Another law in Europe to regulate online content: this time anti-terrorism

Another law in Europe to regulate online content: this time anti-terrorism

As we reported last week, France is on the verge of adopting a law against “incitement to anorexia” that is mainly focused on the web. It wouldn’t be the last Internet-related law this week, since the European Union announced some tight laws against “incitement to terrorism” on the Internet. By doing this, the EU wants to fight militant groups who amongst other things recruit and mobilize young people.

A statement by the ministers said that the existing Framework Decision of 13 June 2002 will be expanded by introducing three new offenses: “public provocation to commit a terrorist offense, recruitment and training for terrorism.”

Reuters reports that countries like Spain and Italy already punish public provocation to terrorism, but others, like Scandinavian countries will have to change their laws. Spain’s secretary of state for justice, Julio Perez Hernandez, told the press agency that “The battle to anticipate terrorist acts is crucial for Spain. One should not wait for smoke to know there is terrorism.”

Although the statement says that it’s “well-balanced in terms of its effects on freedom of speech and general respect for human rights”, civil action groups will probably ring the alarm bells. Though I’m not sure whether the public will actually care. Europeans have seen so many anti-terrorism laws that limit their freedom already, that they might have become numb for amendments like these.

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