The Global Network Initiative (GNI) welcomes the amendments made by the European Parliament Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) in its report on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on preventing the dissemination of terrorist content online. In line with previous recommendations from GNI and other stakeholders, these amendments clarify and narrow the regulations’ application, provide greater definitional specificity, improve due process-related provisions, enhance transparency, call for prompt assessment of the regulations’ implementation, and improve key protections for human rights, including with regard to notice and remedy.
We are particularly pleased with the decisions to remove problematic provisions on extra-legal “referrals” (previous Article 5) and “proactive measures” (previous Article 6), and to specify that each member state should process resulting removal orders through a single, judicial or functionally independent administrative or law enforcement authority. These amendments are crucial for bringing the regulation more in line with international human rights standards and it is essential that they are retained.
While these amendments represent significant improvements, GNI remains concerned that the regulation continues to allow non-judicial authorities to make determinations about and enforce the legality of content, as well as to require that hosting service providers must comply with such orders within one hour. These and other remaining issues are sufficiently fundamental that they risk mitigating, and even undermining, the impact of the many other worthy improvements made by the LIBE Committee. GNI encourages MEPs to adopt the LIBE Committee amendments, reject any amendments that undercut those, and consider further amendments to address these two core concerns.