New Terror Legislation 'dangers Criminalising Curiosity'

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Viewing terrorist content material on-line greater than thrice will change into a terrorist offence beneath the brand new Counter-Terrorism and Border Safety Invoice.

That is designed to deal with a loophole within the legislation which noticed folks stream terrorist materials on web sites similar to YouTube with out storing it on their very own units.

Nonetheless the brand new legislation might criminalise lecturers and journalists “in addition to these with inquisitive and even silly minds”, a parliamentary committee has warned.

In a brand new report, the Joint Choose Committee on Human Rights notes that whereas a defence of individuals having a “affordable excuse” to view such materials continues to be accessible, the definition of that is “not sufficiently clear”.

“It is very important notice that this offence requires no lively expression, invitation or encouragement in any respect; it merely entails a web site,” experiences the committee.

“It might be a special web site on every event and the viewings might happen over an prolonged time frame as there isn’t any time restrict included within the clause. We take into account criminalisation of passive exercise a harmful route of journey.”

The report cites further warnings by the impartial reviewer of terrorism laws that the federal government should not criminalise “thought with out motion”.

The federal government has dismissed the committee’s report and criticism.

Safety minister Ben Wallace mentioned: “This authorities doesn’t agree with the committee’s conclusions in respect to human rights considerations. Its conclusions are misplaced and fallacious.”

“After the spate of terrorist assaults of final 12 months and the lethal nerve agent assault this 12 months, our intelligence companies and police made the case for an replace of present laws and a few new powers to sort out the actual and important menace this nation faces from terrorism and hostile states,” Mr Wallace added.

“We fastidiously thought-about the request and agreed to behave in order to maintain the general public secure. The committee could not be extra out of contact with the very actual menace to life all of us now face.”

There are important difficulties for the authorities in classifying whether or not materials from battle zones could be thought-about terrorist materials or not, and it’s not clear whether or not these focused beneath this legislation would wish to pay attention to this classification.

YouTube was criticised final 12 months for deleting video proof regarding potential battle crimes in Syria as a part of its work to take away terrorist content material and propaganda from the platform.

Hundreds of movies had been uploaded to YouTube since 2011 giving “uncommon perception and uncommon documentation to what’s unfolding in Syria”, mentioned Elliot Higgins, who based the investigative community Bellingcat.

He has used movies uploaded during the last six years “to show the usage of cluster bombs, incendiary bombs, barrel bombs, (in addition to) the focusing on of hospitals and different civilian buildings” within the Syrian battle.

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