collapse in the UK - is publishing this fake news or denying it disinformation - who decides - the Government of course!).
So fun times ahead if this gets in. Maybe we can turn this into a Gardening Blog or some such, any ideas in the comments welcome.