EU: Hosting service providers now have to remove terrorist material within one hour

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The European Union has announced that hosting service providers now have to remove terrorist content from their platform within one hour of it being flagged by authorities in EU states. The EU said that it will be up to its member states to decide the punishment if providers don’t comply with an order but that these punishments must be proportionate.

Aside from the one-hour rule, the measures also require providers to pull terrorist content if they are exposed to it by other means. For those concerned about overreach from member states, any removal requests must contain justifications for the removal and details of how a provider can challenge the removal order. The rules also aim to protect freedom of expression and the right to information with material shared for educational, journalistic, artistic, or research purposes being exempted.

Another requirement the rules introduce is for online platforms and national authorities to release annual reports that state how much terrorist content has been removed, the outcomes of complaints and appeals, and the number and type of penalties that have been imposed on platforms not abiding by the rules.

The EU has been holding workshops for member states and providers to help them get ready for the rules that came into force on June 7. Europol has also created a platform for member states to use to submit removal orders to providers in a secure fashion.

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