Brussels, BELGIUM — The European Council adopted a general approach on the draft Regulation on preventing the dissemination of terrorist content online today. This agreement importantly includes an obligation for all hosting service providers, big or small, to remove terrorist content within one hour from receiving a removal order from authorities. The European Parliament will now have to adopt its own position on the draft Regulation before the final negotiations between the European institutions can start.

In a recent an open letter to European Ministers of Justice and Home Affairs, the Computer & Communications Industry Association, and 8 other tech trade associations, raised their outstanding concerns with the proposal. The letter recommended to narrow the scope of application, e.g. by excluding cloud services; highlighted operational challenges for SMEs; and asked for the deletion of the provisions requiring hosting service providers to monitor and filter data. This last requirement, coupled with unworkable deadlines and high penalties, would lead to numerous removals by strongly incentivising hosting service providers to suppress potentially legal content.

CCIA regrets that these concerns were not addressed by the European Council and calls on the European Parliament to tackle the dissemination of terrorist content online in a way that is effective, proportionate and compliant with the European Charter of Fundamental Rights.

The following statement can be attributed to Maud Sacquet, Senior Policy Manager, CCIA Europe:

“CCIA supports the EU’s goal of tackling terrorist content online but regrets that the European Council did not take the necessary time to address our outstanding concerns. We urge the European Parliament to ensure that the approach taken to tackle terrorist content online is effective, proportionate and compliant with fundamental rights.”

For media inquiries, please contact Heather Greenfield hgreenfield@ccianet.org

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