The UK seems to be copying themes from the soon-to-be-announced EU Digital Services Act package (which is aimed at curbing the power of Big Tech, setting strict guardrails in which they can operate/expand, and recalibrating the intermediary liability and obligations framework). 

Lots of the language justifying this announcement seems to be lifted almost word for word from the EU's press releases over the past 18 months or so.  

It will be interesting to see:

  • How these proposals will interact with the Online Harms initiative (which has gone suspiciously quiet)
  • What powers the Regulator will have. Are we talking about an outcomes-based, sensible, pragmatic regulator? Or are we talking about an internet regulator with blocking powers that we have seen emerge in more authoritarian regimes around the world. 
  • How this announcement affects trade talks with the US post-Brexit. Safe harbour status quo is a high priority for the US in any deal, so whether the timeline is stuck to is likely doubtful.