Terrorist networks have grown highly prone to the use of the internet for spreading their propaganda and recruiting followers in recent years. Although the fear of the general public of terrorist attacks certainly puts considerable pressure on policy makers, politicians also strategically use the climate of diffuse anxieties to increase the securitisation of the internet and present themselves as capable, tough leaders. The latest example of such election-motivated policy making is the proposal for a Regulation on preventing the dissemination of terrorist content online, with which the European Commission continues its trend of producing a watershed of “solutions” to terrorist propaganda on the internet.
The proposal contains three main measures to address alleged “terrorist” content:
- First, it creates orders issued by (undefined) national authorities to remove or disable access to illegal terrorist content within an hour.
- Second, competent authorities can choose to make referrals of terrorist-related potential breaches of companies’ terms of service that would be subject to the voluntary consideration of the companies themselves.
- Third, it legislates on (undefined) proactive measures that can lead to an authority requesting a general monitoring obligation.
A major concern for the functioning and freedom of the internet is the extension of the upload filter regime the EU is currently about to introduce for copyright to terrorist content. Requiring internet companies to monitor everything we say on the web does not only have grave implications for the freedom of speech, but it also follows a dangerous path of outsourcing and privatising law enforcement.
EDRi will follow the developments of the Terrorist Content Regulation closely and critically in the next months and provide crucial input to policy makers to ensure that human rights are fully respected in the proposal.
EDRi’s analysis and recommendations:
- EDRi Amendments on the proposal for a Regulation to prevent the dissemination of terrorist content online (16.01.2019)
- Recommendations for the European Parliament’s Draft Report on the Regulation on preventing the dissemination of terrorist content online (December 2018)
- Regulation Of The European Parliament And Of The Council on preventing the dissemination of terrorist content online (12.09.2018)
Commission Impact Assessment on the Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council
on preventing the dissemination of terrorist content online (12.09.2018)
European Parliament’s position:
- Committee Opinions:
- IMCO Draft Opinion
- Committee Opinions:
EDRi’s blogposts and press releases:
- CULT: Fundamental rights missing in the Terrorist Content Regulation (21.01.2019)
- Terrorist Content: IMCO draft Opinion sets the stage right for EP (18.01.2019)
- Terrorist content regulation – prior authorisation for all uploads? (21.11.2018)
- The TERR Committee votes on its irreparable draft Report (21.11.2018)
- EU’s flawed arguments on terrorist content give big tech more power (24.10.2018)
- EU Parliament’s anti-terrorism draft Report raises major concerns (10.10.2018)
- Joint Press Release: EU Terrorism Regulation – an EU election tactic (12.9.2018)
- Anatomy of a Commission press campaign. Case study: Terrorist Content Regulation (11.9.2018)
- ENDitorial: The European Commission is talking “tough on terror”. Again. (29.08.2018)
- ENDitorial: Draconian anti-terrorism measures instil terror (26.07.2018)
- European Parliament – fighting terrorism with closed-door secrecy (07.02.2018
- Can we be sure EU terrorism policies respect human rights? (24.01.2018)
- Infographics: Legislative Procedure in the European Parliament
- Terrorism Directive: Document pool (24.11.2016)
- Press Release: Commission announces the new Terrorist Content Regulation (12.09.2018)
Key Policy Makers:
- Committee responsible: LIBE Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs
- Opinion Committees:
- ITRE Industry, Research and Energy
- IMCO Internal Market and Consumer Protection (Responsible: Julia Reda (Greens/EFA)
- CULT Culture and Education