On 6th June, the Home Office published a series of factsheets which contain details on the changes which are outlined in the Counter-Terrorism and Border Security Bill 2018. They explain why they are needed and what impact they will have. The Bill aims to reduce the threat posed by terrorism and hostile state activity. It will –
- Amend the offence of collecting information likely to be useful to a terrorist (section 58 of the Terrorism Act 2000) to cover the repeated viewing or streaming of material online.
- Extend the offence of inviting support for a proscribed organisation (section 12 of the 2000 Act) to cover expressions of support that are reckless as to whether they will encourage others to support the organisation.
- Update the offence of publishing an image displaying a flag, emblem or other such symbol of a proscribed organisation (section 13 of the 2000 Act) so that the criminal law expressly covers displays online.
- Amend the offences of encouragement of terrorism (section 1 of the Terrorism Act 2006) and dissemination of terrorist publications (section 2 of the 2006 Act) so that they apply in cases where the conduct is directed at a child or vulnerable adult who may not understand what they are being encouraged to do.
- Extend extra-territorial jurisdiction so that it applies to further terrorism offences. This will ensure that individuals linked to the UK can be prosecuted for having encouraged or carried out acts of terror overseas in the same way as if they had committed these offences in the UK.
- Increase the maximum sentences to 15 years for certain preparatory terrorism offences, namely: collecting terrorist information (section 58 of the 2000 Act); eliciting, communicating or publishing information that is likely to be useful to a terrorist about a member of the armed forces, police or intelligence services (section 58A of the 2000 Act); encouragement of terrorism (section 1 of the Terrorism Act 2006); and dissemination of terrorist publications (section 2 of the 2006 Act).