Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism to hold first meeting in San Francisco

The Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism is holding its first workshop on August 1, 2017, in San Francisco, where representatives from the tech industry, government, and non-governmental organizations are coming together to share information and best practices about how to counter the threat of terrorist content online.

Formed last month by Facebook, Microsoft, Twitter, and YouTube, the Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism formalizes and structures how our companies work together to curtail the spread of terrorism and violent extremism on our hosted consumer services. Building on the work started within the EU Internet Forum and the shared industry hash database, the GIFCT is fostering collaboration with smaller tech companies, civil society groups and academics, and governments.

In addition to the founding companies of the GIFCT, more than two dozen other technology companies and NGOs will be participating in Tuesday’s meeting. We also welcome United Kingdom Home Secretary Rt Hon Amber Rudd MP and United States Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Elaine Duke — as well as representatives from Australia, Canada, the European Union, and the United Nations — to discuss mutual areas of cooperation.

At Tuesday’s meeting we will be formalizing our goals for collaboration and identifying with smaller companies specific areas of support needed as part of the the GIFCT’s workplan. Our mission is to substantially disrupt terrorists’ ability to use the Internet in furthering their causes, while also respecting human rights. This disruption includes addressing the promotion of terrorism, dissemination of propaganda, and the exploitation of real-world terrorist events through online platforms. To achieve this, we will join forces around three strategies:

  • Employing and leveraging technology
  • Sharing knowledge, information and best practices, and
  • Conducting and funding research.

In the next several months, we also aim to achieve the following:

  • Secure the participation of five additional companies to the industry hash-sharing database for violent terrorist imagery; two of which have already joined: Snap Inc. and Justpaste.it
  • Reach 50 companies to share best practices on how to counter terrorism online through the Tech Against Terrorism project in partnership with ICT4Peace and the U.N. Counter Terrorism Executive Directorate
  • Conduct four knowledge-sharing workshops — starting in San Francisco Tuesday, with plans for further meetings later this year in other locations around the world

We believe that the best approach to tackling online terrorism is to collaborate with each other and with others outside the private sector, including civil society and government. We look forward to further cooperation as we develop a joint strategic plan over time.

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