UK Conservatives Vow To Protect Free Speech, Days After Passing Online Censorship Law

If you’re tired of censorship and dystopian threats against civil liberties, subscribe to Reclaim The Net. It seems the UK’s Conservative Party would like to sit on two chairs when it comes to some key, and very controversial policies – at once appearing to support people’s right to free speech, but then also actively undermining it. Case in point: while apparently determined to stop the practice of “debanking” UK citizens just because of their publicly expressed political views, the Conservative government is also passing legislation such as the Online Safety Bill, widely criticized as anti-free speech. On Monday, the country’s Finance Minister Jeremy Hunt announced that banks would have to, going forward, adhere to more strict rules that would prevent them from cutting off customers from services and closing their accounts purely based on these people’s politics. It was former member of European Parliament and prominent British politician Nigel Farage whose case brought a lot of media attention to the “debanking” practice (= the first cousin of other censorship tools, particularly demonetizing on social platforms.) During the Conservatives conference in Manchester, Hunt stated that his party’s position is that, “nobody should have their bank account closed because somebody else decides they’re not politically correct.” At the same time, the minister promised to “tighten” the law which is currently apparently loose enough, in terms of being fit for a true democracy, to allow for such behavior in the first place. The apparent deadline for these changes to take place will be…UK Conservatives Vow To Protect Free Speech, Days After Passing Online Censorship Law