This post is also available in: Español

The rise of the Internet has meant that digital platforms and social networks are able to instantly connect hundreds of millions of people around the world on a daily basis. While this offers numerous benefits in terms of social, economic and scientific progress, it also reveals the dangers of the improper use of this powerful tool.

Against this backdrop, European and national authorities have been working towards establishing a clear and unified legal framework to eradicate the misuse of data hosting services for the online dissemination of terrorist content.

To that end, on April 28 the European Parliament gave its final approval to a new Regulation (mentioned in our previous post on this blog) to curb the spread of terrorist content on the Internet and ensure the proper functioning of the digital single market.

This regulation will apply to texts, images, audio or video recordings, including live broadcasts, that incite, demand or contribute to terrorist offenses being committed. This definition of an offense also covers content providing information on the manufacture or use of explosives and weapons for terrorist purposes, similarly to the Directive on combating terrorism.

Article 4 of this Regulation empowers the competent authorities to issue decisions requiring the data hosting service provider in question to remove or block terrorist content. The deadline for doing so will be one hour after having received the order to remove the content.

A series of specific proactive measures are also established to ensure that data hosting services do not propagate the dissemination of terrorist content, without this implying an obligation to filter all content they host, or the use of automatic control tools.

The obligation to remove this content will not become effective until 2022, since the Regulation will not be applied until 12 months after its entry into force, which is expected in the next few weeks.

Authors: Josu Andoni Eguiluz and Jorge Monclús

This post is also available in: Español



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