Terrorist content online must be removed faster, says the European Parliament
MEPs approved today a proposal for a regulation to tackle the growing problem of the dissemination of terrorist content online. Lawmakers had to find a balance between safeguarding the fundamental rights to freedom of expression and the freedom to receive and impart information while at the same time also enhancing public security in the online environment and guaranteeing the smooth functioning of the digital single market. Of particular concern to European legislators was the activity of terrorist groups and their supporters ability to disseminate terrorist content online in order to spread their message, to radicalise and recruit and to facilitate and direct terrorist activity.
The European Parliament also amended the European Commission proposal to create a definition of what constitutes "terrorist content" in order to provide more clarity about when intervention is needed from the side of hosting service providers. The new rules will oblige internet companies to swiftly delete terrorist content or disable access after receiving a removal order. In the future all Member States will be required to designate a single judicial or administrative authority to issue such removal orders.
ALDE's shadow rapporteur of the file Maite Pagazaurtundua MEP commented:
"After intense negotiations with all political groups we have gathered support for a final text that is very balanced. I am happy that we have found a way to be effective, while also taking into account the interest of hosting service providers and SMEs. Terrorist content online must be tackled, there's no way around it, but we also must remain practical and create a balance between freedoms and security."
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