Regulation on preventing the dissemination of terrorist content online
Proposal for a Regulation on preventing the dissemination of terrorist content online. A contribution from the European Commission to the Leaders’ meeting in Salzburg on September 19–20, 2018.
Inter-institutional negotiations (trilogue).
I am the Opinion Rapporteur for the Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO) committee. My role is to represent the IMCO committee and its position in the trilogue and in meetings of (shadow) rapporteurs.
Position of the IMCO committee
Purpose and scope
The proposed regulation foresees targeted uniform rules to tackle the misuse of hosting service providers for the public dissemination of terrorist content on-line. It does not apply to content which is disseminated for educational, artistic, journalistic, or research purposes, or for awareness raising purposes against terrorist activity, or to content which represents an expression of polemic or controversial views in the course of public debate.
The legislation, in line with the Terrorism Directive, covers material that:
- incites to commit an offense by glorifying terrorist acts;
- solicits persons to participate in activities of a terrorist group, including by providing information or material resources, or by financing its activities in any way;
- provides instructions for the manufacture or use of explosives, firearms or other weapons or harmful or dangerous substances to commit a terrorist offense.
Obligations on hosting service providers
Hosting service providers shall act to protect users from terrorist content, by acting in diligent, proportionate, and non-discriminatory manner and in all circumstances with due regard to users’ fundamental rights. These duties of care cannot amount to a general obligation on hosting service providers to monitor information they store, nor to a general obligation to actively seek facts or circumstances indicating illegal activity. The Competent authorites established in the Member State of the main establishment of the hosting service provider has the power to issue removal order. And new amendments were introduced to clarify the consultation procedure for removal orders across the border.
Hosting providers may apply certain specific measures to protect their services, which shall be targeted, proportionate and in all circumstances pay particular attention to fundamental rights of users. In case of substantial number of removal orders, competent authorities can only impose on them additional specific measures, but not automated filters.
In addition to the transparency obligations for hosting service providers to publish annual reports on content removal, public authorities have to also publish annual reports, e.g. on wrongly identified content, and cases where content was followed by an investigation.