Online Harms - Statement

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 5:55 pm on 8th April 2019.

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Photo of Lord Ashton of Hyde Lord Ashton of Hyde The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport 5:55 pm, 8th April 2019

My Lords, I agree that those are serious issues and need to be addressed. We have made it clear in the White Paper the harms that are in scope, but have also been very open about those that are not. We have said that we are addressing some of the really serious issues on the internet which the noble Baroness describes as private harms. We have said that we cannot deal with everything, but we are dealing with matters such as disinformation and potential assaults on democracy. We do not want to duplicate within one big White Paper, followed by legislation, all the harms connected to the internet. We have said that we are not dealing with competition law, intellectual property violation, fraud, data protection and so on, but I absolutely accept that they are very important issues. The Cabinet Office is due to report on them soon, and it is right that that department, which has responsibility for the constitution, should be dealing with it. We have not neglected those problems.