In the evening of February 13, negotiators from the European Parliament and the Council concluded the trilogue negotiations with a final text for the new EU Copyright Directive.
For two years we've debated different drafts and versions of the controversial Articles 11 and 13. Now, there is no more ambiguity: This law will fundamentally change the internet as we know it -- if it is adopted in the upcoming final vote. But we can still prevent that!
Commercial sites and apps where users can post material must make "best efforts" to preemptively buy licences for anything that users may possibly upload -- that is: all copyrighted content in the world. An impossible feat.
In addition, all but very few sites (those both tiny and very new) will need to do everything in their power to prevent anything from ever going online that may be an unauthorised copy of a work that a rightsholder has registered with the
platform. They will have no choice but to deploy upload filters , which are by their nature both expensive and
Should a court ever find their licensing or filtering efforts not fierce enough, sites are directly liable for infringements as if they had committed them themselves. This massive threat will lead platforms to over-comply with these
rules to stay on the safe side, further worsening the impact on our freedom of speech.
Reproducing more than "single words or very short extracts" of news stories will require a licence. That will likely cover many of the snippets commonly shown alongside links today in order to give you an idea of what they lead
to. We will have to wait and see how courts interpret what "very short" means in practice -- until then, hyperlinking (with snippets) will be mired in legal uncertainty.
No exceptions are made even for services run by individuals, small companies or non-profits, which probably includes any monetised blogs or websites.
The project to allow Europeans to conduct Text and Data Mining , crucial for modern research and the development of artificial intelligence, has been obstructed with too many caveats and requirements. Rightholders can opt out of having
their works datamined by anyone except research organisations.
Authors' rights: The Parliament's proposal that authors should have a right to proportionate remuneration has been severely watered down: Total buy-out contracts will continue to be the norm.
Minor improvements for access to cultural heritage : Libraries will be able to publish out-of-commerce works online and museums will no longer be able to claim copyright on photographs of centuries-old paintings.
How we got here Former digital Commissioner Oettinger proposed the law
The history of this law is a shameful one.
From the very beginning , the purpose of Articles 11 and 13 was never to solve clearly-defined issues in copyright law with well-assessed measures, but to serve powerful special interests , with hardly any concern for the collateral
In his conservative EPP group, the driving force behind this law, dissenters were marginalised . The work of their initially-appointed representative
was thrown out after the conclusions she reached were too sensible. Mr Voss then voted so blindly in favour of any and all restrictive measures that he was
caught by surprise by some of the nonsense he had gotten approved. His party, the German CDU/CSU, nonchalantly violated the coalition agreement they had signed (which rejected upload filters), paying no mind to their own
minister for digital issues .
It took efforts equally herculean and sisyphean
across party lines to prevent the text from turning out even worse than it now is.
In the end, a closed-door horse trade between France and Germany was enough to outweigh the objections... so far.
What's important to note, though: It's not "the EU" in general that is to blame -- but those who put special interests above fundamental rights who currently hold considerable power. You can change that at the polls! The anti-EU
far right is trying to seize this opportunity to promote their narrow-minded nationalist agenda -- when in fact without the persistent support of the far-right ENF Group (dominated by the Rassemblement/Front National ) the law
could have been stopped in the crucial Legal Affairs Committee and in general would not be as extreme as it is today.
We can still stop this law
Our best chance to stop the EU copyright law: The upcoming Parliament vote.
The Parliament and Council negotiators who agreed on the final text now return to their institutions seeking approval of the result. If it passes both votes unchanged, it becomes EU law , which member states are forced to implement into
In both bodies, there is resistance.
The Parliament's process starts with the approval by the Legal Affairs Committee -- which is likely to be given on Monday, February 18.
Next, at a date to be announced, the EU member state governments will vote in the Council. The law can be stopped here either by 13 member state governments or by any number of governments who together represent 35% of the EU population (
calculator ). Last time, 8 countries representing 27% of the population were opposed. Either a large country like Germany or several small ones would need to change their minds: This is the less likely way to stop it.
Our best bet: The final vote in the plenary of the European Parliament , when all 751 MEPs, directly elected to represent the people, have a vote. This will take place either between March 25 and 28, on April 4 or between April 15
and 18. We've already
demonstrated last July that a majority against a bad copyright proposal is achievable .
The plenary can vote to kill the bill -- or to make changes , like removing Articles 11 and 13. In the latter case, it's up to the Council to decide whether to accept these changes (the Directive then becomes law without these articles) or
to shelve the project until after the EU elections in May, which will reshuffle all the cards.
