European Parliament Adopts Position on Regulating Terrorist Content Online, Room For Further Improvements

April 17, 2019

Brussels, BELGIUM — The European Parliament adopted today its position on the draft Regulation on preventing the dissemination of terrorist content online. The text will form the basis of the European Parliament’s position in the final trilogue negotiations with the European Commission and the European Council.

The draft Regulation was proposed by the European Commission in September 2018. The proposal includes an obligation for all hosting service, big or small, to remove terrorist content within one hour of receiving a removal order from authorities. It also compels hosting services to implement proactive measures to tackle terrorist content.

The European Parliament decided to slightly narrow the scope by excluding cloud infrastructure providers, cloud providers and electronic communications services. MEPs also decided that proactive measures should be voluntary. Unfortunately, the one hour timeframe to remove terrorist content remains. Coupled with onerous sanctions, this deadline could entail the over-removal of lawful content.    

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

“We support the EU’s goal of tackling terrorist content online and we welcome the improvements adopted by the European Parliament today. Going forward we hope decision makers will introduce a more workable content removal timeframe as the one hour deadline would not work for many, especially smaller, tech firms and risks leading to the over-removal of lawful content.”

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