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9 Dec, 2020 16:49

Member states must 'urgently' adopt plan to remove terrorist content online amid 'real and present danger' – EU

Member states must 'urgently' adopt plan to remove terrorist content online amid 'real and present danger' – EU

The EU Commission has called on member states to adopt “as a matter of urgency” new rules around removing online terrorist material, which include plans to force websites to take down content within one hour of publication.

The measures are part of the EU's new “Counter-Terrorism Agenda,” published on Wednesday, which also advises stronger border checks, better design of public spaces to physically protect people during terrorist attacks and greater policing powers for law enforcement agency Europol.

Cooperation with non-EU nations will also be “stepped up,” the Commission said, including with Western Balkan countries over the issue of firearms, and with those in the Sahel region, the Horn of Africa and parts of Asia.

Also on rt.com Austrian government steps up protection of churches after Vienna attack in run-up to Christmas

The publication follows a spate of terrorist attacks in Western Europe this year, including Vienna, Austria and multiple French cities, which the EU said “served as a sharp reminder that terrorism remains a real and present danger.”

Austria has already begun beefing up security at churches in the run-up to Christmas amid fears of another attack like the one in November, which saw an Islamist gunman kill four people in the capital. 

France has authorized the search of dozens of mosques “suspected of separatism” and has passed a new “secularism bill” to fight Islamic extremism after several attacks this year, including the beheading of a teacher who showed cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed to his students. 

“The European way of life is not optional and we must do all in our power to prevent those that seek to undo it,” said European Commission Vice President Margaritis Schinas in a comment on the counter-terrorism framework. 

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