On 16th December the Bishop of Oxford responded to a Government statement on its plans to tackle online harms:
The Lord Bishop of Oxford [V]: My Lords, I declare my interests, particularly my membership as a board member of the Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation.
I sincerely congratulate the Government and other agencies such as the Carnegie UK Trust for these proposals, the way in which they have been developed and their substance. They have a very simple ethical code at their heart: if something is illegal or harmful offline, it should be illegal and considered harmful online.
The protection of children is paramount; refinements will be needed, but the main direction is right. The proposals break new ground. I only hope that there will be a due sense of urgency as they are taken forward. I understand the need to focus the legislation, but given the decision to rule fraud and certain other areas out of scope—which will no doubt continue to be debated—when will we see an overall digital strategy so that we can see this Bill as part of a whole?
Baroness Barran (Con): Part of the reason for defining the scope in a way that excludes, for example, fraud is that it is not typically user-generated content; it is also the result of the point that the right reverend Prelate makes about speed of implementation, which is obviously paramount.
The Government have recently announced a new national data strategy, which I am happy to share with him if he has not already seen it.