Written Question on Europol

Written Questions are submitted by MPs or Lords to receive information from a Department.

See more on: "Europol"
Date Title Questioner
7 Jul 2017, 9:09 a.m. Europol David Hanson


To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what the total number of referrals to the EU Internet Referral Unit was; and how many of those referrals led to the deletion of internet content in each year since 2015.

Answer (Mr Ben Wallace)

The internet is a powerful tool which terrorists and extremists exploit to radicalise, recruit, inspire and incite. This Government takes seriously the issue of online terrorist and extremist content. We work in partnership with major technology firms across the spectrum of online harms, identifying ways to tackle threats.

The UK has been at the forefront of the online battle against online extremist and terrorist material. In the UK our dedicated police Counter Terrorism Internet Referral Unit (CTIRU) refers content that they assess as contravening UK terrorism legislation to industry. If industry agree that it breaches their terms and conditions, they remove it voluntarily. Following referrals from the police Counter Terrorism Internet Referral Unit (CTIRU), social media providers have removed over 270,000 pieces of terrorist-related material since its inception in February 2010. In 2016, CTIRU secured the removal of over 8,000 pieces of terrorist content a month.

This successful model has been replicated at EU level to deal as a response to the international nature of the online threat. The UK was instrumental in the formation of the European Union Internet Referral Unit (EU IRU) which went live in July 2015, following the Charlie Hebdo attacks. The EU IRU has referred over 30,000 pieces of content and successfully secured the removal of over 80% of this content since its inception in 2015.

We continue to work with the EU and other international partners to push industry to take a more proactive approach to terrorist and extremist content on their platforms

CTIRU have a permanent officer seconded to the EU internet referral unit so they can have access, and work closely together, continually.

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