Saturday, 23 June, 2018

United Kingdom could make extremist content blocker compulsory

Media playback is unsupported on your device                  Media captionWATCH The BBC's Chris Foxx learns about the tool Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionWATCH The BBC's Chris Foxx learns about the tool
Orlando Vargas | 15 February, 2018, 07:14

According to them, numerous major tech companies have developed technology specific to their own platforms and have publicly reported on the difference this is making in their fight against terrorist content.

Developed in partnership with artificial intelligence developers ASI Data Science, the UK Home Office says the new software has had thousands of hours of Islamic State online content run through it, to "train" it to detect extremist propaganda.

But Home secretary Amber Rudd said that she would not rule out forcing tech companies to use the technology by law in an interview with the BBC.

The British Home Office unveiled a new technology Tuesday that it said can detect extremist content on any online platform with a high degree of accuracy.

Anything the software identifies as potential IS material would be flagged up for a human decision to be taken.

Media playback is unsupported on your device                  Media captionWATCH Home Secretary Amber Rudd on new terror tool
Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionWATCH Home Secretary Amber Rudd on new terror tool

The tool was made as a way to demonstrate that the government's demand for a clampdown on extremist activity was not unreasonable, Rudd said.

"This government has been taking the lead worldwide in making sure that vile terrorist content is stamped out," she said.

Mrs May has also frequently cajoled internet companies such as Facebook and Twitter to do more to prevent safe spaces online that allow extremism to proliferate. There are tools out there that can do exactly what we're asking for. It says that the system uses advanced machine learning to analyze the sound and visual components of videos for "subtle signals". "This has to be in conjunction, though, of larger companies working with smaller companies". While tech giants have been developing their own technology to tackle the problem, smaller platforms are increasingly targeted by ISIL and often do not have the same level of resources to develop technology. In September 2017, European political leaders said heavy fines would be in order for companies that didn't remove extremist content fast enough.

The Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism, launched a year ago, brings together several governments including the USA and United Kingdom, and major internet firms like Facebook, Google, Twitter and others.

However, the bigger challenge is predicting which parts of the internet that jihadis will use next.

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