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What is the ‘Terrorist Content Online Regulation of the EU’?


The internet must not be misused for radicalisation, recruitment and incitement to violence. To combat and contain terrorist content online, the EU has issued the Terrorist Content Online Regulation (TCO Regulation for short). This has been applicable since 7 June 2022 and contains uniform rules to combat the misuse of hosting services for the public dissemination of terrorist content online. Terrorist online content is to be removed from the internet in a timely manner in order to contribute to public security throughout the Union.

In order to ensure the timely removal of terrorist content online, the competent authorities are authorised to issue removal orders. Upon receipt of such an order, hosting service providers must in principle remove terrorist content or disable access to terrorist content throughout the Union within one hour. The Terrorist Content Control Act (TIB-G) was passed to implement the TCO Regulation in Austria. The competent authority within the meaning of the TCO Regulation in Austria is the Communications Authority (KommAustria). It is responsible for issuing and reviewing removal orders within the meaning of the TCO Regulation. The TCO Regulation requires hosting service providers to take specific measures if they are exposed to terrorist content. The hosting service provider itself decides on the specific measures to be taken. These may include, for example, appropriate technical and operational measures or capacities (adequate staffing or technical resources to identify and immediately remove or block access to terrorist content).

The specific measures to be taken may also include the establishment of easily accessible and user-friendly mechanisms for users to report suspected terrorist content to the hosting service provider, as well as mechanisms to raise awareness of terrorist content, such as user moderation mechanisms. KommAustria is responsible for monitoring the implementation of these specific measures in accordance with Art. 5 TCO Regulation. The future will show to what extent these regulations of the EU and the Austrian legislator are actually suitable for helping to curb terrorist content online.