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German spy chief says regulation may be needed for social platforms

BERLIN: Germany’s domestic intelligence agency on Monday suggested that regulations may be needed if the European Union cannot increase the accountability of social media platforms such as Facebook regarding illegal or dangerous content.

Hans-Georg Maassen told reporters that the European Union was working hard to increase transparency on social media platforms and to raise consciousness among those companies.

“The Commission is in negotiations, but if this consciousness doesn’t help, then we may have to adopt regulations,” Maassen said.

Andrew Parker, head of Britain’s MI5 spy agency, said there had already been a shift among the companies that operate such platforms, but more work was needed.

“We do not accept that the internet is some sort of ‘Wild West’ where no moral values can apply,” he told reporters.

On the internet, as in the real world, he said, people were entitled to protection from “the worst and darkest forms of human behaviour at the edges of human society. Those companies know that and want to do something about it”.

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