Why are we outraged by the suggestion that Facebook users’ messages should be screened for potential terrorist threats yet we accept that airline passengers are screened for terrorist threats before boarding a plane? What’s the difference between moving people or information around the world? This is the question raised by the UK parliament’s intelligence and security committee when it suggests Facebook and other internet platforms should “take responsibility” for detecting terrorist activity online.
The European Commission proposed its badly drafted “Directive on combating sexual abuse, sexual exploitation of children and child pornography” in 2010. In 2011, it was finally adopted by the Council of the European Union and the European Parliament. Under the Directive, the European Commission was legally required to publish an implementation report by 18 December. The Commission ignored its legal obligation and published its report a year late, on 16 December 2016. It published one report on the whole Directive and one on the implementation of Article 25 on the Directive, on internet blocking. Despite taking an extra year to collect information, the 13-page document is almost entirely devoid of useful data.