UK Jewish advocacy organization Campaign Against Antisemitism praised the British government for addressing their concerns in their proposed Online Safety Bill, including retaining a legal provision that the group stressed is crucial in the fight against online antisemitism.
The organization applauded Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Secretary Michelle Donelan for meeting with them multiple times, along with other Jewish community organizations, to hear their concerns about the draft bill.
“We have particularly worked to ensure that the latest iteration of the ground-breaking legislation, for which we have long called, retains the criminal offence under section 127 of the Communications Act 2003,” CAA said in a statement. “We have more experience than most in utilizing this provision, which protects victims of abusive communications, including those who target people because they are Jewish.”
A CAA spokesperson noted that “during the development of this legislation, we have made representations both for provisions that we would like to see included and taken out.”
CAA added that they were “grateful” that the government listened to their suggestions and that the Online Safety Bill includes “tough measures” to regulate social media platforms.
“We are pleased that it adopts our request to retain the criminal offence under section 127 of the Communications Act 2003. We have more experience than most in utilizing this provision, which protects victims of abusive communications, including those who target people because they are Jewish. A previous draft of the bill eliminated this offence, which would have made it even harder to combat antisemitism online.”
According to the spokesperson, “Regulating the internet was always going to be an extremely difficult legislative task. We applaud the Secretary of State for DCMS for engaging widely with stakeholders and producing legislation that promises to hold online abusers and internet giants to account at last.”