The European Union needs to bring Internet companies fully on board in its fight against home-grown militant Islamists, the bloc’s interior ministers said on Thursday (29 January).
EU member states are increasingly worried about young European Muslims heading to Middle East war zones and returning radicalised, and ready to stage attacks at home.
Three weeks after Islamist gunmen killed 17 people in three attacks in Paris, the ministers focused on the role of the Internet in Islamist radicalisation during talks in Latvia, which holds the EU’s rotating six-month presidency.
“We must strengthen our efforts to cooperate closely with the industry and encourage them to remove terrorist and extremist content from their platforms,” the ministers said in a joint statement.
They also discussed wider use of information-sharing under existing tools such as Europol, the EU’s law enforcement agency.
“There is a clear urgency to reinforce initiatives aimed at making relevant information available to all concerned law-enforcement bodies,” the European Commissioner for Justice and Home Affairs, Dimitris Avramopoulos, told a news conference.
Last week, France urged all member states of the United Nations to work together on an international legal framework that would make social network providers share responsibility for the use of their platforms to spread messages promoting violence.
And the European Union anti-terrorism coordinator, Gilles de Kerchove, suggested forcing Internet firms to allow security services tap into coded emails and calls as part of a new EU strategy to combat militant attacks.