Building capacity with startup technology companies and connecting industry, government, and civil society

This is a project implemented by ICT4Peace Foundation for the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Executive Directorate (UN CTED) pursuant to the United Nations Security Council resolution 2354 (2017) and the Counter-Terrorism Committee

Objectives of the project

In 2016 we held multi-stakeholder conferences in Zurich, Silicon Valley and Kuala Lumpur to deepen our understanding of how terrorists exploit the internet and technology services. This next phase of the project, Tech Against Terrorism, works with startups to provide operational support and build online tools to underpin long-term capacity growth.

This work feeds into our development of an online knowledge-sharing platform that will form a resource freely accessible to all organisations seeking help and guidance. All our work advocates the strengths of an industry-led, self-regulatory approach to tackling terrorist use of technology, and is informed by the emerging normative framework spearheaded by major technology companies. At the core of it all is a focus on respecting human rights and freedom of speech.

Phases of the TechAgainstTerrorism project

Inform the debate and understand requirements

Promote the project
Engage with startups
Organise fact-finding workshops
Create guides & primers for startups
Risks / challenges

Provide operational advice and know-how

Case studies and networking
Launch Data Science Network
Provide operational support
Advise with Terms of Service

Build online tools to help in the long term

Develop risk assessment tools
Create Terms of Service generator
Launch Pledge and Trustmark
Promote standardised reporting

Latest news

ICT4Peace’s Adam Hadley and Daniel Stauffacher were recently invited to support the first Asia Dialogue on Information and Communication

On 23-24 May 2017 David Cliff and Daniel Stauffacher of ICT4Peace were invited to participate in the 2017 OSCE-wide Counter-Terrorism

On 22 May 2017 Tech Against Terrorism participated in the VOX-Pol workshop on “Comparative approaches to understanding

Why TechAgainstTerrorism?

In many states, terrorists' use of internet technologies is currently a headline issue. In the wake of the recent terrorist attacks, political pressure is building for technology firms to explain more about what steps they are taking to combat terrorism and extremism on their platforms and for concrete results to emerge industry-led initiatives. To this end, TechAgainstTerrorism is directly mandated by the UN Security Council to engage with startups to help build operational capacity and inform the debate.

Together with the leading tech companies, our focus in 2017 is on building practical tools to help startups develop their responses whilst reinforcing the importance of human rights and protecting fundamental freedoms.

Online tools play an ever larger role in society

Social media and other content-sharing platforms are used by billions of people around the globe every day – the overwhelming majority of which is of harmless content. However, as the scale of the internet and web services continues to grow exponentially, so will the challenges faced by technology companies in tackling the use of their platforms by terrorists.

Hours of video uploaded to YouTube every minute
Monthly active users on Instagram (millions)
Average daily tweets posted on Twitter (millions)

Our work to support startups

How to respond to the exploitation of the internet by terrorists and violent extremists? While the larger technology companies such as Facebook, Twitter, Google, and Microsoft have developed an "emerging normative framework" based on a self-regulation, smaller technology companies often do not have the capacity to effectively anticipate, mitigate, and disrupt the exploitation of their services. Even the smallest app is vulnerable and with this comes significant reputational and operational risk for small business, often at critical moments of their growth.

Kick off

Promote the project
Engage with startups

Needs assessment

Desk research & analysis
Organise fact-finding
1-on-1 meetings

Primer + recommendations

Create guides & primers for startups
Risks / challenges
Operational and practical

In the last 10 minutes…

Photos shared on Facebook
Tweets made on Twitter
Seconds of video uploaded to YouTube
Instagram posts liked
Snapchat videos watched
Messages delivered by Telegram


In 2017 we are organising a series of global workshops and conferences. Through our workshops with Startups we will be carrying "needs assessments" to understand more about practical tools we can help build to support in the fight against terrorists using technology to further their aims.

Alongside the industry-led Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism we will also be arranging a series of workshops in which the leading technology companies will share emerging best practice to help startups improve their policies, systems, and processes.


