Interview with CNN Business
” I think it would be an opportunity for him to make the case,” Wright said shortly after meeting with executives at Google one of several major technology companies the UK official is visiting this week. “And if he doesn’t do that, there will be a suspicion — and indeed there is — that he doesn’t have a good case to make.”
For Wright, the visit to California with UK Digital Minister Margot James is a way to get input from the companies that will be directly impacted by any future UK regulation — something that is no longer a question of if it happens, but when and how.
REGULATION OF FACEBOOK
Wright told CNN Business that executives at the tech companies he’s talked to so far seem to recognize the regulation is coming, though they’re keen to show him the mechanisms they already have in place. That self-regulation is not enough, Wright said.”There’s an acceptance that the UK government is determined to have a system in place to catch those who are not behaving as they should,” he said. “Although I don’t think anyone welcomes regulation, there’s an acceptance this will almost certainly happen, and we’re getting useful conversations as to how this will take place.”
Wright and Home Secretary Sajid Javid will be releasing a white paper in the coming weeks with a range of legislative and non-legislative proposals to tackle online risks.One of Wright and Javid’s main concerns is how to make the online world “safer” from illegal activity like child exploitation, cyber bullying and harassment, as well as less clear-cut issues such as posts that seemingly promote self-harm.Wright said they’re considering a range of options, including appointing a new online regulator. But he cautioned that the white paper is just the starting point.”This is a consultative process, deliberately so,” he said, noting that if the United Kingdom enacts these regulations, it will be “groundbreaking.” That makes it “so important that you take the trouble to get the details right and talk to those who will be directly affected by it,” he added.
It is important that what we do is simultaneously protecting people from harm … and at the same time maintain what is best about the internet,” Wright said. “We have to try and strike a balance between them.”