Internet Regulator Being Considered for UK

Internet Regulator Being Considered for UK
The UK government is considering “all options”, including a regulator, as part of new legislation governing the internet. It has previously said it will publish a White Paper in the coming months, laying out its proposals.

According to Buzzfeed News, the White Paper will propose a regulatory body similar to Ofcom, which regulates broadcasters and telecoms companies.

The government told the BBC it would publish the White Paper this winter. But a spokesman for the department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) said it had nothing to share at this time.

A cross-party committee investigating misinformation and fake news has already suggested areas for new legislation ahead of the White Paper.

In July, it recommended:

  • reforming electoral law for the digital age – including clear rules about political advertising online
  • taxing social networks to pay for digital literacy programmes in schools
  • greater transparency around online advertising

However, Buzzfeed News said the government’s proposals would go further. It said it had seen details of the White Paper, which included:

  • forcing websites to remove illegal hate speech within a specific time period or face penalties. A similar law is in force in Germany
  • making social networks verify the age of their users
  • punishing social networks that failed to remove terror content or child abuse images
  • restricting advertisements online for food and soft drink products that were high in salt, fat or sugar

A spokesman for the DCMS said the report was speculation.

In a statement to Buzzfeed, it said: “We are considering all options, including what legislation will be necessary and whether a regulator is needed.”

Women ‘Half as Likely’ as Men to Start a Business

Women ‘Half as Likely’ as Men to Start a Business
“Unfair obstacles” may be stopping women from starting and growing their own companies, the government has said. It said women were half as likely as men to start their own business, and only a fifth of smaller firms were led by females. It said this was creating a “significant pool” of untapped potential.

It has asked Alison Rose, head of RBS commercial and private banking, to lead a government review into the issue. “Unfortunately, statistics show that women make up only a third of all entrepreneurs in the UK,” Ms Rose said.

“To better drive the UK’s economy, we need to understand, and tackle, the barriers and reasons as to why this is.”

More than 1,000 businesses are started every day in Britain and small and medium size (SME) businesses support more than 16 million jobs.

However, last year only 19% of SME employers were majority-led by women – defined as controlled by a single woman or having a management team of which a majority were women.

Meanwhile, women only make up 27% of full-time chief executives and senior officials.

According to a survey of company founders by Unilever Foundry, a number of barriers are stopping women becoming entrepreneurs.

Women it spoke to who had started companies said there were too few female role models in business.

The research also found men and women were still not being encouraged to enter roles that stereotypically are not associated with their gender.

Finally, it found women who started companies often encountered discrimination – such as investors being less willing to invest in their firms on gender grounds.

Robert Jenrick, Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, said: “The fact that Britain is home to so many new, innovative businesses is something to be proud of. But the fact that so few of them are started by women is shocking. This is not because of a lack of talent or appetite.”

The Treasury said its review would consider ways to boost female engagement in entrepreneurship. It will respond to the review after it is published next spring.