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Twitter files lawsuit over new German social media law

Twitter has filed a lawsuit over a new German law which obliges social media groups to block or delete criminal content quickly, and report particularly serious criminal offences to the police.

Twitter files lawsuit over new German social media law

The filing, in a Cologne court, challenges a new provision in expanded German anti-hate speech regulations which Twitter says allows user data to be passed to law enforcement before it is clear that any crime has been committed.

Facebook and Google filed similar lawsuits last summer.

Twitter said: "We are concerned that the law provides for a significant encroachment on citizens' fundamental rights. In particular, we are concerned that the obligation to proactively share user data with law enforcement forces private companies into the role of prosecutors by reporting users to law enforcement even when there is no illegal behaviour."

The anti-hate speech law which creates this obligation has been on the statute book since early 2018 and has been widely criticized as ineffective, but in May the German parliament passed legislation to toughen and broaden its application.

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