Proposed legislation includes online harms, drones, broadband as well as new initiatives in research and development and the space technology sector.
The new session of parliament was opened on 19 December with a number of pieces of legislation mentioned in the Queen’s Speech which may be of interest to technology lawyers. Most were originally covered in the October Queen’s Speech but have been carried over to the new parliament.
Online harms legislation
The April 2019 Online Harms White Paper set out the UK government’s plan for new legislation to deal with online harms.
The public consultation on this has closed and the government is analysing the responses and considering the issues raised, with a view to preparing legislation.
Ahead of this, the government plans to publish interim codes of practice on tackling the use of the internet by terrorists and those engaged in child sexual abuse and exploitation.
The government will publish a media literacy strategy to help users to stay safe online. A Safety by Design framework will help start-ups and businesses embed safety from the early stages of development. Finally, the government will carry out a review of the Gambling Act, with a particular focus on tackling issues around online loot boxes and credit card misuse.
The government plans new laws relating to the delivery of gigabit capable broadband.
The main elements of the legislation are:
Air Traffic Management and Unmanned Aircraft Bill
The main elements of the Bill are:
Science, space and research
In the areas of science, space and research, the government plans the following:
The government says that it will prioritise investment in sectors such as life sciences, clean energy, space, design, computing, robotics and artificial intelligence. It also intends to drive forward development of these technologies by investing in hubs around world-leading universities.