Hello and welcome to Everything in Moderation, your guide to the policies, products, platforms and people shaping the future of online speech and the internet. It's written by me, Ben Whitelaw and supported by members like you.
This week was a reminder that, indeed, things move gradually and then all at once. The Online Safety Bill is now an Act; Meta — previously "vigorously" anti-regulation — is now wholly supportive of it; and a young non-profit is already looking for a new managing director. Where did the time go? How is it almost November?
Anyway, hello and happy Friday to to new subscribers from Tekla Szymanski, the Department of Science, Innovation and Technology, DuckDuckGo, ETH Zurich, Reactiflux and others residing in various nooks and crannies across the web.
Most of you know the drill by now. Here's everything in moderation from the last seven days — BW
New and emerging internet policy and online speech regulation
After five years of debate and almost as many prime ministers, the Online Safety Bill received royal assent this week and finally became law. The rollout of the law will take time, as The Verge reports, with UK regulator Ofcom due to consult on and then produce 'codes of practice' in three phases up until at least 2026.
We may see legal challenges to the government's plans in that time; privacy-focused mail app Proton said it would fight the government in court if asked to compromise end-to-end encryption. It could be a rocky few years.
Where Nigeria goes (EiM #220), expect other African nations to follow. Namibia's largest opposition party, the Popular Democratic Movement, this week tabled a motion in its parliament to regulate social media, according to The Namibian. Like many other countries, Namibia goes to the polls in 2024 and, while the PDM is believed to have little hope of forming a government, it could make gains with policies like this one.