An UNGA73 side event organized by the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED) and the Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism (GIFCT), www.gifct.org
The United Nations Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED) and the Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism (GIFCT) will host an event on “Public-private efforts to address terrorist content online: A year of progress – what’s next?” during the general debate of the seventy-third session of the UN General Assembly. The objective is to facilitate a discussion on progress made over the past year, and to identify challenges, good practices, and next steps for public-private efforts in this area.
The event will be held at the Maxwell Hotel, 541 Lexington Ave, New York, NY 10022, on Thursday 27 September 2018, from 3:00 to 4:30 p.m. Seating will be limited, and confirmed participants will receive an email. Participants are requested to register online (by 25 September 2018 at 12:00 noon EST) at https://goo.gl/nU4p6j.
All questions relating to the side event should be addressed to Ms. Denise Ward, CTED Legal Assistant, +1 (212) 963 1950, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Terrorist and violent-extremist groups have become increasingly adept at exploiting information and communications technologies (ICT) — including the Internet and social media — to promote their ideologies and conduct their operations. No longer limited to the dissemination of propaganda and incitement of hatred, the abuse of ICT for terrorist purposes also includes recruitment of foreign terrorist fighters (FTFs) and supporters, fundraising, training, and planning of attacks. Tech Against Terrorism
Security Council resolution 2129 (2013) notes the evolving nexus between terrorism and ICT, in particular the Internet, as well as the use of such technologies to commit and facilitate terrorist acts and to facilitate such acts through their use to incite, recruit, fund or plan terrorist acts. The resolution also directs the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED) to continue to address this issue, in consultation with Member States; international, regional and subregional organizations; the private sector; and civil society, and to advise the Counter-Terrorism Committee on further approaches.
Council resolution 2354 (2017) requests the Committee to further develop initiatives to strengthen public-private partnerships in countering terrorist narratives and welcomes the “Comprehensive International Framework to Counter Terrorist Narratives” (S/2017/375), which recognizes the CTED/ICT4Peace Tech Against Terrorism initiative.
In its resolutions 2395 (2017) and 2396 (2017), the Council stresses the need for Member States to act cooperatively to prevent terrorists from exploiting ICT, as well as to continue voluntary cooperation with the private sector and civil society to develop and implement more effective means to counter the use of the Internet for terrorist purposes, including by developing counter-narratives and through technological solutions, while respecting human rights and fundamental freedoms and ensuring compliance with domestic and international law. These two resolutions also recognize the development of the Tech Against Terrorism initiative and its strategic partner, the GIFCT.
On 26 June 2017, Facebook, Microsoft, Twitter, and YouTube announced the formation of the Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism (GIFCT). The objective of the GIFCT initiative is to substantially disrupt terrorists’ ability to promote terrorism, disseminate violent extremist propaganda, and exploit or glorify acts of violence. The initiative includes the following elements:
• Employing and leveraging technology
• Sharing knowledge, information, and best practices
• Conducting and funding research.
Launched in San Francisco, in August 2017, the GIFCT works closely with CTED and the Tech Against Terrorism initiative to share knowledge and expertise and seeks to engage with a broad group of stakeholders. As an industry-led initiative, the GIFCT also collaborates with a wide range of NGOs, academic experts, Governments, and human rights experts. Its members are committed to preserving and respecting the fundamental human rights that terrorism seeks to undermine, including free expression, the role of journalism, and user privacy.
In cooperation with the GIFCT, CTED aims to establish partnerships with key stakeholders in this area, including start-up tech companies, civil society organizations, and academia. CTED promotes an all-of society, comprehensive approach to addressing the conditions conducive to the spread of violent extremism, which could be conducive to terrorism, including by encouraging dialogue and collaboration with civil society and other relevant stakeholders. Since the formation of the GIFCT, Facebook, Microsoft, Twitter, and YouTube have taken a number of individual actions to meet this objective. They have found that investing in proprietary and cutting-edge technological solutions, such as photo and video matching and text-based machine-learning classification techniques, is delivering positive results. They have notably used these innovative tools to remove content posted by terrorist groups that pose the biggest global threat.
On 29 November 2017, within the framework of the Tech Against Terrorism initiative, CTED launched its online Knowledge-Sharing Platform (KSP) to promote the sharing of good practices, in partnership with the Republic of Korea and the GIFCT. The KSP is a website containing a collection of tools and resources to support the efforts of start-ups and smaller technology companies to strengthen their response to terrorist exploitation of the Internet. It emphasizes proactive engagement with companies, from a position of neutrality, aimed at building their capacities. The objectives of the Tech Against Terrorism initiative are to advocate industry self-regulation and encourage companies to take more responsibility.