Max Hill, QC, compared the policy to China where the internet is routinely cut-off.
Theresa May’s plan to fine companies like Google and Facebook for failing to tackle extremism has been slammed – by her own legal chief.
Max Hill QC was appointed by the government as independent reviewer of terrorism legislation in February.
But he hit out at May’s policy of imposing financial penalties on tech companies if they don’t do enough to combat online hate.
According to The Times, he told a conference: “I struggle to see how it would help if our parliament were to criminalise tech company bosses who ‘don’t do enough’.
“How do we measure ‘enough’? What is the appropriate sanction?
“We do not live in China, where the internet simply goes dark for millions when government so decides.
“Our democratic society cannot be treated that way.”
It comes after Google ramped up its efforts to tackle online terrorism with the introduction of four new steps to address the problem.
The internet giant acknowledged that the threat poses a serious challenge and more immediate action needs to be taken.