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Various national and international legal instruments punish hate speech. However, the specific nature of the Internet calls for the adoption of new strategies to combat hate speech promoting racism and violence, which is widely and swiftly disseminated on the web. As the Internet ignores territories and has no boundaries, states cannot control it effectively by unilateral national regulation; what is needed is increased international co-operation.
Efforts to harmonise national legislation - including the Additional Protocol to the Council of Europe Convention on Cybercrime - have come up against a series of difficulties. One of these is the fact that there is no universally accepted definition of the illegal nature of racist speech, which can be protected by the right to freedom of expression.
This book describes the situation in 10 Council of Europe member and observer, states and discusses the problems faced and solutions introduced by these countries, as well as by European and international organisations and civil society.