PM: sites must re­move ter­ror­ist videos within two hours

Computer Active (UK) - - News -

Theresa May has told tech giants that they should find a way to re­move on­line ter­ror­ist con­tent within two hours, or face fines from the Gov­ern­ment.

At a meet­ing in New York with Facebook, Google, Mi­crosoft and Twit­ter, the Prime Min­is­ter said that she wants to see progress within a month. She urged them to do more to block ex­trem­ist con­tent so it never ap­pears on­line, and to quickly take down any that gets through.

Be­fore the meet­ing, in a speech at the United Na­tions, Mrs May had urged web­sites to go “fur­ther and faster” in build­ing ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence that can de­tect and re­move ter­ror­ist ma­te­rial.

The PM’S of­fi­cial spokesman said the Gov­ern­ment wants web­sites to act vol­un­tar­ily, but is pre­pared to take le­gal ac­tion, and is­sue fi­nan­cial penal­ties.

Mrs May’s call for more ac­tion, backed by French pres­i­dent Em­manuel Macron, comes amid grow­ing con­cern that ter­ror­ist groups like Is­lamic State find it too easy to post re­cruit­ment videos and hate­ful pro­pa­ganda.

Gov­ern­ment fig­ures show that Is­lamic State posted 27,000 links to ex­trem­ist con­tent in the first five months of 2017. These aim to rad­i­calise young peo­ple and give them in­struc­tions on how to launch ter­ror at­tacks.

Se­cu­rity ser­vices say that Is­lamic State is be­com­ing bet­ter at spread­ing con­tent quickly, which is why it’s cru­cial that it’s re­moved within two hours. This tar­get will even­tu­ally be re­duced to one hour, the Gov­ern­ment said.

On av­er­age ter­ror­ist ma­te­rial stays on­line for 36 hours, but some bomb­mak­ing in­struc­tions have re­mained avail­able for years, in­clud­ing ad­vice on build­ing a ‘bucket bomb’ like the one used in last month’s at­tack at Par­sons Green Un­der­ground sta­tion in west Lon­don.

Google said it would need help from “trusted gov­ern­ment sources” and users to iden­tify and re­move “prob­lem­atic con­tent”. Kent Walker, the com­pany’s le­gal chief, told Ra­dio 4’s To­day pro­gramme that “the chal­lenge is once it’s re­moved, many peo­ple re-post it or there are copies of it across the web”.

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