Vanderbilt Journal of Entertainment & Technology Law

First Page



In recent years, terrorist use of the Internet has been gaining in popularity, with more than several thousand radical or extremist websites in existence today. Because the Internet transcends physical and geographic boundaries, combating terrorist incitement on the Internet requires cross-border global cooperation. Although the international community has taken steps to combat the problem with United Nations Security Council Resolutions 1373 and 1624, the state parties to these resolutions have been unable to close the significant holes in the current international legal framework, and there is little evidence that terrorist use of the Internet for purposes of incitement is being prosecuted successfully. Certain states are limited by their own domestic legal framework, including the United States, which is significantly limited in its ability to combat incitement because of the constitutional restraints imposed by the First Amendment. Despite more aggressive legislation and the absence of any constitutional limitations, the United Kingdom has been similarly unsuccessful in combating and prosecuting incitement to commit terrorist acts. This Note compares the measures taken by the United States and the United Kingdom in combating terrorist use of the Internet for purposes of incitement, explains why such measures have been limited in effect, and extends lessons learned from these case studies to the international framework.