Suggestion to update online safety laws every 5 years to keep them relevent

I had a thought about what could be included in these upcoming internet safety laws.

Given the speed that technology moves, the speed some platforms can fall and others rise to take their place. Perhaps one thing that should be included in all of these new laws, is a clause that says they HAVE to be looked at and reviewed every say 5 years.

5 years gives plenty of time to ensure the law takes effect, and importantly for users and people here, at least time to gather evidence of what does / does not work so that changes , if needed can be added as amendments to these laws.

Making this part of the law, gives governments / lawmakers a legal duty to ensure that particular law is fit for purpose and is still doing what is intended.

I know here in the UK there are still some laws on our statute books that are 100’s of years old.

We risk making laws that could in a few years end up obsolete and worthless with regard to efforts to keep people safe on line.

Of course, we also need to ensure we maintain that fine balance between activists / journalists etc remaining anonymous so they can carry out their work in countries where they are at risk of arrest and in some cases execution or prison but balance that with free speech and expression without giving some individuals who intend to spread harm, mis-information etc from doing so without consequences.

Just thought I would suggest this.


5 years of tech time, is still a century in normal time. But I agree with the idea of regular review & revisions :slight_smile:

(PS. Could you craft a more descriptive title to the topic, or use sub-titles in consecutive posts?)

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Thanks for this I just updated the post title.


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The bigger issue I see is that many governments aren’t able to keep up with legislation in all realms. This is large part due to corruption as corporations work diligently to get their way through candidates and legislation often accepting gridlock as fairly optimal for keeping the playing field simple.

5 years? For some things it’s fast enough, others no. The people should really demand that their governments put corporations in their place so that democracy can work again, clear the backlog and be able to address priorities in months rather than years.

For more on this topic, I’d suggest Lawrence Lessig’s (you may know him from Code 2.0 and other work in digital + law) They Don’t Represent Us. That book lays out all the major issues with governance today and a few solutions. It gave me hope, though I’m still not terribly optimistic given how things have progressed over the last couple of years.