Study: Filtering, blocking and take-down of illegal content on the internet

The Council of Europe commissioned to the Swiss Institute of Comparative Law a comparative study in respect of filtering, blocking and take-down of illegal content on the Internet in the 47 member States of the Organisation. This study describes and assesses the legal framework but also the relevant case-law and practice in the field. It is divided in two main parts: country reports and comparative considerations.

Country reports

The first part of the Study represents a compilation of country reports for each of the Council of Europe Member States written by independent experts familiar with the legislation of the country.

It presents a detailed analysis of the laws and practices in respect of filtering, blocking and takedown of illegal content on the internet in each Member State.

Each country report follows a similar structure:

1. Legal sources for measures of blocking, filtering and take-down of illegal internet content

2. Legal framework regulating:

2.1. Blocking and/or filtering of illegal internet content

2.2. Take-down/removal of illegal internet content

(Section 2 covers different fields like: data protection, fight against terrorism and hate-speech, copyright protection, etc.)

3. Procedural Aspects

4. General monitoring of Internet

5. Assessment as to the case law of the European Court of Human Rights

Comparative considerations

This part contains comparative considerations on the laws and practices in the member States of the Council of Europe in respect of filtering, blocking and takedown of illegal online content. It was drafted by the Swiss Institute of Comparative Law after analysing the country reports written by the independent experts. The purpose of this part is to identify and to attempt to explain possible convergences and divergences between the Member States’ approaches to the issues included in the scope of the study.

Read the study on the Council of Europe website

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