Anti-terrorism: a new decree to delist websites praising terrorism

The n°2015-253 decree of March 4th 2015  regarding the delisting of websites encouraging terrorist actions or broadcasting child pornography was published in the Official Journal on March 5th 2015. The text dictates a new obligation for search engines: delisting.

The delisting of illicit websites is a purely administrative action and requires no intervention from a judge. In accordance with the new dispositions, the Central Bureau of Anti-Criminality Connected with Information and Communication Technologies (OCLCTIC) directly addresses to search engines the URL links of the websites to be delisted. Search engine companies then have 48 hours to make the search results disappear and operate the delisting.

The illegal websites will preliminary be observed by the Antiterrorism Coordination Unit (UCLAT) and by the Mistry of interior to validate the delisting. The OCLCTIC will also address the websites’ links to the CNIL (French Data Protection Agency) for a recommendation. If that recommendation is not followed, the French administrative court has jurisdiction to rule on the case.

Every three months the OCLCTIC will check whether the websites’ content is still illegal. If that is no longer the case, it will request the search engine companies to restore the initial referencing within 48h.

The decree specifies the conditions under which expenditures resulting from the search engines’ obligation to delist may be supported by the government.

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