difusión contenidos terroristas

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In an attempt to eradicate terrorist propaganda and the radicalization of citizens, and aware of the need for a global focus and a long-term commitment, the European Union continues to battle on.

This, however, is nothing new. Given that terrorist content shared over the internet is fundamentally disseminated through data hosting service providers to which users and third parties upload content, those service providers, aware of the severity of the issue and in view of public authorities’ continuous appeals, have attempted to respond to this global problem by strengthening cooperation and entering into voluntary agreements. However, those actions have obvious limitations, which are intensified in an area in which the automatic detection and elimination of violent and terrorist-related content are still not a reality, and in which the ubiquity and fast and easy dissemination of content present themselves as an undeniable obstacle.

It is in this context that the European Commission’s proposed Regulation on preventing the dissemination of terrorist content online has emerged, seeking to create a harmonized and clear legal framework that ends the improper use of data hosting services for the dissemination of terrorist content and propaganda online.

Although the end appears to be in sight for negotiations, in light of the latest versions published recently, the positions presented by the European institutions show significant differences. Some of the differences that will have the greatest impact on the service providers who host third-party content are the following:

  • While the Commission and the Council consider that the regulation should apply to everything that makes online content available to the public at the user’s request, the European Parliament contends that closed groups comprising a limited and predetermined number of people should be exempt.
  • The Commission and the Council consider that the affected service providers must remove the unlawful content within one hour of receiving a notice or removal request, while the Parliament contends it necessary to limit that obligation and liability in the cases in which its removal in that period is impossible for reasons not attributable to the service provider (such as technical faults).
  • In the view of the Commission and the Council, Member State authorities must be able to order service providers to remove content hosted in any Member State, while the European Parliament contends that the removal orders can only be sent to service providers established in the Member State in question.
  • The European Commission and the Council wish to impose on service providers the obligation to take proactive measures against the uploading of terrorist content that has been removed, as well as measures to detect and identify unlawful content automatically. In this regard, the European Parliament has clarified that service providers should not be obligated to use automatic tools (such as content filtering tools). It is important to remember that this debate arises after the approval of the Directive on copyright and related rights in the digital single market, Article 17 of which established a new liability regime for the service providers of the information society that permit or facilitate the online sharing of content uploaded by the user.

The wording of the future regulation is now under discussion in the European Parliament and is expected to be approved in the coming months. Meanwhile, you can consult the proposed text and the current situation and progress of the legislative progress by clicking here.

By Ana Sánchez and Jorge Monclús

This post is also available in: Español



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