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Bill to establish Digital Safety Commissioner clears first hurdle – Donnachadh Ó Laoghaire TD

22 February, 2018 - by Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire TD

Sinn Féin TD, Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire has welcomed the support from Communications Minister Denis Naughten of the Digital Safety Commissioner Bill which was debated earlier this evening.

“I am delighted that Minister Naughton has supported this Bill. Some of the Taoiseachs comments in the recent past, have been quite equivocal on whether he would support such a proposal, so it was important to force the matter.

“The Office of the Digital Safety Commissioner we believe is an absolutely crucial step in enhancing the protections available online, not only to young people, but to all.

"The office would be a statutory body.

"It would be responsible for the promotion of digital safety for all, supporting and implementing measures to improve digital safety, and advising the Government of the day in relation to policies relating to digital safety.

“Crucially, it would be responsible for ensuring digital service providers, such as websites, social media platforms, and apps, and so on, abide by minimum Codes of Practice, and National Digital Safety Standards.

“Central to this would be ‘takedown mechanisms’ to remove harmful communications.

“This is about providing timely, quick and effective remedies, so that people can be confident that the website, or platform they are engaging with, will deal with abusive material, harmful communications, or material posted without consent.

“Online safety, including online bullying which is an issue that is becoming ever more prevalent amongst adolescents; or the posting of harmful materials, are some of the biggest child protection issues of this generation.

“I look forward to Committee Stage and hope both Minister Naughten and the Government will work with us to get this bill through the Houses in a prompt manner.”


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