The UK government has lost its Internet terror Bill by one vote. The proposed bill would have given Police the power to shut down websites which promote terrorism – or, more accurately, websites that the Police have decided promotes terrorism.
Lords voted 148 to 147 in favour of attaching an amendment to the controversial Terrorism Bill insisting that a police officer obtains judicial approval before serving notice on the offending internet service provider.
Conservative and Liberal Democrats made the case that the bill posed a risk to freedom of speech on the Internet. Many figures, such as Lord Goodhart, the Liberal Democrat spokesman, agree that there needs to be provision to take down Internet content that is truly terrorist related, but disagree that Police should have the authority to decide what should and should not be taken down.
Last month the Lords threw out plans for a new offence of "glorifying" acts of terrorism. The Government has said it will try to overturn this defeat. The Government was also defeated when peers voted to redraft ministers’ version of the offence of "intentionally" or "recklessly" disseminating a terrorist publication.