Brussels (AFP)

French Prime Minister Jean Castex stressed on Friday in Brussels the urgency of a "much stronger regulation" of social networks, after the beheading of teacher Samuel Paty.

The head of government met the European Commissioner for the Internal Market and Digital, Thierry Breton, who is due to present on December 2 legislation on digital services ("Digital Services Act), intended to better regulate the giants of tech, data management, disinformation and hate speech in particular.

"I pointed out to him the importance for France to progress very quickly on a much stronger regulation of these networks," declared the head of government alongside the former Minister of the Economy.

"It is impossible and inconceivable that they can allow incitement to terrorism, hatred and any vector that can directly or indirectly promote the commission of acts like those of which, unfortunately, France has been a victim in recent days ", added Mr. Castex, in a brief statement after the meeting.

Thierry Breton indicated that the "legitimate concerns" and "ambitions" of Paris on this issue "join those of the European Commission".

"We will be able to take this into account" in the Digital Services Act, he assured.

Social networks have once again found themselves in the hot seat after the assassination of history and geography professor Samuel Paty, but the room for maneuver for any reform is limited by the right to freedom of expression.

Jean Castex announced on Tuesday that he wanted to create a new offense of "endangering the publication of personal data" on the internet.

In Brussels, the Prime Minister also met the President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen, to whom he explained the content of the French recovery plan, "in particular all the actions and credits that will be devoted to ecological transition and digital development, subjects on which the committee provides us with very significant support ".

"I insisted that the pre-financing and disbursements from Europe, I remind you that the stake is 40 billion euros, can intervene as soon as possible", he added.

© 2020 AFP