EU issues recommendation to combat illegal content more swiftly and effectively

The European Commission has recommended a set of operational measures for states and the Internet industry in an effort to improve their response to illegal online content, including ‘terrorist content, incitement to hatred and violence, child sexual abuse material, counterfeit products and copyright infringement.’ According EU’s Vice-President for the Digital Single Market, Andrus Ansip, illegal content represents ‘a serious threat to our citizens’ security, safety and fundamental rights’. One of the recommendations in the context of terrorist content is the ‘one-hour rule’: harmful terrorist content needs to be removed within one hour after it has been flagged. After monitoring the response to the recommendation, the Commission will determine whether additional steps, such as legislation, are necessary. The Internet industry has expressed discontent for not having been consulted first, and argued that the one-hour rule might not be workable. According to European Digital Rights, the recommendation risks ‘putting ‘Internet giants in charge of censoring Europe’.