This is where you come in
The final Parliament vote will happen mere weeks before the EU elections . Most MEPs -- and certainly all parties -- are going to be seeking reelection. Articles 11 and 13 will be defeated if enough voters make these issues relevant to the
Here's how to vote in the EU elections -- change the language to one of your country's official ones for specific information)
It is up to you to make clear to your representatives: Their vote on whether to break the internet with Articles 11 and 13 will make or break your vote in the EU elections. Be insistent -- but please always stay polite.
The Council of Europe is a wider organisation of European countries than the EU and is known best for being the grouping behind the European Court of Human Rights.
The council's Committee of Ministers has issued a statement criticising the algorithmic nature of social media. It calls on member countries to address its concerns. The Committee writes:
- draws attention to the growing threat to the right of human beings to form opinions and take decisions independently of automated systems, which emanates from advanced digital technologies. Attention should be paid particularly to their
capacity to use personal and non-personal data to sort and micro-target people, to identify individual vulnerabilities and exploit accurate predictive knowledge, and to reconfigure social environments in order to meet specific goals and vested
- encourages member States to assume their responsibility to address this threat by
a) ensuring that adequate priority attention is paid at senior level to this inter-disciplinary concern that often falls in between established mandates of relevant authorities;
b) considering the need for additional protective frameworks related to data that go beyond current notions of personal data protection and privacy and address the significant impacts of the targeted use of data on societies and on the exercise
of human rights more broadly;
c) initiating, within appropriate institutional frameworks, open-ended, informed and inclusive public debates with a view to providing guidance on where to draw the line between forms of permissible persuasion and unacceptable manipulation. The
latter may take the form of influence that is subliminal, exploits existing vulnerabilities or cognitive biases, and/or encroaches on the independence and authenticity of individual decision-making;
d) taking appropriate and proportionate measures to ensure that effective legal guarantees are in place against such forms of illegitimate interference; and
e) empowering users by promoting critical digital literacy skills and robustly enhancing public awareness of how many data are generated and processed by personal devices, networks, and platforms through algorithmic processes that are trained
for data exploitation. Specifically, public awareness should be enhanced of the fact that algorithmic tools are widely used for commercial purposes and, increasingly, for political reasons, as well as for ambitions of anti- or undemocratic
power gain, warfare, or to inflict direct harm;
Of course if once strips away the jargon, then the fundamental algorithm is to simply give people more of what they seem to have enjoyed reading. And of course the establishment's preferred algorithm is to give people what the state would
like them to read.
Press freedom in Europe is more fragile now than at any time since the end of the Cold War. That is the alarming conclusion of a report launched today by the 12 partner organisations of the Council of Europe platform to promote the protection
of journalism and safety of journalists.
The report, Democracy at Risk, analyses media freedom violations raised to the Platform in 2018. It provides a stark picture of the worsening environment for the media across Europe, in which journalists increasingly face obstruction, hostility
and violence as they investigate and report on behalf of the public.
The 12 Platform partners -- international journalists' and media organisations as well as freedom of expression advocacy groups -- reported 140 serious media freedom violations (alerts) in 32 Council of Europe member states in 2018. This review
of the alerts reveals a picture sharply at odds with the guarantees enshrined in the European Convention on Human Rights. Impunity for crimes against journalists is becoming a new normal. Legal protections for critical, investigative reporting
have been weakened offline and online. The space for the press to hold government authorities and the powerful to account has shrunk.
Last year the murders of J31n Kuciak and fianc39e Martina Kusn3drov31 in Slovakia and Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, were among 35 alerts for attacks on journalists' physical safety and integrity. Alerts about
serious threats to journalists' lives doubled and were accompanied by a strong surge in verbal abuse and public stigmatisation of the media and individual journalists in Council of Europe member states.
Urgent actions backed by a determined show of political will by Council of Europe member states are now required to improve the dire conditions for media freedom and to provide reliable protections for journalists in law and practice, the report
The purpose of the Platform, based on a 2015 agreement between the Council of Europe and the partner organisations, is to prompt an early dialogue with member states and hasten remedies for violations and shortcomings in the protections for free
and independent journalism.
