EU mulls tougher action against illegal internet content

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The European Commission launched a public consultation on illegal online content Wednesday, following up on its Recommendation in March to step up the battle against all forms of illegal internet content.

The illegal web content ranges from terrorist content, incitement to hatred and violence, child sexual abuse material, counterfeit products and copyright infringement.

In the consultation, respondents are asked to share their experience and challenges faced with the spread and detection of illegal content online.

The consultation aims at collecting information on perceptions and various opinions in regard to the effectiveness of voluntary measures to tackle illegal content online.

The consultation also aims to gather information and views concerning the need for additional steps from the Commission in this area.

The consultation targets specifically citizens, but also online platforms and other online hosting service providers, as well as organisations who detect and flag illegal content, digital rights organisations, competent authorities, law enforcement bodies, national governments and academia.

On 28 September 2017, the Commission adopted a Communication with guidance on the responsibilities of web service providers regarding illegal content online, followed by a Recommendation on measures to effectively tackle illegal content online on 1 March 2018.

The Commission has published an inception impact assessment report and is collecting evidence on the effectiveness of the voluntary measures and the scale of the problem.

The Commission will explore before the end of 2018 possible further measures to improve the effectiveness of combating illegal content online.