Bulletin board systems
Draft Act amending the Act (1998:112) on bulletin board systems
The Act (1998:112) on the responsibility for bulletin board systems (the BBS Act) came into force on 1 May 1998. Under § 5 of the BBS Act, the provider of a bulletin board system is obliged to remove messages whose contents are obviously intended, amongst other things, as unlawful threats, unlawful breaches of privacy, incitement, incitement against ethnic groups, child pornography offences and unlawful depictions of violence as referred to in the provisions of the Swedish Penal Code or the provisions on public incitement in § 3 of the Act (2010:299) on penalties for public incitement, recruitment and training with respect to terrorist offences and other particularly serious offences (the Recruitment Act).
The term bulletin board system includes all services where someone creates an opportunity for users to submit their own messages and receive those of others. Messages mean text, images, sound or other information.
In order to fulfil its obligation to remove or prevent the further spread of certain messages, the provider of a bulletin board system is to have such oversight of the service as may reasonably be required in view of the scope and orientation of the business. Anyone who intentionally or through gross negligence violates the obligation to remove or prevent further spread of a message is to be sentenced to a fine or imprisonment for a maximum of six months, or if the offence is serious, to imprisonment for a maximum of two years. They will not be judged liable in minor cases.
The provisions on unlawful threats and unlawful breaches of privacy were added to the list of offences in § 5 of the BBS Act on 1 January 2018. The provision on public incitement was introduced on 1 September 2018. Otherwise, the list of offences has been the same since the introduction of the BBS Act.
In their report, A new terrorist crime act (SOU 2019: 49), the Terrorist Crime Investigation submitted a proposal for a new terrorist crime act to replace the Recruitment Act, amongst others.
The proposed amendment means that § 5 of the BBS Act is repealed and a new section is introduced with essentially the same content. The reference to the crime of public incitement in the Recruitment Act is replaced by a reference to the crime of public incitement to terrorism in accordance with a newly proposed terrorist crime act (proposed § 5, first paragraph, point g).
The new section also contains references to unlawful threats and unlawful breaches of privacy (proposed § 5, first paragraph, points a and b). The notification also includes these references, which were introduced into the current § 5 of the BBS Act on 1 January 2018.
The legal reference in the second paragraph of § 7 of the BBS Act is amended to refer to the newly proposed terrorist crime act.