Amber Rudd in Silicon Valley to talk about online extremism

Crack down on terrorism

Home Secretary Amber Rudd is visiting Silicon Valley to meet with global tech giants to urge them to do more to tackle violent and extremist content online.

Rudd is reportedly due to meet with representatives from YouTube and Google parent company Alphabet, who have along with Twitter and Facebook have faced criticism in recent years in the wake of an increase of terrorist content and activity on the platforms.

She will also attend the inaugural Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism in San Francisco today. Formed last month by Facebook, Microsoft, Twitter, and YouTube the forum ‘formalizes and structures how our companies work together to curtail the spread of terrorism and violent extremism on our hosted consumer services’, YouTube said.

The Home Secretary told Sky News she will urge tech companies to “work with us” to remove extremist content from the internet.

“Of course it is just one thing to talk about it, but what we want to see is real action,” she said.

“And this forum is going to be a platform for delivering just that.

“The tech companies are aligned on this, with us, in wanting to make sure their platforms are not used for terrorist activity.”

“In the wake of the attacks in London and Manchester earlier this year, prime minister Theresa May accused technology companies of not doing enough and called for stricter regulation that would ‘deprive the extremists of their safe spaces online.

“We cannot allow this ideology the safe space it needs to breed – yet that is precisely what the internet, and the big companies that provide internet-based services provide,” she said in the wake of the attacks.

The Government have made repeated calls to companies such as Facebook, who owns messaging app WhatsApp, to drop end-to-end encryption as some terrorists use this as a method of communication. But it has been met with resistance from experts who warn so-called backdoor access puts users security at risk and vulnerable to hackers

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