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Where next?

Where next?

In these pages, we’ve explained how we are helping to encourage the debate and shape the law relating to our most significant potential effects on human rights – privacy and free expression. We believe that any limitations of those rights must be within a clear legal framework, with the right checks and balances.

Our commitment to free expression is reflected in our approach to “active choice” for parental control tools. It’s also highlighted by our request to have the courts scrutinise the Digital Economy Act 2010 and the processes for blocking content which might infringe copyright. We’ve suggested that voluntary processes for blocking child sexual abuse images online should be formalised. We have recommended improving the safeguards for blocking content which might be extremist or lead to radicalisation.

We have outlined the current investigatory powers regime and the crucial part we play when government exercises these powers – which are necessary to protect national security and fight serious crime. Protecting our customers’ private data is central to what we do, so our internal governance processes and dialogue with government will continue to focus on this. We also highlighted our early views on the IPB; we will make a more detailed submission to the government consultation shortly.

Where next? Privacy and free expression go hand in hand. We welcome the public debate on both.

And, of course, part of that is examining the role that communications providers like us should play.

December 2015