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Position paper - Proposal on fighting the dissemination of terrorist content online

22 Jan 2019
Digital Economy

Members of the American Chamber of Commerce to the European Union (AmCham EU) are fully committed to combating online terrorism as the threat posed to our democratic societies is immense. This position paper includes main recommendations on the proposed regulation on preventing the dissemination of terrorist content online to design constructive and workable solutions, including through a targeted approach, to address this common threat:

  • The definition of hosting service providers in the current text is unclear and must explicitly state what kind of hosting service providers and content require proactive measures. The scope should refer to services that enable users to make the content available to the general public;
  • The procedure for content removal needs to be consistent and proportionate in order to function effectively. Co-legislators should review the 1-hour deadline for removal and introduce flexibility in recognition that there could be technical or resources restraints;
  • There is a need for legal certainty around what the proactive measures should entail, now that they are subject to a binding legislation and possible sanctions. Clear guidelines from the European Commission could help this process;
  • Throughout the Regulation, it should be made explicit that proactive measures and transparency requirements are only necessary for hosting service providers that have been exposed to terrorist content;
  • The current scale of legal and financial sanctions - combined with vague notions in the proposal - could encourage overzealous takedown by hosting service providers which could undermine EU citizens’ freedom of speech;
  • The relationship between service providers and the competent authority should be streamlined to a single point of contact.