Wednesday, June 27, 2007

E-Commerce Meets Terrorism

Via Naked Law, belated but important:

"A new anti-terror law has come into effect as of 21 June 2007 : the Electronic Commerce Directive (Terrorism Act 2006) Regulations 2007. Under these new provisions (which operate in conjunction with the Terrorism Act 2006), encouraging acts of terrorism and the dissemination of terrorist publications is an offence, including where such actions occur online. If a third party posts material which is an offence under these provisions, the police may notify a blog operator and require them to take the offending material down promptly (within two days). Failure to do so without cause could result in the Directors going to prison."

The most interesting part of this to me is the 2 day takedown. My own as yet unofficial research indicated that takedown periods for ISPS and hosts varied between about 24 hours up to a week, depending on the legal risk associated with the material (child porn might be removed more quickly than alleged libels, for example.) One wonders if "2 days" for terrorist material may create a nascent standard of 2 days as the outside edge for "expeditious" removal under the general E-Comm Regs?? Could this have informed the rather mysterious decision of the defendants, already blogged here, that Mumsnet might not have taken down expeditiously when they removed in about 24 hours??

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