On 8th April, Homeland Security Today reported that terrorists and extremists are increasingly moving their activities online – and areas of the web have become a safe haven for Islamic State to plot its next attacks, according to a report published in the US by the Henry Jackson Society which is said to show how those planning to commit terrorist atrocities are using extremist networks on the ‘Darknet’ to indoctrinate sympathisers, create a reservoir of propaganda, evade detection and fundraise. It calls for urgent action by government and the policing and security services to step up intelligence gathering and action to counter online extremist activity. The report recommends:
- That tech companies should create a self-regulatory system to remove and audit extremist content – and release public annual reports outlining their efforts, including stats on content flagged by users, the outcome of companies’ investigations and areas for improvement.
- That there should be a new internet regulatory body appointed by government, with the role of scrutinising tech companies’ efforts to remove extremist content – with the potential for fines if companies consistently fail to take down offending material.
- More resources for the Joint Terrorism Action Centre to build up intelligence on the Darknet.
- Social media companies should work with law enforcement to ensure that extremist material is not lost when it is deleted but is archived – to ensure that we understand extremists’ patterns of behaviour online and retain evidence.
The report itself is at –