In the face of a growing online presence of the Islamic State (IS), the EU and the world’s largest tech companies are to meet to discuss how to counteract this growth.
Along with representatives of 28 member states of the EU, Microsoft, Google, Twitter and Facebook will all be attending a dinner meeting, as the companies have seen the growth of Isis as a terrorist organisation not just in Syria and Iraq, but also in its presence on their websites and services.
The ‘private dinner’ taking place in Luxembourg has put a particular focus on what they describe as “the challenges posed by terrorists’ use of the internet and possible responses: tools and techniques to respond to terrorist online activities, with particular regard to the development of specific counter-narrative initiatives”.
While the press has strictly not been invited to the meeting, the omission of ask.fm has raised eyebrows among the online community, given Isis’ well-known presence on the social network.
Aside from spreading propaganda for Isis’ desire to re-instate the Islamic Caliphate, the group is well aware of the power of the internet and is using sites, including ask.fm, Facebook and Twitter, to attempt to recruit Muslims from the western world to come to join the group.
Also reportedly on the table at the private dinner is “internet-related security challenges in the context of wider relations with major companies from the internet industry, taking account due process requirements and fundamental rights” and “ways of building trust and more transparency” with the major tech companies and their rights to store users’ data.
Isis flag image via Shutterstock