The Platform partners call on states that impose the harshest restrictions on journalists' activities' and freedom of expression to:
Restore rule of law safeguards and drop charges against journalists and release them as a step towards restoring a safe and enabling environment for independent media; Remove extremism and other laws criminalising media and end arbitrary exercise
of powers by the executive and regulators; and Take the necessary steps to put in place a structure of media regulation and ownership which safeguards media plurality and freedom.
In addition, the Platform partners call on all states to reply fully and in good faith to all alerts and to take effective measures in law and practice to remedy the threats to the safety of individual journalists and media.
The Council of Europe Platform was launched in April 2015 to provide information which may serve as a basis for dialogue with member states about possible protective or remedial action. While many member states responded to alerts in 2018, five
states declined to respond to any alerts, including those reporting very serious media freedom violations.
The 12 Platform partners are: the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), the Association of European Journalists (AEJ), Article 19, Reporters without Borders (RSF), the Committee to Protect
Journalists (CPJ), Index on Censorship, the International Press Institute (IPI), the International News Safety Institute (INSI), Rory Peck Trust, the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) and PEN International.
Apart from the name Donald, and securing a place in hell, both put American corporate interests above European livelihoods. The Council of the EU approves copyright law that will suffocate European businesses and livelihoods
While Italy, Poland, the Netherlands, Sweden, Finland and Luxembourg
maintained their opposition to the text and were newly joined by Malta and Slovakia, Germany's support of the "compromise" secretly negotiated with France over the last weeks has broken the previous deadlock .
This new Council position is actually more extreme than previous versions, requiring all platforms older than 3 years to automatically censor all their users' uploads, and putting unreasonable burdens even on the newest companies.
The German Conservative--Social Democrat government is now in blatant violation of its own coalition agreement , which rejects upload filters against copyright infringement as disproportionate. This breach of coalition promises will not go
down well with many young voters just ahead of the European elections in May. Meanwhile, prominent members of both German government parties have joined the protests against upload filters.
The deal in Council paves the way for a final round of negotiations with the Parliament over the course of next week, before the entire European Parliament and the Council vote on the final agreement. It is now up to you to contact your MEPs,
call their offices in their constituencies and visit as many of their election campaign events as you can! Ask them to reject a copyright deal that will violate your rights to share legal creations like parodies and reviews online, and
includes measures like the link tax that will limit your access to the news and drive small online newspapers out of business.
Right before the European elections, your voices cannot be ignored! Join the over 4.6 million signatories to
the largest European petition ever and tell your representatives: If you break the Internet and accept Article 13, we won't reelect you!
Governments around the world are grappling with the threat of terrorism, but their efforts aimed at curbing the dissemination of terrorist content online all too often result in censorship. Over the past five years, we've seen a number of
governments--from the US Congress to that of France and now the European Commission (EC)--seek to implement measures that place an undue burden on technology companies to remove terrorist speech or face financial liability.
This is why EFF has joined forces with dozens of organizations to call on members of the European Parliament to oppose the EC's proposed regulation, which would require companies to take down terrorist content within one hour . We've added our
voice to two letters--one from Witness and another organized by the Center for Democracy and Technology --asking that MEPs consider the serious consequences that the passing of this regulation could have on human rights defenders and on freedom
We share the concerns of dozens of allies that requiring the use of proactive measures such as use of the terrorism hash database (already voluntarily in use by a number of companies) will restrict expression and have a disproportionate impact on
marginalized groups. We know from years of experience that filters just don't work.
Furthermore, the proposed requirement that companies must respond to reports of terrorist speech within an hour is, to put it bluntly, absurd. As the letter organized by Witness states, this regulation essentially forces companies to bypass due
process and make rapid and unaccountable decisions on expression through automated means and furthermore doesn't reflect the realities of how violent groups recruit and share information online.
We echo these and other calls from defenders of human rights and civil liberties for MEPs to reject proactive filtering obligations and to refrain from enacting laws that will have unintended consequences for freedom of expression.
Contrary to some reports A rticle 13 was not shelved solely because EU governments listened to the unprecedented
public opposition and understood that upload filters are costly,
error-prone and threaten fundamental rights.
Without doubt, the consistent public opposition contributed to 11 member state governments voting against the mandate, instead of just 6 last year, but ultimately the reform hinges on agreement between France and Germany , who due to their size
can make or break blocking minorities. The deadlock is the direct result of their disagreement, which was not about whether to have upload filters at all; they just couldn't agree on exactly who should be forced to install those faulty
The deadlock hinged on a disagreement between France and Germany
France's position: Article 13 is great and must apply to all platforms, regardless of size . They must demonstrate that they have done all they possibly could to prevent uploads of copyrighted material. In the case of small businesses, that may
or may not mean using upload filters -- ultimately, a court would have to make that call . (This was previously the
majority position among EU governments , supported by France, before Italy's newly elected government retracted their support for Article 13 altogether.)
