New EU drive to remove extremist web content

Publishedduration15 hours agoimage copyrightGetty Imagesimage captionMonitoring jihadist websites is a huge task for police

EU ministers say the bloc needs to adopt a law this year obliging internet firms to remove extremist propaganda within an hour of it being reported.

The EU has been discussing such a regulation for more than a year, but the recent terror attacks in France and Austria have given it new urgency.

Interior ministers said the text must be agreed soon with the EU Commission and European Parliament.

They also urged more EU data-sharing and more systematic border checks.

Both German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer and EU Home Affairs Commissioner Ylva Johansson called for an agreement by Christmas on the new "regulation on terrorist content online (TCO)".

The ministers' joint statement called for a "rapid and effective instrument to counter terrorist content online within an hour or less of its being reported".

The Austrian authorities have found intelligence lapses which allowed the Vienna gunman, identified as a dual Austrian-Macedonian national, to slip under the police radar – yet he had served a jail term for seeking to join jihadists in Syria.