Proposal for a Regulation on preventing the dissemination of terrorist content online

Author (Corporate)
Series Details COM (2018) 640
Publication Date 12/09/2018
Content Type , ,


Legislative initiative tabled by the European Commission on 12 September 2018, aiming to prevent the dissemination of terrorist content online.

Further information:

This proposal seeks to establish a clear and harmonised legal framework to prevent the misuse of hosting services for the dissemination of terrorist content online. The Regulation seeks to provide clarity as to the responsibility of hosting service providers in taking all appropriate, reasonable and proportionate actions necessary to ensure the safety of their services and to swiftly and effectively detect and remove terrorist content online, taking into account the fundamental importance of the freedom of expression and information in an open and democratic society.

The proposed Regulation aims at removing terrorist content off the internet within one hour. Rules would apply to every internet platform offering its services in the European Union so stop their services from being misused to disseminate terrorist content. The draft law also includes safeguards to protect freedom of speech on the internet and ensure only terrorist content is targeted.

It was adopted by the European Commission on 12 September 2018 and announced during the annual State of the European Union (SOTEU) address. The Council of the European Union adopted a general approach on this file on 6 December, followed by the plenary of the European Parliament on 17 April 2019. An informal agreement between the co-legislators on a compromise text was reached on 10 December 2020. It was formally endorsed by the Council on 16 March 2021.

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Commentary and Analysis
CloudFlare: Blog, 04/12/2018: EU Terrorist Content Online proposal – political haste and unintended consequences
Article 19: Joint letter on European Commission regulation on online terrorist content, 6 December 2018
Verfassungsblog, 30/01/2019: The EU Regulation on Terrorist Content: An Emperor without Clothes
EPRS: Briefing, February 2019: Preventing the dissemination of terrorist content online - Initial Appraisal of a European Commission Impact Assessment
EFF, 05/02/2019: The EU's Proposal to Curb the 'Dissemination of Terrorist Content' Will Have a Chilling Effect on Speech
Mozilla: Blog, 13/02/2019: Mozilla Foundation fellow weighs in on flawed EU Terrorist Content regulation
ASPI: The Strategist, 20/02/2019: Serious flaws in EU plan to automate detection of terror material online
EUCRIM: The European Commission’s Proposal for a Regulation on Preventing the Dissemination of Terrorist Content Online
CISPE: #WrongPlayer
EurActiv: Special Reports: Regulating against radicalisation
Mozilla: Blog, 17/04/2019: Mozilla reacts to European Parliament plenary vote on EU Terrorist Content regulation
CPJ: Alerts, 11/03/2020: EU online terrorist content legislation risks undermining press freedom
EurActiv: Opinion, 24/03/2020: Misguided ‘solution’ to terrorist content will have bad consequences for our rights
Article 19: Resources, 14/10/2020: EU: German Presidency Proposal for Terrorist Content Online Regulation fails to protect freedom of speech
Statewatch: News, 10/11/2020: Open letter on behalf of civil society groups regarding the proposal for a Regulation on Terrorist Content Online
Human Rights Watch: News, 16/11/2020: Draft EU Regulation on 'Terrorist Content' Online Threatens Rights
KU Leuven: CiTIP Blog, 24/11/2020: All eyes riveted on the trilogue closed doors of the Proposal for a Regulation on preventing the dissemination of terrorist content online [Part I]
ICJ: News, 07/12/2020: European Union: independent judiciary and effective remedies must be at the core of the EU Regulation on “Terrorist Content Online”, warns ICJ
EDRi: Our Work, 16/12/2020: Terrorist Content Online: Is this the end?
RUSI: Commentary, 26/01/2021: Against the Clock: Can the EU’s New Strategy for Terrorist Content Removal Work?
Human Rights Watch (HRW): News, 25/03/2021: Joint Letter to EU Parliament: Vote Against Proposed Terrorist Content Online Regulation
EPRS: Briefing, April 2021: Terrorist content online: Tackling online terrorist propaganda