Germany's position: Article 13 is great, but it should not apply to everyone. Companies with a turnover below ?20 million per year should be excluded outright, so as not to harm European internet startups and SMEs. (This was closer to the
European Parliament's current position , which calls for the exclusion of companies with a turnover below ?10 million and fewer than 50 employees.)
What brought France and Germany together:
Making Article 13 even worse In the
Franco-German deal , which leaked today, Article 13 does apply to all for-profit platforms. Upload filters must be installed by everyone except those services which fit all three of the following extremely narrow criteria:
Available to the public for less than 3 years
Annual turnover below ? 10 million
Fewer than 5 million unique monthly users
Countless apps and sites that do not meet all these criteria would need to install upload filters, burdening their users and operators, even when copyright infringement is not at all currently a problem for them. Some examples:
Discussion boards on for-profit sites, such as the Ars Technica or Heise.de forums (older than 3 years)
Patreon , a platform with the sole purpose of helping authors get paid (fails to meet any of the three criteria)
Niche social networks like GetReeled , a platform for anglers (well below 5 million users, but older than 3 years)
Small European competitors to larger US brands like wykop, a Polish news sharing platform similar to reddit (well below ? 10 million turnover, bur may be above 5 million users depending on the calculation method)
On top of that, even the smallest and newest platforms, which do meet all three criteria , must still demonstrate they have undertaken " best efforts " to obtain licenses from rightholders such as record labels, book publishers and
stock photo databases for anything their users might possibly upload -- an impossible task . In practice, all sites and apps where users may upload material will likely be forced to accept any license a rightholder offers them , no matter how bad
the terms, and no matter whether the y actually want their copyrighted material to be available on the platform or not , to avoid the massive legal risk of coming in conflict with Article 13. In summary: France's and Germany's compromise on
Article 13 still calls for nearly everything we post or share online to require prior permission by "censorship machines" , algorithms that are fundamentally unable to distinguish between copyright infringement and legal works such as
parody and critique. It would change the web from a place where we can all freely express ourselves into one where big corporate rightholders are the gatekeepers of what can and can't be published. It would allow these rightholders to bully any
for-profit site or app that includes an upload function. European innovation on the web would be discouraged by the new costs and legal risks for startups -- even if they only apply when platforms become successful, or turn 3 years old.
Foreign sites and apps would be incentivised to just geoblock all EU users to be on the safe side.
Now everything hinges on the European Parliament
With this road block out of the way, the trilogue negotiations to finish the new EU copyright law are back on. With no time to lose, there will be massive pressure to reach an overall agreement within the next few days and pass the law in March
or April. The most likely next steps will be a rubber-stamping of the new Council position cooked up by Germany and France on Friday, 8 February, and a final trilogue on Monday, 11 February.
MEPs, most of whom are fighting for re-election, will get one final say. Last September, a narrow majority for Article 13 could only be found in the Parliament after a small business exception was included that was much stronger than the foul
deal France and Germany are now proposing -- but I don't have high hopes that Parliament negotiator Axel Voss will insist on this point. Whether MEPs will reject this harmful version of Article 13 (like they initially did last July) or bow to the
pressure will depend on whether all of us make clear to them: If you break the internet and enact Article 13, we won't re-elect you.
Under the proposal, online platforms would have to spend hundreds of millions of euros on algorithmic copyright filters that would compare everything users tried to post with a database of supposedly copyrighted works, which anyone could add
anything to, and block any suspected matches. This would snuff out all the small EU competitors to America's Big Tech giants, and put all Europeans' communications under threat of arbitrary censorship by balky, unaccountable, easily abused
The proposal also lets newspapers decide who can link to their sites, and charge for the right to do so, in order to transfer some trifling sums from Big Tech to giant news conglomerates, while crushing smaller tech companies and marginalising
smaller news providers.
With EU elections looming, every day that passes without resumed negotiations puts the Directive further and further away from any hope of being voted on in this Parliament (and the next Parliament is likely to have a very different composition,
making things even more uncertain). Already, it would take heroic measures to take any finalised agreement into legislation: just the deadlines for translation, expert review, etc, make it a near impossibility. Within a couple of weeks, there
will be no conceivable way to get the Directive voted on before the elections.
