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Reader's Digest – 29 October 2021

Reader's Digest – 29 October 2021

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

Tech Against Terrorism Updates

  • We are hiring! We are looking for a PR Manager to help communicate our work to key stakeholders. For more details and how to apply, see here
  • Tech Against Terrorism is proud to announce its newest member, Zoom, joining us in our efforts to counter terrorist use of the internet whilst respecting human rights and freedom of expression. 

  • Thank you for joining our webinar this week on “Online terrorist financing: assessing the risks and mitigation strategies”. If you were unable to attend and would like access to a recording of this webinar, please get in touch with us at contact@techagainstterrorism.org  

  • Florence Keen, Research Fellow at the International Center for the Study of Radicalisation, and PhD Candidate in War Studies at King’s College London 
  • Audrey Alexander, Researcher and Instructor, West Point’s Combating Terrorism Center 
  • Julie Lascar, Public Policy Manager at Facebook
  • Moderators: Maygane Janin, Senior Research Analyst, Tech Against Terrorism; Erin Saltman, Director of Programming, GIFCT

  • We are excited to open registration for the November Terrorist Content Analytics Platform's (TCAP) Office Hours sessions, in which we provide a progress update on the platform and answer questions from the public. You can sign up for 3 November  at 5pm GMT or 4 November at 12pm GMT here. 
  • Stay tuned for our upcoming webinar on "Countering terrorist use of the internet, moderating online content and safeguarding human rights”.

Top Stories

  • Facebook has released an article outlining its approach to “maintaining a safe online environment in countries at risk”. The article can be accessed here.  
    Protocol has collated all of the Facebook Papers stories, which were published since the end of last week.  
  • A civil trial began on Monday in the United States to determine whether the 2017 Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, was part of a conspiracy to engage in racially motivated violence.  
  • Two former German soldiers have been arrested on suspicion of trying to form a terrorist mercenary force to fight in Yemen's civil war, prosecutors say.

Tech Policy

  • Big Tech May Need Reform - But Scrapping Section 230 is Not the Way to Do It: In this piece, Michael Cheah, General Counsel of Vimeo Inc., and Joe Freeman, Vice President & Head of Legal at Glassdoor Inc, discuss Section 230 and argue that eliminating Section 230 protections would be damaging to many other corners of the Internet that people rely on daily. Cheah and Freeman note that rolling back Section 230 protections would severely impact countless smaller and mid-sized sites’ ability to compete and grow as it would entail spending time and resources that could rather be allocated to employing more people and building better products and services. They highlight Internet Works, “a coalition of 23 internet companies and organisations that rely on Section 230 to protect users and compete in their respective markets” which supports this argument, and conclude that “Congress must consider the negative and unanticipated ramifications that even well-intentioned reforms may have on the very businesses and people they represent". They finally note that we must move forward "cautiously and thoughtfully" to avoid "stifling progress and making sweeping changes we may later regret”. (Cheah and Freeman, 25.10.2021, Real Clear Policy).

    To read more about Section 230 and online regulation in the United States, please see our Online Regulation Handbook

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