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Joint Press Release on Countering the Terrorist Threat on the Internet Following the G7 Interior Ministers' Meeting

October 20, 2017, Ischia, Italy

See also: Fight against Terrorism and Violent Extremism: Turning Commitments into Action

On 20 October 2017, the G7 Interior Ministers' meeting took place in Ischia, with the participation of the European Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship, and the European Commissioner for the Security Union, as well as the Secretary General of Interpol. Representatives of Google, Microsoft, Facebook and Twitter also joined the discussion for the session devoted to countering the terrorist threat on the Internet, which was a special focus area of the Ministerial meeting.

Terrorist organisations misuse the Internet to spread ideology, to recruit new fighters, to instigate attacks and to provide guidance on attack methods, and to raise funds to finance their actions. It is therefore urgent to work collaboratively across all involved actors, including governmental authorities, industry and civil society, to effectively counter the misuse of the Internet by terrorist organizations.

The G7 Ministerial meeting provided a new impetus to further developing the partnership with industry, building on the work of the EU Internet Forum since 2015, and reinforced by the autonomous initiatives undertaken by the Internet industry, such as the Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism.

The participants agreed that the Internet companies will continue to take a proactive role and ensure decisive action in making their platforms more hostile to terrorism, and will support actions aimed at empowering civil society partners in the development of alternative narratives online. In particular, the participants agreed that it is necessary to increase our joint efforts in four main operational areas, specifically (1) the use of automated technology for the rapid detection and removal of terrorist content and in the prevention of its further dissemination, (2 sharing of best practices and technology to enhance the resilience of smaller companies, (3) improving our knowledge base through research and development, and (4) empowering civil society partners to develop alternative narratives.

The shared goal remains to develop forms of cooperation against terrorism on the Internet, based on the principles of mutual responsibility and trust, of the respect for human rights and the rule of law, in defence of shared values of freedom, including the freedom of expression.

The participants agreed on the necessity to continue the dialogue and ensure a follow up also at expert level. In this regard, they agreed on the necessity of a major role of the Global Internet Forum in countering terrorism, as well as on the need to support smaller companies to build capabilities for tackling terrorist abuse of their platforms.

Finally, the G7 Ministerial meeting welcomed the creation of a Global Research Network by the Global Internet Forum with the representatives of the academic institutions and experts to jointly develop the analysis of the use of technologies by terrorists.

Source: Official Website of the Italian G7 Presidency

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