On Monday 4th March 2019, Minister Bruton made a key note speech at St. Brigid's GNS, Glasnevin, in which he said that he would introduce a new law to regulate harmful online content.
The Minister stated that "Digital technology is transforming the world in which we work and live and learn. This provides huge opportunities for us all. It has been central to our economic and social development as a country for three decades. However, the digital world also presents new risks which did not exist previously."
"The situation at present where online and social media companies are not subject to any oversight or regulation by the state for the content which is shared on their platforms is no longer sustainable. I believe that the era of self regulation in this area is over and a new Online Safety Act is necessary."
"I will bring forward an Online Safety Act which sets out how we can ensure children are safe online. This will involve, for the first time, setting a clear expectation for service providers to take reasonable steps to ensure the safety of the users of their service. A Regulator, an Online Safety Commissioner, would oversee the new system."
The consultation aims to seek the views of citizens and stakeholders as to an achievable, proportionate and effective approach to regulating harmful content, particularly online.
To make a submission as part of this consultation, please complete our online form. The questions contained in the form should be read in conjunction with the accompanying explanatory note. The deadline for submissions as part of this consultation is close of business on the 15 April 2019.
Alternatively, please email your submission to email@example.com or post to:
Broadcasting & Media Policy Division
Department of Communications, Climate Action & Environment
29-31 Adelaide Road
Responses to this consultation are subject to the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act 2014 and Access to Information on the Environment Regulations 2007-2014. Confidential or commercially sensitive information should be clearly identified in your submission, however parties should also note that any or all responses to the consultation are subject in their entirety to the provisions of the FOI Acts and are likely to be published on the website of the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment.
By responding to the consultation, respondents consent to their name being published online with the submission. The Department will redact personal addresses and personal email addresses prior to publication. We would draw attention to the Department's privacy statement:
The Department of Communications, Climate Action and the Environment requires customers to provide certain personal data in order to provide services and carry out the functions of the Department. Your personal data may be exchanged with other Government Departments and Agencies in certain circumstances, where lawful. Full details can be found in the Data Privacy Notice, which is available here or in hard copy upon request.