Home Office written question – answered on 22nd March 2018.

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Photo of Steve McCabe Steve McCabe Labour, Birmingham, Selly Oak

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to the Digital Charter, published by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport on 25 January 2018, what her Department's definition of terrorist material is; and whether the Government’s plans to strengthen the offences under section 58 of the Terrorism Act 2000 will include changing that definition.

Photo of Ben Wallace Ben Wallace Minister of State (Home Office) (Security)

The statutory definition of terrorism is provided at section 1 of the Terrorism Act 2000, and the Government has no plans to amend this. There is no single statutory definition of ‘terrorist material’ however there are a range of applicable offences. It is unlawful under section 1 of the Terrorism Act 2006 to publish a statement directly or indirectly encouraging another person to commit, prepare or instigate an act of terrorism.

Section 2 of the Terrorism Act 2006 covers dissemination of publications which are likely to be understood as such an encouragement, or to be useful to a person preparing or committing an act of terrorism. Section 58 of the Terrorism Act 2000 makes it unlawful to collect or possess information likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism. The Government intends to clarify that this applies to the repeated streaming or viewing such material online, and to increase the maximum penalty from 10 to 15 years, but does not plan to change the type of material covered by the offence.

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