  • Tech Against Terrorism logo

    Tech Against Terrorism launch

    (29 – 31 March) RightsCon, Brussels


  • Tech Against Terrorism logo

    EU Internet Forum workshop on online terrorist propaganda

    Dublin, Ireland (11 May)
  • VOX-Pol logo

    VOX-Pol extremism workshop

    (22 May) UCL, London, UK
  • OSCE logo

    OSCE Counter-Terrorism Conference 2017

    Vienna, Austria (23 – 24 May)
  • CODEXTER logo

    Committee of Experts on Terrorism (CODEXTER) 32nd Plenary Meeting

    (23 – 24 May) Strasbourg, France
  • UN CTED logo

    UN CTED Asia Dialogue

    Jeju, Republic of Korea (29 – 30 May)


  • Berkman Centre logo

    Berkman Center conference

    (Date TBC) Harvard University, USA
  • Europas logo

    Europas Tech Startups Awards

    London, UK (13 June)
  • Tech Against Terrorism logo

    Central Asia internet governance workshop

    (22 – 23 June) Dushanbe, Tajikistan
  • Swansea University logo

    Terrorism and Social Media Conference

    Swansea University, UK (27 – 28 June)
  • Tech Against Terrorism logo

    Industry Forum event

    (Date TBC) Silicon Valley, USA


  • Tech Against Terrorism logo

    Tech Against Terrorism at Chatham House

    London, UK (12 July)
  • Stanford University logo

    Industry Forum Terms of Service event

    (Date TBC) Stanford University, USA


  • Communicon Social Impact workshop

    London, UK (Date TBC)


  • Tech Against Terrorism logo

    Moscow startup outreach workshop

    (Date TBC) TBC, Moscow, Russia
  • Industry Forum Twitter event

    TBC, London, UK (Date TBC)


  • Tech Against Terrorism logo

    Freedom Online Coalition Annual Conference

    (Date TBC) Location TBC
  • Tech Against Terrorism logo

    Global Conference on CyberSpace

    India, location TBC (Date TBC)
  • Industry Forum Facebook event

    (Date TBC) TBC, London, UK


  • Tech Against Terrorism logo

    Launch of Tech Against Terrorism Knowledge-Sharing Platform

    United Nations, New York City, USA (Date TBC)
  • Tech Against Terrorism logo

    Counter-narratives workshop

    (Date TBC) Geneva, Switzerland
  • Tech Against Terrorism logo

    Industry Forum Microsoft event

    TBC, London, UK (Date TBC)
  • Tech Against Terrorism logo

    Industry Forum event

    (Date TBC) TBC, London, UK


  • Tech Against Terrorism logo

    ICT / counter-terrorism dialogue

    Tunisia, location TBC (Date TBC)
  • Tech Against Terrorism logo

    World Internet Summit

    (Date TBC) Wuzhen, China
  • Tech Against Terrorism logo

    Industry Forum event

    TBC, London, UK (Date TBC)

Our advisory group

This initiative is supported by leading technology companies and a range of startups, academic institutions, civil society, and inter-governmental organisations. The project is implemented by ICT4Peace Foundation for the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Executive Directorate (UN CTED) pursuant to the United Nations Security Council resolution 2354 (2017) and the Counter-Terrorism Committee.

Microsoft logo
Facebook logo
Google logo
Twitter logo
Kaspersky Lab logo logo
Telefonica logo
Soundcloud logo logo
Yellow logo
Ministerio de Hacienda y Función Pública logo
Consulate General of Switzerland in New York logo
MOFA logo

TechAgainstTerrorism launch at RightsCon

We launched Phase II of the project, TechAgainstTerrorism, at RightsCon in Brussels in March 2017.

Our report from Phase I of the project

This initiative builds on a first phase of strengthening dialogue on building trust held during 2016. The results of that effort were published and reported to the UN Security Council in the December 2016 document available in English, French, Chinese, Spanish, Russian and Arabic below.

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