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Reader's Digest – 25 June 2021

Reader's Digest – 25 June 2021

Our weekly review of articles on terrorist and violent extremist use of the internet, counterterrorism, digital rights, and tech policy.

Tech Against Terrorism Webinar

  • Thank you to everyone who tuned in for our latest 2021 webinar of the TAT & GIFCT E-learning Webinar Series on, “APAC in Focus: Regional Responses to Terrorist and Violent Extremist Activity Online”. If you were unable to attend and would like to access a recording, please get in touch with us at contact@techagainstterrorism.org.

Tech Against Terrorism Updates

  • This week, Tech Against Terrorism’s research was mentioned in an article from the Observer on the overlap between anti-vax and violent extremist far-right narratives.
  • Our Director, Adam Hadley, presented at Wales Tech Week in a panel on identifying and removing online terrorist propaganda: challenges and responses. He highlighted Tech Against Terrorism's work in this area, with a particular focus on the Terrorist Content Analytics Platform.
  • Our OSINT Analyst, Deeba Shadnia, presented on behalf of Tech Against Terrorism at an event organised by the terrorism prevention branch of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. The event was co-sponsored by the United Kingdom Foreign and Commonwealth Office and was directed toward practitioners in the Kingdom of Morocco. She joined a panel that discussed the role of technology platforms and service providers in combating terrorist exploitation of their services, and discussed terrorist use the internet, current trends identified by our OSINT monitoring, as well as introduced the Terrorist Content Analytics Platform.
  • Our Senior Research Analyst, Maygane Janin, presented at the Terrorism & Social Media Conference 2021, organised by Cytrec. She presented on a panel discussing transparency reporting and human rights considerations in platforms’ counterterrorism and content moderation approaches. She highlighted the support provided by Tech Against Terrorism's Mentorship and Membership to tech platforms in this regard.
  • Our Research Analyst, Anne Craanen, presented at a UN Counter Terrorism Week side event “The opportunities and challenges presented by online and AI tools for the Prevention of Violent Extremism” co-hosted by the European Commission and UNDP. Anne highlighted the importance of including civil society in counterterrorism efforts, and stressed how we did so in building the Terrorist Content Analytics Platform.
  • We are excited to announce that an updated version of the Knowledge Sharing Platform (KSP) will be re-launched to tech platforms soon. The KSP is a collection of interactive tools and resources designed to support the operational needs of smaller tech platforms. The KSP is a “one stop shop” for companies to access practical resources to support their counterterrorism and transparency efforts. It is a free platform which contains research and guidelines on topics including: policies and content standards, terrorist & violent extremist use of the internet, proscribed groups, online regulation, and transparency reporting. Stay tuned for further announcements about the launch date!

Terrorist Content Analytics Platform (TCAP)

  • We have opened the registration for the June sessions of the TCAP Office hours, in which we update our stakeholders on the progress we make with the development of the platform and answer any questions stakeholders might have. Join us on 29 June at 5 pm BST or 30 June at 12 pm BST. You can register here.

Top Stories

  • This week, the Australian government passed the Online Safety Bill, which sets out to reform and expand existing online safety regulations.

    Tech Against Terrorism participated in the public consultation process for the Online Safety Bill, our response can be found here.

    Last year, we also reviewed existing online regulation in Australia for our Online Regulation Series, which you can read here.
  • This week, the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada introduced amendments to the Criminal Code, the Canadian Human Rights Act, and the Youth Criminal Justice Act. This bill aims to amend the Canadian Human Rights Act to define a new discriminatory practice of communicating hate speech online, and to provide individuals with additional remedies to address hate speech. The Canadian government also announced that it will soon be presenting a new regulation aimed at countering online harmful content.
  • Europol has published the new EU Terrorism Situation and Trend Report 2021. This report outlines the features, the facts, figures, and trends concerning terrorist attacks and arrests in the EU in 2020.
  • All parties in Germany's grand coalition government have agreed to ban the flag of Palestinian Islamic fundamentalist group Hamas. The move comes after several antisemitic incidents occurred last month in Germany during anti-Israel rallies.
  • Facebook has updated its public information about its Dangerous Individuals and Organisations policy, in line with recommendations from the Oversight Board in early 2021.


  • Assessing the National Strategy for Countering Domestic Terrorism: In this piece, Colin Clarke and Mollie Saltskog analyse the Biden administration’s new US Domestic Terrorism Strategy. In doing so, they shed light on current weaknesses in the US designation processes. Clarke and Saltskog note that “without a domestic terrorism statue, and without an expanded foreign terrorist organization list, the ability of law enforcement to operationally work cases of domestic terrorism using tools similar to those deployed against international terrorists will continue to be limited in nature.” (Clarke, Saltskog, War on the Rocks, 22.06.2021).
  • IntelBrief: As France Draws Down in the Sahel, How Will it Impact Regional Stability? In this IntelBrief, the Soufan Center discusses the situation in the Sahel given France ending its Operation Barkhane, and replacing it with a new operation in the Sahel with less troops present on the ground. The brief stresses that without western counterterrorism assistance, “large swathes of West Africa could end up being controlled by al-Qaeda and ISIS affiliates” and that fewer counterterrorism assets could place a “greater onus” on African troops and on UN missions. (The Soufan Center, 24.06.2021).

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