United Kingdom develops tool to automatically block extremist content

United Kingdom develops tool to automatically block extremist content

United Kingdom develops tool to automatically block extremist content

The release of the tool comes as part of a two-day visit to San Francisco, by the Home Secretary Amber Rudd, where she is meeting tech firms as well as the US Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen, to discuss how the United Kingdom and US can work together to tackle terrorist content online.

Rudd told the BBC the tool demonstrated that the government's request for a stricter examination of extremist content was not an unreasonable one.

The Home Office in the United Kingdom has collaborated with ASI Data Science to create a tool which can auto-detect terrorist propaganda content online.

Amber Rudd told BBC that she remains convinced the "best way to take real action, to have the best outcomes, is to have an industry-led forum".

London-based firm ASI Data Science was handed £600,000 by government to develop the unnamed algorithm, which uses machine learning to analyse Daesh propaganda videos.

"The goal of these videos is to incite violence in our communities, recruit people to their cause, and attempt to spread fear in our society", Ms Rudd said. There are tools out there that can do what we're asking.

Media playback is unsupported on your device                  Media captionWATCH Home Secretary Amber Rudd on new terror tool
Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionWATCH Home Secretary Amber Rudd on new terror tool

While predominantly aimed at smaller companies without their own solutions to the problem, the government hasn't ruled out passing law to force businesses to use the software.

The technology works by analyzing video content during the upload process, preventing it from reaching the internet in the first place - a vast improvement on the average 36 hours it takes tech firms to remove extremist content, and an improvement still on the two-hour-limit the United Kingdom government demanded a year ago.

The UK government has released new software created to block extremist content online, which it says it could force technology companies to adopt.

Ms. Rudd is now visiting the U.S.to meet tech companies and discuss the idea, as well as push other ideas aimed at tackling extremism.

"They can encourage the companies they invest in to introduce a facility to enable users and authorities to flag terrorist material for removal", Ms Rudd added. Home Office research found Daesh supporters published material on 400 unique platforms in 2017, including 145 previously unused platforms between July and December alone.

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