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Terrorism: Internet

Volume 474: debated on Thursday 3 April 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many websites have been shut down for terrorism-related reasons since 1997; and how many of these websites have subsequently reopened. (182216)

The legislation that allows us to request that unlawfully terrorism related material is modified or removed from the internet is Section 3 of the Terrorism Act 2006. Section 3 allows a constable to serve a notice where he or she believes illegal terrorism related material is available on the internet, on the person(s) responsible for that material. The notice requires that the terrorism related material be removed or modified within two working days. The preferred route of the police (recommended in the guidelines on using Section 3 notices) is not to issue formal Section 3 notices in the first instance, but to use informal contact with communication service providers instead. To date this has proved effective, but statistics covering the number of sites removed through such informal contact are not available. The police have no record of any Section 3 notices being issued, and statistics on the use of Section 3 notices are not collected by the Home Office.