Germany to tighten screws on online hate speech

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Berlin (AFP) – With the danger growing from far-right extremists and torrents of threats against politicians, Germany plans to toughen online speech laws and tighten the screws on social networks.

Ministers in Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government approved a new package of measures on Wednesday, days after 12 men were arrested for planning deadly attacks on mosques, communicating in part via chat groups.

The draft law now passes to parliament for MPs to deliberate.

“In future, those who make threats or spread hate online will be prosecuted in a tougher and more effective way,” Justice Minister Christine Lambrecht said on her ministry’s website.

One headline measure in the bill will step up the pressure on social networking firms such as Facebook and…

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