Regulation on Removal of Internet Content Promoting Terrorism – State of Play
On 24 September 2019, the European Parliament’s LIBE committee backed the position, as agreed by the plenary before May’s European elections, on the proposed Regulation seeking prevention of the dissemination of online content promoting terrorism (for the EP’s resolution of 17 April 2019, see eucrim 1/2019, p 21). The LIBE committee’s decision paved the way for the start of negotiations with the Council on the legislative dossier. The Council already agreed on its position in December 2018.
MEPs accented that the following points are important in their position:
- Obligation for internet companies to remove content promoting terrorism within one hour of receiving an order from national authorities;
- Regarding sanctions, companies that systematically and persistently fail to abide by the law should be fined up to 4% of their global turnover;
- Implementation of a clause that protects free speech and press freedom;
- Obligation for hosting service providers to establish user-friendly complaint mechanisms;
- No obligation for hosting service providers, such as Facebook or YouTube, to proactively identify terrorist content, because this would be a too great a burden for these platforms; monitoring the information or actively seeking facts indicating illegal activity should be the responsibility of the competent national authority only;
- No obligation to use filters or automated tools;
- Increased support for small platforms, which may not be familiar with removal orders.
Swift agreement on the new EU rules to tackle the dissemination of terrorist content online is one of the priorities of the EU’s security policy.