EuroISPA statement on proposed Directive on Combatting Terrorism

Brussels - 22 February 2016 : EuroISPA members take the misuse of their services to disseminate radical and terror content very seriously, and strongly support a clear legislative framework through which swift and effective actions can be taken. Indeed, all EuroISPA members - from access providers to platforms - engage in specific cooperation with law enforcement authorities that reflects their technical position in the Internet ecosystem, to keep cyberspace safe while respecting fundamental rights.

To ensure the Directive on Combatting Terrorism provides the tools for ISPs and public authorities to best cooperate in the efforts to effectively tackle illegal terror content online, we would like to highlight:

  • Need for an explicit reference to the E-Commerce Directive: Directive 2000/31/EC enshrines the principles that allow for smooth cooperation between ISPs and public authorities. Indeed, the Directive’s procedural rules define the legal basis by which ISPs and public authorities can jointly tackle illegal content online while safeguarding fundamental rights – the Notice and Takedown mechanism. To ensure the Directive on Combatting Terrorism provides the adequate instruments to facilitate strong and secure public-private cooperation, a reference to Directive 2000/31/EC is essential.
  • Need for standardised procedures of cooperation across Europe: To ensure ISPs can swiftly remove actual illegal terror content, there is a need for standardised notification procedures across Europe. Often notices are incomplete or misleading, slowing down the removal time for illegal content. Moreover, such notices ought to originate from national judicial authorities, given the inevitable divergence in legal standards of alleged terror content across Member States.

The above principles serve as the basis by which terrorism in the online sphere can be meaningfully tackled, while ensuring that the very freedoms at stake in the efforts to combat terrorism are not undermined.

This statement was circulated to leading members of the European Parliament's Civil Liberties (LIBE) committee. The LIBE committee is currently scrutinising  the proposed Directive.