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Online Service Providers and the European Trend Towards an Unsafe Harbour — The introduction of the safe harbour regime in the E-commerce Directive in the early 2000s sought to provide online service providers (“OSPs”) with a measure of immunity from liability arising from certain actions including those by users of their services. In recent times, however, there has been what can fairly be described as a discernible shift in the balance of responsibility under the safe harbour regime which has seen a much greater emphasis placed on the role of OSPs in addressing illegal activity online. Analysis, Counterterrorism, Europe, Government Regulation, Law, Regulation Lexology
Can Taking Down Websites Really Stop Terrorists and Hate Groups? — "Racists and terrorists, and many other extremists, have used the internet for decades and adapted as technology evolved, shifting from text-only discussion forums to elaborate and interactive websites, custom-built secure messaging systems and even entire social media platforms. Recent efforts to deny these groups online platforms will not kick hate groups, nor hate speech, off the web. In fact, some scholars theorize that attempts to shut down hate speech online may cause a backlash, worsening the problem and making hate groups more attractive to marginalized and stigmatized people, groups and movements." Counterterrorism, Europe, Propaganda, Regulation, Terrorism, UK, US, Violent Extremist VOX-Pol
Fighting Terrorism Online: Internet Forum pushes for automatic detection of terrorist propaganda — Today, Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship Dimitris Avramopoulos and Commissioner for the Security Union Julian King hosted the third Ministerial meeting of the EU Internet Forum, to take stock of the progress made over the past year on curbing terrorist content online and decide on next steps in this area. Now is the moment to step up efforts on all fronts to make sure terrorist content is not just detected but also removed before it reaches internet users, to streamline and speed up the terrorist content referrals process, to improve transparent and regular reporting from the internet companies and to increase the number of internet companies participating in the EU Internet Forum. Counterterrorism, Europe, Government Regulation
Independent National Security Legislation Monitor Annual Report 2017 Analysis, Counterterrorism
Countering Islamic State Messaging Through “Linkage-Based” Analysis — The Islamic State’s recent losses on the battlefield, including significant casualties within its media and propaganda division, offer a unique opportunity to inject competing and alternative messages into the information space. This paper proposes that the content of such messages should be guided by a linkage-based analysis of existing Islamic State messaging. A linkage-based analysis of a top-level 2017 audio message by Islamic State spokesperson Abu Hasan al Muhajir offers several potential insights into crafting effective content for competing and alternative messages. A comparison of the 2017 work to earlier Islamic State messaging also reveals specific opportunities to undermine the credibility of the organisation’s broader propaganda programme by highlighting the organisation’s repeated failure to follow through on its extravagantly promised commitment to achieving its stated goals.

Academia, Counterterrorism
Facebook’s Counterterrorism Playbook Comes Into Focus — When you use Facebook, it doesn't look like Facebook is doing much. You post your update, scan your feed, and maybe like a few things. But behind the screen lies an immensely complex set of algorithms that determine what you see. And with nearly 1.9 billion users worldwide, some of that content inevitably includes violent images and extremist rhetoric. So Facebook is making its black box a bit less opaque outlining the tools it will use to deradicalize itself. Counterterrorism, News, Tech Responses