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Terrorism: Internet

Volume 493: debated on Tuesday 2 June 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to the answer of 20 April 2009, Official Report, column 156W, on community relations: internet, what material has been classified by her Department as unlawful under the Terrorism Act 2006 to date; and what routine discussions her Department has had with the European Commission on such classifications. (277308)

The material concerned is that which may be unlawful under sections 1 and 2 of the Terrorism Act 2006.

No discussions have been held with the European Commission specifically on this matter. Use of the internet for radicalisation to violent extremism in Europe is the subject of ongoing Commission-supported discussions.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what powers her Department has to (a) order the closure of websites hosted in the UK which display material considered by her Department to be unlawful under the Terrorism Act 2006 and (b) to restrict the activities of owners of such sites. (277341)

The Home Office has no such powers. Under section 3 of the Terrorism Act 2006 a police constable may issue a notice to an internet service provider that requires unlawful terrorism-related material to be removed or modified within two working days. Failure to do so is not an offence in itself but removes the defence of non-endorsement to charges under sections 1 and 2 of the Act.

Owners of websites containing unlawful material may commit offences under sections l or 2 of the Terrorism Act 2006 (publishing a statement that encourages others directly or indirectly to the commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism, or dissemination of terrorist publications).