Reader’s Digest – 25 February 2022

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


Policy Advisory and Response Team!

  • In line with our commitment of supporting efforts to counter terrorist use of the internet whilst respecting human rights, Tech Against Terrorism is delighted to announce the launch of its Policy Advisory and Response team.
     
  • With this new policy-focused team, Tech Against Terrorism aims to have a positive and sustainable impact on global online counterterrorism efforts, supporting resilient yet flexible online counterterrorism policy responses.

Webinar!

  • Thank you for joining our first webinar of 2022: “Global Challenges in Moderating Far-Right Violent Extremism Online”. In this webinar we discussed the way that far-right violent extremists use the internet and the challenges faced by content moderators in tackling far-right violent extremist use of the internet. If you were unable to attend and would like access to a recording of the webinar, please get in touch with us at [email protected].

Agenda

  • Dr. Edward Gillbard, Doctoral Researcher of Far-Right Extremism, University of Southampton 
  • Dr. Alexis Henshaw, Professor in Political Science, Troy University  
  • Dr. Bharath Ganesh, Professor of Media Studies, University of Groningen 
  • Moderators: Charley Gleeson, TCAP Analyst, Tech Against Terrorism,
    Erin Saltman, Director of Programming, GIFCT.

The Tech Against Terrorism Podcast is back with a new episode!

  • Tune in to Episode 2: “A Foiled Plot in Texas: The Threat of Violent Fringe Online Networks” here, or wherever you get your podcasts. In this episode, our host, Anne Craanen, is joined by Alex Newhouse, Matt Kriner, and Deeba Shadnia to discuss the ways violent far-right groups use the internet to carry out real-world attacks.

Tech Against Terrorism Updates

  • Don’t forget to sign up to our TCAP Office Hours on 1 March 2022 at 5pm GMT. Our TCAP Office Hours offer a monthly update on the development of the TCAP, our current statistics, and our view for the future. You can register to this event here
     
  • We are delighted to announce the online launch for our new report on the Threat of Terrorist and Violent Extremist-Operated Websites. Organised in collaboration with the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Executive Directorate (UN CTED), this event will take place Wednesday, 2 March, 5pm GMT (12pm EST & 9pm SF). You can read the full report here and register for the online launch here
     
  • Tech Against Terrorism’s Threat of Terrorist and Violent Extremist-Operated Websites report has been quoted in Eurasia Review. The article draws on the report’s comments on the potential difficulties in disrupting terrorist revenue streams as T/VEOW’s begin to utilise cryptocurrency mechanisms.  
     
  • Tech Against Terrorism’s Senior Open Source Intelligence Analyst, Arthur Bradley, carried out an interview with OSINT jobs detailing his responsibilities and his route to the industry. 
     
  • Arthur Bradley has also been quoted in Neue Zürcher Zeitung discussing the launch of new platform Truth Social, created by Trump Media and Media and Technology Group. 

Top Stories

  • The Digital Services Act (DSA) proposed by EU antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager could be in place by as early as June this year. The DSA will implement requirements for online platforms to policy content on their services, these regulations will be enforced through a fine of up 6% of global turnover if platforms fail to implement these legal requirements. 

    To find out more on the DSA, you can read our Online Regulation Series blog on the European Union online regulatory framework here
     
  • The Pakistan National Assembly has begun circulating a draft law proposing to amend existing regulations on lawmakers running election campaigns and on social media content. These proposed amendments would make it a punishable offence to insult the ‘dignity’ of people on social media. 

    To read more on Pakistan’s approach to regulating online content, you can find the Pakistan edition of our Online Regulation Series here
     
  • The ICCT  has published an article detailing the necessity of P/CVE programmes to embed PR strategies based on transparency. In doing so the communication of decision-making processes and community feedback would result in increased support of such programmes.
     
  • The GNET team has analysed a database of individuals who planned terrorist attacks, including both successful and foiled attacks. Their findings suggest that the greatest threat comes from those radicalised offline as opposed to in an online setting. 
     
  • The World Economic Forum reports that formations such as Digital Trust & Safety Partnership (DTSP) are essential in developing a conceptual and actionable best practices that make the internet a safer place. The DTSP serves to develop and promote industry best practices in Trust & Safety which are held accountable to both internal and external review processes. 

Tech Policy & Online Regulation

  • What’s next for the EU’s DSA?: The European Union’s (EU) Digital Services Act (DSA) aims to create a regulation that supplements the ongoing regulation and moderation currently being conducted by social media platforms. The DSA’s amended and developed moderation requirements for tech platforms include prohibiting legally mandated upload filters (Article 7), safeguards against over-removal of legitimate content (Article 14(3)), specific criteria to ensuring meaningful transparency in content moderation (Articles 13, 24, and 29), and developed risk assessment measures before deploying an algorithmic system (Article 26). The EU has chosen to not give media outlets an exemption, which holds tech platforms to the same standard as media publishers who have historically been given a wider breadth of freedoms. This has historically left lawmakers limited in punishing cases of disinformation from news outlets in the past. (Eliska Pirkova, Access Now, 21.02.2022)

For any questions, please get in touch via:
[email protected]