EU Terrorist Content Proposal, Good Intentions But Risks To Online Rights And Europe’s Tech Sector

BY Heather Greenfield
September 12, 2018

Brussels, BELGIUM — Today the European Commission presented its proposal for a regulation on ‘preventing the dissemination of terrorist content online.’ This proposal puts a range of new obligations on online companies which will disproportionately burden smaller European firms.

The Computer & Communications Industry Association supports the EU’s goal of tackling terrorist content online.Hosting services remain committed through multiple efforts, as acknowledged by the European Commission.

The one-hour removal deadline, coupled with draconian penalties, will incentivise hosting services to take down all reported content, thereby chilling freedom of expression online. Instead of focusing on arbitrary timeframes, hosting services should act expeditiously to the best of their capabilities to ensure that fundamental rights are not compromised when taking down content.

The proposal compels hosting services to also  implement proactive measures to tackle terrorist content. However, a broad implementation of such measures across the Internet is likely to also incentivise hosting services to suppress potentially legal content and public interest speech.

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

“The tech industry takes the fight against online terrorist content extremely seriously and we welcome the Commission’s acknowledgement of the progress achieved. However, the proposal’s many obligations would make it more difficult for online companies to safeguard Internet users’ fundamental rights.”

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

 

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