G7 Gov'ts, internet companies in "grand alliance" against terrorism

Source: Xinhua| 2017-10-21 00:22:29|Editor: Mu Xuequan
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ROME, Oct. 20 (Xinhua) -- The Group of Seven (G7) industrialized nations, the European Union (EU), and four internet giants have entered into a "grand alliance" to combat terrorism, Italian Interior Minister Marco Minniti announced Friday.

Representatives from Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and Twitter met with G7 interior ministers and EU commissioners at a two-day summit on Italy's Ischia island. They were there to discuss how to crack down on terrorist propaganda on the internet, where jihadi groups disseminate their ideology, raise funds, recruit and incite followers to commit atrocities, and provide instructions on how to carry out attacks.

"Today, a grand alliance between governments and large-scale (internet service) providers has taken its first steps," Italian news agency ANSA quoted Minniti as saying at the close of the summit.

"We can win this battle against the malware of terror and hatred," Minniti said.

Internet companies will "guarantee decisive action to make their platforms more hostile to terrorism," including "swift identification and removal of terrorist content", according to a final statement published by Italy's interior ministry, which chaired the G7 Ischia summit.

In June this year, Facebook, Microsoft, Twitter and YouTube announced the formation of a global internet forum to counter terrorism "to help make our hosted consumer services hostile to terrorists and violent extremists."

"The spread of terrorism and violent extremism is a pressing global problem and a critical challenge for us all," the four companies said in an online statement dated June 26.

"Each of our companies have developed policies and removal practices that enable us to take a hard line against terrorist or violent extremist content on our hosted consumer services."

Also on Friday, British Home Secretary Amber Rudd, one of the G7 participants, said Britain intended to make online viewing of extremist content punishable by up to 15 years in prison, according to ANSA.