Christchurch Call: getting online anti-terror measures right.

Christchurch Call: getting online anti-terror measures right.

The article was written by  Alejandro Ronard Alem. This May 15 at the initiative of the French President Emmanuel Macron and the Prime Minister of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern in Paris along with 10 other heads of state among whom were Theresa May, the Senegalese Macky Sal, and the Canadian Justin Trudeau, President Macron and the other dignitaries launched and signed a call to the world to suppress all terrorist internet content and violent extremism online, that is, in the internauts space (WEB).

The proliferation in the WEB space of content with racist and terrorist character are highly polluting above all for the youth of the world and undermine the democratic destinies of our societies. That is why Mr. Macron and the other participating heads of state are involved in an action that attempts to compromise the leaders of the main internet companies in addition to Internet users.

The author of the attack of March 15, 2019 in two mosques in the city of Christchurch in New Zealand that killed 51 people and wounded 39, broadcasted live his crime on Facebook for more than 17 minutes. The video was viewed hundreds of thousands of times, including in platforms such as YouTube, and this despite the measures taken to end its dissemination.
This attack demonstrated once more forcefully than the Internet is the privileged terrain of terrorist propaganda.

The United States (U.S.A) has made it known that the Trump administration will not sign this call.

In addition to France and New Zealand have signed and adopted this call the following countries:  Canada, Ireland, United Kingdom, Jordan, Norway, Senegal, Indonesia, India, Japan, the Netherlands, Germany, Spain, Sweden and the European Commission in the first instance.
And above all the main patterns of the digital world such as Facebook and its subsidiaries WhatsApp and Instagram, Google and it’s subsidiary Youtube, as well as Amazon, Microsoft, Qwant, Twitter and Daily Motion, have signed it.

Here is the content of the document.

The Christchurch Call to Action
To Eliminate Terrorist and Violent
Extremist Content Online

A free, open and secure internet is a powerful tool to promote connectivity, enhance social inclusiveness and foster economic
growth.  The internet is, however, not immune from abuse by terrorist and violent extremist actors. This was tragically highlighted
by the terrorist attacks of 15 March 2019 on the Muslim community of Christchurch – terrorist attacks that were designed to go viral.

The dissemination of such content online has adverse impacts on the human rights of the victims, on our collective security and on people all over the world. Significant steps have already been taken to address this issue by, among others: the European Commission with initiatives
such as the EU Internet Forum; the G20, and the G7, including work underway during France’s G7 Presidency on combating the use of the internet for terrorist and violent extremist purposes; along with the Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism (GIFCT); the Global Counterterrorism Forum; Tech Against Terrorism; and the Aqaba Process established by the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.

The events of Christchurch highlighted once again the urgent need for action and enhanced cooperation among the wide range of actors with influence over this issue, including governments, civil society, and online service providers, such as social media companies, to eliminate terrorist and violent extremist content online.

The Call outlines collective, voluntary commitments from Governments and online service providers intended to address the issue of terrorist and violent extremist content online and to prevent the abuse of the internet as occurred in and after the Christchurch attacks.

All action on this issue must be consistent with principles of a free, open and secure internet, without compromising human rights and fundamental freedoms, including freedom of expression. It must also recognize the internet’s ability to act as a force for good, including by promoting innovation and economic development and fostering inclusive societies.

To that end, we, the Governments, commit to:

Counter the drivers of terrorism and violent extremism by strengthening the resilience and inclusiveness of our societies
to enable them to resist terrorist and violent extremist ideologies, including through education, building media literacy
to help counter distorted terrorist and violent extremist narratives, and the fight against inequality.

Ensure effective enforcement of applicable laws that prohibit the production or dissemination of terrorist and violent extremist content, in a manner consistent with the rule of law and international human rights law, including freedom of expression.

Encourage media outlets to apply ethical standards when depicting terrorist events online, to avoid amplifying terrorist and violent extremist content.

Support frameworks, such as industry standards, to ensure that reporting on terrorist attacks does not amplify terrorist and violent extremist content, without prejudice to responsible coverage of terrorism and violent extremism.

Consider appropriate action to prevent the use of online services to disseminate terrorist and violent extremist content, including through collaborative actions, such as:

* Awareness-raising and capacity-building activities
aimed at smaller online service providers;

* Development of industry standards or voluntary
frameworks;

* Regulatory or policy measures consistent with a free,
open and secure internet and international human
rights law.

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