LONDON, April 8 (Xinhua) -- The British government announced on Monday it is going to introduce new tough measures in a bid to ensure online safety.
These measures include appointing an independent regulator to enforce new standards, and implementing the mandatory "duty of care", which will require companies to take reasonable steps to keep their users safe and tackle illegal and harmful activity on their services.
The regulator will have effective enforcement tools, and the government is consulting on powers to issue substantial fines, block access to sites and potentially to impose liability on individual members of senior management, according to a statement from the government.
"Online companies must start taking responsibility for their platforms, and help restore public trust in this technology," said British Prime Minister Theresa May in the statement.
The new proposed laws will apply to any company that allows users to share or discover user generated content or interact with each other online. This means a wide range of companies of all sizes are in scope, including social media platforms, file hosting sites, public discussion forums, messaging services, and search engines, according to the government.
A 12-week consultation on the proposals has been launched Monday, and once this concludes the government will then set out the action it will take in developing its final proposals for legislation.