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EU is losing its patience with the US government over its failure to implement properly the Privacy Shield deal

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Last week, the European Commission announced new guidelines to tackle illegal content inciting hatred, violence and terrorism online. Central to its new framework is expecting “online platforms” – Internet companies like Facebook, Google and Twitter – to take a more pro-active role:

“The Communication invites online platforms step up their efforts to remove illegal content online and proposes a number of practical measures to ensure faster detection and removal of illegal content online.”

Those measures include closer cooperation with law enforcement agencies; the recognition of “trusted flaggers” – other organizations that will be allowed to tag material as illegal; and, perhaps most problematically, the use of upload filters to prevent material being posted in the first place. And just to concentrate people’s minds, the Commission added that it would:

“Monitor progress and assess whether additional measures are needed, in order to ensure the swift and proactive detection and removal of illegal content online, including possible legislative measures to complement the existing regulatory framework.”

In other words, if Facebook, Google and Twitter don’t do enough on a voluntary basis, the EU is threatening to bring in new laws to force them to do it. This plan to turn Internet companies into the EU’s online police isn’t the only problem they have in the region. They are also subject to increasing scrutiny of how they are operating in Europe. For example, in June, Google was fined over $2.5 billion for “abusing dominance as search engine by giving illegal advantage to own comparison shopping service”. Although the company is appealing against that fine, there are two other cases where the European Commission is still investigating whether Google abused its

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