BBC News, 20/08/2018: Social media faces EU fine if terror lingers for an hour
Politico, 24/08/2018: EU to tighten screws on internet giants to remove terrorist content
The Irish Times, 12/09/2018: EU to give tech giants just 60 minutes to take terrorist content offline
The Guardian, 13/09/2018: Remove terror content or be fined millions, EU tells social media firms
EurActiv, 13/09/2018: ‘This is not censorship’ says King, amid online terrorist content crackdown
Intellectual Property Watch, 06/12/2018: EU Members Push For Private Censorship Of Terrorist Content On The Internet
EurActiv, 07/12/2018: Ministers clamp down on online terrorist content despite wave of opposition
Politico, 21/03/2019: Europe’s struggle against viral terrorist content
EurActiv, 22/03/2019: EU institutions at loggerheads over online terrorist content
The Guardian, 28/03/2019: Tory MEP's motives for delaying EU terror legislation questioned
EurActiv, 09/04/2019: EU lawmakers back one-hour deadline to remove online terrorist content
Reuters, 17/04/2019: EU parliament votes to fine internet firms for not removing extremist content quickly
Euronews, 17/04/2019: MEPs votes in favour of strict new rules on online terrorist content
BBC News, 17/04/2019: EU struggles over law to tackle spread of terror online
EurActiv, 01/04/2020: EU under pressure to broker online terrorist content agreement
BBC News, 14/05/2020: France gives online firms one hour to pull 'terrorist' content
Politico, 10/11/2020: Reality lags behind rhetoric in EU leaders’ push on terrorism
BBC News, 13/11/2020: New EU drive to remove extremist web content
Euronews, 13/11/2020: EU interior ministers pledge to take down terrorist content, boost border security
Associated Press, 13/11/2020: Attacks spur EU to tighten borders, boost policy agency
Deutsche Welle, 25/03/2021: Rights groups slam EU online terrorist content law
Reuters, 25/03/2021: Civil rights groups urge EU lawmakers to rebuff online terrorist content law

EUR-LEX: SWD(2018)408: Staff Working Document accompanying the Proposal - Impact assessment
EUR-Lex: SWD(2018)409: Staff Working Document accompanying the Proposal - Executive summary of the impact assessment
European Parliament: Legislative Observatory: Procedure File for Proposal on preventing the dissemination of terrorist content online (2018/0331(COD))
European Parliament: Legislative Train Schedule: Preventing the dissemination of terrorist content online
European Commission: Press Release, 12/09/2018: State of the Union 2018: Commission proposes new rules to get terrorist content off the web
European Commission: Fact Sheet, 12/09/2018: State of the Union 2018: Commission takes action to get terrorist content off the web - Questions and Answers
Finland: Interior Ministry: News, 15/11/2018: EU to tackle terrorist content online through legislation
Council of the European Union: Press Release, 06/12/2018: Terrorist content online: Council adopts negotiating position on new rules to prevent dissemination
UN: OHCHR: News, 12/12/2018: UN human rights experts concerned about EU’s online counter-terrorism proposal
ECR Group: News, 04/02/2019: ECR MEP’s report tackles terrorist content online
European Parliament: Press Release, 17/04/2019: Terrorist content online should be removed within one hour, says EP
European Parliament: Press Release, 24/09/2019: Terrorist content online: MEPs agree to start negotiations with EU countries
Council of the European Union: Press Release, 10/12/2020: Terrorist content online: Council presidency and European Parliament reach provisional agreement
European Commission: Press Release, 10/12/2020: Security Union: Commission welcomes political agreement on removing terrorist content online
Renew Europe Group: Newsroom, 10/12/2020: Terrorist Content Online: Renew Europe helps file over the finish line
German Council Presidency: News, 11/12/2020: Fight against terrorism on the internet: Political agreement reached on EU Regulation
Council of the European Union: Press Release, 16/03/2021: Terrorist content online: Council adopts new rules

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