Feeds

EU on web-terror: Something must be done

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

High performance access to file storage

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."

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Android engineer: We DIDN'T copy Apple OR follow Samsung's orders
Veep testifies for Samsung during Apple patent trial
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Did a date calculation bug just cost hard-up Co-op Bank £110m?
And just when Brit banking org needs £400m to stay afloat
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Don't let no-hire pact suit witnesses call Steve Jobs a bullyboy, plead Apple and Google
'Irrelevant' character evidence should be excluded – lawyers
EFF: Feds plan to put 52 MILLION FACES into recognition database
System would identify faces as part of biometrics collection
Big Content goes after Kim Dotcom
Six studios sling sueballs at dead download destination
Ex-Tony Blair adviser is new top boss at UK spy-hive GCHQ
Robert Hannigan to replace Sir Iain Lobban in the autumn
Alphadex fires back at British Gas with overcharging allegation
Brit colo outfit says it paid for 347KVA, has been charged for 1940KVA
Jack the RIPA: Blighty cops ignore law, retain innocents' comms data
Prime minister: Nothing to see here, go about your business
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
HP ArcSight ESM solution helps Finansbank
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.