August 10, 2020

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Workshop in NZ to Strengthen Response Against Online Terrorist Content

New Zealand Workshop for Response Against Online Terrorist Content
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Governments and tech companies held a two-day workshop, which was hosted by YouTube/Google in Wellington, New Zealand to test the Christchurch Call Shared Crisis Response Protocol.

According to a recent press release, the workshop aims to refine and strengthen the response in the event of a terrorist attack with online implications.

Companies, governments, civil society experts and NGOs worked through a series of fictional scenarios designed to be both confronting and take into account evolving risks.

This is to ensure the protocol and others like it are fit for purpose.

Background of the Initiative

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern explained that the 15 March terror attack showed the lengths terrorists, and those who support them, will go to magnify their harm beyond the borders of any single country.

Social media was used in an unprecedented way as a tool to promote an act of terrorism and hate. Several are working together to ensure that does not happen again.

Because of the Christchurch Call to Action, companies and Governments are better prepared to respond quickly and in a coordinated way.

This will prevent the mass dissemination of terrorist and violent extremist content online.

Partnerships and continued collaboration are vital and shared initiatives are crucial to prevent and respond to abuse of digital platforms.

About the Workshop

The workshop is about ensuring the Crisis Response Protocol is an effective tool that will help prevent social media being used again in the way it was on 15 March.

The international incident response workshop was organised as part of the Christchurch Call, in consultation with the government of New Zealand as well as the Global Internet Forum for Counter Terrorism (GIFCT) partners.

This will enhance their collective ability to communicate effectively and respond efficiently in the event of a terrorist or violent extremist attack with an online component.

Steps Taken

Governments and online service providers made a commitment as part of the Christchurch Call to Action.

They will develop processes allowing governments and online service providers to respond rapidly, effectively and in a coordinated manner to the dissemination of terrorist or violent extremist content following a terrorist event.

A shared crisis response protocol was developed through discussions with Call-supporting countries and tech companies, plus relevant civil society and non-government representatives.

The protocol was announced by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and President Emmanuel Macron on 23 September.

It was announced at a series of events during UNGA Leaders’ Week that took stock of progress made around the Call since May.

The Christchurch Call Shared Crisis Response Protocol is also designed to complement and interact with the EU Response Protocol and the GIFCT Content Incident Protocol.

OpenGov Asia earlier reported on Significant progress against terrorist and extremist online content.

In a meeting held at the United Nations in New York, 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.

Key outcomes include an overhauled GIFCT, a crisis response protocol, an advisory network, and expanded membership.

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