No one in their right mind would now want to start up a high-tech company in the UK. With a last-minute addition to the Online Safety Bill (OSB), the UK government made it clear that startups are no longer welcome in the UK.

Previously, the OSB applied to “regulated services” that had to be above a certain size or reach. So the OSB would apply to Meta or Google, but not to some new innovative service created in someone’s living room in the UK. However, the UK government accepted a last-minute Lords amendment (see below) that dramatically expands the scope of the Bill. The amendment added “functionalities and features” to the possible criteria, so any small or medium enterprise (SME) or startup in the UK could now fall under the OSB’s regulations and require laborious compliance processes. If the Secretary of State doesn’t like a feature set offered by a company, it can be declared in scope of the OSB.


Why would anyone want to start up an online business in the UK? If you get something wrong that is buried in the 300+ pages of the OSB, you would then face criminal liability.

With this one act, the UK has declared its exit from the high-tech startup world and doomed the UK to be a follower of Europe, the USA, India, and everywhere else that encourages innovation.

Source: internetsociety

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