EU adopts new rules to stop terrorist content online

European Union – Terrorist content online: Council adopts new rules – Press release issued by the Council of the European Union¹

Brussels, 18 March 2021

The EU is working to stop terrorists from using the Internet to radicalize, recruit and incite to violence. Today, the Council adopted a regulation on addressing the dissemination of terrorist content online.

The aim of the legislation is a swift removal of terrorist content online and to establish one common instrument for all Member States to this effect. The rules will apply to hosting service providers offering services in the EU, whether or not they have their main establishment in the Member States.

Voluntary cooperation with the hosting service providers will continue, but the legislation will provide additional tools for Member States to enforce the rapid removal of terrorist content where necessary. Competent authorities in the Member States will have the power to issue removal orders to the service providers, to remove terrorist content or disable access to it in all Member States. The service providers will then have to remove or disable access to the content within one hour.

Hosting service providers exposed to terrorist content will need to take specific measures to address the misuse of their services and to protect their services against the dissemination of terrorist content. The decision as to the choice of measures remains with the hosting service provider.

The legislation also provides for a clear scope and a clear uniform definition of terrorist content in order to fully respect fundamental rights. It also includes effective remedies for both users whose content has been removed and for service providers to submit a complaint.

The adoption of the Council’s position at first reading follows a provisional agreement on the text reached between the Council presidency and the European Parliament on 10 December 2020. The legal act now needs to be adopted by the European Parliament at second reading before being published in the EU Official Journal. The regulation will enter into force on the 20th day following its publication and will start to apply one year later./.

¹Source of English text: European Council website.

Published on 20/09/2021

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