Reader’s Digest – 18 February 2022

Our weekly review of articles on terrorist and violent extremist use of the internet, counterterrorism, digital rights, and tech policy.


Webinar Alert!

  • For the first webinar of the 2022 Tech Against Terrorism & GIFCT e-learning series, we take a close look at “The Global Challenges in Moderating Far-Right Violent Extremism Online.” This webinar is scheduled for 24 February 2022, 5pm GMT, and you can register here! More information about the speakers and the agenda will be shared soon.

    The next two webinars of our TAT-GIFCT E-Learning series will discuss:
    • The Gamification of Extremism: Extremist Use of Gaming Platforms. This webinar is scheduled for 24 March 2022, 5pm GMT. and you can already register here
    • Audio Content & Detection: Moderation Challenges and Opportunities with Existing Audio Detection Models. This webinar will take place in April. 

The Tech Against Terrorism Podcast is back for a new series!

  • Tune in to Episode 1: “Tackling Taliban Content Online” here. In this episode, our host, Anne Craanen, is joined by Colin P. Clarke, Charlie Winter, and Arthur Bradley to discuss the nature of Taliban content online and ways to effectively moderate this content.

Tech Against Terrorism Updates

  • The Tech Against Terrorism Podcast is back for a new series! Tune in to Episode 1: “Tackling Taliban Content Online” here. In this episode, our host, Anne Craanen, is joined by Colin P. Clarke, Charlie Winter, and Arthur Bradley to discuss the nature of Taliban content online and ways to effectively moderate this content.
     
  • This week, we hosted the first event of our roundtable series on how to counter terrorist use of E2EE whilst safeguarding online privacy and security. The roundtable gathered policymakers, counterterrorism experts, digital rights advocates as well as tech platforms, and featured presentations on assessing the threat of terrorist use of E2EE. 

    If you want to learn more about the threat of terrorist use of E2EE and risk mitigation strategies, you can read our report on “Terrorist use of E2EE: State of Play, Misconceptions, and Mitigation Strategies.
     
  • Tech Against Terrorism’s Executive Director, Adam Hadley, was quoted in The Times about the engagement of British far-right online networks and their support of the Canadian trucker convoy.
     
  • Adam Hadley was also quoted in The Guardian relating to a London Metropolitan Police investigation into threats against Sir Keir Starmer following a comment made by UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson. 
     
  • Tech Against Terrorism’s work on the use of gaming platforms by terrorists and violent extremists has been referenced in two articles by La República and OI Canadian.
     
  • Don’t forget to sign up to our our TCAP Office Hours, on 2 March, 2022, at 5pm GMT. Our TCAP Office Hours are a monthly update on the development of the TCAP, our current statistics, and our view for the future. You can register here.

Top Stories

  • Fifteen human rights organisations have condemned an EU bid to jointly chair the Global Counterterrorism Task Force with Egypt. The organisations stated that Egypt has a record of abusing counterterrorism laws to punish human rights defenders, and would therefore not be suited to chair the Task Force. 
     
  • The United States has proposed a new Algorithmic Accountability Act which would require impact assessments from companies when they use automated systems to make critical decisions. These assessments seek to provide consumers and regulators with clarity around when and how algorithms are being used.  
     
  • Meta has announced a series of initiatives to combat disinformation on their platforms ahead of the French presidential election. The new initiatives include a new way to flag misinformation on WhatsApp, as well as a fact-checking system in partnership with Agence France-Presse to review Facebook posts flagged by users.
     
  • The Center for Democracy and Technology has published their comments to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights on internet takedowns and how to safeguard human rights and freedom of expression. 
     
  • Vice published an article on the use of archiving sites to store terrorist materials, which considers the potential threat posed by online materials but also the need to maintain archives for effective counterterrorism research.  
     
  • EDRi has published an article about the increase in measures to combat terrorist and violent extremist use of the internet as well as to counter child sexual exploitation and abuse. The article considers how current countermeasures are likely to infringe on privacy and freedom of expression.

Gender & Counterterrorism

  • Connecting the Dots: The Surge in Reprisals Against Women and the Rise of Counterterrorism: In January, the United Nations Security Council hosted an open debate on the issue of violence against women in the context of peace and security processes. Women play an integral role in peace negotiations as human rights defenders, especially within the realm of counterterrorism. The authors consider how women in peace negotiations are sometimes targeted by counterterrorism sanctions at the national level, with little action taken by intergovernmental institutions to prevent this phenomenon. The authors argue that concrete action should be taken to protect women in peace negotiations and to ensure that States do not misuse the counterterrorism argument to target women advocating for equality and rights. (Megan L. Manion and Fionnuala Ní Aoláin, Just Security, 19.01.2022)

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