That's why it's so important that opposition is continuing to mount for the Directive, and it certainly is.
This week, the
Association of European Research Libraries came out against the Directive, saying that the "premises both Articles are built on are fundamentally wrong" and calling on negotiators to "delete Articles 11 and 13 from the
Update: 89 organisations call for the scrpping of the link tax and censorship machines
Your Excellency Deputy Ambassador,
Dear European Commission Vice-President Andrus Ansip
Dear MEPs Voss, Adinolfi, Boutonnet, Cavada, Dzhambazki, Geringer de Oedenberg, Joulaud, Mastálka, Reda, Stihler,
We are writing you on behalf of business organisations, civil society organisations, creators, academics, universities, public libraries, research organisations and libraries, startups, software developers, EU online platforms, and Internet
Taking note of the failure of the Council to find a majority for a revised negotiation mandate on Friday 18 January, we want to reiterate our position that the manifest flaws in Articles 11 and 13 of the proposal for a Copyright Directive in the
Digital Single Market constitute insurmountable stumbling blocks to finding a balanced compromise on the future of Copyright in the European Union. Despite more than two years of negotiations, it has not been possible for EU policy makers to take
the serious concerns of industry, civil society, academics, and international observers such as the UN special rapporteur on freedom of expression into account, as the premises both Articles are built on are fundamentally wrong.
In light of the deadlock of the negotiations on Articles 11 and 13, as well as taking into consideration the cautious stance of large parts of the creative industries, we ask you to delete Articles 11 and 13 from the proposal. This would allow
for a swift continuation of the negotiations, while the issues that were originally intended to be addressed by Articles 11 and 13 could be tackled in more appropriate legal frameworks than this Copyright Directive.
We hope that you will take our suggestion on board when finalising the negotiations and put forward a balanced copyright review that benefits from wide stakeholder support in the European Union.
Europe 1. European Digital Rights (EDRi) 2. Allied for Startups 3. Civil Liberties Union for Europe (Liberties) 4. Copyright for Creativity (C4C) 5. Create.Refresh 6. European Bureau of Library, Information and Documentation Associations (EBLIDA)
7. European Internet Services Providers Association (EuroISPA) 8. European Network for Copyright in Support of Education and Science (ENCES) 9. European University Association (EUA) 10. Ligue des Bibliothèques Européennes de Recherche --
Association of European Research Libraries (LIBER) 11. Open State Foundation 12. Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition Europe (SPARC Europe) Austria 13. epicenter.works -- for digital rights 14. Digital Society 15. Initiative für
Netzfreiheit (IfNf) 16. Internet Service Providers Austria (ISPA Austria) Belgium 17. FusionDirectory 18. Opensides 19. SA&S -- Samenwerkingsverband Auteursrecht & Samenleving (Partnership Copyright & Society) Bulgaria 20. BlueLink
Foundation Czech Republic 21. Iuridicum Remedium (IuRe) 22. Seznam.cz Denmark 23. IT-Political Association of Denmark Estonia 24. Wikimedia Eesti Finland 25. Electronic Frontier Finland (EFFI) 26. Finnish Federation for Communications and
Teleinformatics (FiCom) France 27. April 28. Conseil National du Logiciel Libre (CNLL) 29. NeoDiffusion 30. Renaissance Numérique 31. Uni-Deal 32. Wikimédia France Germany 33. Bundesverband Deutsche Startups 34. Chaos Computer Club 35. Deutscher
Bibliotheksverband e.V. (dbv) 36. Digitalcourage e.V. 37. Digitale Gesellschaft e.V. 38. eco -- Association of the Internet Industry 39. Factory Berlin 40. Förderverein Informationstechnik und Gesellschaft (FITUG e.V.) 41. Initiative gegen ein
Leistungsschutzrecht (IGEL) 42. Silicon Allee 43. Wikimedia Deutschland Greece 44. Open Technologies Alliance -- GFOSS (Greek Free Open Source Software Society) 45. Homo Digitalis Italy 46. Hermes Center for Transparency and Digital Human Rights
47. Roma Startup 48. Associazione per la Libertà nella Comunicazione Elettronica Interattiva (ALCEI) Luxembourg 49. Frënn vun der Ënn Netherlands 50. Bits of Freedom (BoF) 51. Dutch Association of Public Libraries (VOB) 52. Vrijschrift Poland 53.
