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UK plans 15-year jail terms for viewing terror content online

[MANCHESTER, England] Extremists who repeatedly watch terrorist content online will face as long as 15 years in prison, UK Home Secretary Amber Rudd will say on Tuesday, announcing an update of counter-terrorism laws.

The move will expand the existing offense of possessing information likely to be useful to a terrorist so it does not only apply to downloaded or stored information, Ms Rudd's office said.

UK analysis found that, in the past year, Islamic State supporters have promoted almost 67,000 propaganda tweets in English. There have been five terrorist attacks in Britain over the past 12 months.

The maximum penalty will also apply to terrorists' use of online platforms to publicise information about members of the armed forces, police and intelligence services to help would-be attackers.

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Academics, journalists and other professionals will have a "reasonable excuse" defence for legitimate work.

''I want to make sure those who view despicable terrorist content online, including jihadi websites, far-right propaganda and bomb-making instructions, face the full force of the law'' Ms Rudd will tell her Conservative Party's annual conference in Manchester, north-west England.

"There is currently a gap in the law around material which is viewed or streamed from the internet without being permanently downloaded.''

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