Online Safety Bill: Ofcom must consider journalistic content and sources when issuing notices

  • 26 Jul 2023

The NUJ has welcomed action from the UK government improving protections for journalists when encrypted content is scanned.

The NUJ had expressed concern over the use of accredited technologies to scan confidential communications, and the danger this posed to journalistic communications and the protection of sources.

Government agreed to bring forward its own amendment in a House of Lords debate on 19 July, requiring Ofcom to consider the impact of technology used to monitor encrypted terrorist and Child Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (CSEA) content when issuing notices, with specific regard for the impact of technology on journalistic content and the confidentiality of sources.

John McDonnell MP, secretary of the NUJ Parliamentary Group, had raised the issue on behalf of the union in the House of Commons, stressing the need for an amendment that reflected the risk to journalism. The NUJ will monitor developments to ensure Ofcom’s processes ensure the safety of journalists and their sources.

Find out more about the NUJ’s  history supporting members' right to protect sources. 

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