Britain To Demand Tech Firms Do More To Tackle Extremism
LONDON (Reuters) – Britain will tell Google, Facebook, Twitter, and Microsoft on Thursday to do more to stop extremists posting content on their platforms and using encrypted messaging services to plan attacks.
Home Secretary Amber Rudd said on Sunday tech companies should stop offering a “secret place for terrorists to communicate”, after British parliament attacker Khalid Masood was widely reported to have sent encrypted messages moments before he killed four people last week.
Rudd has summoned the internet companies to a meeting to urge them to do more to block extremist content from platforms like Facebook and Google’s YouTube, but a government spokesman said encryption was also on the agenda.
“The message is the government thinks there is more they can do in relation to taking down extremist and hate material and that is what they are going to be talking about this afternoon,” the prime minister’s spokesman said on Thursday.
“I’d expect encryption to come up but when these talks were agreed it was in relation to extremist material.”
Some smaller tech firms will be at the meeting, another spokesman said, but the list does not include Apple.
Facebook and Google declined to comment ahead of the meeting. Microsoft and Twitter did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
The U.S. internet giants have all raced over the past year to show they are doing more to remove extremist material from their sites, but argue that there is no technical silver bullet that can fix the issue.