Germany’s cabinet on Wednesday approved a proposed law requiring social media companies to voluntarily report illegal content to the police or face fines of up to 50 million euros,media reported. Under current law, businesses must clean up content involving hate speech, incitement to racism, mobs, and child abuse images within 24 hours, though the new law further requires businesses to report to the federal criminal police agency in a timely manner.
(Screenshot via Cnet)
If the bill is passed, social media companies will be required to provide the police with information about the user accounts of illegal content publishers, including the last IP addresses used.
Justice Minister Christine Lambrecht said: “The internet lowers the bar for unethical people to make inflammatory and threatening statements, and we will address them by enacting new laws.”
For years, Germany has been at the forefront of maintaining cyber security and is keen to take firm steps to crack down on illegal online content.
Last October, two people were killed in a terrorist attack at a synagogue in eastern Germany during Yom Kippur.com.
On Wednesday, the federal cabinet of German prime ministers and ministers expressed their views on the proposal and is awaiting a parliamentary vote.