Coimisiún na Meán (the Media Commission), is currently in the process of being established in accordance with the Online Safety and Media Regulation Act (OSMR). Further information on its establishment and the appointment of the first four commissioners to Coimisiún na Meán can be read here.

In addition to its role as the supervisory authority under the OSMR and as Ireland’s Digital Services Coordinator under the Digital Services Act (DSA), the Irish Government also plans to designate Coimisiún na Meán as the competent authority under the Terrorism Content Online Regulation (the TCO).

What is the TCO?

The TCO is EU legislation aimed at preventing the misuse of hosting services for the public dissemination of terrorist content online. It requires that hosting services, and relevant competent authorities, move quickly to identify and remove terrorist content online, as well as facilitating cooperation between other member state authorities and Europol.

Under the TCO, “terrorist content” can be broadly defined as content which:

  • incites the commission of a terrorist offence through the advocation or glorification thereof;
  • involves the solicitation of a person or group of persons to commit or contribute to the commission of a terrorist offence;
  • involves the solicitation of a person or group of persons to participate in the activities of a terrorist group;
  • provides instruction on the making or use of explosives, firearms or other weapons or noxious or hazardous substances for the purpose or committing or contributing to the commission of a terrorist offence; and
  • constitutes a threat to commit a terrorist offence.

Role of Coimisiún na Meán

The TCO requires that member states adopt necessary national legislation to ensure that penalties for infringement under it are implemented. 

Due to the overlap of investigation and enforcement powers contained in the OSMR and envisaged in the TCO regulation, the Irish government has agreed that “it makes sense” that Coimisiún na Meán takes on the responsibilities under the TCO relating to the oversight and sanctioning of hosting service providers. It has been announced that the Irish government intends to introduce amending legislation to the OSMR to allow for Coimisiún na Meán’s powers to be used for the enforcement of the TCO. However, there is no indication as of yet on when this amending legislation will be put forward before the Oireachtas.

For more information on this topic, please contact Andrea Lawler, Partner, Commercial & Technology, Caitríona Lavelle, Solicitor, Commercial & Technology or any member of A&L Goodbody’s Commercial & Technology team.