Online Safety Bill (HL Bill 137)
Make provision about the promotion of online safety; to require internet
service providers and mobile phone operators to provide a service that
excludes pornographic images; and to require electronic device manufacturers
to provide a means of filtering content.
Be it enacted by the Queen’s most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and
consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present
Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—
1 Duty to provide a service that excludes pornographic images
Internet service providers must provide to subscribers an internet access
service which excludes pornographic images unless all the conditions of
subsection (3) have been fulfilled.
Where mobile telephone network operators provide a telephone service to
subscribers which includes an internet access service, they must ensure this
service excludes pornographic images unless all the conditions of subsection
(3) have been fulfilled.
(3) The conditions are—
the subscriber opts-in to subscribe to a service that includes
(b) the subscriber is aged 18 or over; and
the provider of the service has an age verification policy which has been
used to confirm that the subscriber is aged 18 or over.
(4) In subsection (3)—
“opts-in” means a subscriber notifies the service provider of his or her
consent to subscribe to a service that includes pornographic images.
2 Duty to provide a means of filtering online content
Manufacturers of electronic devices must provide customers with a means of
filtering content from an internet access service at the time the device is
Online Safety BillPage 2
3 Duty to provide information about online safety
Internet service providers and mobile telephone network operators must
provide prominent, easily accessible and clear information about online safety
to customers at the time the internet service is purchased and shall make such
information available for the duration of the service.
OFCOM must prepare a report for the Secretary of State about the operation of
(a) every three years from the date of Royal Assent; and
(b) at the direction of the Secretary of State.
In this Act—
“age verification policy” is a policy which sets out the steps to be taken to
establish the age of the subscriber;
“electronic device” means a device that is capable of connecting to an
internet access service and downloading content;
“image” and “pornographic” have the same meaning as in section 63 of
the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008;
“internet access service” and “internet service provider” have the same
meaning as in section 124N of the Communications Act 2003;
“OFCOM” has the same meaning as in Chapter 1 of Part 1 of the
Communications Act 2003;
“online safety” means the safe and responsible use of the internet by
children and young people on an electronic device;
“subscriber” means a person who receives the service under an agreement
between the person and the provider of the service; and
“telephone service” means a service providing calls (including voice,
voicemail and conference and data calls), supplementary services
(including call forwarding and call transfer) and messaging and
multimedia services (including short message services, enhanced
media services and multimedia services).
6 Short title, commencement and extent
(1) This Act may be cited as the Online Safety Act 2012.
(2) This Act shall come into force six months after it has received Royal Assent.
(3) This Act extends to England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.