Feeds

EU on web-terror: Something must be done

I didn't get a 'harrumph' out of that guy ...

Security for virtualized datacentres

EU ambassadors have agreed on a draft statement regarding "cooperation to combat terrorist use of the internet". Justice and Interior ministers are expected to endorse the document in June.

The EU draft text (which can be downloaded here [pdf]), lays out conclusions regarding the so-called "Check the Web", initiative launched by Germany, which currently holds the EU Presidency.

The Eurocrats reckon internet terror is a big deal.

"Internet use plays a significant role for terrorist organisations," they write.

"Terrorists use the internet to radicalise, recruit, and train potential terrorists and to transfer information. So-called terror manuals provide instructions on how to produce weapons, how to carry out attacks, how to take hostages and how to build bombs, among other things. In the face of the global availability of the internet, this is especially worrying."

As Mel Brooks might ask*, can I get a harrumph, here?

Oh yes.

"Only resolute action against the use of the internet by terrorist structures can tackle this development. The EU has a role to play in this and has recognised the need to act," according to the drafters.

"Member States and Europol are already actively monitoring and evaluating terrorist websites."

However, "activities of the Member States have to be accompanied by action at EU level".

Not to worry. "The European Commission [has] announced its intention to explore possibilities of tackling of content used to radicalise individuals for terrorism on the internet in order to address the factors conducive to violent radicalisation."

Phew. And there's more:

"It is hardly possible for one individual member state to cover all suspicious terrorism related activities on the internet.

"Monitoring and evaluating the internet should therefore be intensified by sharing this task on a voluntary basis among the Member States, taking advantage of the special language and professional competence of the relevant authorities of the individual Member States."

Apart from fearmongering and harrumphs for the record, there will be one actual thing done. Europol will boost its info-sharing portal service, allowing the various jihad-web watchers of Europe to pool intelligence.

"The establishment of this information portal will facilitate a significantly increased quality of cooperation between the Member States in monitoring and evaluating Islamist terrorist websites," says Brussels. Non-Islamist terrorists can presumably press on, happy in the knowledge that they won't be "monitored and evaluated", or anyway not by Europol.

There will also be an EU handbook on web terror monitoring. And, "at present some Member States under German lead responsibility are sharing the task of analysing Al Qaida's media department 'As-Sahab'. If possible, the results of the project will be made available in the [Europol] information portal".

This is a bit like "analysing" 77 PR (the chosen mouthpiece of eBay) and claiming as a result that one has gained useful information about the secretive management of the online tat bazaar.

Still, those who feel that the whole terror-on-the-internet thingy may be just a tad overhyped may not be distressed by the EU's rather limited response to it. Even so, it might be nice if they'd felt able to say "web-terror bores us, we're going to focus on farm subsidies instead" ®

*In the classic film Blazing Saddles -

Governor LePetomane (Brooks): "I didn't get a 'harrumph' out of that guy!"

Lamarr: "Give the governor a 'harrumph!'"

Guy: "Harrumph!"

Governor (frowns): "You watch your ass."

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
JINGS! Microsoft Bing called Scots indyref RIGHT!
Redmond sporran metrics get one in the ten ring
Driving with an Apple Watch could land you with a £100 FINE
Bad news for tech-addicted fanbois behind the wheel
Murdoch to Europe: Inflict MORE PAIN on Google, please
'Platform for piracy' must be punished, or it'll kill us in FIVE YEARS
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Sony says year's losses will be FOUR TIMES DEEPER than thought
Losses of more than $2 BILLION loom over troubled Japanese corp
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Why Oracle CEO Larry Ellison had to go ... Except he hasn't
Silicon Valley's veteran seadog in piratical Putin impression
Big Content Australia just blew a big hole in its credibility
AHEDA's research on average content prices did not expose methodology, so appears less than rigourous
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.