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Verordnung des Europäischen Parlamentes und des Rates zur Verhinderung der Verbreitung terroristischer Online-Inhalte

Characteristics

Aktueller Stand (14.05.2021):

Am 11. Januar hat die Mehrheit des Innenausschusses im EU-Parlament für den stark kritisierten Entwurf der Terreg-Verordnung gestimmt. Am 20. April stimmte das LIBE Committee (also der Ausschuss für bürgerliche Freiheiten, Justiz und Inneres) für den Entwurf. Es gab keine weitere Abstimmung im Parlament, da ein entsprechender Antrag nötig gewesen wäre. Die Verordnung gilt damit als gebilligt und wird in einem Jahr EU-weit in Kraft treten. 

Actual Goal:

Verhinderung der Verbreitung terroristischer Inhalte und Propaganda im Internet

Dangers:

The new regulation requires platforms to delete "terrorist content" within a one-hour time period. So-called "trolls" could cause active damage to platforms by actively uploading terrorist content. Control by moderators is therefore impossible, which is why the platforms have to rely on upload filters. The most efficient upload filters are developed by larger platforms. Smaller platforms have no funds to develop these technologies or to buy them from the big platforms. Blogs, Wikipedia or all kinds of forums may have to cease operations because they cannot comply with this regulation. 

Wieder baut die EU auf einer Technologie, welche z. B. den Brand von Notre Dame mit einem Video der Anschläge vom 11. September 2001 verwechselte. Da vor allem kleinere Websites den Einsatz funktionierender Uploadfilter nicht gewährleisten können werden sie auf sog. Geoblocking (Ländersperren) zurückgreifen. Durch den gleichen Mechanismus könnte auch der Zugriff europäischer Nutzer auf außereuropäischen Websites verhindert werden. So lässt sich befürchten, dass es nur noch innereuropäische Websites benutzt werden können. Dass dadurch der Ursprungsgedanke des „World Wide Web“ verloren geht, wäre dann nur die Spitze der Fahnenstange.

The EU could not commit itself to what is considered terrorism throughout the EU. For this reason, an extremely vague concept was established in the regulation. The big problem here is that authorities in one country may use the obligation to delete throughout the EU. In extreme cases, authorized governments could exploit TERREG to have unwanted opinions deleted on the German Internet or across the EU. This way, criticism from opposition members could be deleted not only in Hungary, for example, but in the entire EU, even though the content would still fall under the freedom of opinion in some countries. An example? Hungary currently regards environmentalists as "eco-terrorists".
Furthermore, it has not yet been clarified which authorities are to be given the authority to delete. Independence is therefore not guaranteed. It would be possible for both the village policeman and the minister of the interior to order deletions.

If a platform receives a deletion order from an authority, it should decide on the basis of its general terms and conditions whether the upload must be deleted or not. The user does not even have to be informed about his blocking or the deletion of his content. This puts the platforms in a high position of power, which can open up the space for e.g. opinion manipulation.

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Background information

On September 12, 2018, Jean-Claude Juncker, then President of the EU Commission, declared that the Commission would propose new rules to remove terrorist propaganda from the Internet within one hour. This is the crucial time window during which the greatest damage can be done. In many of the recent attacks in the EU it has become clear how terrorists misuse Internet platforms to spread their message. This was the birth of TERREG. The idea is now becoming a threat in practice to small blogs, the European digital economy and ultimately to freedom of expression.

For example, the regulation should apply to all online platforms that host uploaded content. So this also applies to small platforms and start-ups. And all of them are to be equally obliged to remove illegal content within one hour upon request. But this is exactly what cannot be demanded of websites that are only operated by small organizations or even individuals. They cannot provide the required 24/7 presence. In addition, one hour is also too short, for example, to perform a basic plausibility check to determine whether the upload is really illegal content or just part of journalistic reporting. Finally, not even the Commission's definition of terrorist content is really clear.

Because the EU has not yet been able to define what is considered terrorism. This is interpreted differently in the member states. As a result, only a vague definition has been laid down in the regulation. On the one hand, the definition seems to cover classic propaganda material of terrorist organizations, including construction manuals for weapons. On the other hand, it would currently also include legal content such as scientific or journalistic articles.

Durch die Verordnung erhalten in jedem Mitgliedsland Behörden EU-weit geltende Rechte. Eine ausländische Behörde kann damit in Deutschland Inhalte aus dem Internet löschen lassen, die sie selbst nach der vagen Definition als Terrorismus ansieht. Dann ist die Plattform am Zug. Sie soll die Illegalität des Uploads in Bezug auf ihre eigenen Nutzungsbedingungen feststellen – nicht etwa nach Gesetzeslage. Das heißt im Übrigen auch umgekehrt, dass sich die öffentlichen Ämter und Strafverfolgungsbehörden, die eine Löschung anordnen, formal an den Maßstäben der Plattformen orientieren müssen. Und diese sind grundsätzlich profitorientierte Privatunternehmen. Bereits jetzt sind die AGB der großen Plattformen so formuliert, dass sie alle Inhalte verbieten, die in irgendeinem Land unerwünscht sein könnten. Das führt dazu, dass auch prinzipiell legale Inhalte gelöscht werden (Overblocking).

The platforms should formally establish the criteria according to which something is considered terrorism and is deleted. Elsewhere in the Commission's proposal it is even clearer that the large platforms will be strengthened. This is because the regulation requires the platforms to use "proactive methods" to prevent uploads with terrorist content. This implies upload filters. With all the error-proneness that is already known from previous discussions: automated filters do not recognize context, satire or exaggeration. They only recognize the choice of words, the photo, etc. The development of filter technology is complex and costly, and so only the large, multi-million dollar platforms can afford it.
 
This means that upload filters are back in discussion in a new context.
 
Die deutsche Bundesregierung unterstützt die Verordnung „proaktiver Mittel“ an die Plattformen. Deutschland hatte bis Ende des Jahres 2020 die EU-Ratspräsidentschaft und vertrat damit die nationalen Regierungen in Verhandlungen mit dem Europaparlament zu aktuellen Gesetzgebungsverfahren.
 
This conflicts with the coalition agreement of 2018 as well as the discussions about the copyright reform, where the German government rejects upload filters as " unreasonable"!

Quotes

 
 
"Terrorism cannot be stopped with a regulation to delete illegal content online. It can at most be a step towards a comprehensive strategy. We must be clear about this before we adopt a regulation, which sacrifices some of our fundamental freedoms, and therefore the very foundations of our liberal democracy, just to eliminate one of the many risk factors of radicalization". - Julia Reda
 
 
As soon as the protests against upload filter censorship machines are over, the German government breaks all public promises behind closed EU doors. The German government rejects the demand of the European Parliament to exclude filter obligations.“ – Patrick Breyer
 
 
"This puts journalism under general suspicion.“ – Petra Kammerevert (SPD Member of the European Parliament)