Feeds

Secret European project to battle online jihad

'Significant' international bid to block extremism

High performance access to file storage

The UK is collaborating with the German, Dutch and Czech governments on a secret research project on how to effectively block the distribution of Islamic extremist material online.

Officials across Europe are concerned that most jihadi websites are hosted outside the EU and so cannot be taken down from the internet. It's thought governments will explore technical measures such as filtering technolgies, as well as international cooperation on take-down notices issued to ISPs.

The European Commission has agreed to fund a project, entitled "Exploring the Islamist Extremist Web of Europe - Analysis and Preventive Approaches", which is led by the German interior ministry.

The research was alluded to in the Home Office's recently published counter-terror strategy, CONTEST 2, as "a significant EU project with Commission support". The European Commission refused to say how much funding it had awarded. "The details of the awarded grant are still subject to an agreement in writing which implies further scrutiny of the budget estimate submitted by Germany and its project partners," a spokeswoman said.

According to the Home Office, UK hosting providers have been cooperative in voluntarily removing extremist material. In CONTEST 2 however, officials appeared frustrated that the powers to enforce take-down, granted by Section 3 of the Terrorism Act 2006, were useless overseas. "The greater problem is that most of the material of concern is hosted on web servers overseas," they wrote. "Section 3 notices can be issued to ISPs outside the UK but cannot be enforced."

A Home Office spokeswoman declined to provide specific information on the EU research project. "Most of the many violent extremist websites are not hosted in this country," she said. "They are hosted overseas. Taking action against them depends on multilateral cooperation. We are working with the EU, UN and Europol to develop effective international collaboration."

A spokesman for the German interior ministry told The Register the aim of its research was to "enhance the effectiveness of our work, which is fundamentally important in terms of the internet which knows no national boundaries". He said researchers would be "analysing terrorist and violent extremist use of the internet and identifying preventative solutions".

The German spokesman also declined to provide specific details of the project. "Please understand that at this stage of the project we cannot provide you with any further information," he said.

"Following a series of ongoing meetings between the project partners, findings will be shared with all Member States as a basis for further discussion."

In February we reported how UK ISPs had not had significant contact from the Home Office on extremist material since Jacqui Smith said she wanted "to cut off the supply of those who want to look to violent extremism [online]".

In March, a UK study of internet radicalisation concluded efforts to restrict users' access to extremist material would be "crude, costly and counter-productive". ®

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

More from The Register

next story
Putin tells Snowden: Russia conducts no US-style mass surveillance
Gov't is too broke for that, Russian prez says
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
Record labels sue Pandora over vintage song royalties
Companies want payout on recordings made before 1972
Lavabit loses contempt of court appeal over protecting Snowden, customers
Judges rule complaints about government power are too little, too late
Judge halts spread of zombie Nortel patents to Texas in Google trial
Epic Rockstar patent war to be waged in California
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Don't let no-hire pact suit witnesses call Steve Jobs a bullyboy, plead Apple and Google
'Irrelevant' character evidence should be excluded – lawyers
Edward Snowden on his Putin TV appearance: 'Why all the criticism?'
Denies Q&A cameo was meant to slam US, big-up Russia
EFF: Feds plan to put 52 MILLION FACES into recognition database
System would identify faces as part of biometrics collection
Ex-Tony Blair adviser is new top boss at UK spy-hive GCHQ
Robert Hannigan to replace Sir Iain Lobban in the autumn
prev story

Whitepapers

SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
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.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.