New EU rules to tackle the dissemination of online content promoting terrorism

New EU rules to tackle the dissemination of online content promoting terrorism

The European Parliament has announced that its intention to start negotiations with EU member states to draft new rules for internet firms to remove content promoting terrorism within an hour of being notified.

This position was already agreed by the parliament before May’s European elections and confirmed by the current parliament’s civil liberties committee.

The new measure is aimed at combating radicalisation online.

If approved, internet companies will be required to remove online content promoting terrorism within an hour of receiving an order from national authorities.

The parliament believes It is crucial to remove this kind of content within hours of being published because of the risk of a fast spreading.

According to a statement, companies that will systematically and persistently fail to abide this regulation could be fined up to 4% of their global turnover. It is also underlined that hosting service providers should establish user-friendly complaint mechanisms and ensure that complaints are dealt with promptly and in full transparency.

Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) noticed that internet companies hosting content uploaded by users, such as Facebook or YouTube, shouldn´t be obliged to proactively identify terrorist content, something that these platforms claim would be a heavy burden for them.

MEPs sustained that monitoring the information or actively seeking facts indicating illegal activity should be the responsibility of the competent national authority.

They also said that there should be no compulsory use of filters nor automated tools as this could lead to inaccuracies and innocuous content being tagged as “terrorist”.

How this regulation for combatting radicalisation online would work?

EU member states would be required to designate a competent authority and communicate it to the European Commission, which should then publish a list with all the relevant bodies.

Once the national authorities flag a potentially ‘terrorist content’, a removal order would be sent to the internet platforms, which would have one hour to delete it or disable access to it in all EU member states.

Next steps

The committee decision to start negotiations with the Council of the EU will be announced in the next plenary session. If there is no request for a vote in Parliament, the mandate would be deemed confirmed and negotiations could start at any time, most likely in October.

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