Accessing, viewing or clicking on online terrorist content now it’s a crime

United Kingdom authorities have determined that the visualization or transmission of this kind of content is illegal

Legislation recently adopted in the United Kingdom states that accessing to online terrorist material will be considered a crime, involving a sentence of up to 15 years in prison, report network security and ethical hacking specialists from the International Institute of Cyber Security.

The Counter-Terrorism and Border Security Bill received approval from the English crown recently. This project is an updated version of a previously existing law that gives new powers to the authorities to combat terrorist activities.

The bill unleashed controversy over the inclusion of a section that classifies as a crime “access to potentially useful information for a person or group to commit or plan a terrorist act”, which now extends to the visualization or transmission of online content.

This new British law has already been criticized by human rights groups and even some remarkable voices on the issue of combating terrorism, report specialists in network security.

In the original proposal it was established that the crime consisted in accessing this kind of material three or more times, although this was dismissed from the final project, so now it will suffice for a person to access this material once to incur the crime.

The bill has also increased the maximum penalty for punishing the planning of terrorist activities (including collection of material), securing in 15 years imprisonment.

 According to network security specialists, practically anyone who interacts with this online material could be pursued by the British authorities, mention security specialists. Of course, this decision raised concern because of the potential abuse that authorities can make of these faculties.

Independent reviewers to the British government believe that the only thing that this law could generate are mass arrests, and they also believe that the work of researchers, academics and journalists will be affected by this legislation.

On the other hand, groups of specialists consider that the new law does not help to establish a boundary between the act of planning a crime and the fact of carrying it out. “Differentiating the intention of doing something and the materialization of the Act is fundamental to the application of the law; this project does not contribute to differentiate these notions”.

The British government has mentioned that the law contemplates reasonable doubt in cases where the implicated ignores or has no reason to believe that the material accessed on the Internet is regarded as terrorist propaganda.