The new law does not deal with senior executives whose companies do not comply with the rules.
Britain says it has a new law requiring TV companies to pay 10% or 18 million British pounds ($ 25m) if they fail to address cybercrime as anti-apartheid laws, while senior executives could face prosecution.
The cybersecurity law also seeks to promote freedom of expression and to ensure that democratic political and media debates are protected, the government said Wednesday.
“The time has come for technology companies to be prosecuted and to protect the British people from harm. If they fail to do so, they will face penalties, “said Secretary of the Home Priti Patel.
Technology companies have been accused of doing too little to address cyberbullying, with football clubs and other sports executives boycotting major media platforms last month to highlight the growing problem.
The law was first enacted more than two years ago and has grown exponentially apart from the way it has started to protect young people online. It also adds ways to deal with online fraud.
Lots of money
The law provides for the protection of television companies and websites to ensure that they take immediate action to eliminate illegal activities, such as hate crimes, harassment and intimidation, as well as criminal violence.
There will also be a need to eliminate and reduce the spread of so-called “criminal” items, suicide and child abuse, which they may need to report to adults.
Companies that fail to do so face a hefty fine from the Ofcom administrator who also hinders access to their sites.
“The fund has the power reserved for Ofcom to continue to adjudicate appointed managers whose companies do not agree with Ofcom’s demands to know,” the government said. “This will be announced if modern companies fail to meet their new responsibilities.”
The law also requires companies to protect their right to freedom of expression, as well as to recover unfairly removed material.
It also barred technology companies from choosing political views, and Ofcom would prosecute them for the removal of media coverage, the government added.
Major websites such as Facebook Inc and Twitter Inc will be “prohibited from discriminating against political parties and will be required to provide equal protection to political views, regardless of their affiliation,” the department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport said in a statement.