18th February 2019 – Fake News Inquiry Final Report

The UK Parliament’s Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Fake News Inquiry final report has just been published here.
I am delighted to see it endorses my recommendations that the private influence industry must no longer go unregulated and proposals on how this might be done.
I just wanted to share again my full original report on this in case anyone wishes to read my fuller proposals:
·       Briant, E L (2018) ‘Building a stronger and more secure democracy in a digital age’ A Response to Recent Interim Reports and Proposals, published by Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee Inquiry into Fake News: UK
This September 2018 policy report was my response to both the UK Interim Report of the Fake News Inquiry, and the proposals offered by Sen. Warner and the Senate Intelligence Committee. It replied to inadequacies in both reports and the proposals offered to date for the US and UK, highlights the important areas I considered to have not been fully addressed, arguing for what I saw as vital recommendations and proposals for the US and UK. Today’s Fake News Inquiry Final report restates my report’s recommendations and rightly concludes the following:
‘The industry needs cleaning up. As the SCL/Cambridge Analytica scandal shows, the sort of bad practices indulged in abroad or for foreign clients, risk making their way into UK politics. Currently the strategic communications industry is largely self-regulated. The UK Government should consider new regulations that curb bad behaviour in this industry.’
And:
‘There needs to be transparency in these strategic communications companies, with a public record of all campaigns that they work on, both at home and abroad. They need to be held accountable for breaking laws during campaigns anywhere in the world, or working for financially non-transparent campaigns. We recommend that the Government addresses this issue, when it responds to its consultation, ‘Protecting the Debate: Intimidating, Influence and Information’’
The earlier report and my extensive research which was the basis of evidence to the Fake News Inquiry will now be the basis of my new book ‘Propaganda Machine: The Hidden Story of Cambridge Analytica and the Digital Influence Industry’
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