February 22, 2024

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Significant progress against terrorist and extremist online content

In a meeting held at the United Nations in New York recently, world leaders and tech companies have announced significant progress on the implementation of the Christchurch Call to Action to eliminate terrorist and extremist content online.

As reported, the meeting produced key outcomes. These are:

  1. An overhaul of the Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism (GIFCT) to make it an independent body that will drive much of the tech sector’s work on implementing the Call.
  2. The launch of a new crisis response protocol, to be used by governments and tech companies in the wake of terrorist and violent extremist attacks to coordinate and to manage the online impacts of the attack.
  3. The establishment of a Christchurch Call Advisory Network to advise on the implementation of the Call.
  4. 31 new countries and 2 organisations joined the Call bringing the total to 48 countries and 3 international organisations.

Background of the Initiative

The Call was launched in response to the 15 March terrorist attack in Christchurch where the murder of 51 people was broadcast live on the internet.

This has been copied and reposted millions of times at an unprecedented scale, in a deliberate effort to spread fear and compound the suffering of the victims.

The Internet was established to enable its users to create, to communicate, and to create value. It should remain as a domain that is open, free and secure.

States and companies must act together, with a shared sense of responsibility and respect for rights and freedoms, to combat the use of the internet for terrorist and violent extremist ends.

The Christchurch Call is not a traditional diplomatic initiative. Instead, it is an innovative, flexible coalition, dedicated to solving shared problems, which unites countries and tech companies.

On 15 May 2019, two months after, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and French President Emmanuel Macron brought together Heads of State and Government and leaders from the tech sector to adopt the Christchurch Call to Action.

Seventeen countries, eight companies and the European Commission came together in a powerful demonstration of solidarity and a global commitment to prevent the exploitation of social media as a tool of terror.

Overhaul of the Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism

The new standalone GIFCT will have a dedicated structure and staffs to more capably carry out the business of disrupting terrorist and violent extremist use of member platforms.

As co-founders of the Christchurch Call, New Zealand and France will also help guide the work of the GIFCT as members of its new Independent Advisory Committee.

The relaunched GIFCT will do the following:

  1. Go beyond its current mission and address both terrorist and violent extremist content online
  2. Invest in new technology to counter this evolving problem
  3. Promote alternative narratives and positive interventions
  4. Perform a new crisis management function
  5. Help increase understanding of how algorithms and other processes drive radicalisation
  6. Invest in better understanding terrorist and violent extremist networks and modes of operation online
  7. Assist smaller online platforms

New crisis response protocol

A new shared crisis response protocol has also been established to respond quickly and effectively to prevent abhorrent content from spreading in the wake of a terrorist attack.

The shared protocol is operationally ready and could be used immediately in the event of a terrorist attack like Christchurch, where an online response is required.

It establishes common thresholds for action, principles and standards for transparency and actions to be taken when thresholds are reached.

The shared protocol ensures coordinated and rapid action by online platforms to counteract the viral spread of terrorist content.

It is a living framework that will be regularly tested, assessed and updated.

Advisory Network to the Christchurch Call

Terrorist use of the Internet is a complex challenge. This cannot be navigated as governments and companies alone.

Insights and guidance from the expertise and goodwill residing in the wide array of civil society organisations, focused on these issues, are needed.

Civil society organisations have joined the Christchurch Call Advisory Network and are now listed on the Christchurch Call website.

Their work will help guarantee that a broad range of perspectives integrate and live up to the commitments in the Call around supporting human rights and online freedoms, as well as the rights of victims of terror.

New countries and organisations

In Paris, 17 countries and the European Commission declared their support for the Christchurch Call to Action.

Now, over six months on from the Christchurch attacks, support for the Call has grown by 31 more countries and two more international organisations.

It has significantly expanded to 48 countries and 3 international organisations.

The Christchurch Call emphasizes the importance of fighting against terrorist and violent extremist content online in a way consistent with principles of a free, open and secure internet, without compromising human rights.

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Qlik’s vision is a data-literate world, where everyone can use data and analytics to improve decision-making and solve their most challenging problems. A private company, Qlik offers real-time data integration and analytics solutions, powered by Qlik Cloud, to close the gaps between data, insights and action. By transforming data into Active Intelligence, businesses can drive better decisions, improve revenue and profitability, and optimize customer relationships. Qlik serves more than 38,000 active customers in over 100 countries.

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CTC Global Singapore, a premier end-to-end IT solutions provider, is a fully owned subsidiary of ITOCHU Techno-Solutions Corporation (CTC) and ITOCHU Corporation.

Since 1972, CTC has established itself as one of the country’s top IT solutions providers. With 50 years of experience, headed by an experienced management team and staffed by over 200 qualified IT professionals, we support organizations with integrated IT solutions expertise in Autonomous IT, Cyber Security, Digital Transformation, Enterprise Cloud Infrastructure, Workplace Modernization and Professional Services.

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Planview has one mission: to build the future of connected work. Our solutions enable organizations to connect the business from ideas to impact, empowering companies to accelerate the achievement of what matters most. Planview’s full spectrum of Portfolio Management and Work Management solutions creates an organizational focus on the strategic outcomes that matter and empowers teams to deliver their best work, no matter how they work. The comprehensive Planview platform and enterprise success model enables customers to deliver innovative, competitive products, services, and customer experiences. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, with locations around the world, Planview has more than 1,300 employees supporting 4,500 customers and 2.6 million users worldwide. For more information, visit www.planview.com.

SUPPORTING ORGANISATION

SIRIM is a premier industrial research and technology organisation in Malaysia, wholly-owned by the Minister​ of Finance Incorporated. With over forty years of experience and expertise, SIRIM is mandated as the machinery for research and technology development, and the national champion of quality. SIRIM has always played a major role in the development of the country’s private sector. By tapping into our expertise and knowledge base, we focus on developing new technologies and improvements in the manufacturing, technology and services sectors. We nurture Small Medium Enterprises (SME) growth with solutions for technology penetration and upgrading, making it an ideal technology partner for SMEs.

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HashiCorp provides infrastructure automation software for multi-cloud environments, enabling enterprises to unlock a common cloud operating model to provision, secure, connect, and run any application on any infrastructure. HashiCorp tools allow organizations to deliver applications faster by helping enterprises transition from manual processes and ITIL practices to self-service automation and DevOps practices. 

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IBM is a leading global hybrid cloud and AI, and business services provider. We help clients in more than 175 countries capitalize on insights from their data, streamline business processes, reduce costs and gain the competitive edge in their industries. Nearly 3,000 government and corporate entities in critical infrastructure areas such as financial services, telecommunications and healthcare rely on IBM’s hybrid cloud platform and Red Hat OpenShift to affect their digital transformations quickly, efficiently and securely. IBM’s breakthrough innovations in AI, quantum computing, industry-specific cloud solutions and business services deliver open and flexible options to our clients. All of this is backed by IBM’s legendary commitment to trust, transparency, responsibility, inclusivity and service.

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