The UK government is expected to present its amendments to the Online Safety Bill, which will make “foreign interference” a designated priority offence.
The proposed change will impose a legal duty on social media companies, video streaming platforms and search engines to proactively identify and remove state-sponsored or state-linked disinformation. This would include tackling material from fake accounts set up by individuals or groups acting on behalf of a foreign state which is designed to influence or disrupt democratic or legal processes, the government said.
This amendment will also require platforms to tackle the spread of hacked information designed to undermine democratic institutions.
The changes to the Online Safety Bill come in part as a response to Russia’s activity around its invasion of Ukraine, which has led to Russian actors hacking servers in the UK and pranking users, such as the instance in which Ben Wallace, the secretary of state...