CEP Statement On EU Vote To Take Down Illegal Sports Streams Within 30 Minutes

(Brussels, Belgium) – Yesterday, the European Parliament's Committee on Legal Affairs (JURI) voted on an amendment to the Digital Services Act (DSA) requiring online platforms to take down illegal sports and entertainment streams within half an hour of being flagged.

According to the proposal, a distinction should be made between different types of illegal content. In the future, platforms would have 30 minutes after being notified to take down the broadcast of a live sports or entertainment event, 24 hours for illegal content that can “seriously harm” public policy, security, and health, and 72 hours for other kinds of illegal content.

The JURI Committee’s recommendations will feed into the work of the main committee, the Internal Market Committee (IMCO) and are likely to influence the main report.

Lucinda Creighton, senior advisor to the Counter Extremism Project (CEP) said:

“While of course we welcome the acknowledgement that illegal content needs to be taken down swiftly, we are disappointed to see a clear prioritisation of licensed content over other types of harmful content.

“Harmful illegal content can cause untold damage from the moment it is uploaded. Yet, evidently, European legislators are happy for it to remain online, for all to see, for up to 24 hours, before tech companies are obligated to take it down. This amendment to the DSA is an affront to the years of work that the NGO community has put into ridding the Internet of harmful illegal content.

“It would be simply unacceptable for the European Parliament to vote on a version of the DSA that doesn’t recognise how dangerous harmful illegal content is. We hope that this flawed amendment is recognised by the IMCO Committee and that the final version of the report on the Digital Services Act (DSA) also includes an equally short deadline for the removal of illegal content which could do serious harm.”

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