Business Technology

Tuesday 17 September 2019

Government considers expanding BAI remit to regulate internet bodies

A Facebook logo on a laptop (Dominic Lipinski/PA)
A Facebook logo on a laptop (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

Wayne O’Connor

Expanding the remit of the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland to monitor and regulate online platforms such as Facebook and Google is being considered by Government, officials have told an Oireachtas committee today.

The Department of Communications said a regulatory body will have to monitor online platforms and apps.

It said this could be done by establishing a new body with the objective of observing content online.

It came as TDs and Senators invited Facebook, Google, the ISPCC and Cybersafe Ireland to scrutinise the Digital Safety Commissioner Bill being brought forward by Sinn Fein TD Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire. It aims to introduce a commissioner to be the arbitrator of internet activity.

Assistant Secretary at the Department of Communications Patricia Cronin also attended the meeting and said a regulatory body was needed to monitor content online and protect children from damaging material.

Green Party leader Eamon Ryan suggested the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) might be an appropriate location for such a body considering much of the content online is video.

“A regulatory body will have to be established,” Ms Cronin said in her reply.

“It will be either a new one or an existing one and clearly the BAI is in the frame for that.”

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