Monday, January 1, 2018

Tech Firms Must Deal with Terror Threats

Internet companies should face a tax punishment for failing to deal with the threat of terrorism in the UK, the country’s security minister Ben Wallace had said. 

Wallace said firms such as Facebook, Google and YouTube are too slow to remove radical content online, forcing the government to act instead. 

In fact, in an interview with UK’s Sunday Times, he said his government is spending millions policing the web. 

He added: "We should stop pretending that because they sit on beanbags in T-shirts they are not ruthless profiteers”. 

And emphasizing that "they will ruthlessly sell our details to loans and soft-porn companies but not give it to our democratically elected government". 

In September, UK Prime Minister Theresa May had called on tech giants to end the "safe spaces" she said terrorists enjoyed online. 

IS have shown their ability to reach out to people online and radicalize, recruit and even instruct them on how to carry out deadly acts of violence. Already, a report from the think tank Policy Exchange said the UK is the world's fifth biggest audience for extremist material. 

In any case, it is not just about taking down content, but tech companies should tackle the bigger concern – the presence of extremist groups on their platforms and how they use social media to engage directly with people and communicate with them. 

I know tech companies can do much more. These companies have some of the best brains in the world. They should really be focusing on what matters, which is stopping the spread of terrorism and violence. 

The ball is in their court.

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