Centrum Cyfrowe Foundation 54. ePanstwo Foundation 55. Startup Poland 56. ZIPSEE Digital Poland Portugal 57. Associação D3 -- Defesa dos Direitos Digitais (D³) 58. Associação Nacional para o Software Livre (ANSOL) Romania 59. APADOR-CH (Romanian
Helsinki Committee) 60. Association for Technology and Internet (ApTI) Slovakia 61. Sapie.sk Slovenia 62. Digitas Institute 63. Forum za digitalno druzbo (Digital Society Forum) Spain 64. Asociación de Internautas 65. Grupo 17 de Marzo 66. MaadiX
67. Rights International Spain 68. Xnet Sweden 69. Dataskydd.net 70. Föreningen för Digitala Fri- och Rättigheter (DFRI) United Kingdom 71. Coalition for a Digital Economy (COADEC) 72. Open Rights Group (ORG) International 73. Alternatif Bilisim
Dernegi (Alternatif Bilisim) (Turkey) 74. ARTICLE 19 75. Association for Progressive Communications (APC) 76. Center for Democracy & Technology (CDT) 77. COMMUNIA Association 78. Derechos Digitales (Latin America) 79. Electronic Frontier
Foundation (EFF) 80. Electronic Information for Libraries (EIFL) 81. Index on Censorship 82. International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) 83. Israel Growth Forum (Israel) 84. My Private Network 85. Open Knowledge
International 86. OpenMedia 87. SHARE Foundation (Serbia) 88. SumOfUs 89. World Wide Web Foundation
The European Council has firmly rejected the negotiating mandate that was supposed to set out Member States' position ahead of what was supposed to be the final negotiation round with the European Parliament. National governments failed to
agree on a common position on the two most controversial articles, Article 11, also known as the Link Tax, and Article 13, which would require online platforms to use upload filters in an attempt to prevent copyright infringement before it
A total of 11 countries voted against the compromise text proposed by the Romanian Council presidency earlier this week: Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, Finland and Slovenia, who already opposed a previous version of the directive, as well as
Italy, Poland, Sweden, Croatia, Luxembourg and Portugal. With the exception of Portugal and Croatia, all of these governments are known for thinking that either Article 11 or Article 13, respectively, are insufficiently protective of users'
rights. At the same time, some rightsholder groups who are supposed to benefit from the Directive are also turning their backs on Article 13.
This surprising turn of events does not mean the end of Link Tax or censorship machines, but it does make an adoption of the copyright directive before the European elections in May less likely. The Romanian Council presidency will have the
chance to come up with a new text to try to find a qualified majority, but with opposition mounting on both sides of the debate, this is going to be a difficult task indeed.
The outcome of today's Council vote also shows that public attention to the copyright reform is having an effect. Keeping up the pressure in the coming weeks will be more important than ever to make sure that the most dangerous elements of the
new copyright proposal will be rejected.
Index on Censorship shares the widespread concerns about the proposed EU regulation on preventing the dissemination of terrorist content online. The regulation would endanger freedom of expression and would create huge practical challenges for
companies and member states. Jodie Ginsberg, CEO of Index, said We urge members of the European Parliament and representatives of EU member states to consider if the regulation is needed at all. It risks creating far more problems than it solves.
At a minimum the regulation should be completely revised.
Following the recent agreement by the European Council on a draft position for the proposed regulation on preventing the dissemination of terrorist content online, which adopted the initial draft presented by the European Commission with some
changes, the Global Network Initiative (GNI) is concerned about the potential unintended effects of the proposal and would therefore like to put forward a number of issues we urge the European Parliament to address as it considers it further.
GNI members recognize and appreciate the European Union (EU) and member states' legitimate roles in providing security, and share the aim of tackling the dissemination of terrorist content online. However, we believe that, as drafted, this
proposal could unintentionally undermine that shared objective by putting too much emphasis on technical measures to remove content, while simultaneously making it more difficult to challenge terrorist rhetoric with counter-narratives. In
addition, the regulation as drafted may place significant pressure on a range of information and communications technology (ICT) companies to monitor users' activities and remove content in ways that pose risks for users' freedom of expression
and privacy. We respectfully ask that EU officials, Parliamentarians, and member states take the time necessary to understand these and other significant risks that have been identified, by consulting openly and in good faith with affected
companies, civil society, and other experts.