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Terrorism: Internet

Volume 488: debated on Wednesday 25 February 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many UK-based websites have been closed down because they contained extremist material inciting terrorism in the last five years. (254791)

The legislation that allows a request to be made that unlawfully terrorism-related material is modified or removed from the internet is section 3 of the Terrorism Act 2006. Section 3 allows for the service of a notice by a constable where he or she is of the opinion that unlawfully terrorism-related material is available on an electronic service such as a website, on the person(s) responsible for that material. The notice requires that the unlawfully terrorism-related material is removed or modified within two working days.

However, the preferred route of the police is to use informal contact with the communication service providers to request that the material is removed. To date no Section 3 notices have been issued as this informal route has proved effective but statistics covering the number of sites removed through such informal contact are not collected.