The European Parliament has just adopted its position on the proposal for a regulation on the prevention of the dissemination of terrorist content online. While the European Commission's initial proposal raised concerns in many respects about disproportionate violations of freedom of expression and information, the Parliament has been able to significantly improve the text. In particular, automatic filters have been clearly excluded from potential measures and complaint and transparency mechanisms have been strengthened.
Eva Joly Greens/EFA shadow rapporteur on the file comments:
"It's very welcome that now it will be possible to combat terrorist propaganda online without undermining our most fundamental rights and freedoms. The Commission's original proposal was very worrying in many respects, but we have redoubled our efforts to rebalance the text and protect the freedoms of information and expression.
"This European regulation must make it possible to establish a clear legal framework for removing illegal content from the net, with strengthened complaint mechanisms and all the guarantees of transparency. We have removed everything that could have forced platforms to install automated filters, which are dangerous to our online freedoms.
"Rather than letting private platforms alone police the Internet, this text places the responsibility for assessing what does and does not constitute terrorist content mainly where it belongs - in the hands of a truly independent authority.
"I regret the Conservatives' and Liberals' ridiculous obsession with giving all platforms, regardless of their size and audience, the same one-hour deadline to execute a removal order. Depending on the case, this period can be both too long and too short. Unfortunately, our amendment to delete this deadline did not obtain a majority, but we have succeeded in reducing this obligation, particularly when it is impossible to comply with it for operational reasons or when it is a first removal order."