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 proposal - published by the European Commission in September 2018 - aimed at preventing 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 its general approach concerning this draft law on 6 December. The European Parliament's plenary session approved a negotiating position on 17 April 2019. The mandate for interinstitutional negotiations was confirmed on 24 September.

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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
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

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

EUR-Lex: SWD(2018)408: Impact assessment
EUR-Lex: SWD(2018)409: Executive summary of the impact assessment
European Parliament: Legislative Observatory: Procedure File for Proposal on preventing the dissemination of terrorist content online
EP: Legislative Train: 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: 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

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