From the Conservative party manifesto and This article in the Independent.
Reading between the lines it looks like the government want to, if elected, have strong control over what we can and can’t use the internet for. This is all couched in terms such as increased safety online and reducing opportunities for the promotion of hate. They have specifically mentioned social media but the proposed laws would also apply to other sites including forums.
If I were a cynical man I might believe that this is an act of desperation from a dishonest group hoping to hold onto power by any means, including controlling our access to news and suppressing discussion and free thought. One might even describe this as the actions of a would be dictatorship in much the same way as internet access is limited in China and other parts of the world.
A lot depends on how this is handled though: there are excesses on the internet which need to be curbed, though I am pretty sure most of these are covered by existing laws. I severely question who should be in a position to have such controls and do not believe it should be part of the governments roll.
The use of such powers could, if unfettered, effectively make it an offence to criticise the government. Even pointing out that a particular politician mad a statement that is demonstrably false could become a breach of the official secrets act.
What do you think here? Am I over reacting to this or are we blindly headed towards a totalitarian society where I will have to learn newspeak?