Tuesday, November 06, 2007

EU Announces Plans to Criminalize Promotion of Terrorism on the Internet

As expected, the EU announced very broad plans to criminalize promotion of terrorist communication on the Internet.

"EU Justice Commissioner Franco Frattini wants a new EU offence of“public provocation to commit a terrorist offence”, which would include “the distribution, or otherwise making available, of a message to the public, with the intent to incite” acts of terrorism.

The offence would carry an agreed minimum jail term in all EU countries, and charges under the new law could be brought even if no act of terrorism resulted from the “public provocation”.
The proposal states: “For an act to be punishable, it shall not be necessary that a terrorist offence be actually committed”.

Although the internet is the prime target, the new law would apply to all communication deemed to provoke terrorism.

Commission officials insisted the law would not curb the use of the internet to express political, academic or analytical views on terrorism."
As with any legislation limiting speech and communication the issue will be the definition of "terrorist". Critics have voiced their concern that such broad legislation could criminalize any speech unpopular to a government.

Internet next target in "anti-terror battle"

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