August 6, 2020

Brussels blames the EP for delaying the withdrawal of terrorist content online



The European Commission (EC) on Wednesday accused the European Parliament of delaying the approval of the proposal to force internet companies to quickly withdraw terrorist content, an initiative presented by Brussels in the autumn, trusting its adoption before the European elections. may.

"I find it difficult to understand the motivations of colleagues in the European Parliament (EP), who are seeking, it seems, to delay our legislative proposal on the regulation of terrorist content online," the European Security Commissioner said at a press conference. Julian King.

The commissioner referred to the broadcast "at brutal speed" of the videos of the terrorist attack last Friday in Christchurch (New Zealand) and the efforts of platforms such as Facebook and YouTube to eliminate those copies, which he considered to be the "enormous challenge" "to whom it is faced.

"Therefore, permanent legal requirements to eliminate and prevent this type of material from being uploaded would help ensure that all platforms have the same objective and resources in place," said King, who along with the head of Immigration, Dimitris Avramópulos, and the European Commissioner for Digital Economy, Mariya Gabriel, today presented the latest advances in the creation of the so-called "Union of Security".

King considered that if you act immediately and all institutions commit to it, there is still time to reach an agreement on this legislation before the end of the mandate of the European Parliament.

"Our message today to our friends in the European Parliament is that failure to do this only helps extremism," he added.

Last September, the EC proposed obliging companies to eliminate terrorist content online within one hour after receiving a withdrawal order issued by a police or judicial authority, as a measure to prevent its spread.

According to data published by the Community Executive last autumn, 33% of links to terrorist content is spread in one hour and 75% in four hours.

Since 2016, the EC has identified more than 80,000 labels of videos or images with terrorist content, and more than 150 companies providing services with this type of content, according to Europol.

The commissioners valued that in recent years the European Union has made progress in 15 of the 22 proposals submitted by the Commission to progress in the "Union of Security", but warned that there is still work to be done.

They also mentioned the challenges in combating misinformation on the Internet, on the occasion of the publication of the latest report in that area, which analyzes the situation last February based on data provided by service providers.

Commissioner Gabriel recalled that a few months ago Google, Facebook and Twitter committed to follow a code of conduct to prevent the spread of misinformation.

The Commission acknowledged today progress in some areas, but said it expects more progress in others.

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