Magazine article Security Management

International. (Legal Reporter)

Magazine article Security Management

International. (Legal Reporter)

Article excerpt

Online hate speech. The Council of Europe has drafted a preliminary proposal that would prohibit online hate speech. The draft proposal would make it illegal to post or transmit racist or xenophobic material. Such material is defined as any written documents, images, or other representation of theories that "promote, incite, or are likely to incite acts of violence, hatred, or discrimination against any individual or group of individuals based on race, color, religion, descent, nationality, or ethnic origin."

The proposal would also criminalize racist or xenophobic groups, defined as an established, structured organization of two or more persons acting together to commit online hate speech. To become law, the final proposal would have to be ratified and adopted by European Union member states. Privacy and free speech groups, such as the Center for Democracy and Technology, are opposed to the protocol, noting that enforcement of such a protocol could lead to infringement of freedom of speech. An addendum to the protocol that would give law enforcement greater power in tracking and decoding potential hate speech online is in the works. …

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