EU is doing a bad move against online terrorism


From now on, you may have only one hour to read lots of online stuff.

The European Union just approved a law to deal with terrorist content online.

The regulation on preventing the dissemination of terrorist content online, called TERREG, includes an obligation for digital platforms to remove “terrorist content or disable access to terrorist content in all member states as soon as possible and in any event within one hour of receipt of the removal order.”

These “removal orders” must come from the “competent authority” of each EU country and can be addressed to all member states.

Terrorism is bad, of course,

and of course online it can find more adepts. No question about that. But, as Euractiv puts it, it is hard to ignore that “that giving platform hosts such a short deadline would encourage them to use algorithms for their moderation”: which, in case you did not read carefully, unwillingly ends up being equivalent to “encourage platforms to not bother and do even more PREVENTIVE, obscure, unaccountable, automatic censorship than they already do”.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) makes a more complete job of explaining why and how TERREG would be dangerous:

EU is doing a bad move against online terrorism /img/terreg-orbanisation.jpg
  • TERREG was created without real consultation of free expression and human rights groups and has serious repercussions for online expression
  • EU’s Fundamental Rights Agency noted in 2019 that:
    • the definition of terrorist content was too wide and vague, and therefore could interfere with freedom of expression rights
    • “the proposal does not guarantee the involvement by the judiciary and the Member States’ obligation to protect fundamental rights online has to be strengthened”.

That was two years go

This is what happened two years ago. Now, says the EFF, “while civil society intervention has resulted in a series of significant improvements to the law, there is more work to be done.” If you are an EU citizen, talk with your EU representatives. If you aren’t, follow up TERREG anyway, because if it is enforced it will impact you too, no matter where you live.

To know even more…

Check out the pages where I got the screenshots for this post:

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